Monday Meal Review: Cameroon

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I've said it before, but this time I mean it. I'm never buying catfish again. Ever. Not in a million, billion years. Store-bought catfish has to be the fishiest, funkiest, stinkiest fish on this planet - which should be a crime because I know catfish is perfectly capable of being sweet and tender. You see, my father-in-law, Rick, catches catfish from deep within the lakes of Oklahoma. Before the water has a chance to drip down the fish's fins, he fillets, salts, and bags them. … [Read more...]

Recipe: Peanut Butter Croissants (Groundnut Croissants)

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Makes 8 mini Peanut Butter Croissants Peanut butter rolled up into a steamy hot croissant - the ultimate snack, perfect with breakfast, lunch or dinner. While you are welcome to use homemade croissant dough, I had to take a short cut - it was one of those weeks. We'll call this fast food for the home cook. I guess you could say that my super-cook is giving way to super-mom. There was a time when I made my very own croissants from scratch. And I'll surely do it again, once Ava gets a … [Read more...]

Recipe: West African Peanut Sauce

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Makes 3/4 cup Mild heat with a nutty blast, this West African inspired peanut sauce is straightforward. This recipe lacks the bright flavor acquired from a splash of vinegar you might find in Asian peanut sauces. Vegetarian/vegan Ingredients: 1/2 cup peanut butter (natural, not sweet) 1 Tbsp tomato paste 3/4 cup water pinch of cayenne pepper red palm oil Method: Heat oil over medium. Add a pinch of cayenne pepper. You can always add more at the end, if you can handle … [Read more...]

Recipe: Corn with Plantains

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Serves 4 Corn with plantains is a common pairing in West Africa. Add a little heat with your favorite hot pepper, or use regular bell peppers. Our version is vegetarian/vegan. Ingredients: 1 tsp red palm oil 1 lb fresh or frozen corn 2 yellow plantains 1 chili pepper (I used a poblano from my garden that turned red), diced 1/2 cup water Method: Heat up a little oil in a medium pot. Chop up a couple of plantains... ... and add them with the corn. If you're … [Read more...]

Technique Thursday: Recipe: Mango Daiquiris

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A puckering combination of tart and sweet, the frozen Daiquiri blends ripe fruit, rum, and fresh lime juice with a mountain of shaved ice. This slushy sip of paradise makes it five o'clock everywhere. It's true. I've tested it myself. The original daiquiri from the early 1900's was nothing so complicated - a plain, stout mixture of sugar and lime juice poured over (or shaken with) ice. Over the years, the drink gained popularity and traveled around the world from Cuba to Cameroon. Today … [Read more...]

Menu: Cameroon

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My husband about climbed the walls with excitement when he found out we were making Groudnut Croissants (well, there was a five second delay, until he realized that by "Groundnut Croissants" I meant croissants spread with ooey gooey peanut butter). Who wouldn't? Peanut butter rolled up into a steaming croissant? Yes please! Our Cameroonian menu represents a crossroads of cultures and traditions. With elements of West African and French cuisine, the simple recipes below are easy to prepare and … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Burkina Faso

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"The smell is making my eyes water. One bite, and I can't get the flavor out of my mouth! It's like I'm still eating it. That counts, right?" Keith looked at me with his best puppy dog eyes. And, since his eyes are hazel, he didn't look much like a puppy. "Just eat half of it," I said. "I can't," he replied, turning his plate so the Babenda was as far away as possible. I kept eating, thinking about how fishy the Babenda tasted. Maybe he would eat some more of the unusual West … [Read more...]

Recipe: Iced Hibiscus Drink with Fresh Pineapple (Bissap a la Bonne Dame)

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Makes 1.75 liters (plus the pineapple) Chilled hibiscus tea is light and refreshing. The natural floral tang is a wonderful counterpart to sweet pineapple chunks. Kids will love fishing out the fruit in this totally and wonderfully decaffeinated iced tea. VARIATION: Some recipes call for equal parts lemonade to hibiscus tea. We tried this "pink lemonade" and loved it! Ingredients: small handful hibiscus flowers (or 4 teabags) 6 cups boiling water 4 cups ice 1 pineapple, … [Read more...]