Frog legs recipe with quinoa: French fusion dish (Hostel Cooking series)

Asian, Cajun or French — I really don’t know. But when I got home last Monday, the delicious, buttery aroma coming out of the kitchen called my name. I ate (ok, almost licked) everything that was put on my plate by my roommate. Amused, Josh said that he was glad I liked his frog legs recipe (scroll down to the bottom to see it).

WHAT?

French frog legs recipe

Mmmm!

Frog legs. I ate frog legs. I was the guinea pig for my roommate’s frog legs recipe. I’ve had my fair share of quirky travel food, but never in a million years did I ever think I could ever possibly eat frog anything. Yes, as much of a hyperbole as the former sentence was — those were my feelings towards frogs. But oh, how things can change!

Don’t look at me like that.

If anything, you can always try this frog legs recipe, a French fusion dish according to Josh, on your friends and see what they think. But I kid you not, as you are cooking, you’ll be tempted to try the sauce. THEN, you’ll be hooked 馃槈

Plus, once cooked on a plate, they don’t look so much like little human legs

Be adventurous for once. YOLO!

(Gosh, I did not just say that)

fried frog legs recipe

Another simple frog legs recipe: Cover them in batter and deep fry them, just like chicken wings! (sorta). Photo: JaulaDeArdilla, Flickr

A bit of history: Frog legs in French cuisine

Frog legs have been eaten by the southern Chinese (since first century AD) and even the Aztecs. However, you will never guess how they became a well-known French delicacy (source:聽The Guardian UK)?

Hint: Monks and the Catholic Church. I see you laughing — just keep reading.

Apparently, monks were getting a little chubby back in 12th-century France. For this reason, the Catholic Church decided to put them on a diet — no meat for you! (Except for a few select days of the year).

Brilliantly (or not so much?), the monks could get away with classifying frogs as fish, so they could eat as many of their meaty legs as they wished. Whether they could still lose the weight or not, we don’t know (wouldn’t that be a brilliant fad diet though?!). What we do know is that religious, starving French peasants followed suit and the rest is history.

Now, let’s get you cookin’ mesdemoiselles and聽messieurs!

Hostel Cooking series: Amphibian recipe

Citrus-honey frog legs with quinoa

Directions

What you need:
Step 1
3 tablespoons honey

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup orange juice

2 habanero peppers, chopped (don't forget to wear gloves!)

1 pound frog legs

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoon olive oil

4 tablespoons thinly sliced onion

3 tablespoons of butter

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Get cookin
Step 2
Stir together the first 8 ingredients. Toss frog legs in marinade to coat evenly, then set aside. Marinate for about 1 hour.
Step 3
Drain the frog legs well, reserving marinade, and toss with cornstarch to coat.
Step 4
Heat the butter in a large iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the legs until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes per side.
Step 5
While the frog legs are cooking, bring the marinade to a simmer in a small saucepan. Simmer for 3 minutes.
Step 6
Cook quinoa (as directed in package). Serve hot frog legs over warm quinoa, pouring marinade over. Garnish with parsley.

French frog legs recipe with quinoa

Voil脿!

Would you try this frog legs recipe?

Surprisingly easy to find and make!

Anticuchos de coraz贸n recipe (beef heart skewers) and their history

As I promised on my quirky travel food post, today’s聽Hostel Cooking series will feature a simple聽anticuchos de coraz贸n recipe. For my beloved gringos out there: Peruvian beef heart skewers! 馃槈 Additionally, I will tell you a little bit about their history. Hope you enjoy both the recipe and brief history lesson!

anticuchos de coraz贸n recipe, beef heart skewers

Anticuchos de coraz贸n at a street stall in Per煤 (Codilicious, Flickr)

Anticuchos de coraz贸n history

As in all Spanish colonies, 16th-century Per煤 was full of conquistadors, living in haciendas and making a living out of the hard labor of their African slaves. Occasionally, the Spaniards slaughtered cows to eat. When they did so, they always discarded the innards (offal), giving them to their slaves. As they didn’t have much to eat, the Africans had to come up with a way to season the organs in order to make them edible.

Spanish imports such as garlic, cumin, vinegar, and salt were taken by those slaves with access to a kitchen, while the New-World hot pepper aj铆 was borrowed from the Andean natives. With these ingredients, an explosive sauce was created, used to marinate the offal — and make them delicious.

And the skewers? Since the slaves didn’t have stoves, they had to cook everything over fire. How would they cook the small pieces of innards? Ah, by keeping them together with a sugarcane stick!聽Anticuchos de coraz贸n were born.

Please note, anticuchos聽were in existence before Columbus discovered America! Different spices and meat (i.e. llama) were used. Offal skewers, however, were an African slave creation.

