Month: November 2010


Fruit Salad Cote d’Ivoire

Serves 4 In the Ivory Coast, the people enjoy juicy, fresh fruit after their meals (if they eat dessert at all). Sweet mango and pineapple are common choices. Clearly, people of my own heart! Ingredients: 1 mango, cubed 1/2 a pineapple, cubed (or 1 20 ounce can of cubed pineapple) Method: First, slice up the mango. I’m going to show you how to cut a mango, step by step. There is a pit in the center, so cut with the flat side, being careful to stabilize the mango and not cut your fingers. Here’s the second side. Note my bizarroid finger stance. I am doing that so I don’t cut one off. I’m bracing my wrist on the cutting board. Next, take the pieces you just cut off and score … … in each direction, making a grid. Be sure not to cut through the skin. The grid pops open to reveal pretty cubes that can be cut or scraped off with spoon or knife. Mix with the pineapple which, I regret, is canned. Unfortunately, …

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A trip down memory lane & 2 polls

1. The Ivory Coast is one of the greatest producers of cocoa beans in the world. Little known fact: Ava still hasn’t had any chocolate. Unless you count the one time I let her lick my spoon, from my ice cream. She’s just so sweet, she doesn’t need any added sugar! Just look… she came home from the hospital that way: 2. Staples of the Ivory Coast diet include grains – like rice and millet, and tubers – like cassava and yams. Ava’s staples include noodles and rice. But if she could, she’d eat a diet of pure chicken. All day, every day. In the beginning, Ava was a little more vocal about her needs: 3. I’m pretty sure motherhood is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Love it. Love her. Love life.

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Smoked Turkey with Egusi sauce

Serves 4 We almost had another epic fail on our hands. Thankfully, however, Linda of Tropical Foodies saved the day. The end result? Creamy, smoky, turkey goodness. Read on to learn the critical lesson I learned about how to cook with melon seeds. Tulsa Shopping Connection: melon seeds are available in Tulsa at Ebute Metta Tropical Market. Pumpkin seeds are in the bulk section of Whole Foods. Ingredients: oil 1 small onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed 1 smoked turkey thigh (available by the meat counter), cut into pieces 1/2 cup melon or pumpkin seeds 1 cup water plus 1/2 cup 1/2 cup tomato puree Method: We get things started by heating up oil in a pot over medium heat. Cook onions … … and garlic, until fragrant and soft. Meanwhile, take one smoked turkey thigh. Which are giant, by the way – especially if you’re only used to dealing with chicken thighs. Using a sharp knife, cut it into chunks. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but it helps if they are roughly the same …

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Menu: Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

You’re not going to believe this. While we’ve been on this Adventure for 9 months and cooked 41 countries – a fairly significant chunk of time and cooking, if you ask me – somehow, some way, we still haven’t made turkey. No wonder it has been so cold lately. All of Tulsa is being punished for my omission. Well, this week, we’re shaking things up. I’m finally making a turkey dish.  Thank you, Côte d’Ivoire, for giving me the impetus and snapping me out of my lack-of-turkey-dom. It was a bleak time, but I am happy we’re all moving on. Frankly, it’s just in time. If you haven’t heard, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Avocado Boats filled with Shrimp Salad (Avocat Crevette) [Recipe] Buttery green avocado overflowing with luscious shrimp salad. A gorgeous, healthy starter in under ten minutes. Smoked Turkey with Egusi Sauce (Ground Melon or Pumpkin Seeds) [Recipe] A smoked turkey thigh simmered in a creamy melon seed sauce. A splash of tomato puree turns this dish a lovely pink hue. Perfect for a …

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About the Food of Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Last week a gal named Linda emailed me. Turns out she’s from the Ivory Coast and an alum from Wesleyan University, my alma mater. Get this – she wanted to know if she could share some of her favorite recipes from back home with me. Oh happy day! In case you’re wondering, my answer is always “yes”! The more authentic dishes we can sample from actual locals, the more fun this Adventure will be! Thanks to Linda (and a few of her friends), this week’s Global Table is going to be especially grand! From skyscrapers, to mud huts with thatched roofs, the Ivory Coast has it all. This west African country is deeply imbued with French food and culture. In fact, French is still the national language. Over the phone, Linda shared details about her country with me, trailing along a beautiful, thick accent that reflects this history. I’ll be honest. Thanksgiving has been on my mind, so I begged Linda for some ideas. Linda didn’t disappoint. She tells me that there is a dish that …

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Monday Meal Review: Costa Rica

We had killer-good food and one epic fail this week. Considering we’ve been living in “renovation-land,” things could be a lot worse. For example, I almost lost my measuring cups, spoons, and chef’s knife. Turns out they were just hiding in the living room, under the contents of three other drawers. And, while we’re talking about renovations… Did you know there are about 100 million kinds of white paint in the world? I assure you that, if you ever decide to paint your cabinets white, you’ll quickly become acquainted with all of them. White whites, creamy whites, green whites, blue whites. Pretty soon, you’ll be begging for a white padded room. Just keep breathing. Here’s my kitchen, now in the middle of the renovation. Please ignore the mess, but note several key things. 1.  The cabinets in front of me are antique white. As pretty as it sounds, antique white isn’t pretty under fluorescents. The color is sad, sallow, and dingy under my flickering lights, especially once the overhead diffusers are in place. I’m actually afraid of …

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