Friday, March 30 –
This dinner was one of the easiest to make so far from this project. Anything that you can make all in one pot is good and easy in my books! There were five of us for dinner: Wonderful Boyfriend, Roommate Extraordinaire, Sassy Country Girl, and WingWoman.
We started with mojitos – supplied by the amazing Sassy Country Girl. We had them a bunch of different ways: raspberries, blackberries, sprite, ginger ale, club soda… they were amazing. It’s was a great change from our normal red wine with these dinners.
While we were enjoying our cocktails, I got started on the dinner. I took thinly sliced chicken breasts and sauteed them in a little olive oil, letting them start to brown on both sides. Then I threw in some sliced onion, garlic, bay leaves, salt, and pepper. After the onions were translucent I added the paprika, chili paste, and a large can of whole, peeled tomatoes. Then I added the water and the rice, covered it and let it simmer.
Roommate Extraordinaire was also very helpful by picking up some naan from the store (two different kinds even!) so that we would have something to scoop up the stew with. Once we were all ready to eat it was a simple dish to scoop and serve.
The flavors were good, not too spicy, not too sweet, not too salty, not too bad! It ended up more as a casserole texture than a stew – not a lot of left over liquid. The naan was a great addition, and it was hard to pick which flavor was better (garlic or herb).
The dessert was a little ridiculous. Coat banana slices in corn meal batter and then fry them? Um, yes. Ok. I can do that! They were so good I had to make everyone wait just a moment to get a photo of them, or else they would have been gone before I had a chance. Our brilliant taste buds decided that they would be much better with peanut butter – so we heated some up and scooped away. I don’t even want to know what kind of calories that might have been, but they were definitely tasty (and gluten free!)!
And… I finally have a map update! Hooray! I spent Sunday morning pinning and connecting threads to catch up to today. I had to trim off the extra white space on the note cards or else I would run out of room before this project is over – so they might look a little less orderly now. I will be filling in the blank spots as I go.
That’s all I have for today – but tonight is Cayman Islands so I’ll have another story for you tomorrow!
Things I have learned: I tend to reach into ovens with no protection on my hands to grab things like toasting naan. It’s not so smart, but I’ve been doing it as long as I can remember. I need to work on remembering hot gloves so I don’t burn my hands (again).
Canja de Gahlinha (Cape Verdean Chicken Stew)
- 1 whole chicken (about 2 kg)
- 300g rice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tomatoes, blanched and peeled
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- sage leaves, to garnish
- chili paste, to taste
- salt, to taste
Method: Clean and wash the chicken then cut into serving pieces. Add to a pot along with the salt, garlic, onion, oil and bay leaf. Mix together, cover and allow to marinate overnight. The following day place the pot on the heat and cook until the meat has browned. Add about 600ml water and bring to a boil then add the tomatoes paprika and chili paste along with the rice. Stir to mix thoroughly then return to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 25 minutes. By this time the rice should have cooked and absorbed all the water. Spoon the stew onto serving platters and place in the center of the table. Decorate with fresh sage leaves and add more chili paste, if desired.
- olive oil (for frying)
- 1 cup cornflour
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons white rum
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 Heat oil in a dutch oven or deep fryer to 375°F.
2 Mix the corn flour and sugar together in a bowl.
3 Add the butter, egg, salt, rum and milk, stirring constantly until you have a thick batter.
4 Peel the bananas, cut them into quarters, and sprinkle them with a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
5 Roll the banana quarters in the batter and dip them into the hot oil a few at a time.
6 Fry them for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, turning once until they are golden brown.
7 Drain on absorbent paper and dust with the cinnamon sugar.
8 Serve warm.