Monday, March 7, 2011

Wrapping up Africa

In finishing our tour of the African cuisine; I have found that use of local ingredients and the application of heat were important in practically every dish. Our menu consisted of banana and chili fritters, Congo chicken soup, lamb/pork kebabs,  yellow rice with raisins, grilled tilapia (we used hog snapper), African hot sauce (we used guajillo peppers), and Irio (a mash of potato, spinach, corn and peas).

Ryan made the banana fritters and they were awesome! They are made by mashing together bananas, onion, tomato and chilies. Add ginger, salt, flour and water to the mixture; be careful not to overwork the mixture. Deep fry the fritters (shapped into balls) and drain on paper towels. You can serve them hot, cold, as a snack or with a meal. We served the fritters with the African hot sauce. To make the hot sauce you combine chili peppers (with seeds and stems removed), green bell pepper, garlic cloves, onion, tomato paste, water, granulated sugar, and salt in a food processor. After you make the paste heat it over medium heat; simmer for about an hour, cool and serve. The sweet fritters were great with a little heat from the African hot sauce.

The Congo chicken soup is a peanut butter and chicken soup. You start by simmering the chicken in chicken stock and then shredding the meat. Saute garlic and onion in olive oil until translucent; add red pepper flakes, diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Combine the chicken broth used to simmer the chicken with tomato paste, peanut butter and stir till smooth. Finally combine all the ingredients and simmer until soup is thickened. We served it hot with slices of jalapenos and chopped peanuts over the top of the soup.

I made the kebabs; which featured lamb and pork along with dried apricots which were cooked in sherry. The meat was marinated in tamarind paste, garlic cloves, diced onion, white vinegar, apricot jam, granulated sugar, olive oil, garam masala, and a slurry made with red wine/ cornstarch. Make sure you soak the wood or bamboo skewers so they don't burn on the can also cover the tips with tin foil. Drain the meat from the marinade and reserve the rest...thread the lamb, apricots and pork onto the skewers grill till nice char is formed and place in the oven if possible (if no oven slow cook them on the grill to make sure the pork is not pink).

Natalia made the yellow rice with raisins and grilled hog fish. The rice is made by coiling water and dissolving the dry ingredients...turmeric, sugar, salt, butter, cinnamon stick, raisins, and lemon zest. Add the rice after the dry ingredients dissolve and reduce to a simmer; cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the cover and cook for about another 5 minutes; then fluff with a fork and remove the cinnamon stick when serving. As for the hog fish, Natalia marinated the fish in a mix of vegetable oil, onion (diced), green bell pepper (diced), fresh lemon juice, vinegar, cayenne and salt. After marinating for about an hour remove the fish from the marinade, grill, broil or saute...and serve with the African Hot Sauce. We served the fish sauteed on top of a bed of the yellow rice and a swatch of African hot sauce.

The final dish was a side dish for the kebabs and it was made by simmering diced raw (skinned) potatoes, fresh spinach, sweet peas and corn. After simmering and the potatoes are tender, drain the liquid and mash the combination. It looks like baby food and it's really good! Overall the menu had a lot of heat in it and we executed it on to India.


  1. Hi. My name is Anthony. I am also in the CM degree at the Art Institute of Washington. I just wanted to thank you for posting the pictures up of all your school work.

  2. No problem! I hope it helps out with your degree...I love to share my work with everyone...I hope my work and my team's work helped with your plating, etc.


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