Cookbook Club The World of Street Food

Like most of San Francisco, Parties That Cook can’t get enough of the latest trend: street food. So for this month’s cookbook club, we chose The World of Street Food: Easy Quick Meals to Cook at Home by Troth Wells and we feasted on flavors from Mumbai to Colombia’s Antioquia.

Ragda Patties (India) – In preparing this recipe, Mary stumbled upon a few ingredients she’d never used before and we’re sure glad she gave it a whirl! These delicious potato patties were filled with a mixture of peas, green chilies, cilantro and ginger and pan-fried to golden perfection.  They were topped with thinly sliced red onion and the ragda, made of chickpeas and potatoes. The tang from fresh tamarind was perfectly balanced by brown sugar and an array of exotic spices, including the most pungent spice in the pantry, asafetida. We agreed each dish would be just as good on its own.

Tagine (Tunisia) – Unlike a traditional Moroccan tagine, Michelene’s dish was more of a casserole. She couldn’t imagine how the ingredients would come together, but it turned out to be a group favorite. The mixture of cubed chicken, cannelloni beans and monterey jack cheese was flavored with cinnamon and paprika, topped with a layer of scrambled eggs and baked in a rustic clay dish until browned and bubbly. Luckily, Mich took it upon herself to add salt to the recipe even though it didn’t call for it!

Bandeja Paisa (Colombia) – Crissy was also intrigued by the sides suggested to accompany this simple dish of ground beef, tomato and lightly smashed kidney beans. Though she skipped the rice, fried eggs and arepas, the meat was served with fried sweet plantains and crispy bacon. The recipe could have been improved by the addition of a few spices, but the salty bacon and sweet plantains made for a tasty flavor combination.

Eggplant with Coconut Milk (Indonesia) – Bibby tried her best to stick to the recipe, but knowing better, she made a few necessary changes to this one. The recipe called to simmer cubed eggplant, tomatoes, chilies, shallots and garlic in water until tender before adding the coconut milk. Bibby fought her temptation to sauté the vegetables first and instead salted the eggplant first to remove the bitterness, boiled off extra liquid and finished the dish with a dash of fish sauce, lime juice, and cilantro. Her rendition was delicious served over Erin’s red rice.

Ha Gow, Potstickers and Sesame Buns (China) – Having forgotten her recipe over the weekend, Carolyn resurrected the situation with dim sum to-go from Wing Lee Bakery in the Inner Richmond. No complaints here! Though not found in the cookbook, we doused our dumplings with soy sauce and enjoyed the sweet and chewy sesame buns for dessert.

Hungry for more? Check out this great List of Street Food Vendors using Twitter on Serious Eats. Go on, track down Roli Roti or the Mobile Pho Truck and take to the streets!

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