Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

As usual, we started getting nervous when we saw an African country approaching the top of our list.  We don’t have the best track record with African food, although it is slowly improving…

Our plan for Cote d’Ivoire was to make a stew called Kedjenou, attieke (which is, essentially, couscous made of cassava), and gâteau molleux à l’anabas et à la noir de coco (pineapple and coconut cake).  We couldn’t find attieke, so we ended up substituting standard issue couscous and following a similar cooking method to what we used for Algeria.

Kedjenou (recipe)

This was another easy recipe… the instructions are to dump everything in a big pot, then let it cook for a long time.  We used chicken (I think chicken thighs?), eggplant, onions, chili pepper, tomato, ginger, thyme, bay leaf, garlic, chicken stock, and peanut oil.  We turned it into a crockpot meal.

Before cooking (yes, we still had useable thyme in the garden in mid-October for this!):

Kedjenou_before_cooking

After cooking:

Kedjenou_after_cooking

 

Served on couscous:

Kedjenou_on_couscous

Gâteau Molleux à l’Ananas et à la Noix de Coco (recipe)

It had been a while since we made an international dessert, so we decided to make this cake.  It also seemed fitting to make a cake since it was close to my birthday!

The cake batter involved shredded coconut, butter, flour, sugar, eggs, baking powder, salt, and chopped fresh pineapple (yum!).  Other than the pieces of fruit, the batter and cakes looked pretty normal.  Perhaps slightly more done than I would have liked.

cote_d'ivoire_cake_1

 

However, the flipping onto a cooling rack step was not so successful (although this gave us a good excuse to sneak a taste of the cake, which got done before dinner was ready 🙂 ).

cote_d'ivoire_cake_2

But it still tasted good!

cote_d'ivoire_cake_3

 

This meal was better than we have come to expect from African food, although it wasn’t phenomenal.  There was a reasonable amount of flavor in the stew, but the chicken seemed dry to me.  The cake was also good, but it seemed like it was missing something.  I would rate this meal as average… not bad, not great.  Probably won’t be making it again.

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Cape Verde

So now that I’m five (soon to be six after we cook dinner in about an hour) countries behind, we are going to power through a few posts…

We cooked a meal from Cape Verde back in the middle of July.  This is another of those small countries about which I didn’t know much and for which I didn’t find a wealth of information and recipes.  We decided to make a large stew called catchupa, which is one of those recipes that every chef prepares differently and makes enough food to feed an army, a side dish (probably could have been a dessert) of avocados stuffed with dates and port), and a dessert of pudim de queijo or “cheese pudding.”

 

Catchupa (recipe)

The stew cooked for several hours with hominy corn, three types of beans, salt pork, sausage (I think I used kielbasa… sadly I couldn’t find chorizo with casing), cabbage, butternut squash, garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, chicken bouillon, and olive oil.  Once it was done, the sausage was removed and sliced to be served separately.  Here’s what it looked like!

Catchupa

Avocado with Dates (recipe)

This one of those quick and simple recipes.  Cut the avocados in half, scoop out the contents, mix the contents with sugar, port, and chopped dates, then put that mixture back in the avocado skins/shells and refrigerate.

Cape_Verde_avodados_with_dates_3

 

Pudim de Queijo (cheese pudding) (recipe)

This closest thing I can liken this too is cheesecake, but it was more egg-y and liquidy (I don’t think it was supposed to be as liquidy as it was, actually).  It used goat cheese, sugar, water, and eggs.  The bottom was a caramelized sugar crust.  It looked like this (like I said, runnier than it probably should have been):

Pudim_de_quieijo_6

 

The finished meal (minus dessert):

Cape_verde_meal

The stew was not bad, but it was not fantastic, either.  It seemed like it needed more beans or meat and some starch (we added crackers to leftovers).  We made this on a weekend when we were working on finishing our porch ceiling, so the idea was to have a lot of food available that was quick and easy to reheat.  The stuffed avocados were good.  They seemed like an odd side dish to go with the soup, but I did enjoy them.  The pudim de queijo was also very good.  Probably not a dessert I would frequently come back to, but I did enjoy it.