Monday Meal Review: Niger

THE SCENE

We’ve now eaten a meal from 129 countries in the world.

Surreal.

Wonderful.

Delicious.

This means we are officially 2/3 done with the Adventure.  In November there’ll only be a year left. After cooking the world for this long, certain things come to be expected.

Happy bellies, for example.

Enriched minds.

Stretching ourselves.

Growing.

All along the way, whether I’m frazzled or relaxed, hungry or full, I hear the same question again and again from curious readers.

“What country has been your favorite, so far?”

Oh boy. Talk about a tough question to answer.  Every time I hear those words I always feel vaguely uneasy, like someone has asked me who my favorite child is. How could I ever, ever choose one over all the others (theoretically, of course)?

Let me stumble through an answer.

While I don’t have a favorite per se, I do love making food from countries I know nothing about.

Which brings us to this week’s Global Table – Niger. Much of Niger’s traditional food is heat-your-house-up sauces and stews with thick balls of ugali, or cornmeal. We’ve made something similar to ugali before, so I knew I had to widen my gaze. That’s when I happened upon our current meal: crusty baguette sandwiches filled with spinach scrambled eggs, sage n’ green tea, and couscous caakiri.

Every single dish was new to us this week. And yet… totally familiar.

There wasn’t an ingredient I hadn’t heard of. In fact, I’d already eaten everything in the three ingredient lists. I simply hadn’t tried them in this Nigerien-inspired arrangement.

Eating this way is like hearing familiar melodies in a new song.

Love. Love. Love when that happens.

The sandwich was a revelation for Miss Ava who gobbled it up.

Who knew.

I never would have thought to try a spinach-loaded baguette sandwich out on my daughter… not without this week’s push from Niger. She is a toddler after all.

The thing is, I’m simply stumbling along, learning as I go (not just as a cook, but as a mother, too). The true genius comes from the countries who inspire me every week. I never know what to expect and that is half the fun.

That being said, I think a big thank you is in order.

I’m feeling warm and fuzzy and the only way to solve it is to send you some love.

That’s why I’m starting a weekly giveaway for you, dear friends…. my Global Neighbors… my fellow stovetop travelers.

Check back later this week to see what’s up first. The giveaway will be tagging along in one of my regular posts.

Sending much love to you and yours!

THE FOOD:

 Toasted Baguette sandwich with Spinach Scrambled Eggs [Recipe]

What I liked most about this sandwich:

The crunch of warm baguette combined with soft, creamy scrambled eggs is divine. I love how the paprika perks things up, as does the hit of green onion and spinach. Ava ate so much of this – she is a major fan. Mr Picky liked it, too. I can see this in his future with some bacon or sausage in the mix.

What I liked least about this sandwich:

Nothing. This has endless possibilities and perfect to take to the park. The paper wrapping even helps hold a little heat in the sandwich.

North African Sage n’ Green Tea [Recipe]

What I liked most about this tea:

First of all, I should mention that I really didn’t expect to like this. Sage is one of those strong herbs that can be overwhelming unless used sparingly (rosemary is similar in this way). I used just a few leaves but surrpised myself by wanting more. This unlikely combination is going into the regular rotation, especially when I have extra fresh sage leaves to use up around Thanksgiving time. Ava drank this right up and really enjoyed it.

What I liked least about this tea:

Nothing, but Mr Picky wasn’t much of a fan. He took a sip or two and went back to his sandwich.

Couscous Pudding | Cardamom Caakiri [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

I really enjoyed this without sugar, but I can see how I’d be the minority in this. The tangy yogurt is also great with a sprinkling of crunchy sugar while eating. Others will prefer to whisk in the sugar with the yogurt ingredients for a much more desserty flavor.

What I liked least about this dish:

This was not a huge hit with Keith or Ava, although I really enjoyed it and had some for breakfast. It thickens up in the fridge, so you might want to thin it with milk after chilling.

Ava’s Corner

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Comments

  1. spinach and eggs…what is it about this combination…all over the world…yummmmm

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