Month: October 2010


Comoros Sandwich

Serves 1-2 Piled high with juicy, sweet tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and rich eggs and mayo, this sandwich is popular in Comoros. Ingredients: 8″ piece of baguette (I had to buy wide-style – “rustique” so it holds more) 1-2 tomatoes, sliced 1 cucumber, sliced (or 1/2 an english cucumber) 3 hard-boiled eggs mayonnaise, to taste Method: Slice a baguette in half lengthwise… watch your fingers! Spread with a thin layer of mayo. Or thick, if that’s more your style. Next, place juicy slices of ripe tomatoes. The juices will seep into the bread a bit and make for excellent flavor. Add the cukes. I used English cukes so I didn’t have to peel them. Add a sunny layer of hard-boiled eggs. Ava loves hard-boiled eggs. She’s so wise for her age. Cover with the top half of the bread and … … slice up to eat! Share if you dare… Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Piled high with juicy, sweet tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, and rich eggs and mayo, this sandwich is …

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Mashed Plantains

Serves 4-8 The plantain’s dense texture makes this a particularly hearty side dish. Our version is a rather coarse mash – like extra heavy duty mashed potatoes. You could keep going until it s as smooth as you’d like (you may need some hot liquid, like milk or stock, to help though). Ingredients: 5 ripe plantains salt pepper 3 Tbsp butter Method: Make sure your plantains are ripe. This is what ripe looks like… the blacker they get, the sweeter they taste, and that’s a promise. Peel and chop into even sized pieces. Steam for 25-35 minutes, or until a fork pierces them with no resistance. Mash with a little melted butter, salt and pepper. While it isn’t traditional, you can add milk, if needed, to loosen things up a bit. Especially good served with sauces and stews. Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe The plantain’s dense texture makes this a particularly hearty side dish. Our version is a rather coarse mash – like extra heavy duty mashed potatoes. You could …

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A Visual Guide to Comoros, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo

Kick off your shoes, sit back and take a “slide show” trip to the stunning Comoros Islands. And then there’s the Congo… worms, worms, and more worms. While this video is rather silly, it does show photos of authentic Congolese food. Plus, who am I to criticize silliness? What’s for dinner at your house? I hope you have happy plans! 🙂

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Congo Bars, Extinct Fish & Margaritas (with poll)

Happy Fun Fact Friday! I had the most wonderful, GIANT margarita earlier, so I am going to keep this brief. Mostly because I keep misspelling words. (don’t worry, I’m writing this Thursday night, not Friday morning 😉 ) #1 In case you were wondering, Congo bars are not an authentic Congolese dessert. If they were, you can bet I would have made a batch (or three). #2 There’s a big, crazy-looking fish that lives in the deep waters near the Comoros islands. Its called the coelacanth and everyone (mainly important scientist-types) thought it had been extinct for millions and millions of years. Nope. Imagine being the person to discover it, just hanging out, swimming around Comoros, not dead. #3 If you’re thinking about eating the coelacanth, forget it.  Their flesh is loaded up with an unpalatable, rancid tasting oil. #4 Since you can’t eat the coelacanth, you might as well chow down on some vanilla, ylang-ylang oil, and cloves. That’s what they grow in Comoros. #5 I’ll take another margarita. Shaken, not stirred. Extra salt. And with …

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Boiled Lobster

Serves 1-2 Cooking a live lobster can be intimidating, but take it one step at a time and you’ll have a delicious dinner in no time! Please note this was my first time cooking a live lobster and is written in the hopes of preparing other first-timers for both the process and the emotions involved. Ingredients: 1 lobster (about 2 lbs) salt Method: First, come to terms with what is about to happen. I had a hard time with this step. I stood like this for several minutes. I was talking to the lobster. Silently, of course. But … you can only talk to a lobster so long before you run out of things to say. Next, take the lobster out of the bag. At this point, I’m not sure who was more stressed out – me or him. If you don’t think you can handle a live lobster, you can have the fish market kill the lobster for you (as long as you are going to cook it right away). I’m considering this for …

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Vanilla-Shallot Dipping Butter

makes 1/2 cup This rich dipping butter has warm vanilla undertones, mellow onion/garlic flavor from the shallot, and a bright acid note from the white wine. Recipe inspired by the New York Times. Ingredients: 1 stick (8 Tbsp) butter 1 shallot, minced (about 1/4 cup) 1/3 cup white wine 1/2 vanilla bean, split salt pepper Serve with Boiled Lobster Method: Melt a tab or two of butter over medium heat. Add shallots and cook. Shallots are incredible. I don’t think I’ve used one in 5 years. Thank goodness this recipe came along, to knock me to my senses! Once the shallot is soft and translucent, add white wine. Take a sip, if you have some extra. Simmer for several minutes, until almost all the liquid evaporates. Then, whisk in the rest of the butter. And add the scrapings of half a vanilla pod. Fresh vanilla scrapings take this dipping butter over the edge, into the realm of the divine. A little salt and pepper seals the deal. At this point many smart people – like the people …

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Menu: Comoros, Congo, and Democratic Republic of Congo

