Posts Tagged With: caravans

Kachumbari (Kenyan Tomato Onion Salad)

Kenyan Appetizer

KACHUMBARI
(Tomato Onion Salad)

INGREDIENTS

½ cup fresh cilantro
1 medium red onion
4 tomatoes
½ cucumber
1 red chile
1¼ teaspoons salt
1 cup water
1 avocado
1½ tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon olive oil

Serves 4. Takes 20 minutes.

PREPARATION

Dice cilantro, red onion, and tomatoes. Peel and dice cucumber. Seed and mince red chile. Add diced red onion and salt to small mixing bowl. Mix with hand until red-onion bits are well coated with salt. Add water. Let red onion soak for 10 minutes. Drain red onion.

Peel, seed, and dice avocado. Add all ingredients to large mixing bowl. Toss with fork until well blended.

TIDBITS

1) One of the most unsung trade routes of the Late Middle Ages, according to culinary, historians, was for Kenyan Kachumbari in exchange for Florentine wool. The Kenyans, or another name for Kenyans as historians had another name for the natives who lived then, prized Florentine wool.

2) For the Kenyans, made excellent KevlarTM type vests out of this most excellent wool. These vests proved impenetrable to all spears, arrows, swords, and knives. Kenya could never be conquered as long as it preserved the secret to making their vests. Unfortunately, in 1632, a kitchen maid, Machupa Mwangi, used the papers containing the secret vest formula to line her pie tins. These papers did not survive the baking. A few years later, Omani Arabs conquered Kenya. Kenya would not regain its independence for over 300 years. Bummer.

3) Florentine painters used Kachumbari to make vibrant landscapes. Unfortunately, these paintings had to be small as the ingredients of Kachumbari were quite perishable. (I don’t know how the Kenyan caravaners kept their avocados, which normally go bad in a few days, fresh on their months-long trek north. Modern scientists are eager to rediscover this lost art.) But one morning, Lorenzo Rotini, discovered paints could be made from minerals and plants. And they would last long enough to produce even the largest paints. The Renaissance began the very next day. Huzzah!

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

La Bouillie (Hot Cereal from Chad)

Chadian Breakfeast

LA BOUILLIE
(Hot Cereal)

INGREDIENTSlabouillie

4 cups water (1 additional cup later)
1 cup ground rice or wheat flour
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon corn flour, wheat flour, or rice
1 cup water
⅓ cup milk
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons sugar

Makes 4 bowls. Takes 12 minutes.

PREPARATION

Add 4 cups water to pot. Bring water to boil using high heat. Gradually add rice, stirring all the while. While 4 cups water comes to boil, add peanut butter, corn flour, and 1 cup water to mixing bowl. Mix with fork until blended. Once 4 cups water are boiling, add peanut butter/corn flour mix to pot. Mix with fork or whisk until completely blended and the cereal has reached your desired level of thickness. Stir frequently. Remove from heat. Add milk, lemon juice and sugar. Stir with whisk until completely blended.

TIDBITS

1) Abba “Willie” Aouzou, a prosperous date merchant in Abademi, Chad, loved American country music. His one, true dream was to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. While his fellow tribesmen sang traditional songs of their camel caravaning days, Abba sang the songs of Willie Nelson. While his neighbors ate couscous and quaffed hibiscus, Abba “Willie” Aouzou ate Texas chili and drank beer. The only thing he had in common with the folks around him was the Arabic language and a love of hot breakfast cereal.

2) Still, Abba’s love of beer proved an endless source of friction. “Willie, our beliefs forbid us to the drink alcohol.” Willie always replied, “But I have to drink beer. How else can I write a song about how my wife stole my pickup truck to run off with my best friend, the whiskey salesmen.”

