Central African Republic…

Monday, April 9 -

There were only three diners with me this time: MudFlaps, RubsWithLove, and FuFuMan. RubsWithLove and FuFuMan brought two dishes and I made one. They brought a pork with groundnut sauce and fufu, which is really just mashed plantains with a little bit of seasoning. I made a vegetable stew and chose to add lamb to it to give it some protein. I also had naan for the dinner, but accidentally left it toasting in the oven. Oooops.

The stew was easy to make, simple to cook, and delightfully delicious. I started with a little olive oil and started cooking the onions, garlic (four cloves, of course), and the white ends of the chard. Once they had started to soften, I added the sliced chard leaves. Then went in the yam slices, garbanzo beans (drained), raisins, a large can of whole peeled tomatoes (not drained), and salt and pepper (a fairly liberal coating). I let that cook down a little, stirring only a couple of times so it didn’t get mushy. Then the recipe says to make a well in the middle and add the rice, which I did. But there wasn’t enough liquid to look like the rice was going to cook all the way. So I added about three quarters of a cup of broth that I had in the fridge. I didn’t measure it, I just poured until the rice looked good and soaked. On went the lid and the timer was set for 25 minutes.

I cooked the ground lamb separately, making sure it was starting to brown all over. Then I took off the lid to the stew, dumped the lamb and juices in on top, and put the lid back on. I let that simmer until it was five minutes to being done and I stirred it to check on the done-ness of the rice. And voila! It was definitely done. The rice was fluffy, the meat was tender, the veggies were cooked just enough… perfect. I would recommend this dish as a warm-your-innards-on-a-cold-day dish or a easy-to-make-for-family-dinner dish. Definitely a keeper!

The pork and groundnut dish tasted like peanut soup with chunks of pork in it. Not magical, but not bad either. If you really like peanut sauce you would probably like it. The fufu tasted like plain mashed plantains. It was better with the stew than with the peanut sauce. If you want a healthy starch that isn’t potatoes, this would definitely work for you. It doesn’t taste like much on its own, so you’d definitely have to have something like the stew to go with it.

All in all it was a very starchy dinner (very, very filling) and most of the flavors were pretty good, and the stew was definitely a win. Thank you to RubsWithLove and FuFuMan for bringing two of the dishes for this dinner!

Things I have learned: Not all meat-with-peanuts is scary. I was a still a little traumatized by the chicken/peanut butter balls and it was good to have something with peanut sauce that wasn’t terrible.

Central African Republic
(recipe borrowed from the cooks at: recipes.wikia.com)

African Vegetable Stew

  •     1 Onion (very large) -chopped
  •     1 Swiss chard bunch
  •     1 can Garbanzo beans -(known also as Chickpeas)
  •     1/2 c raisins
  •     1/2 c rice, raw
  •     2 yams
  •     Several fresh tomatoes -(or large can)
  •     1 garlic clove -(or more to taste)
  •     salt and pepper,-to taste
  •     Tabasco sauce, -to taste
  •     {added: Lamb (cooked with ginger, garlic, and pepper)}

Directions: Fry Onion, garlic and white stems of chard until barely limp. Add chopped greens and fry a bit. Either peel the yams or scrub them well with a vegetable brush, then slice them into thick slices. Add garbanzos, raisins, yams, tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook a couple of minutes. Make a well in the center of the mixture in the pot. Put the rice in the well and pat it down until it’s wet. Cover and cook until rice is done, about 25 minutes.  Add Tabasco sauce to taste.

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About devouringworldbites

A girl on a mission to cook, eat, and write about the world, one country at a time. View all posts by devouringworldbites

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