When it comes to eating out, as with home cooking, these days Americans are more and more ready to taste their way around the globe.
"We're hungry to explore the world armed only with our knives, forks and appetites," says the introduction to "The New Ethnic Restaurant," the cover-to-cover theme of Bon Appetit magazine's September issue.
The range of cuisines surveyed includes Asian, Latin, Italian, Indian, Greek, French and Moroccan. "Chances are there's a great little restaurant serving such ethnic fare in your neighborhood. And chances are it's packed," the editors write.
"We've become more intrigued, more adventurous and more discerning," editor in chief Barbara Fairchild says. "When we get home from a great meal at one of these places, we're inspired to take the experience into our own kitchens. And it doesn't seem to matter where we're from originally or where our ancestors may have come from."
The magazine features a range of both new and old ethnic restaurants, their chefs, their history, and plenty of recipes for "some of the most amazingly delicious -- and surprisingly simple -- ethnic dishes you'll ever taste."
Three of the recipes follow, from the sections on Regional Italian, Indian and Latin cuisines, respectively.
Eggplant Manicotti With Ricotta, Asiago and Spinach Filling
For the sauce:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3/4 cup chopped celery
1 large carrot, peeled, chopped
1/4 cup chopped garlic
1/2 cup dry red wine
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree
1 cup chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cup chopped fresh basil (from about 2 large bunches)
For the manicotti:
1 pound fresh or whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Asiago cheese, about 3 ounces (see note)
3/4 cup chopped fresh baby spinach
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 large egg
2 medium eggplants, unpeeled, each cut lengthwise into eight 1/3-inch slices
1/4 cup (about) olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic; saute until tender, about 8 minutes. Add wine and cook 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, stock and basil; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes to blend flavors. Season with salt and pepper. Cool.
Place ricotta cheese in strainer set over large bowl. Let stand until excess liquid drains from cheese, about 2 hours. Transfer ricotta cheese to medium bowl. Stir in Asiago cheese, spinach, nutmeg and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in egg.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Oil 2 large baking sheets. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with olive oil; arrange on prepared sheets. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until eggplant slices are tender, about 13 minutes. Cool on sheets.
Place 1 eggplant slice on work surface. Place scant 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture near narrower end of eggplant slice. Roll up, enclosing filling. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices and filling.
Spread half of sauce over bottom of 13-by-9-by-2-inch glass baking dish. Arrange eggplant manicotti in single layer atop sauce. Spoon remaining sauce over. (Manicotti can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake manicotti until heated through, about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
Makes 8 servings.
Shrimp With Spiced Masala and Coconut Milk
For the masala:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala (see note)
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
For the shrimp:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds uncooked large shrimp, peeled, deveined
13 1/2-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped green onion tops
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
To make the masala: Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions; saute until deep golden, about 20 minutes. Add garlic and all spices; stir 1 minute. Cool to lukewarm. Puree tomatoes with juices and yogurt in processor until almost smooth. Add onion mixture; puree until almost smooth. Season masala to taste with salt and pepper. (Masala can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
To make the shrimp:
Heat oil in heavy large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and saute until partially cooked, about 2 minutes. Stir in coconut milk, cilantro, green onions, lemon juice and prepared masala. Simmer until shrimp are opaque in center, about 3 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. (Good served over steamed Basmati rice.)
Makes 8 servings.
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