Six dishes from local restaurants inspired by international cuisine.
Story By Bailey Gilliam
Step out of your culinary comfort zone and try an international recipe. Bringing the flavors of another culture doesn’t have to be complicated. Local chefs and restaurants share their favorite international recipes so you can have the world in your hands. And stomach.
The right stuff
The word dolma comes from Topkapı Palace during the Ottoman period, but the dish’s origins go back much further. This stuffed dish has been part of Eastern Mediterranean cuisine for centuries, the first example being eggplant stuffed with meat. Dolma means stuffed, derived from the verb “dolmak,” meaning to fill. And with that, anything stuffable has been stuffed.
Charlie’s Coastal Cuisine
2 cups quality rice (Carolina Gold Rice)
4 cups water
1 1/4 pounds shrimp; peeled, sauteed, and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Zest of a lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 jar grape leaves
Sea salt and pepper
Directions  Add the olive oil to a medium-sized pot and place over medium heat. Pour in the dry rice, onion, garlic and a healthy dash of sea salt and pepper; sauté while stirring constantly until the rice is toasted and the onion is transparent.  Pour in the water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 12-15 minutes until cooked al dente. Spread the rice out on a sheet pan to cool.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the rice, shrimp, herbs, lemon zest and salt and pepper to taste.  On a clean flat surface, lay out 30-35 grape leaves. Spoon two large tablespoons of the rice mixture onto a grape leaf. Fold in like a burrito and press seams together gently. Enjoy with an herb aioli or tzatziki sauce.
Although commonly associated with Thai cuisine, peanut sauce originated in Indonesia. What Americans know as peanut sauce is more commonly referred to as satay sauce (or bumbu kacang) in Indonesia because it’s most often served with the famous Indonesian dish, satay (skewered, grilled meats). So whether this burger reminds you of Thai cuisine is up to you.
The Salty Dog Cafe
Thai Peanut Butter and Bacon Burger
10 ounces prime beef patty
2 ounces peanut butter
1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
2 slices of pineapple
2 slices of bacon
Directions  Grill pineapple 2-3 minutes per side and set aside.  Grill the burgers for 2 minutes on each side, then move them to a lower heat area of the grill. Cook another 2-3 minutes for a medium-rare burger, 3-4 minutes for medium, or 5-6 minutes for well done.  In the last minute of cooking, slather on the peanut butter, top with pineapple, two slices of crisp bacon, chopped cilantro and a healthy drizzle of Sriracha sauce.  Arrange sliced brioche over high heat to toast. Once buns are toasted, place the topped burger on the bun and serve!
The history of crêpes dates back to 13th-century Brittany, France. A housewife there accidentally dribbled some thin porridge onto a hot, flat cooktop. Since people then weren’t inclined to waste even their most minor cooking mistakes, she ate it. The rest, as they say, is history.
1 pound lobster meat, cooked, cooled and cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1 cup flour
Pinch of kosher salt
3 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon minced chives
Ingredients (beurre blanc)
3 pounds carrots, trimmed
1 knob ginger
2 tablespoons heavy cream
12 tablespoons butter, cut into 12 cubes
Fresh lemon juice
Directions  Mix flour and salt, and make a well in the center. Whisk milk and eggs and pour into the well. Whisk together, then whisk in melted butter. Strain through a chinois or fine mesh strainer. Blend in chives.  Heat a nonstick pan lightly buttered over medium heat, add a thin layer of batter and swirl the pan to spread (too much batter and the crêpes will crack). Set aside.  To fill, fold together all filling ingredients. Spoon into the crêpe’s center and fold over until a neat pouch is formed.  To make the beurre blanc, juice the carrots and ginger—strain into a heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Skim the foam first, then reduce the liquid by half. Add heavy cream and reduce by half again. Add butter cubes one at a time, adding the next cube after the first one is blended.  To complete, place the crêpe in a 325-degree oven for 3-4 minutes. While the crêpe is heating, spoon sauce onto the coupe or bowl. Place the crêpe gently on the sauce. Top with watercress that has been tossed with fresh lemon and salt.
Rock and Roul
The origins of rouladen are not completely clear, although the name at least comes from the French “roulade”. “Rouler” in French means “to roll,” and a French roulade can apply to various things from meat dishes to desserts like a Swiss roll. Although it may have a French-derived name, this dish is consistently considered German. In Germany you will find just a few forms of rouladen. This beef version is also called “rinderrouladen” to distinguish it, and it is probably the most popular throughout the country.
12 1/4-inch slices of eye of beef round, pounded to 1/8-inch thickness
1/4 cup Gulden’s spicy mustard
6 slices smoked bacon, cut in half
3 whole dill pickles, cut into quarters
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 medium onions, julienned
3 cups beef stock
1/2 cup dry red wine
Directions  Coat pounded eye of beef round with mustard and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the 1/2 strip of bacon and a pickle quarter inside the beef round and roll it up, securing with a toothpick. Coat the roll-ups with flour.  In an oven-proof skillet, heat vegetable oil and brown the floured roll-ups. Once browned, remove from the pan and add the onions to the pan. Cook onions for 4 minutes while stirring. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of the flour and stir. Add the red wine and stir, scraping up bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce by half, add the beef stock and cover.  Place the skillet in a 350-degree oven and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from the oven.  If the gravy isn’t thick enough, add a bit of cornstarch dissolved in cold water and bring to a boil. Serve with spaetzle and braised red cabbage.
Salsa is traced back to the times of the Aztecs, Incas and Mayans. The native people created their versions of salsa using tomatoes, chilies and squash seeds. However, the rest of the world wasn’t aware of salsa until after the Spaniards conquered Mexico in the 1500s. This mix of ingredients became popular throughout Spanish civilization, and in 1571 Alonso de Molina named the dish “salsa.”
Charred Scallion Salsa
12 scallions, grilled
1 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup cilantro, chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated on micro-plane
3 Calabrian chilis, finely diced
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 lime, juice
1 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
Directions  Mix everything. The consistency should be almost like a loose pesto.  Add oil, salt, and pepper as needed. This salsa works excellently with grilled meat, fish, shrimp or chicken.
Michael Anthony’s Cucina Italiana
Bruschetta with Grilled Peaches, Ricotta & Prosciutto
3 ounces prosciutto, sliced paper-thin
2 large peaches, pitted and cut into 12 slices
1/3 cup olive oil, plus some for garnishing
6 slices of crusty Italian bread, toasted
6 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 ounces arugula
Directions  In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the vinegar to a simmer and cook until reduced by half, about 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool.  On a stovetop grill pan, arrange peach slices and cook just long enough to leave grill marks on both sides, about 2 minutes. Reserve.  Spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese evenly on each toast slice. Drape the prosciutto on top, dividing equally. Top with peach slices.  Toss the arugula with olive oil and top the bruschetta with the arugula. Drizzle with the reduced vinegar and sprinkle with sea salt. Serve immediately.