Saturday, February 21, 2015

Burkina Faso

Riz Gras (Fat Rice)
   2 habanero peppers
   3 garlic cloves
   1/2 onion, finely chopped
   4 tomatoes, chopped
   1/2 cup oil
   1 lb beef or chicken, cubed
   4 tbsp tomato paste
   4 1/4 cup water
   1 chicken bouillon cube
   2 1/2 cups long grain white rice
   Salt and pepper to taste

First put the habaneros, garlic, tomatoes and onion into a food processor and pulse until you get a nice paste. Then heat the oil over medium heat and add the paste to the pan. Cook for 8 minutes, then remove from the fire and set aside.

Here's a new one: use a little bit of water (about 1/2 to 1 cup) to rinse out your food processor, then put the water in a separate pot along with the meat. Bring the meat and water to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.

Now add the meat to the pan containing the paste. Add the tomato paste, water and Maggi (or stock) cube. Stir.

Wash the rice until the water runs clear. Then add it to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes. Check it, then cook for another 10 minutes or until the water has been absorbed.

Garnish with thin slices of onion.

Boussan Touba (Savory Beancakes)

   14 oz dried black-eyed peas
   half a small onion, chopped
   2 small carrots, chopped
   1 egg, beaten
   salt and black pepper to taste
   flour for coating
   peanut oil for frying

First soak the black-eyed peas overnight. Drain, and place in a large pot with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Now put the beans in a blender with the onion, carrots and egg (add a little water if you need to, but not too much). Season with salt and pepper and blend into a smooth paste.

Heat the oil until bubbles rise around the non-stirring end of a wooden spoon. Meanwhile, shape the paste into round balls (about an inch or so in diameter).

Then with the palm of your hand, flatten each ball. Dip in flour, then fry in the hot oil until browned, turning once. Hint: don't fiddle with them. It should take about five minutes per side to cook, but if you lift them too often they'll start to disintegrate.

Banfora Welshcakes

   2 cups self raising flour
   1/2 cup margarine
   1/2 cup sugar
   1 3/4 oz dried diced pineapple
   1 egg
   3 tbsp almond/rice/soy milk
   Pinch of salt
I made the Welsh Cakes first, which were really more like mildly sweet cookies so I'll start this entry there, too.

First sift the flour and salt together in a large bowl. Now, I forgot to use self-raising flour (though I did actually have some) so my cakes came out a bit flat. If your store doesn't carry self raising flour, just add 2 2/3 tsp baking powder to this recipe. Although the flat cakes were actually still pretty good.

Now cut the margarine into cubes and work it into the flour with your fingers, until you get that "fine breadcrumb" texture everyone is always talking about.

 Add the sugar and pineapple, then the beaten egg. Mix until you get a stiff dough, adding milk as necessary (you may not need all 3 tbsp).

Flour your work surface and roll the dough out. Cut into rounds with whatever cutting tool you have on hand (mine were probably two or three inches in diameter).

Lightly grease a frying pan with some margarine and fry the cakes for a few minutes on each side, or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Now the recipe didn't say to, but the accompanying photo showed these cakes topped with powdered sugar, so I sprinkled a little over mine before serving.

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