Those of you who know me know that my boyfriend, Rajan, is from Nepal. He has definitely been a great inspiration for me in my quest to try cooking new things. Many of the cookbooks I have gotten in recent years have been from him, and he is the happy recipient of a great many meals from those cookbooks. The first cookbook he ever gave to me is called A Taste of Nepal, and it is by far the most used cookbook on my shelf.

The most-used cookbook I own: A Taste of Nepal
The most-used cookbook I own: A Taste of Nepal

Needless to say, because my boyfriend is from Nepal, this is not the only time the tiny, but mighty, country will be making an appearance on this blog. I make Nepali food about once a week, even when Rajan is out of town.

The last two weeks before this were an extremely joyous time in Nepal. Nepali people just celebrated Dashain, which is a huge ten-day holiday that is equivalent to the status of Christmas here in the states. It’s a time for family, friends, and delicious food. Most notably, it is a time when Nepali people eat goat. I knew Rajan was arriving in Northern Nevada on the final day of Dashain, so I decided to tackle a goat curry recipe that I had had my eye on for quite some time in my Nepali cookbook.

Raw goat -- 3.5 pounds of it, courtesy of a local Mexican grocery store.
Raw goat — 3.5 pounds of it, courtesy of a local Mexican grocery store.

I was a little curious about where I would get goat in Northern Nevada, especially a gelded (or young) goat. It makes a *huge* difference in the taste of the meat if the goat has not been gelded. It becomes overly game-y tasting if it is not gelded. However, my Nepali friends told me about a Hispanic grocery store in Reno that sold gelded goat, and I was in business.

Potato and green bean side dish
Potato and green bean side dish

I often describe goat as being a “slightly gamier lamb” to people who haven’t had it before. Generally, if you like lamb, you will like goat.

Rukesh and Rajan waiting for the goat to cook.
Rukesh and Rajan waiting for the goat to cook.

Goat is a tough meat, and it always takes a bit of time to prepare. The first time Rajan ever made goat for me, he prepared it in a pressure cooker to cut down on the cook time. I followed the recipe exactly for this version, which calls for almost an hour of actual cook time. With chopping an seasoning, set aside a couple hours before making this dish.

Rajan, Adam, Maria, and Rukesh get ready to dig in.
Rajan, Adam, Maria, and Rukesh get ready to dig in.

Because we were celebrating Dashain, I had to invite friends over. Rukesh, Adam, and Maria all agreed to partake in this particular adventure for the blog. I cheated a little, because I asked Adam and Maria if they had ever had goat beforehand (they had).

The whole feast.
The whole feast.

I served the goat curry with rice, daal, and a green bean and potato side dish. Rice and daal are Nepali meal staples.

After a few bites, Rukesh proclaimed that the curry tasted “just like in Nepal.” And really, what better compliment can I receive than that?

Find the recipe here. Order the awesome book here.

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The other day, I knew I hadn’t cooked any recipes for the blog for a while, but it was a weekday, and I didn’t have much time. Leave it to Pinterest to save the day. I found a Hungarian Paprikash recipe, and was intrigued by how easy it was. I could definitely pull this off on a weekday.

All the stuff
All the stuff

I have made goulash a few times now (and I’ll definitely do so again), but I had never had paprikash, nor had I even heard of it before stumbling across several recipes online. Normally, this dish is made with bone-in chicken, but I only had boneless, skinless thighs in my freezer. I also didn’t discover until I opened my pantry that I had eaten all my egg noodles….

Cooking up the ingredients on the stovetop.
Cooking up the ingredients on the stovetop.

This is definitely one of the recipes where I didn’t quite hit the mark on having the exact ingredients I needed to be authentic. I don’t have Hungarian paprika (which I’m told makes a difference), I only had boneless chicken, and I didn’t have egg noodles… sigh! But, this dish still turned out wonderfully. I do not like sour cream by itself, but I love it mixed in dishes (stroganoff, for example). It adds a great, rich, tangy flavor to any dish.

Voila
Voila

I will definitely be making this one again, with the more accurate ingredients. Even without everything exactly correct, it was still a delicious dish. Try out this recipe.

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I do have a couple of drawbacks with my blog. I know there’s a couple of things I’m just not going to be able to replicate (Hawaiian roasted pig in the ground? I’m renting, I can’t! …. But I do have a good substitute for a future post). When I was living in Las Vegas, I was a grilling fiend. I grilled at least a couple nights a week. It’s fast and easy, and everything tastes good crusted with a bit of char. Plus, in Vegas, the winters are not harsh, so I can grill all year long.

When I packed up and moved to Northern Nevada, one of the things I had to leave behind was my beautiful grill. Although I recently moved into a house, getting a grill is something I just haven’t gotten around to yet (I’m a little too picky for what my current funds will allow). When I came across this recipe for Brazilian fish stew, I was intrigued. After all, Brazil is known for its meat (I’ve been in my fair share of Brazilian steak houses over the years). I also figured now was a great time to try it, since my sister, who hates fish, is gallivanting around Europe at the moment.

All the stuff
All the stuff

The recipe calls for a firm white fish. I went with swordfish because it is relatively cheap for how sturdy it is (I knew tilapia would fall apart too easily), and also, I love it!

Peppers, chillin'
Peppers, chillin’

This was a quick meal. I made it on a weekend, but it could easily translate to a weeknight meal.

Swordfish, sizzlin'
Swordfish, sizzlin’

For those of you afraid of the coconut milk…. don’t be! I cook with coconut milk a lot because my sister and boyfriend can’t always handle lactose in large doses, and I find that if you lose a lot of spices, you can’t always taste it. I went full-fat (because I always go full-fat; I don’t do things half-assed) with the coconut milk, and it still wasn’t overpowering.

Yum
Yum

This was a meaty, soul-warming dish. I definitely favor a certain spice palate, which this recipe includes. Will I make Brazilian meat in the future? Sure, whenever I finally get a grill. But for now, I enjoyed this little piece of South America.

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A few weeks ago, my friend Mike stopped for a visit last minute, and I suddenly had a group to feed for dinner. I had my eye on some of the recipes from the New York Times series on cooking for Ramadan (which has long since passed), and decided to try out their Roast Chicken with Couscous recipe to feed him, my boyfriend, and my sister.

Mise en Place
Mise en Place

There’s something about a roast chicken that seems to suggest that it’s a special occasion. They are also insanely easy to make.

The almonds getting toasty in some butter.
The almonds getting toasty in some butter.

I was intrigued by this recipe because of the mixture of flavors. The spices called for in the recipe suggested that the chicken would be a little sweeter. I’ve never had a roast chicken that wasn’t more savory.

Pouring honey onto the halfway-roasted chicken.
Pouring honey onto the halfway-roasted chicken.

Sure enough, the result was a cinnamon-y, sweetened with honey treat. My friend Mike said it tasted “like fall.”

Perfectly browned skin.
Perfectly browned skin.

In my house, there’s always a fight for the skin, and this recipe didn’t disappoint. While a few of the commenters to the NY Times article complained about having issues getting the skin to brown, I had no problems.

Everything mixed together.
Everything mixed together.

This would be a deeply satisfying dish to break one’s fast, although I will admit that my western tongue wanted a bit more savory. Nevertheless, this was a very simple recipe that looks like a fancy feast.

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