The Multi Cultural Norah Jones

You know the Grammy Award winning artist simply as Norah Jones but her birthname is Geethali Norah Jones Shankar. Does that help to shed some light on mysterious dark good looks?  Jones was born to a Bengali Indian father, a famed sitar musician Ravi Shankar and an Anglo-American mother.

Decorative Chocolate Truffle Filled Eggs

It happened one day as I was twittering and following that I stumble upon chocolate.com.  What caught my eyes were these eggs which almost looked like Easter eggs but have a different spin to them.  They are available as customized decorative eggs for St. Patrick’s Day, Mother’s Day, the Fourth of July or just about any event. 

The most confounding part  is the chocolate is actually in a real egg shell.  Wrap you brain around that then refrigerate for 15 minutes, whack, peel and enjoy.  My egg had a smooth chocolate peanut butter flavor.  This could be a great party favor – Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor and Food Critic

Visit them online at: http://www.chocolate.com/brands/the-sweetique-llc/

Restaurant Review – Austin TX: 24 Diner

Chicken & Waffles at 24 Diner, Austin

The newest addition to downtown Austin’s 24 hour dining scene is aptly named. 24 Diner, located at 6th & Lamar next to Waterloo Records, serves upscale comfort food and boasts a more than decent wine & beer list.

The decor is clean, crisp and clutter-free, almost an industrial chic, if you consider the open ceiling and polished concrete floors. The only artwork adorns the wall above the hostess stand while the large windows offer a glimpse of the city in motion. It’s a charming renovation of the old Waterloo Ice House spot. READ MORE

See their Menu: http://24diner.com/public/pdf/food-menu.pdf

See our US and Canada Restaurant Review Section: Multi Cultural Cooking Network Restaurant Reviews

The Multi Cultural Cheryl Burke

With Dancing with the Stars back in the limelight, MCCN thought it was a good time to 220px-cheryl_burke_2009focus on iconic dancer Cheryl Bautista Burke.    In an interview with thatsfit.com, Burke confesses some of her food faves such as an egg white omelet on wheat toast makes her best healthy foods list and simple bread and butter on her not so healthy food list.

Think egg white omelet and lots of exercise upon admiring her fabulous shape.  Burke is trained in standard ballroom and Latin dances.  The celebrity of Filipino descent makes millions of Asians around the world proud as she is still one of few the regular Asian American personalities on primetime TV in the states.  On October 20, 2007, Cheryl won the Role Model Award at the 7th Annual Filipino/American Library Gala. Watch her 2008 acceptance speech of the Asian Excellence Award.  Burke is also part Irish and Russian.

Filipino Escbeche(Sweet & Sour Fish)

escabeche-wide

image from ang sarap

When you are covering the world, you need a little help.  If you love Filipino food, can’t get enough of  Filipino culture then check out thephilippineisland.com.  Here is a favorite cultural dish.- Crystal Johnson, MCCN

The ingredients would be as follows:

    • 2-3 lbs red snapper, whole fish
    • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 tablespoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup apple cidar vinegar or white vinegar
    • ¼ water
    • 1/2 cup brown sugar
    • 1 large chopped onion
    • 6 tablespoons minced garlic
    • 1/2 cup ginger, julienned
    • 1/2 cup carrot, julienned
    • 1/2 cup red bell pepper
    • 1/2 cup scallion, julienned (spring onions)
    • 1 tablespoon sifted flour

Directions

  1. Clean the fish and slit it open. Let it stand for few minutes and drain well.
  2. Sprinkle fish with 1 tbsp salt.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat the oil and fry the fish until brown. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.
  4. In the same skillet, sauté the garlic until light brown, then sauté onion.
  5. Add salt and white pepper. Stir in ginger, scallions, carrot and red bell pepper.
  6. Add soy sauce, vinegar, water and sugar. Salt and pepper to taste.
  7. When the mixture boils, add flour to thicken. Then, add the fish.
  8. Cover the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes

Nutty for Nutella: The History of Nutella

Nutella cake

Nutella cake adorned with hazelnuts.

Nutella was made by Italian confectioner Pietro Ferrero.Yes, it’s the same Ferrero that brought us the delectable Ferrero Rocher (and Tic Tac’s too). Nutella was the solution to a less expensive chocolate. Since the supply of cocoa was limited during World War II, Pietro Ferro used hazelnut which was plentiful in the Piedmont region of Italy. This simple solution extended the supply of chocolate and began a trademark taste found in Ferro’s products.

At first Nutella, originally called Pasta gianduja, was sold in loaves and mothers would slice a slab and put it in between two pieces of bread. However, children being children discarded the bread and went straight for the sweet stuff. So, innovative minds went to work to outsmart kids wanting to have their cake and eat it too, by making Nutella spreadable.

Nutella

Formerly sold in loaves in the forties, Nutella is now sold in spreadable form.

Although Nutella has been around since the forties, it was only imported from Italy to the United States in the early eighties. Now it is marketed in over 75 countries outselling all brands of peanut butter combined worldwide. Nutella is eaten on all types of bread, from bagels to muffins to toast. It goes great on waffles, crepes and crackers as well.

Here’s an idea for an informal gathering. Get some pretzels and fill your dipping bowl with Nutella…what a delicious treat! For more formal affairs, instead of chocolate, why not try Strawberries and Nutella? It’s a different taste, and sure to be the talk of the party.

