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.