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Kate Connally
Posts: n/a

SPOONS wrote:
> Hi all,
> I was just wondering what are some of your meals that you cook when you have
> guests for dinner. I could use some ideas.
> Take care,

Well, I've been meaning to post this group of recipes for
a couple of months but keep forgetting. This was what
I made for a dinner party back in May. A friend of mine
had been to South Africa, but she never got to try bobotie
while she was there. It's one of my favorite dishes and
I make if from time to time so I decided to do an African-
themed dinner. Here are the recipes.


(Black-eyed Pea Fritters with Hot Sauce)

1 1/4 c. dried black-eyed peas (about 1/2 lb.)
1/4 c. coarsely chopped onions
1 T. coarsely chopped, scraped fresh gingerroot
1/2-3/4 c. water
1/4 t. ground hot red pepper (cayenne)
1 t. salt
vegetable oil for deep frying

Place peas in deep bowl and pour in hot water to cover by at least 2".
Let soak for about half an hour. Drain in colander and drop into a
blender or food processor. Add onions, ginger, 1/2 c. water, red
pepper, and salt. Blend at high speed for 30 seconds, then turn off and
scrape down sides. Blend again until mixture is a fairly smooth puree.
(If blender clogs at any time, add up to cup more water, a tablespoon
at a time.) Transfer the puree to a bowl and beat with whisk or large
spoon for 3-4 minutes until mixture is light and fluffy. Preheat oven
to lowest setting. Line large baking sheet with paper towels and place
in middle of oven. Pour vegetable oil into deep-fryer or large heavy
saucepan to a depth of 2"-3" and heat oil until it reaches 375F on a
deep-frying thermometer. To make each fritter, scoop up a tablespoon of
puree, and with a second spoon push it off into the hot oil. Deep-fry
6-8 fritters at a time, turning them frequently with slotted spoon, for
about 45 minutes, or until the are golden brown on all sides. As they
brown, transfer them to lined baking sheet and keep warm in oven. To
serve arrange fritters attractively on a heated platter and present the
sauce separately in a small bowl. Makes 2 dozen 1" fritters.

1 sm. onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
4 lg. cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 med. firm ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped
2 fresh, hot chiles, each about 2" long, coarsely chopped (with seeds
1 T. coarsely chopped, scraped fresh gingerroot
1 T. tomato paste
1 T. gr. dried shrimp
1/8 t. gr. hot red pepper (cayenne)
1 t. salt
2 T. peanut or vegetable oil

Combine onion, garlic, tomato, chiles, ginger, tomato paste, gr. shrimp,
red pepper, and salt in blender. Blend at high speed until completely
pulverized. In 8"-10" skillet, hot oil over mod. heat until a light
haze forms above it. Add pureed vegetables and seasoning and, stirring
constantly, cook briskly for about 5 minutes, or until most of the
liquid has evaporated and the mixture is thick enough to hold it's

Notes: Fritter batter can be made the day before and refrigerated
overnight. If made in a blender it made need a lot more water that
called for. I ended up adding another 3/4 cup of water just to get it
liquid enough for the blender to grind it (although that did not seem to
have any adverse affect on the texture of the batter. Perhaps next time
I'll use a food processor, as it might be easier. Also most recipes for
Akara call for scraping the skins off the peas. I don't do this. It
doesn't make any difference and is so much less work. For the sauce,
it's not really necessary to skin the tomato. I use a nice Roma tomato
or 2 and just seed them and then chop. Again, it is probably easier to
use a food processor than a blender as this is not a very liquid mixture
and doesn't blend easily. You can also fry the fritters in a large
skillet in about " of oil, rather than deep-frying them if that is more
to your liking, but they may stick to the bottom if you don't use


3-3 1/2-lb. pineapple or 4 cups unsweetened pineapple juice
1/4 lb. fresh ginger
1/2 c. lemon juice
approx. 3/4 c. sugar