Recipe for Nutella Cake: Nigella.com

Article by Monica Johnson

North America: History of the Shamrock Shake

mcdonalds-shamrock-shake-review-10

What’s green, cold, thick, and elusive? The McDonald’s Shamrock Shake. This green mint flavored treat is whipped up every year from late February to March. Introduced in 1970, the shake was brought to the U.S and Canada by Uncle O’Grimacey- the green Irish uncle of the very purple Grimace.

The highly coveted drink has a devoted fan base. In recent years the St. Patrick’s Day shake has become hard to find. Websites dedicated to finding the seasonal drink populate the web. The Shamrock Shake, much like daylight savings time and beautiful weather, is a sure sign of spring. Changes to the triple thick 2010 drink include whip cream and cherry toppings.

To track the Shamrock Shake visit:

http://www.shamrockshake.com/

And if you can’t find one, try making one at home:

delish-copycat-shamrock-shakes-still001-1550601305

http://www.foodgeeks.com/recipes/6368

Article by Catrina Sally

Mo’Nique’s Cookbook: Skinny Cooks Can’t Be Trusted

It would take the Academy Award Winner and Comedian Mo’Nique to have a cookbook which includes in the title, “Skinny”,  affectionately about the people who are butt of her jokes.- MCCN Editor

Amazon Editorial

From the cover of Essence to the stage at the Apollo, from reruns of her hit show The Parkers to her reality program Mo’Nique’s F.A.T. Chance, Mo’Nique exults in the joys of being a large woman. Here, she explores the great love of her life—food. But this isn’t food South Beach diet style. This is food with flavor, from chocolate and cream to sugar and butter and everything in between

In Skinny Cooks Can’t Be Trusted, Mo’Nique’s fondest food memories (like her mama’s stuffed fish that blew up in the oven but made it to the table anyway) are accompanied by cooking tips (when in doubt, taste it to make sure), food strategies (gather everything in one place so you don’t tire yourself out runnin’ around the kitchen), and “what to wear if you’re gonna go there” (because if done right, good food can lead to good lovin’!).

Famous Chef G. Garvin consulted on this project

Monique’s Smothered Chicken Recipe:

Ingredients

2 cups canola oil
1 (3-lb) chicken, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons seasoning salt
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 TSP chopped fresh rosemary
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 celery stalks, diced
2 small white onions diced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3 cups chicken stock

Directions

1. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Wash the chicken, pat dry, and season well with the salts and herbs.

3. Dredge the chicken in 1/2 cup of the flour and shake off any excess. Lay the chicken pieces into the hot oil and cook for 7 to 8 minutes on each side. Remove to paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

4. Gradually whisk the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour into the oil remaining in the skillet, and cook over medium heat until it begins to brown.

5. Add the butter, celery, onion, garlic, and stock and mix thoroughly. Put the chicken back into the skillet, cover and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes.

 

Bacalaitos Recipe

I love elboricua.com.  This is a great go to site for Puerto Rican Food such as plantain recipes, sauces, main dishes and desserts.  Favorite this website for recipes. – Crystal Johnson, MCCN Editor

Message from the El Boricua website:

This website is the internet home of  “EL BORICUA” an electronic monthly cultural magazine available on-line only. Both this website and our monthly magazine are dedicated to our descendants, the children of Puerto Ricans -where ever they might be – so that they can remember our culture, learn about their roots and history, and be proud to call themselves Boricuas and Puertorriqueños.

Bacalaitos.
(10 bacalaitos)

1/4 lb. bacalao filet
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/3 tsp. salt
3/4 cup bacalao broth
1tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. crushed garlic
oil for frying

Today we can buy processed bacalao that is not “dry” and does not need to soak overnight or boil for hours and hours. Make sure you get the soft bacalao that has been deboned. Sometimes it comes in a wooden box or in platics bags. They have it at some Walmart stores and Fiesta Grocery stores and many others.

Rinse the bacalao and tear into smaller pieces. Boil in plenty of water for about 20 minutes or so. Discard water and add fresh water and boil again for another 20 minutes. Let it cool in the water and save the water. Remove the bacalao and drain in a metal drainer and wait for it to cool down (save the broth). Once cool to the touch, tear the pieces into smaller little tiny pieces and set it aside. If you hold it between your fingers it separates itself.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, and garlic. Add the broth and whisk. The mixture should look like pancake batter. Then add the drained bacalao and whisk again. DO NOT use an electric appliance to stir this stuff because the bacalao will become like fiber and you will end up with a matty mess that will have to be thrown away. I’m speaking from experience here. The batter should look like thin pancake batter. If too thick just add a bit more broth and whisk. If you put too much broth add a bit of flour – just a bit.

Spoon the batter by ½ cup fulls into hot oil. The bacalaitos should be fried over high heat turning only once. They should be golden on both sides. Drain on paper towels before serving. If they are getting too brown too fast lowe heat a bit.

Any extra fish or batter may be refrigerated for a few days or frozen for later use. Remember that this recipe is only for about 10 bacalaitos – so multiply if you must.

America Ferrera: Talks Interracial Relationships

America Ferrera and Lance Gross in Our Family Wedding

From the Toledo Blade- Visit Toledoblade.com

“‘I felt like Our Family Wedding was funny and had its bigger comedy moments, but, because of the underlying issues of race and this young couple being in love and having to deal with their families’ race issues, could also be really powerful and emotional,’ says Ferrera, who herself is of Honduran descent. ‘People have experienced this kind of thing. I have interracial-couple friends. I am in an interracial relationship. The two met when Ryan Piers cast America in a student film while they attended the University of Southern California.  As for the film, Our Family Wedding,  Fererra  just feels like  it is a story that her generation could really relate to.’

Ferrera and Husband