Friday, March 13, 2015

Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa

Quinoa with orange vinaigrette

This is a delicious and refreshing salad. It's full of fiber and protein and would make the perfect, healthful lunch. It is also wonderful as we had it here. Paired with some seared tuna. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Moroccan Chicken and Lemons

One of my favorite flavors in the world is roasted chicken, lemons and onions. I'm not a huge fan of olives  but in the recipe their saltiness works perfectly. I am lucky enough to have more saffron than I need (if that's possible) I was able to get it for cheap in Zanzibar and love the color and flavor it adds to this dish. This recipe was tweaked slightly by a recipe I found on Pinterest that was pulled from can find it: here
You can also follow my "Chakula (food)" board here on Pinterest: here , my "Chakula Afrika" here: here, "Naughty but Yummy" here: here, and finally "Recipes Tried and Reviewed" here: here
Anyhow, this was from a recipe called "Dejej Besla" and it is actually a Tagine. I tweaked it a bit to be a one dish in the oven sort of week night easy dish. I went heavy on the paprika and light on the cumin. Cumin is often overpowering to me and I usually cut it in half. This dish would also be delightful if you were lucky to have preserved Lemons. I have found them at Whole Foods. You can also make them yourself.  I plan on doing that in a future blog post.  
Moroccan Chicken and Lemons about to put in the oven for roasting

1 tbsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste 
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 tsp. cumin seeds, crushed
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground turmeric
5 tbsp. olive oil
4 skinless bone-in chicken thighs
4 skinless bone-in chicken drumsticks
1 tsp. crushed saffron threads
4 medium yellow onions, cut into 12 wedges each
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 lemon, thinly sliced crosswise, seeds removed
1¼ cups pitted green olives
⅓ cup finely chopped cilantro
Cooked white rice, for serving


1. Make a spice paste: Using the flat side of your knife, chop and mash salt and garlic together on a cutting board into a smooth paste; transfer paste to a large bowl and stir in cumin, paprika, and turmeric. Stir in 3 tbsp. oil, and then add chicken thighs and drumsticks; toss until evenly coated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours.

2. Combine all ingredients on a baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes at 400 degrees F.   Keep an eye on it.  One of the biggest problems with this type of dish is that people don't let it cook long enough.  Thighs and legs will stay juicy even if cooked for a while and are a lot more forgiving than breasts.  This dish is not done until the onions are very, very cooked and the lemons are browned.  

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Tanzanian Inspired Roast Chicken and Chips... plus a baby kale salad recipe

I first had something similar to this meal in Tanzania.  We were at a mountain camp and the cook prepared this amazingly delicious and simple chicken and chips.  It had been cold and rainy for days and this dish just really warmed us! The chicken was not from some happy chicken that we often saw, it was from a sad chicken we bought at Shop Rite.  I'm not even certain it had been refrigerated the few days before we ate it!  Despite all that, it was the best chicken and chips we had ever had.  To get this most enjoyment from this meal, eat with your hands!

Roasted Chicken with all the yummy condiments. Pictured: Pilipili, ketchup, mayonnaise, roasted peppers and onions and oven fries.  Also some pomegranate seeds in a glass…

Roasted Chicken

1 small free-range chicken, preferably less than 4 lbs.
Garlic, paprika, salt and pepper
Lemons and whole garlic cloves
sunflower, grape seed or olive oil

Cover your bird with oil and season it with salt and pepper, paprika, minced garlic and any other spice that sounds good.
Stuff the bird with more salt and pepper, a lemon half or 2 and some garlic cloves. 
Cook the bird at 350 for about 1 1/2 hrs.  Juices should run clear.

Chips (oven fries)
Peal about 5 large potatoes for 4 people. (I use idaho or russet potatoes)
Slice into 8 wedges each. 
Soak in salted water for about 1/2 an hour.
Drain and pat dry
Pour Sunflower oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle in plenty of salt, pepper and paprika. Place the potato wedges in the seasoned oil and mix around until covered in the oil.
Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes if you are cooking it in the same oven as the chicken and at the same time, or ideally bake at 400 for about 30 min. 

