As you may have heard, our commander-in-chief and “stable genius” had some choice things to say regarding immigration. According to the Washington Post, Trump claimed the U.S. is admitting too many people from “shithole countries.” Those are words I never thought I’d have to type on a food website, let alone see plastered across CNN chyrons. But here we are…welcome to 2018!
The countries bestowed by this dubious distinction include El Salvador, Haiti, and the entire continent of Africa (which actually contains 54 distinct countries, but who’s keeping track? Not Trump, that’s who!). Spoiler alert: when you look beyond the racism, it turns out there’s nothing crappy about them. Especially in the food department. These places all have rich culinary histories and cultures that, just like their people, deserve to be celebrated and embraced. While the president is scarfing down another Big Mac, we’ll be making these dishes instead.
Pupusas are a delicious and beloved Salvadorian dish consisting of a thick corn tortilla (usually made from masa de arroz, a maize or rice flour dough frequently used in Latin America) stuffed with a savory filling. Usually it’s beef, cheese, beans, or pork but you can get playful with the options. It’s also a super easy dish to put a vegetarian spin on, typically accompanied by curtido, a spicy cabbage slaw and tomato salsa. Get the recipe.
Yuca fritta is essentially fried cassava. The tuberous roots are a hearty, starchy favorite. For a healthier take you can also boil yuca, but that’s not nearly as much fun. The plentiful is the also the third largest source of carbs in the tropics, making it a staple of Salvadorian kitchens. Get the recipe.
Panes rellenos is the Latin American equivalent of a turkey or chicken sub. Much like a poultry-based hoagie, panes rellenos are hearty, stuffed sandwiches. Chicken or turkey is marinated with Cuzcatlan spices and hand-pulled. Top it off with some tomatoes and watercress and you have a killer lunch. Get the recipe.
Haitian cuisine features an eclectic blend of flavors and draws from both French and Carribean influences. Banane pesée, which literally translates to “pressed banana,” is an example of this. Plantains are flattened and fried and make for an amazing snack or appetizer. Get the recipe.
Mayi Moulen (Mayi Moulin)
Mayi Moulen (or as it’s sometimes spelled, “Mayi Moulin”) is comparable to grits in its taste and texture. It’s often eaten with sauce pois, a bean puree soup made from pinto or kidney beans. Serve with red snapper for a protein-packed meal. Get the recipe.
Doro wat is an Ethiopian stew or curry made with chicken and vegetables. What separates it from other stews is its unique cooking method, which entails sautéing onions dry, without any added oil. Fat is later added, along with other aromatics which creates an unusually thick texture. Get the recipe.
Kinche is a hearty Ethiopian porridge. Made with barley and spiced butter, this not your mother’s oatmeal. It’s the next breakfast alternative you need to try. Get the recipe.
Suya is a spicy kabob, commonly consumed in norther Nigeria. It’s generally made with skewered beef, ram, or chicken innards that are seasoned with peanut cake, salt, and various spices and barbecued to perfection. Get the recipe.
Header image courtesy of Precious Core.