All posts filed under: Gabon


Monday Meal Review: Gabon

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 too fast, omelets that slid off the plate, ones that I pulled too soon, with icky, runny centers. There were even eggs I accidentally cracked over the trash bowl. Misery. The thought of going to the grocery store to get another pack of eggs made me want to kick a tire. I’d already been to the store 4 times in the last two days – not counting Keith’s last minute run to get hickory wood chips. Not to mention, there’s …

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French Omelet

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 golden blanket was soiled with any flecks of brown or – like a Victorian showing her ankle, was crass enough to reveal any filling. I never thought in a million years I’d be able to do it, but after making several dozen I figured it out. Here are my tips from the trenches: – Have everything you need out on the counters, ready to go (eggs, filling, topping, plate, paper towel) – Get your pan very hot. The eggs …

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Starfruit Curd with Tropical Fruit

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 my own creation. And, since I’m not exactly Gabonese, I must admit … that makes this recipe not exactly authentic. Once you taste it, though, you’ll forgive me. I promise. Ingredients: 1 cup strained, fresh starfruit juice (about 2 starfruit) 3 egg yolks 1/4 cup sugar 1 Tablespoon flour 1 Tablespoon cornstarch butter, as needed For the parfait Banana slices Mango cubes Method: Sing a few rounds of “Twinkle, twinkle, little star” while you make this recipe. Use ripe starfruit. They’ll be heavy for size, …

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Crazy for the Pangolin

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 nibble. Nice. The scales are supposedly strong enough for armor. Just ask King George III – if you have a time machine handy (anyone friends with the Doctor?). Happy Fun Fact Friday! Photos: Joxerra Aihartza, Piekfrosch, Pangolin Waking Up, Acid Cow

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Hickory Smoked Flank Steak Sandwiches | Coupé coupé

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 baguette 2 cups hickory wood chips Method: 8:00 am Woke up to a perfect day. Methinks one should always smoke meat under a blue sky and budding trees. 8:01 am Realize we don’t have any wood chips. Keith runs off to get some. I go back to sleep, ignoring blue skies and budding trees. 8:30 am I wake up to my hero, sneaking in with arms full of hickory wood chips, aluminum trays, and cat food. Nice. (Cat food for cats, not for sandwiches. Double nice).  Soak wood chips for about …

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Menu: Gabon

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 for Gabon, but I figured eggs were a sure bet. The rest was up in the air. The colonial influence on Gabon means we haven’t totally left France behind. What sounds good to you? French Omelet with Cheese [Recipe] Omelets are all over Gabon. This is a classic French omelet, as was taught to me at the Culinary Institute of America. Hickory Smoked Flank Steak Sandwiches (Coupé coupé) [Recipe] Hickory smoked flank steak, thinly shaved and loaded onto a toasted baguette. Our version …

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