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Old 01-04-2007, 12:45 AM   #11
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Thanks one and all for your help. I have looked through some of the provided links. Here are a few things I was thinking I could do

-Falafels/Tahini
-Garlic Fried Rice (Sinangag) Garlic Fried Rice recipe | Philippine recipes
-
Spinach with Lemon Dressing (Horta) Spinach with Lemon Dressing recipe | Greek recipes
-Greek Potatoes Greek Potatoes recipe | Greek recipes
-Chinese Peanuts
chinese peanuts recipe | asian recipes | chinese recipes
-Seven-Spice Rice Pilaf
Seven-Spice Rice Pilaf
-Curried Lentils and Vegetables Curried Lentils and Vegetables
-Mija (Greek Candy); Dessert? mija (greek candy) recipe | greek recipes


Obviously I won't do all of those, it was just some things I thought might work. I also hadn't really been planning on going for one overiding theme but I was more trying to get a little bit of something from everywhere. Do you think I would be better served trying to make an all indian meal or all greek meal etc? Any other thoughts/suggestions on the foods I mentioned or anything else?
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Old 01-04-2007, 01:13 AM   #12
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why not just take the best of the suggestions and make a European, regional dining experience. You have some real solid info to base such a thing, and it would be easy too. just my $.02.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:15 AM   #13
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haplesschef, based on the recipes you have chosen from the links, you can plan as follows to give your GF a taste of the various cuisines:

1. Garlic Fried Rice (Philippines) with Curried Lentils & Veggies (Indian)
2. Falafels/Tahini (Middle Eastern), Greek Potatoes & Spinach with Lemon Dressing. (Greek).
3. Falafels/Tahini (Middle Eastern) & Seven-Spice Rice Pilaf (Indian)

Of course, there are other dishes that are richer and more robust in taste but I guess you know your GF better to select the above for starters. Do let us know how the dishes turn out.
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Old 01-04-2007, 02:51 AM   #14
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We eat non-meat meals about half of our week, just because we like them and don't enjoy a steady diet of meat.

We love legumes in particular, 'gigantes' in tomato sauce (gigantes are like huge lima beans -- Boufa, what are these called in English?!) is delish, as are 'revithia' which is essentially a chick-pea/garbanzo bean soup or stew.

We make both traditional Middle Eastern (Israeli, actually) falafel with uncooked chick peas, and also Greek 'revithokeftedes' which are made from already-cooked chickpeas. They're both really delicious, with a tahini/lemon sauce or just with strained yogurt.

There's also spanakorizo which would be a bit more of a main dish than Greek spinach. It's spinach with rice, spiced up with olive oil and lemon, fresh dill, and pepper. Very comforting winter meal, especially topped with a slice of fresh feta.

Another favorite is 'tourlou-tourlou' which is a vegetable stew, heavy on romaine lettuce (strikes you as odd probably, but is absolutely delicious cooked!) as well as artichoke hearts and frozen peas. It has a thick avgolemono (egg/lemon) sauce over it and is also spiced with dill and pepper.

These are just a couple of our family favorites. NONE of them are difficult to make and most are very forgiving to beginners. (Meatless dolmades are also absolutely wonderful, but they do take nimble fingers. One of the few dishes where a history of hand-rolling cigarettes comes in handy!)
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Old 01-04-2007, 03:19 AM   #15
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Ayrton, you said it correctly. "Gigantes" are referred to as giant beans or huge lima/butter beans.

haplesschef, with all the yummy legume and veggie dishes provided by Ayrton, future planning and selection of your meals should not be a problem.
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Old 01-04-2007, 07:48 AM   #16
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A Moroccan vegetable stew served over cous cous might be an idea. Relatively common ingredients (depending on the recipe) with not too many expensive, unique spices to get. I think its also simple to make for someone with not too much cooking experience. One problem with ethinc foods ( especially Indian) is that there are usually many exotic spices in them. The problem with this is, if u dont normally cook with these spices, and dont have them on hand, you will spend $$ buying all these things just to use a teaspoon here, 1/2 teaspoon there..... And , if you never plan on cooking it again, you will have a cupboard full of spices that are so unique to a specific ethic group, you may never use them again :) . So, if your intentions are a one time thing just to impress your gf, keep it simple. If you plan on cooking ethnic more frequently, knock yourself out with all the spices.
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Old 01-06-2007, 01:02 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boufa06
haplesschef, based on the recipes you have chosen from the links, you can plan as follows to give your GF a taste of the various cuisines:

1. Garlic Fried Rice (Philippines) with Curried Lentils & Veggies (Indian)
2. Falafels/Tahini (Middle Eastern), Greek Potatoes & Spinach with Lemon Dressing. (Greek).
3. Falafels/Tahini (Middle Eastern) & Seven-Spice Rice Pilaf (Indian)

Of course, there are other dishes that are richer and more robust in taste but I guess you know your GF better to select the above for starters. Do let us know how the dishes turn out.
Thanks for the suggestions I think I will probably do either number 1 or number 2. I don't necesarily know if those are the dishes she will like the best, but I was basically trying to pick the ones I thought she would most like that I could also make and it would be pretty hard to screw up.
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Old 01-10-2007, 05:42 PM   #18
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Hey this may be a dumb question. But the directions on one recipe say "Place peanuts 1-inch thick in cast iron skillet. Toss with soy sauce." What does it mean when it says "Toss with Soy Sauce?" Does that just mean put them in the skillet together and stir them up?

Also, the salad calls for a dutch oven. I'm reasonably sure I don't have one of those and I don't have $50 to drop on one. I have a normal pot with a lid, would that do the trick?
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Old 01-13-2007, 02:19 AM   #19
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Just an update. I cooked the dinner last night for my gf and it went great! Suprisingly, other than the fact my kitchen looked like a train wreck afterwards because I am not the most organized cook, nothing went majorly wrong. My girlfriend was very pleased and said the food was great. Thank you all so much for your help. I could not have done it without you.

I made the "Chinese Peanuts" as an appetizer sorta while I finished the meal. If you're interested those are extremely easy to make, require 2 ingredients, and are pretty good, especially if you are a nut fan. Then I served the garlic fried rice with curried lentils and vegetables and for dessert I made the greek candy (also very good). Thanks again for all you guys help! I'm sure I will be back here soon in desparate need of help in some other cooking area.
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