cilantro: 2 posts

Hot and Spicy Cranberry Sauce

Thanksgiving is when I miss the US the most. While life in Belgium goes on as usual, my friends and family back home are buying sweet potatoes, roasting turkeys and preparing for a long weekend of indulgence. Our oven here is so small that it wouldn’t even fit a turkey. Come to think of it, I haven’t even seen a whole turkey in stores. Cranberries, on the other hand, start showing up around the beginning of October. They are usually imported from North America, and the selection ranges from organic and handpicked (and priced accordingly) to the conventional Ocean Spray brand.

I love cranberries so much that I buy several bags at once and freeze whatever I can’t immediately use. Their exuberant tartness and hint of bitterness make them an interesting component in tarts, jams and sauces. My grandmother’s pickled cabbage is liberally studded with these shiny red berries– after pickling they become even more mouthpuckeringly tart but also quite addictive. She even uses them in desserts to make a whipped semolina and cranberry porridge that feels like a light mousse and is a relative of the Finnish dish called vispipuuro.

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Spicy Laotian Beef Salad (Lab, Larb Recipe) : Bold Flavors of Laos

Larb6512

by Katherine

Historian, researcher and writer, Katherine currently lives and works in Mumbai, India and travels widely throughout Asia. You can read further about her discoveries and adventures on her blog, Mumbai, Masala and More.

Much of Laos’ culinary culture seems to take place outside.  Everywhere you go things are being boiled, stewed and sizzled in outdoor stalls.  A crepe maestro would be deftly rolling out the thinnest dough creation in the world over a giant pan (France’s colonization of Laos has brought baguettes and European-style pastries into popular usage).  Eating is also communal; in the street, you can see people sitting around a meal served at the ka toke, the traditional low circular platform made of rattan where all the courses are brought out and eaten together.

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