Monday Meal Review: Gabon

french-omelet

THE SCENE Like cold mercury in a hot thermometer, I quickly moved out of my comfort zone. Failure flushed my cheeks. I felt sun burnt from standing over hot flames. I was stifled. Mad. In order to save any semblance of a sane human being, I sat for a good twenty minutes by myself. I could have made 13.3 omelets in that time. Rather, I should have been able to. But I was out of eggs. I was out of eggs because I broke them all. The counters were littered with mistakes. Eggs that browned … [Read more...]

Recipe: French Omelet

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Makes 1 omelet I cracked a mighty big smile when I read that omelets are all over Africa, especially in former French colonies. When I attended the Culinary Institute of America I learned from our Drill-Sargent chef how to make a perfect French omelet, as tidy as a neatly folded blanket. For my final exam I had to make one in less than 90 seconds. In fact, I had to plate it and walk it across the kitchen to the chef in less than 90 seconds. As if that wasn't hard enough, we lost marks if the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Starfruit Curd with Tropical Fruit

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Makes about 1 1/4 cups of curd Read this recipe at your own peril. Inspired by the bountiful tropical fruit of Gabon, you'll be inevitably faced with a choice. Spend an extravagant $12 dollars on 2 star fruit to make this simple treat, or live a life untouched by the smiles this dessert could bestow upon you. While Gabon certainly grows mangoes, bananas and starfruit - and most likely serves up a great fruit curd in the capital (they were a French colony after all) - this particular recipe is … [Read more...]

Crazy for the Pangolin

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Ever think to your hungry self "I could really go for a giant, roly-poly, tree-climbing, toothless anteater with scales, right about now?" Me neither. But in Gabon it happens. Meet the pangolin. In the old days, before extinction was a very real threat, pangolin was considered top notch bush meat - great for beefing up stews and slathering with spicy sauces. The only catch is, once this delightful animal rolls up into a ball, even lions cannot break through the scales to get a … [Read more...]

Recipe: Hickory Smoked Flank Steak Sandwiches (Coupé coupé)

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Serves 4 Barbecue, called coupé coupé, is all over Africa. This sandwich is inspired by Gabonese love for smoked meats piled into crusty baguettes.  I posted this recipe in diary format because, well, it was a little bit of an Adventure. Ingredients: 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1 1/2 tsp powdered chicken bouillon 1/4 tsp cayenne salt pepper 1 1/2 lbs flank steak grilled poblano peppers, skinned and cut into strips 1 onion, sliced and grilled (I grilled in foil with olive oil) 1 … [Read more...]

Menu: Gabon

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Ava's getting her molars in, which means she is in an extra special mood. These teeth must be massive. Ginormous. For weeks now they've been on the move - she'll go a few days in pain, then a few days off. Patience is at a premium, but I've learned to fill entire afternoons with long walks in the stroller. Instantly Ava chills out and spends the walk pointing out the birds, squirrels, and flowers. It's really rather sweet. With all this teething, I wasn't sure what food Ava was going to enjoy … [Read more...]