3) In 1972, “Willie” Aouzou wrote about sharing a big bowl of chili with Willie Nelson. The song shot to the top of the North African country music charts. The Grand Ole Opry invited him to perform. He got a standing ovation. Secure in his success, Abba gave up beer and began writing twangy songs that fused honky tonk with the spirit of the Saharan caravans. Nashville went wild for him. A rising Swedish pop band named itself Abba in homage to him. His home town of Fi’ad, Chad went crazy as well, naming a hot breakfast cereal after him, “La Bouillie.” La Bouillie is nearly an anagram for his first hit, “Willie’s Bowl.” because there are a lot of wordsmiths in Fi’ad.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orange Beef

Chinese Entree

ORANGE BEEF

INGREDIENTSOrangeBeef-

1 orange (Keep peel)

12 ounces flank steak
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 egg white
1 tablespoon rice wine (sometimes called mirin) or pale sherry

1⅓ cups white rice

1″ fresh ginger (or 2 teaspoons fresh)
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons beef broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
⅛ teaspoon pepper
½ tablespoon sugar

5 dried red chiles
1½ cups peanut oil
Fresh zest from 1 orange or 2 teaspoon dry zest

SPECIAL UTENSIL

wok or Dutch oven
zest peeler or potato peeler

Makes 4 bowls. Takes 1½ hours.

PREPARATION

Remove peel orange. Save orange slices. Remove zest, the orange part of the peel, with zest peeler. Dice zest. (If you want to have a more authentic taste and can afford to plan ahead, spread the zest evenly over wax paper and let sit for 1-to-2 days until it is dry and brittle. Or just buy orange zest.)

Cut flank steak into strips 2″ long and ¼” wide. Add cornstarch, egg white, and rice wine to mixing bowl. Toss strips until they are well coated. Add steak strips. Put in refrigerator and marinate for 1 hour.

While beef marinates cook rice according to instructions on package. Mince ginger and garlic clove. Add sesame oil, ginger, and garlic to skillet. Sauté at medium-high heat for 3 minutes or until garlic turns color. Stir frequently. Remove sautéed ginger and garlic to mixing bowl. Add beef broth, soy sauce, pepper, and sugar to mixing bowl. Blend with whisk.

Dice red chiles. Add peanut oil and steak strips to wok. Sauté on medium-high for 2 minutes or until steak strips start to turn brown. Remove steak and drain on paper towels. Reserve 1½ tablespoons of peanut oil Add 1½ tablespoons reserved peanut oil, orange zest, and red chiles to wok. Stir frequently. Sauté on medium-high heat for 2 minutes or until chiles darken and oil smells fragrant. Stir frequently.

Add ginger/garlic/broth/soy sauce from mixing bowl to middle of wok. Return steak strips back to wok. Sauté at medium-high heat for 1 minute or until the steak strips become crispy, shiny, and have absorbed most of the sauce. Serve on top of rice. Garnish with orange slices.

TIDBITS

1) Orange beef originally came from orange cattle roaming the Painted Dessert in Arizona. Their orange hide helped the beeves, or cattle, blend in with the Dessert’s orange rocks. This camouflage technique helped the beeves escape voracious giant carnivorous beavers.

2) Things looked bad when the vicious beavers began Beaver Dam, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient Animal World. The water level in the Painted Dessert began to rise. Then rose even more. The beeves moved higher and higher up the canyon walls. Soon they would reach the green rocks where their orange hides would stand out starkly against the green rocks. The toothy beavers began salivating.

3) Then in a fortuitous stroke of fiction, humans, the Rohohoe tribe, in fact, arrived in the Painted Dessert, bringing commas for run-on sentences and arrows for hunting.

4) And hunt they did. Giant beavers tasted great when sauteéd in a lemon-basil sauce. Life was good for the Rohohoe. It was even better for the beeves. Their feared predator gone, their numbers rebounded or soared, whichever metaphor works best for you.

5) The ancient Chinese loved orange beef, having acquired a taste for it years before. Unfortunately, the abominable snowman, yeti, hunted their own orange beeves to extinction. Orange hides really made hunting in the snow-covered mountains of Tibet overly easy.

6) Fortunately, the ancient Rohohoe loved Chinese jewelry. Trade talks, smoothed by a mutual love of ScrabbleTM proceeded rapidly. And so began the great orange beef cattle drives.

7) Until global warming caused sea levels to rise to such an extent that the land bridge between North America and Asia disappeared. Snap. Just like that.

8) Deprived of Chinese jewelry, the Rohohoe economy dissolved into anarchy. Traces of this once proud people show up only in the finest cookbooks. Bereft of fresh orange beeves, Chinese founded culinary schools. They would rely on their own ingredients. No longer would Chinese caravans ply the world’s continents. No longer would their tradesmen paint, “Cho was here,” on stones all over America’s Southwest. Oh, I guess I should tell also those archeologists, sweltering in the hot Arizonan sun, what those petroglyphs mean.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

Categories: cuisine, history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: