Gambia

April 10, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Posted in Western & Southern Africa | Leave a comment

Gambia is our second stop in Western & Southern Africa.  It’s another country with an impoverished people, has a coup count of 2 but is currently a more-or-less free nation.

Oddly, it’s actually utterly ringfenced by Senegal, and just hugs a meandering river.   It’s no more than 40km across at it’s wides point.

In terms of food, the country doesn’t have too much.  However, the Congo Cookbook (and many other Google references) pointed to a Domoda, the Gambian peanut stew, which looks great.

The Plan

This is basically a beef “and bushmeat” stew.   While bushmeat is roughly equivilent with game (or any wild animal), I fear bushmeat in Gambia may refer to chimps  – rather than whip down to Taronga Zoo I put my own Australian flair by using roo.

Ingredients

  • cooking oil
  • 200g of kangaroo, 200g of steak
  • one onion, chopped
  • one clove garlic, minced (optional)
  • two cans of  tomatoes
  • beef stock cube
  • sweet potato, cubed
  • one to two cups peanut butter (natural and unsweetened) or homemade peanut paste
  • salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper or red pepper (to taste)

1.  Brown the meat in the oil and add the onions.  Fry until the onions are transluscent

2.  Add everything else except the peanut butter. Simmer for a half hour

3.  Add the peanut butter.

4.  When the peanut butter has completely melted and the oil has started to separate, it’s done

5.  Serve with white rice

The Event

This started out just too easy – in fact, it looked kind of boring (meat, onions, tomato). However, the peanut butter transformed.

Two cups of peanut butter seemed like a lot.   It was.  Should have stuck to one.

The Outcome

Liam: “More! More! More!”

Jacqueline:  ”More! More! More!”

Christina: “This is excellent.”   Five minutes later:  “Um, way too much peanut butter”

Me:  This was surprisingly good, particularly when it didn’t have really any spice outside of peanut butter.  By adding a healthly dollup of cayenne pepper to mine, it went from good to great.

Senegal

April 4, 2010 at 7:14 pm | Posted in Western & Southern Africa | Leave a comment

We’re now onto a new continent, picking  eight meals from our first African region:  Western & Southern Africa.   Pete suggested we’d struggle to find a lot of recipes in this region – and after a bit of googling, I fear he’s right.  A lot of our candidate countries have been riven by famine, dictatorship after dictatorship, genocide & downright poverty.   Plus the poor buggers all speak French.

We’re starting with Senegal, which is actually one of the countries with a happier history – it’s despot count  is extremely low, it’s been continuously democratic for ages and there’s only ever been one coup (which turned out to be more a nasty rumour than an actual attempt to seize power).

The Plan

Senegal has a famous dish called Yassa chicken.  The chickens in the country are tough, tough birds – the Senegalese marinate them in lemon juice & onions to soften them.  I got this from What’sForEats

Yassa Chicken

Ingredients

  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces — 2-3 pounds
  • Onions, thinly sliced — 4-6
  • Hot chile pepper, minced — 1-3
  • Lemons, juice only — 4-5
  • Dijon mustard (optional) — 2 tablespoons
  • Peanut or vegetable oil — 1/4 cup
  • Salt and pepper — to season
  • Oil — 2-3 tablespoons
  • Freshly cooked rice

1.  Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and leave for at least 4 hours.

2.  Fish out the chicken and fry it until browned

3.  Remove the chicken, and saute the onions.  When soft, add the rest of the marinade and chicken pieces and simmer for 30 minutes

The Event

They clearly have an excess of onions in Senegal, or really small ones.  This recipe had a bucket load of onions, more than possibly could fit in a reasonably sized bowl or even pan.     Halve the onions next time.

This actually turned out to be a rushed job due to daylight savings ending early, a lifejacket incident and a catastrophically sea-sick child.    In the end, we eventually got home and Chris had cooked this up, but the spectre of a vomiting Liam overshadowed the event.

The Outcome

Liam:  “Bleeeurrrgh.  Is this seasickness or a bug?”

Jacqueline:  “<shrug>  I guess it’s OK”

Christina: “Waaaaay too many onions”

Mum & Dad:  “It’s nice!  Just not something I’d write home about”

Me:  I will do this again but I will use mustard & chilli (both skipped for the kids’ sake).   Oh, and less onions.

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