All posts tagged: comfort food

vegetable tart expat kitchen

expat food haul: 15 essentials

Cheese is the epitome of luxury when it’s not available where you live; mine is running out, and I’m starting to panic. Here’s a list of the most comforting food items I typically pick up, consider, re-hash, debate, remove from the shopping card, and maybe put back in the shopping cart. Maybe.

what’s to eat: special edition (Tunisian lablebi)

I’d waited seven years to taste the real deal again, during which time I made many attempts to replicate, imitate, reconstruct. Sometimes I came up longer than short, but it was never quite right. Lablebi, oh miracle dish of Tunisia, comforting stew of myriad spices. Cheap, quick, filling, and perfect for a cold and blustery winter day in the capital city of Tunis. Guided in my culinary endeavors by good friend (and veteran edibles guide) Zied, we aimed to be Champions of Lablebi, consuming full portions of this hearty, filling stew. We started with the requisite bowls of bread, tearing the chunks into smaller pieces, or crumbs, depending on personal preference (the smaller the pieces, the thicker the resulting stew, or so say the Experts). Bowls properly filled with bread crumbs, we handed them over to the Professionals Behind the Counter, who ladled steaming chickpea stew into each. They  topped each bowl with mounds of spices: cumin, harissa, and others that should probably remain the secrets of Those Who Know. And then a few adroit tosses; just enough, not too much. And …

what’s to eat #18

A meal for the ill (that’s me): rice water for rehydration, and comfort food, my favorite Malian dish, although probably not the most rehabilitating: Toukassou, from Timbuktu. Not much to look at, but she’s got flavor for days: chewy, bready balls slathered in a sauce of 14 spices, usually served with long-simmered beef or lamb (although I refrained, considering my flu-ish condition). Recipe at link above. Eaten underneath a traditional Bogolan blanket.