Day 96: Congo

21 Mar

Congo was next on the culinary list for West Africa. “What are we going to cook?” demanded Inigo. Tristan was surfing the net looking for the ideal dish to represent Congo. “Moambe!”

Moambe in the making

Moambe in the making

There was no doubt this was going to be an easy and quick meal. Epicurious Kids were getting the hang of preparing chicken in so many ways African style that it was becoming instinctive. Inigo took charge of the bird while Tristan prepared the coconut milk, vegetables and peanut butter.

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Not chickening out of chopping

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Browning the bird

The bird was quartered and browned on the pan. Tomatoes were mixed in with the caramelised onions and then Inigo put the browned chicken back on the fire. “It says we need to add peanut butter?” Tristan raised an eyebrow.Another dish made tastier with peanut butter. “Who knew we could put peanut butter and mix it in with tomato sauce?” proclaimed Tristan.

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Mo´ Moambe

Day 95: Ireland

18 Mar

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Going green for St Paddy

St Patrick´s Day was a good excuse to come out of Africa and cook some good old Irish Stew. Epicurious Kids were excited to go green for St. Paddy´s and start their Sunday with an Irish cook off!

Inigo was immediately commenting on how the ingredients list was very similar to a Norwegian fårikål. “Well, it´s not so far apart,” commented Tristan. “See how in Africa, all the dishes almost had the same ingredients,” he concluded.  Epicurious Kids quickly divided their chores and split the boring task of peeling potatoes and carrots. “It´s like being in prison,” lamented Inigo. Tristan whistled while he worked and after a  dozen or so new potatoes peeled, the hard work was done.

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A whole lotta mutton goin´on

The celery was chopped, the lamb was put in a pot of cold water. After an hour of boiling, sprigs of thyme and bay leaf was popped in. More time was needed to make sure the meat was meltingly tender. “That smells delicious!” shrieked Inigo after 2 hours. Tristan and Inigo ladled the hearty Irish stew and served this filling dish to a hungry crowd.

Irish Stew

Irish Stew

Day 94: Gabon

17 Mar

Viande Nyembwe

Getting back to the cooking groove after the holidays was tough. Epicurious Kids needed some encouragement to continue on their African adventure and soldier on through the continent. Gabon was next on the list. Inigo was adamant to get this dish quickly going and started giving Tristan some instructions. “Let´s make a beef dish this time, too much chicken already…” Tristan suggested. Viande Nyembwe fit the bill.

Slow cooking the ox tail took time, and after homework, sports and a quick shower, the meat slow simmered in palm soup base and onions was ready! Perhaps next time, when the boys are back in the swing of things, more cooking details can be shared!

 

Day 92 & 93: Cape Verde & Mauritania

17 Oct

Lamb for the Mechoui

Tristan and Inigo were anxious to cook another dish for their African challenge. “We are too slow, we´ll never finish Africa!” complained Inigo. “Let´s do two simple dishes!” proposed Tristan. With a little help from the Atlas and a cookbook, Epicurious Kids chose Mechoui from Mauritania, a grilled lamb dish and Canja de Gahlinha from Cape Verde.

Chicken

Trimming the bird

Inigo prepped the Canja de Gahlinha by trimming the fat and skin off the chicken thighs while Tristan cut the tomatoes and green beans for the sauce. “Let me do the onions too,” Tristan proposed bravely. Normally Inigo´s task, he didn´t mind handing over the teary job of onion chopping.

The Mechoui on the other hand only required some seasoning and easy prep of studding the lamb loin with garlic and rubbing the meat with spices. Then it was basically over 2 hrs of slow cooking in the oven. Once both dishes were ready, the Epicurious Kids were eager to savour their dishes. Being a school day, they needed to jump back to homework duties after a nice warming meal of Mechoui and Canja de Gahlinha.

Canja de Gahlinha

Mechoui from Mauritania

Day 90 & 91: Cameroon & Guinea

7 Oct

Split personalities

Cameroon was a going to be a challenge because Epicurious Kids chose N´Dole, the bitterleaf soup dish unique to this African country. After searching high and low in Brussels, no bitterleaf greens could be sourced locally. Spinach will have to do.

