In search of healthy and fun meals to feed my family, with an eye toward sustainable living.

Here you'll find recipes & ramblings about keeping my family fed with what's available in Alaska between local produce, a little bit of wild harvest, and the modern grocery store.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Cooking my way across Africa...

Today we criss-crossed Africa, culinarily speaking.
Senegalese Chicken Yassa
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
4 onions -- thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper -- to taste
1/8 teaspoon fresh habanero* -- minced
1 habaner
o* pricked with a fork
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 chicken (2 1/2-3 1/2 lbs) -- cut in serving pieces
1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed olives

4 carrots, scraped and -- thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

*or other hot chile pepper, to taste
In a large nonreactive bowl, prepare a marinade with the
lemon juice, onions, salt, pepper, the 1/8 teaspoon
minced chili and 1/4 cup of the peanut oil. Place the
chicken pieces in the marinade, making sure they are all
well covered, and allow them to marinate for at least 2
hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat the broiler. Remove the chicken pieces, reserving
the marinade, and place them in a shallow roasting pan.
Broil them until they
are lightly browned on both sides.
Remove the onions from the marinade. Cook them slowly in
the remaining 1 tables poon oil in a flameproof 3-quart
casserole or dutch oven until tender and translucent. Add
the remaining marinade and heat through.

When the liquid is thoroughly heated, add the broiled
chicken pieces, the pricked chili, the olives, carrots,
mustard and 1/2 cup water. Stir to mix well, then bring
the yassa slowly to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for
about 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
Serve ho
t over white rice.

Next, Couscous.
There are literally thousands of couscous recipes out there! What is it?
"a wonderful, versatile pasta, made of tiny grains of dough that are
steamed. It hails from Morocco and northern Algeria, and is a staple
throughout North Africa. It can be served as a breakfast cereal,
dressed as a salad, and
sweetened for a dessert. But in it's most
common use, it accompanies a stew or savory sauce, much as rice does in
other cultures. Most couscous is made of wheat flour, but there are
varieties made of barley, corn, and even ground acorn meal."

(quoted from

Orange-flavored couscous w/ pecans
1 c Coarsely chopped pecans, lightly toasted
1 Onion; chopped
2 c Orange juice
3 Cinnamon sticks
5 Cloves, whole
1 pn Turmeric
1 pn Ground red pepper
1/4 ts Salt
2 c Couscous
1/2 c Raisins (more if desired)

Malawi-style Green Beans
from Marlena Spieler's Hot&Spicy
1 T oil
1 onion, chopped
5 small hot chilis, chopped
1/2 t curry powder
1 # green beans
1 c tomato sauce
1/2 c peanut butter

Saute first 4 ingredients,
then cover with Tomato sauce until beans are tender.
Stir in PB and salt to taste.

CRITIQUE of my cooking of this meal:
I marinated the chicken this morning before work, then BBQ'd it for dinner.
Although I feared
it would be way too tart, it turned out surprisingly good.
Everybody chewed happily on the bones!

The couscous was a success: mild, slightly sweet from the fruit, and bright orange!
The beans ended up overcooked, and the sauce was too overpowering -- a smaller
quantity of sauce
would have been plenty -- but the surprising combination of
peanut butter, tomatoes and spices did work.

Altogether, a successful meal.
For my sanity's sake, I need to note that this was a tad too ambitious after a full
day at work -- not that anything was particularly difficult,
but I found myself rushed:
constantly checking my laptop (scrolling around inefficiently), searching for spices
in the cupboard,
and trying to find counter space in a less-than-uncluttered kitchen!..

No comments:

Post a Comment