Serve the chicken and chips with mayo, pilipili hot sauce and ketchup.  In the picture I roasted some vegetables but often I just make this simple baby kale salad:

1 container baby kale
1 lemon
1/2 c. shredded parmesan
extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. honey
salt and pepper

Juice the lemon and grate a little bit of the rind.  Pour it into a screw top jar.  Add almost the same amount of olive oil, honey, salt and pepper.  Shake vigorously. Pour onto the kale and sprinkle with the cheese. Toss together.  It is quite alright to make this ahead of time and even eat it the next day.  Unlike other soft greens, baby kale is great even if it is wilted.  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Lamb Chops

This is a simple marinade for lamb chops. Lamb is my favorite red meat. I served it with a simple salad of tomato, cumber and parsley with olive oil and vinegar. I also roasted parsnips. This would be awesome with banana fries! 

Lamb Marinade

1/3 c soy
1/3 c sherry
1/4 c balsamic
1 tsp dried onion
4 cloves minced garlic
2 Tbsp minced parsley
2 Tbsp chopped mint

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Chipsi Ndizi (Banana Fries)

While in Tanzania, I had "Roast Banana" in every home I visited for dinner. To be honest, I didn't really care for them. They were always dry. I always put lots of pilipili sauce on them.

A few weeks ago, I bought a bunch of dark maroon bananas at the store. They were hard as rocks and probably were imported from half a world away. Well, they never did quite ripen! So I wondered if they might be delicious as oven fries. I had a little more control with temperature in my first world oven.  Maybe a lower temperature would make them crisp on the outside and moist on the inside?
Well, they turned out just delicious! I greased my cast iron baking sheet with lots, lots! of coconut oil. I sprinkled them with sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and smoked paprika. I mixed some habanero hot sauce with ketchup to recreate a spicy ketchup I had in the Dar es Salam airport.They were delicious!

Chipsi Ndizi

Serves 1 as a meal or 2-3 as a side dish

2 bananas (I used the dark red variety) unripe but not completely rock hard
coconut oil
sea salt
smoked paprika
fresh ground pepper

Slice the bananas in half width wise and then length wise. So, you have four spears. Heavily grease a baking sheet with coconut oil. Roll the bananas in the coconut oil. Sprinkle the banana pieces with the salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about a half hour or more. Check for light browning and soft inside.

Meanwhile, make your ketchup and hotsauce.  When the fries are ready, enjoy!

 The banana type I used and the hotsauce

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Ostrich Meatballs

A couple of weeks ago, I happened upon some frozen ostrich meat in Vitamin Cottage.  The meat was from a farm in Nebraska.  I remember my husband raving about ostrich meat when he was working in Zimbabwe.  So, I bought it. Turns out, its a very healthy red meat.  I find it curious that ostrich is red meat! By the way, I found out that I shouldn't be putting two spaces between sentences. I'll stop now. 

Ostrich Meatballs

1 lb. ground ostrich meat
1/2 cup crushed crackers (I used the leftover crumbs of these carrot and sweet potato chips/crisps)
1 egg
2 Tbsp. oil (I used red palm)
salt and pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder or a couple of cloves minced
A little beef broth to get desired consistency
1 Tbsp. coconut oil to grease pan
Baked in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes

After the meatballs were done cooking, I made a sauce out of this meat masala mix I had bought in South Florida.  We were visiting with a friend from India and he took us to this little Indian grocery story.  He told me this was his favorite masala mix so I bought it.  

I sauteed some tomatoes and onion and added some but not all of the seasoning.  I added some water to this mix to make a nice sauce.  Right before the sauce was finished I added some half and half cream and it was delicious.

I paired it with some ugali. My husband went nuts over it (he's easy to please).  It was very unique in flavor and I credit that to the seasoning packet.  My husband said it was the closest I had gotten to recreating food he'd had in the bush.  I really loved the flavor of the ostrich meat.  I'll definitely be buying it more often and substituting it for all sorts of ground meat.