Getting the point

Gingerly cutting ginger

Kedjenou from Guinea was super easy, a one pot wonder that needed no supervision, just the occasional shaking. Chicken, tomatoes, onions, pepper were put in a cast iron pot and left to cook for over an hour. The Cameroon N´Dole dish only needed 10 minutes.

This is easy, I Kedjenou -T !

Nobody messes with my N´Dole

So Inigo decided to do it last-minute when we were ready with the Kedjenou. In addition to the onions, the Cameroonian recipe called for peanut butter. Inigo was skeptical about this additional ingredient. Nevertheless, he was game to try something new, “you never know, mom.” he stated determined to keep an open mind.

Kedjenou from Guinea

N´Dole from Cameroon

 

Tristan spooned steaming portions of the Kedjenou into the serving platter and Inigo smacked his lips after tasting the N´Dole. Another great meal!

 

Day 88 & 89: Senegal & Niger

19 Sep

Jojo meatballs

Cooking up West African dishes is a slight challenge. Yassa Poulet or a version of it seems to be the popular dish in this area. But since Tristan and Inigo loved the Yassa Poulet in Dakar, they decided for Senegal, Yassa it is! And to double up on their African cooking challenge, for Niger, Inigo insisted on Jojo Meatballs. The named intrigued him, and meatballs are a no-brainer for kids!

Inigo working his magic

Focusing on the Yassa Poulet

Lemon, onions and mustard were key ingredients to the Yassa marinade. Wondering how long the Yassa Poulet marinade need to rest, Tristan began prepping Inigo for the The Niger dish of Jojo meatballs was simple enough, that´s why Inigo was saying it needed to be properly flavoured. Salt, paprika, onions and garlic were added in, then extra pepper for a kick!

Mixing in some love!

Rollin´on the Jojo Meatballs!

After a few hours, that´s the longest the boys could wait,  the Yassa Poulet was ready to cook and Tristan did not waste time in patiently cooking each morsel of chicken. The lemony scent of the Yassa made his mouth water.

Putting on the heat on the Yassa Poul

Lemon scented Yassa Poulet tantalize the mini chef

 

Inigo on the other hand was elbow deep in ground meat for the Jojo Meatballs prep.  Cooking brings out the character of each individual. Inigo was the patient one, endlessly rolling pasta dough, kneading to perfection, shaping mini balls for various dishes. Tristan on the other hand was adventurous with the flavouring and spices, plating was key.

      Jojo Meatballs are the bomb!

Yummy Yassa Poulet!

 

The combination of the two brothers is a recipe for success in the kitchen. Another delicious exotic meal without even leaving the kitchen! The adventure continues.

 

Day 86 & 87:Ghana & Guinea Bissau

9 Sep

Ready, steady, cook!

The cooking challenge for Africa was to find diverse recipes without repeating the generic chicken and rice dishes. Tristan leafed through his Atlas and decided on Ghana and Guinea Bissau for todays recipes.

Busy bees

 Maffe Tiga

Guinea Bissau’s Maffe Tiga sounded a little like an Indonesian or Filipino recipe using peanut butter for the sauce. Tomatoes mixed in added an exotic touch.

Mixing in some tomatoes

Risotto a la Ghana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inigo on the other hand was focused on the carbohydrates: Rice Jollof from Ghana was his dish to prepare. “The recipe sounds like risotto, but mixing in the tomato paste in the rice is weird,” he commented.

Mastering the art of dicing

Doubling up the African culinary challenge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the rice absorbed the chicken broth, vegetables were added to the Ghana risotto mixture. Inigo was hungry to taste his Rice Jollof  but the rice still needed some cooking time. Soon enough the dish was ready to join the Mafe Tiga. Delicious!

Enjoying the African feast

 

Jollof Rice – Ghana style

Maffe Tiga from Guinea Bissau

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