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Around the World in Eaty Days - Countries 71-75

Gambia - Domada

Like multiple other countries in West Africa, peanut, tomato and chicken stew is the name of the game here (though I could also have used beef instead of chicken). It's a simple dish, but a tasty one, with this recipe calling for the addition of sweet potato, and a substantial amount of chilli. I chose to add a bit more chilli to this than I had with previous peanut stews, and let the flavours mature together for a bit longer, which both definitely added to my enjoyment of the dish.

Canada - Poutine

Try as I might, I couldn't get a pretty picture of poutine. That is not, however, indicative at all as to how much I enjoyed it. Poutine, Canada's national dish, is fries in a rich meaty gravy with cheese curds. Apparently poutine can be eaten pretty much any time, with some poutine-thusiasts making strong arguments for its consumption for breakfast. Whilst I'm not sure it would set me up for the day, I understand the love for it. Hot, salty and full of flavour, what's not to like? I did appreciatethat the recipe I was following encouraged making the fries from scratch which, for whatever reason, makes the dish feel somehow healthier.

Costa Rica - Gallo Pinto

Gallo pinto is a dish of rice and beans, mixed with sofrito, Salsa Lizano and frequently paired with fried eggs and tortillas. The sofrito is made by frying together onion, pepper and coriander, to which black beans and rice are added. Salsa Lizano (or just Lizano sauce) was a new ingredient for me, but is apparently very common in a variety of Costa Rican dishes. If I were to try to compare it to something more well known in English circles, I think I would pick Worcestershire sauce, though perhaps a bit sweeter. The sauce is the main flavouring in the dish, so I would recommend trying to find a bottle if you want to recreate this yourself!

USA - Hamburger

This is a dish that needs absolutely no introduction whatsoever. Nothing really shouts out America more than a burger, so I went full-ham (pun intended), making a cheeseburger with crispy bacon, lettuce and tomato in a brioche bun. I followed a recipe from, the website from one of my culinary idols, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, which maximises the amount of burger crust by cooking two smaller patties, which then sandwich the cheese, maximising the flavour you get out of the maillard reaction on the surface of the burger.

Dominican Republic - La Bandera Dominicana

La Bandera Dominicana, or "the Dominican flag" is a combination of multiple dishes, all served together. For my meal I served Pollo Guisado (chicken with tomatoes and peppers), Habichuelas Guisadas (stewed beans with squash, pepper, tomato and onion), Arroz Blanco (white rice) and Ensalada Verde (green salad by name, but in reality should contain cucumber and the very-not-green ingredients of tomatoes, red onion, beetroot and white cabbage). Though I didn't add them myself (I already made far too much food for the two of us eating), one could also add tostones and avocado, for a bit more veg. I must admit fault with my cooking this time unfortunately; I misunderstood the recipe and cut the chicken much much smaller than I was meant to (I believe it should still be in thigh-sized pieces), though this didn't really affect the taste, just the authenticity.

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