So yes, they are technically African, not Peruvian, anticuchos鈥

What does the word anticucho聽actually mean? It’s debatable. Local historians say the word comes from the Quechua聽antikuchu, meaning Andes – aj铆 (anti – kuchu), the latter being a local hot pepper. Conversely, some linguists disagree, stating that it comes from the Quechua word antic-uchu, the name of a local ancient hot soup, instead. Could go either way, right?

Now, without further ado, let’s get cookin’! 馃榾 Once again, compliments of our excellent chef Joshua Snore. Follow him on Instagram!

Hostel Cooking: Beef offal recipe

Anticuchos de coraz贸n with potatoes

Directions

Step 1
1.5 lb trimmed heart meat cut into 陆 inch pieces
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
陆 teaspoon cumin
陆 teaspoon ground turmeric
陆 teaspoon paprika
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 minced garlic cloves
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
12-10 inch bamboo skewers
Step 2
3 lbs chopped potatoes
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Cooking the anticuchos
Step 3
1. Combine first set of ingredients in a large pan, toss well, cover, and marinate in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
2. Soak bamboo skewers in bowl of water for 30 minutes before cooking.
3. Preheat Grill to high heat.
4. Remove beef from bowl, saving marinade on side of dish. Thread beef chunks onto wooden bamboo skewers.
5. Place anticuchos on pre-heated grill for approximately 6 minutes. Flip and cook for an additional 6 minutes to. While cooking each side, continuously season anticuchos with the marinade. Beware of flame-ups.
6. Remove and Plate.
Cooking the potatoes
Step 4
1. Rinse potatoes, removing excess dirt.
2. Chop potatoes into evenly-sized chunks.
3. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F.
4. Place potatoes on a pan and season them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and parsley.
5. Bake potatoes for 10 minutes or until tender.
6. Remove from oven, make sure to eat while still hot.

heart skewers, anticuchos de coraz贸n with potatoes

Voil脿! Can you tell they are beef innards? I can’t!聽Anticuchos de coraz贸n recipe

Would you try this聽anticuchos de coraz贸n recipe?

What other strange food have you tried?

Moroccan chicken recipe with couscous: Hostel Cooking travel series

Happy Travel Tuesday! Thankfully, this week is looking up. I even came up with Plan B in order to ease my student loan debt depression. Wish me luck 馃槈 And so! Back to your new favorite travel series Hostel Cooking聽with an authentic, simple North African dish. Get into the kitchen and try out this Moroccan chicken recipe with couscous today.

Moroccan spice cones, Moroccan chicken recipe

Towering cones of Moroccan spices. I always wondered how they remained erected! (Spacmonster, Flickr)

Moroccan food: Brief background

Yes, I have previously introduced you to Moroccan food聽and even couscous history. However, we will dig a little deeper today 馃槈

Moroccan dishes are typically savory and sweet. Spice mixes typically incorporate a healthy dose of some eastern spices (such as turmeric and cumin), in addition to cinnamon and even ginger. Nuts, raisins, and prunes are typically used as toppings as well. The result? A mix of delicate, subtle flavors and notes.

As the Moroccan Tourist Office states, “spice does not mean chili. Spices are beneficial and even possess qualities which help digestion.”聽So if you are used to chunky Indian curries and other ultra-spicy Eastern concoctions, Moroccan food will (pleasantly) surprise you.

The most popular Moroccan spice mix is known as聽ras el-hanout.聽It is used for making most tajine and couscous dishes. Contents vary from household to household, so some ras el-hanout聽mixes may include up to 35 different spices!

Ras el-hanout, Moroccan chicken recipe with couscous

Sample of Moroccan ras el-hanout by linecook, Flickr

Please note, our Moroccan chicken recipe with couscous is traditional — and not. How so? A formal meal in Morocco usually starts with hot and cold salads (analogous to Arab mezzes), followed by lamb or chicken (by themselves). Then, on the third course, the big couscous plate makes an appearance, topped with even more meat and vegetables.

However, since this is the Hostel Cooking travel series, we thrive to make even the most complicated dishes simple. For this reason, we have marinated the chicken with Moroccan-like spices and cooked boxed couscous within minutes. The taste though, I assure you, took me back back to Morocco instantly! So yes, by trying Josh’s Moroccan chicken recipe, your taste buds will have a little piece of North Africa — no matter where you are 馃槈

Hostel cooking: Chicken

Serves: 6

Total cost per plate: US $4.00 (based off Tampa, FL)

Total Cooking Time: 6 – 10 hrs for marinade; 30 mins prep and cooking time.

