Recipe: Coconut Rice

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Serves 2-4 Found both in the Caribbean and parts of Africa, coconut rice is rich and fragrant. The strong flavor goes particularly well with grilled meats and spicy sauces. We even used some leftovers in an asian-style salad with spicy peanut dressing. NOTE: Wondering how to make plain rice? The technique is the same, just substitute water for coconut milk. Ingredients: 1 cup coconut milk 1 cup water 1 cup white rice salt & pepper Method: 1. Heat coconut milk and water … [Read more...]

While I’m cooking: Benin (Video)

The first three and a half minutes of this video tell the story of a couple who are engaged. In the story the man's friend makes a pass on the woman. She refuses his advances and tells her fiancé what happened. The fiance then goes to confront him, but the friend says that he was just testing the woman's fidelity. The singer says for us to judge for ourselves. Then the chorus says that the friendship is true. After 3'30 the people start dancing a really interesting local … [Read more...]

Menu: Benin

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Although Benin is an impoverished country with many people living off a simple diet of fufu, yam, rice, and beans, the cuisine also offers upscale, global flavors, most notably influenced by French flavors and techniques.  For example, this menu features crab, an commonly fished for in the south of Benin, prepared in a simplified French manner with eggs and vegetables. Crabs from Benin [Recipe] Lump crabmeat baked with egg, onion, garlic, tomato, and hot chili … [Read more...]

About the food of Benin

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Tall, thin, and irregular, Benin juts deep into the African continent, resembling a smoked turkey leg (which just happens to be my favorite fair food here in Oklahoma). Thanks to this unusual geography there is a notable difference between the food in the semi-arid north and the tropical south. Traditional Cuisine: Corn is the starch of choice in the more fertile south, whereas yams are more popular in the dry north. In both cases, the starch is cooked down into a mush-like consistency … [Read more...]

Recipe: Fried Plantains

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One plantain serves 1-2 Fried plantains can be on the table in less than 5 minutes. This easy, delicious side dish goes well with any Caribbean or African food. In particular, the slightly sweet flavor helps contrast with both region's spicy dishes. Ingredients: 1 plantain vegetable oil salt or brown sugar Method: 1. Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a frying pan. Meanwhile, cut plantains into long, oblong slices. NOTE: Choose plantains that are yellow to black in color, … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Angola

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This is meal #5 in my personal challenge to eat one meal from every country in the world. I am something of an "Eeyore." I wear worry like it's going out of style. These are just a few of the things I worry about when I put on a dinner party: - will the food taste good? - what if I burn the food? - what if the food is raw? - what if I don't have time to finish the meal? - will my friends like the food? - will I like the food? So what about this weekend's Global Table? I was … [Read more...]

Recipe: Muamba de Galinha (Chicken Stew)

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Serves 4 Muamba de Galinha gets its unique flavor from Red Palm Oil. This spicy stew tastes great with yuca, or serve over rice. Ingredients: 1 lemon, juiced 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 tsp chili powder 1 chicken cut into quarters 1/2 cup red palm oil 3 onions, diced 1 whole chili pepper 3 tomatoes, quartered 1 lb pumpkin cut into 1.5" cubes 1 cup chicken broth 1/2 lb frozen okra Method: 1. Mix lemon juice, 2 garlic cloves, salt, and chili powder and … [Read more...]

Recipe: Camarao Grelhado Piri Piri (Grilled Prawns with Peppers)

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Serves 4 Prawns are a real treat, especially on the grill! For this Angolan appetizer we thawed frozen prawns in some of the marinade overnight (in the refrigerator). This simple step saved us time on meal day. I'm honored that this recipe was featured in Penzy's Spices' 2012 early summer catalog. Ingredients: 4-8 prawns 4 cloves garlic, crushed 4 green onions, chopped 1/8 tsp minced habanero 1 tsp cumin 1/8 tsp salt 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1/4 … [Read more...]