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Easy Ethnic Eats

New line of Global Grub cooking kits makes it simple to tackle adventurous cuisine.


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Photos Courtesy of Global Grub

My wife and I are sporadically ambitious cooks. For each of her well-executed attempts at Chinese ginger pork cake or Thai lemongrass soup, a dark cloud lingers from one of my far less successful forays into, say, enchiladas verdes (not pretty).

So it was with a bit of trepidation that we tested Global Grub, a new line of prepackaged ethnic cooking kits developed by Walnut Creek resident Carley Sheehy. These are tailor-made for adventurous—but gun-shy—home cooks like me. Each kit (there are four: tagine with couscous, red chili tamales, jerk chicken, and DIY sushi rolls) comes stocked with all the tools and nonperishable ingredients, like those hard-to-find spices, as well as instructions and a shopping list for the fresh ingredients.

Screwing up our courage on a quiet night, we decided to tackle the sushi and the lamb tagine. We quickly hit a snag when we discovered that the lamb needed to be slow simmered for two hours, meaning dinner would be a little later than planned. It was a good lesson in using the Global Grub kits. These aren’t microwavable pizzas; they’re road maps for relatively complex dishes (it’s suggested, for instance, that you marinate the jerk chicken overnight).

No worries, though, as we shifted attention to the sushi rolls, which were a revelation. What always seemed like an impossibly complicated process actually turned out to be quite easy: The seasoned rice was simple to make, the spicy tuna required just three ingredients, and rolling was a snap, thanks to the already provided nori seaweed and rolling mat. Soon, we were happily munching on tasty (albeit slightly misshapen) spicy tuna rolls while we waited for the lamb. As the timer ticked down, we added the final ingredients (honey, apricots, couscous, and almonds provided) and quickly put together a sweet, hearty tagine, a perfect dish for a chilly night.  

Sushi and Moroccan stew all in one night? And sitting down to eat before 10 p.m.? I consider that a rousing success. Now, I’m waiting for the enchiladas verdes kit.   
 

Available locally at Blackhawk Draeger’s, Diablo Foods, and Berkeley Bowl West. Go to global-grub.com for info.

 

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