Moroccan chicken recipe with couscous (by Josh Snore)

Directions

Chicken, marinade ingredients
Step 1
Moroccan chicken recipe, marinade
1 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup fresh mint
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Couscous ingredients
Step 2
Moroccan couscous box
1 cup of instant couscous
1 green pepper, diced
1 sweet onion, diced
1 plum tomato, diced
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 oz honey
1/2 cup mint
1/4 cup parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Cooking directions: Chicken
Step 3
Mix the marinade ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Add the chicken pieces to the bowl and thoroughly coat with the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator from 6 to 10 hours.

Then, either cook in black iron skillet or grill the chicken breasts a few minutes on each side, until cooked through. About 5 mins each side. Take care not to overcook, as chicken breasts can easily dry out.
Cooking directions: Couscous
Step 4
Take minced garlic and olive oil and heat up saucepan until garlic is browned. Then add paprika, salt and pepper, and diced green peppers. Be careful not to let the peppers sit too long, stirring occasionally. When the peppers have browned, add the onions until browned.

Separately follow directions to cook couscous, according to your box. Typically though, it will involve the following:

Boil water with 1 teaspoon of salt, and one tablespoon of butter. Add couscous to boiling water, stir quickly, remove from heat, cover quickly, and allow to sit for five minutes.)

Back in the saucepan, when onions are browned add honey, turn off heat, and allow the honey and peppers to suck it up. Then add diced tomatoes, chopped mint and parsley, and stir into mixture.

Add saucepan contents to fluffed couscous. Mix evenly.
Final touches
Step 5
Plate couscous with chicken on top. Garnish with mint leaves and parsley. Bessaha! 馃槈

Moroccan chicken recipe couscous, simple hostel cooking

The final product! Never thought you could cook Moroccan chicken with couscous in a hostel, did you?

Got a different Moroccan chicken recipe? Share it with us below!

Hostel cooking simple recipes: Salmon with honey citrus marmalade

I am very happy to introduce you my dear friend and excellent cook Mr. Joshua Snore, our first regular contributor! His new series will transport you through hostel cooking simple recipes, in order to not only stretch your budget, but also your palate!

The hostel recipes Josh will be featuring are very easy to make, budget-friendly, adventurous, and delicious. You will be surprised at how fast you’ll become a nomadic chef. Whether you want to make your travels more authentic and affordable or impress that cute blonde you saw at the dorms last night ( 馃槈 :D) — follow Josh & yours truly on our weekly聽Hostel Cooking series!

hostel cooking simple recipes, salmon marmalade

The finished product: Salmon with honey citrus marmalade over fresh spinach

In order to also celebrate Beach Thursday in style, I decided to feature one of Josh’s signature seafood dishes: A Miami-Caribbean fusion!

Hostel cooking simple recipe: Seafood

Salmon with honey citrus marmalade

Ingredients

  • 6oz salmon filet
  • 1 pinch rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 pinch thyme (chopped)
  • 1 dash sea salt
  • dash black pepper
  • dash red pepper
  • dash orange zest
  • dash lemon zest
  • 1/2 lemon (squeezed)
  • 1/2 juice orange (squeezed)
  • 1oz olive oil
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Raw honey (for the marmalade - from here on)
  • 1/2 lemon (squeezed)
  • 2 oranges (squeezed)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 pinch rosemary (chopped)
  • 1 pinch thyme (chopped)
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • 1 dash red pepper
  • 1oz olive oil
  • fresh spinach or salad

Directions

Step 1
PREPARATION: Wash and pat dry the salmon fillet. To season it, rub the olive oil, minced garlic, salt, and pepper on both sides. Sprinkle the dash of red pepper on filet, along with the orange zest, lemon zest, chopped rosemary and thyme as well. To top it off, pour the squeezed juices of the 1/2 lemon and 1/2 orange. Let the fillet sit for about 15 min., while you prep the marmalade.
Step 2
MARMALADE: Pour olive oil on frying pan. Brown the minced garlic slightly over low heat. Add the rest of the marmalade ingredients and bring to simmer. One simmering, allowed the marmalade to reduce, until it achieves desired thickness.
Step 3
SALMON: Pour olive oil on pan once again, browning the minced garlic slightly over low. Just before it starts browning, quickly turn the heat up too high. Place the salmon fillet (with skin down) and sear it. Then, turn heat down to medium and flip the fillet, cooking it for 3 min. Flip over again and add marmalade on top.
Step 4
Serve over fresh spinach or salad. VOILA!

hostel cooking, Florida beach

from Florida with love: Stay tuned for more simple recipes from Joshua via the Hostel Cooking travel series! (Photo: aoskilinn)

Any聽Hostel Cooking simple recipes you would like us to feature?