What are you in the mood for? Because, this week, we probably have it on the menu.  Choose between lobster or goat, mushrooms or plantains, a vegetarian sandwich or fish. While Keith gets nervous seeing all these options, I smile from ear to ear with gratitude. After all, dinner was so boring this time last year. COMOROS Lobster [Recipe] with Vanilla-Shallot Dipping Butter [Recipe] Fresh lobster boiled and served with warm butter seasoned with shallot and fresh vanilla bean. Comorian Sandwich [Recipe] Baguette spread with a little mayonnaise and piled high with sliced cucumber, ripe tomato, and hard-boiled egg. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO Fish in Banana Leaves with Tomato & Onion (Liboké de Poisson) [Recipe] Tilapia steamed inside a banana leaf packet with sliced tomato and onion. A little lemon juice brightens the flavor. Congolese Mushrooms with Fresh Lemon Juice [Recipe] A blend of shiitake, baby bella, and white button mushrooms cooked with oil and lemon juice. REPUBLIC OF CONGO Grilled Goat meat in Banana Leaves (Liboké de Chèvre) [Recipe] Cubed goat meat marinated with peanut …

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About the food of Comoros, the Congo, and the Democratic Republic of Congo

I’ve been known to do things out of order. Once in a while I’ll  even eat my dessert before dinner. Well… this week I mistakenly skipped the entire country of Comoros. I had no idea. My head was in the clouds.  I did all my shopping on Friday and spent Saturday cooking the Congo (with what limited time Ava’s nap allows, anyway). Our Congolese meal was barely over when I decided to crack open my atlas to see what country was next. And thus, my error revealed itself. I’m a wee little bit obsessive so I decided to buck up and cook Comoros anyway. That same night. What can I say. I didn’t want to screw up my nice, neat little A-Z list. The result? You’ll get three great Global Table meals in one week! The bonus? I’ve built in a little holiday vacation from my world cooking Adventures for Thanksgiving and Christmas. About the food of Comoros Comoros is made up of three small islands off the southeast shores of Africa. While the food is …

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Monday Meal Review: Colombia

“What’s a poached egg” Mr Picky asked me. “Hold on a second,” I said, cracking the crooked egg into a dish. The egg was laid just two days ago from our friend’s chicken. Hence it was crooked. The yolk was brilliant gold… almost orange. I thought about how runny the yolk would be after poaching. How creamy and delicious. And I thought about how much Mr Picky hates runny eggs. Or claims he hates them. After all, I’ve never seen him eat a runny egg yolk, so who knows if he’s ever actually tried one. “The egg white will be set, but the yolk will be…” “Runny?” he interrupted, with a grimace. “Yes. Give me a minute and you’ll see.” I slipped the egg gently into the steaming milk and watched as it quickly dove beneath the surface. He snapped a few pictures. After a few minutes I began fishing around with my spoon. Seconds later, I found the egg beneath the milky white broth. I fished it out and ladled it onto a bed of thinly sliced …

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Colombian Oatmeal Smoothie | Avena

Makes 1 liter of “concentrate” Sweet and thick oatmeal drink can be made ahead for stress-free (and kid-friendly) brunch. Simply thin with extra milk before serving. Ingredients: 1/2 cup oatmeal 4 cups milk (plus extra for thinning drink) 1/4 cup brown sugar 1/2 tsp cinnamon Method: Heat milk in a large pot. Bring to a simmer… Add oatmeal. I used “3 minute” Irish oatmeal. Season with a big dollop of cinnamon. Smells like autumn joy. Then add sugar – white or brown, your preference. Simmer for about 10 minutes and then give a buzz with an immersion blender. You could also puree it in a regular blender too. Chill in the fridge. When ready to drink, add extra milk to thin to desired consistency and stir. Serve with some extra cinnamon and a big grin. After all, you just made the tastiest drink in town! Votes: 0 Rating: 0 You: Rate this recipe! Print Recipe Sweet and thick oatmeal drink can be made ahead for stress-free (and kid-friendly) brunch. Simply thin with extra milk before …

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Creamy Avocado Dressing | Vinagreta de Aguacate

Makes about 1 cup Thick and rich, this dressing will add South American flavor to any salad. Also, try it as a dip. Ingredients: 2 avocados 2 limes, juiced 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar 1/2 cup olive oil (or to taste) salt pepper 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro Method: Scoop the flesh of two ripe avocados into a blender. These ones were so ripe, they were buttery-good. Add the juice of of two limes. There’s no substitute for the tart zing of lime juice. And a healthy pinch of fresh cilantro for even more South American flavor. You don’t have to chop it too finely because the blender will help you out. Thank goodness for modern appliances. Season with salt and pepper. Blend things up a bit. While the machine is still running, pour some olive oil through that peep hole in the top of your blender. Oh and don’t forget a splash of vinegar for a little extra pucker. Spoon into a serving bowl and use on salads or as a dip for veggies or …

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Coca Cola Rice | Arroz con Cola

Serves 2-4 Ahhh… nothing like a nice glass of cola. But what about in rice? The slightly sweet taste will leave you begging for more, especially when served with spicy food (as is common in Colombia). Ingredients: olive oil 1 small onion, chopped 1 cup rice 1 cup broth or water 1 cup cola salt pepper Method: Add a little oil to a small pot. Olive oil makes the world go round. Heat over medium and add chopped onion. Stir and cook for about five minutes. Once they are soft and starting to turn golden, add rice. Stir and cook another few minutes, until rice is hot. Add stock… (or water)… And some cola. Beware the fizzies. Mmm. Drink the leftovers. Or use it to make a Brazilian Mocha Cola! Add salt and pepper. Um. I totally added way too much pepper. This rice had bite! Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 16 minutes. Turn off heat and eat – OR, if you want the best rice ever, follow …

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