Budae Jjigae [Korea]

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Also known as “Army Base Stew,” budae jjigae is a mixing pot of ingredients from both the Korean and American pantry. This savory stew was invented in the 1950’s shortly after the Korean war and during a time of food scarcity. The surplus of processed meats (such as Spam) from the U.S. military bases were added to pots containing traditional Korean vegetables and seasonings to create a fortifying meal.

The dish has evolved in the past half-century, but the spirit of budae jjigae is very much alive with cooks from the home to the professional kitchen adding ingredients to the stew based on items that are readily available in their pantries. We love making this dish because it is low effort – just some basic knife work and a few minutes of stewing time before a delicious meal is ready!

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Gratin Dauphinois [France]

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From the historic French region of Dauphiné hails this decadent dish where layers upon layers of thinly sliced potatoes are embraced lovingly by milk, cream, and cheese before being baked to perfection. The creamy interior will have the faintest hint of garlic and nutmeg while the golden crust is all about the savory Gruyère cheese.

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When shopping for potatoes for this dish, go for a starchy potato such as the Idaho, Golden Wonder, or any type of Russet potato. Usually waxy potatoes are better suited for gratins, however, for this dish we need the extra starch to help thicken the sauce.

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Tacos Campechanos Con Pico De Gallo [Mexico]

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The most traditional tacos campechanos are filled with cecinas (salted and dried steaks), longanizas (spicy sausages), and chicharrónes (fried pork rinds). But in Mexico, the word “campechano” is used to refer to two or more things that have been mixed together and the many taquerías around the city have created their own versions of tacos campechanos. On our list of tacos campechanos to try are surf’n’turf combos involving shrimp and versions that contain chorizo. For today though, we have a steak and sausage duo.

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