Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Comoros Islands - Poulet au Coco


The Comoros Islands are four small islands off the east coast of Africa. One of their official languages is French hence this dish's name. I picked this recipe because it's similar to a curry we already make quite often and I wanted to compare them. I'm glad I had the foresight to pick a nice easy food to make since I feel lazy today :D

Ingredients:

Chicken
3 garlic cloves
2 tsp curry powder
300ml of coconut milk
Chopped parsley to garnish
1 lemon


Peel the garlic cloves and cut them up as finely as you can. I used the garlic zoom.


Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces and saute in a bit of oil. Add the garlic and saute a bit more. I love the smell of garlic cooking!


 Add the coconut milk and curry powder.


Simmer for about 20 minutes until it thickens a bit.


 Mine didn't thicken at all so I added some water and cornflour to help it along.


Chop the parsley and quarter the lemon ready for garnishing.


This was a lovely mild curry with a nice fresh taste from the squeeze of lemon. The kids both ate it (Leigh with rice, Erin without) and said it was nice but not spicy enough. Which is pleasing because enjoying curry is a relatively new thing for both of them. I liked the garlic in the dish which was easily tasted due to the mildness of everything else. I couldn't help but wish it was a stronger, spicier curry too which then makes me wish I could enjoy milder flavours more. All in all it was a nice simple curry.

How hot do you like your curries?

Coming up next week: Sweetcorn and marigold fritters from Angola

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Botswana - Baked Polenta





Ah, Botswana. The setting of one of my favourite series of books The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. Books that led me to try Redbush tea and fantasize about running my own detective agency. :D

I chose this recipe for two reasons. One, there's half a bag of polenta in the kitchen cupboard that wants using up. Two, I need to have another go at liking polenta. Fingers crossed!

Ingredients:

Polenta
Tomato chutney
Cheese

Yep, three ingredients ^_^


 Make up the polenta according to the packet's instructions.


 After a few minutes cooking and stirring vigorously (where's JD when I need him) it should look like this (the consistency of mashed potato).


 Spread the polenta in a baking dish of some sort.


 Cover with a layer of tomato chutney. This chutney is startlingly red in colour. I should've made some chutney myself, I'm ashamed.


 Cover with a layer of grated cheese.


 Pop in the oven at 200C for about 15 minutes until the cheese has melted properly.


 I served it with baked chicken breasts and peas.


The melted cheese and chutney together were delicious. But that's where the deliciousness ended. Polenta isn't for me. It's bland and the consistency is like mashed potato but only in a way that makes you wish you were eating mashed potato instead. Neither of the kids wanted to try it. In fact they wanted to try it so little that Leigh came up to me while I was taking the ingredient picture and asked what I was making. After I explained she said she didn't want to try it. Before I'd even made it!! (I could make a whole other blog post about how annoyed this makes me feel). I tried the polenta in various combinations with the cheese, chutney, peas and chicken but I didn't really like any of them with the polenta. So I just gave in and ate the cheese and chutney combo off the top and threw the polenta away. Sorry Botswana :)


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Nauru - Coconut Crusted Fish






Nauru is a small island off the coast of Australia. It's population was made up of 12 tribes which is why the flag has a 12 pointed star. Being an island they eat a lot of fish so I found this simple fish recipe from Nauru using just a few ingredients.


Ingredients:

Fish fillets of any kind
Breadcrumbs
Dried coconut
1 egg
2 limes
Oil for pan-frying



 Break the egg into a shallow bowl for dipping and beat well. Mix the breadcrumbs and coconut into another shallow bowl.


 Dip the fish in the egg on both sides and then dip in the breadcrumb mix on both sides until covered well. Set aside the the fish.


 

 Heat some oil in a frying pan and fry the fish until cooked through and golden brown on top. I always expect the fish to break up because I've had some fish disasters in the past. Not this time though, hurrah!



 Squeeze lime over the fish before eating. Serve with a salad. Being British I couldn't resist having some chips with my fish. :D


The fish looked and smelled really appetising. It had a nice crunchy texture due to the coconut which I enjoyed. It had a very subtle taste, really fresh with the lime squeezed on top. It made me feel like it was food from a small, simple country who rely on the food they have close to them to eat. Erin didn't want to try it but Leigh did and seemed to enjoy it. Even encouraging me to try the skin because I'd left mine. She was right, it was delicious! An easy to make, tasty fish dish. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Dominica - Chicharrones De Pollo





Right, time to get back to this blogging malarkey! I'm going to ease back in with an easy but delicious looking chicken recipe. Erin worked out it was chicken by translating the name and seemed pleased.

Ingredients:

Chicken
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Flour
(Plus oil for frying - not pictured)


 Mix up everything but the chicken and flour to make a gritty looking brown marinade that smells wonderful.




Cut the chicken into bite size pieces and mix it into the marinade. The recipe said to do this 4-5 hours before you need it (whoops!) but I just did it 1 hour before and it turned out well.


It's suggested that you serve the chicken with fried plantain slices. I'd love to but couldn't find a plantain on short notice. I did find these plantain chips though so we had those instead.


 Place some flour in a shallow dish and cover the chicken pieces in the flour. I wish those pieces of chicken on the right weren't conspiring to look like they belong in a cat litter tray :(


 Heat some oil in a pan and fry the floured chicken pieces until they are browned and cooked through. I didn't do them one at a time I just did that for the picture so I don't look greedy.


 Served with rice and plantain chips.

The chicken was delicious. It had a really different and quite strong flavour that surprised me. Leigh kept saying she wasn't sure about the chicken but carried on eating it until it was gone and Erin asked if there was more. Sadly there wasn't. I wish I had more words to describe the flavour as it's something I haven't tasted before. I haven't though so all you can do is try it yourself, sorry :D

The plantain chips were nice too. Erin enjoyed them as did I. I like banana chips in my muesli usually and these were very similar. I'd like to try plantains sometime though maybe for another country's food one day :)