Trim pineapple of peel and core and cut into 1" chunks. Whirl pineapple
chunks, a portion at a time, in a blender with 2 cups of water. (You
can usually put about half the pineapple and half the water in the
blender at a time and do it in 2 batches.) Pour puree through a wire
strainer (or several layers of cheese cloth, or a jelly bag) into a
large bowl, squeezing pulp to remove all juice. Discard pulp. Scrub
ginger and cut in 1" chunks. Whirl ginger in blender with an additional
2 cups of water. Pour through the wire strainer (etc.) into pineapple
juice, squeezing liquid from pulp. Discard pulp. Add lemon juice and
sugar to taste to the juice. Pour into a pitcher, cover, and chill
about 2 hours or overnight. Stir and pour over ice to serve. Makes 7-8
cups or about 10 servings.


romaine lettuce
sliced cucumber
sliced hard-boiled eggs
shredded or grated fresh coconut

1/4 c. coconut water or juice (not coconut milk)
1/4 c. ground or grated fresh coconut
1/4 c. lemon juice
2 t. honey
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. peanut or vegetable oil
dash cayenne
dash pepper
pinch salt

Rinse and dry lettuce leaves. Tear lettuce into bite-sized pieces. Put
lettuce in large salad bowl and garnish with slices of cucumber and
hard-boiled eggs. Sprinkle coconut over all. (Or make up individual
salad plates, arranging garnishes attractively over lettuce.) Combine
all ingredients for dressing in a jar or shaker. Shake well to
combine. Shake well just before serving and pour over salad or pass
separately for each person to add their own dressing. (From Rosalind's
West African restaurant in West Los Angeles)

(South Africa)

1/2 lb. lean gr. beef
1/2 lb. lean gr. lamb
1 3/4 c. finely chopped onions
2 T. curry powder
4 lg. cloves garlic, minced
3/4 c. raisins
1/3 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. apricot preserves
1/2 c. coarsely chopped dried apricots
2 t. minced jalapeno chile
1.2 t. salt
2/3 c. half and half
1/2 c. fine dry white bread crumbs
2 c. milk
4 eggs
freshly cooked rice

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add meats and cook
until no longer pink, breaking up with for, about 5 minutes. Add onions
and stir until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add curry and garlic
and stir 2 minutes. Add raisins, lemon juice, preserves, dried
apricots, chile, and salt and stir until mixture thickens and most of
lemon juice evaporates, about 5 minutes. Mix in half and half and bread
crumbs. Cool. Preheat oven to 350F. Transfer mixture to a 7"x12"
ovenproof glass baking dish. Whisk milk with eggs in small bowl.
Season with salt. Pour over meat mixture. Bake until custard topping
is set, 35-45 minutes. Serve immediately with rice. Serves 8.

(Ethiopian Spice Bread)

1 package + 1 1/2 t. active dry yeast
2 c. lukewarm water (110F-115F)
10 T. niter kebbeh, melted over low heat
2 T. gr. coriander
1 t. gr. cardamom
1 t. fenugreek seeds, ground
1/2 t. white pepper
2 t. salt
4 1/2-5 c. flour
1/4 t. berbere

In large bowl, sprinkle yeast over c. of lukewarm water. Let stand
for 2-3 minutes, then stir to dissolve yeast. Set bowl in warm,
draft-free place for about 5 minutes, or until yeast bubble up and
mixture almost doubles in volume. Add remaining 1 c. of lukewarm
water, 8 T. niter kebbeh, coriander, cardamom, fenugreek, white pepper,
and salt. Stir until well blended. Sift in flour cup at a time,
using only as much as necessary to make a dough that can be gathered
into a soft ball. (When dough becomes too stiff to stir easily, blend
in the flour with your fingers.) On lightly floured surface, knead
dough. Sprinkle with a little extra flour if it sticks. Repeat for
about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth but still soft.. Tear off a
small piece of dough, roll it into a ball about 1/2" in diameter and set
aside. Place remaining dough on large ungreased baking sheet and pat
into a flattened round about 10" in diameter and no more than 1" thick.
To decorate the loaf in the traditional manner, make the impression of a
cross on top of the loaf by cutting down " with a long sharp knife,
dividing it into equal quarters. Then with the point of the knife, cut
1/2"-wide slits about 1/2" deep and 1/2" apart cross-wise along both
cuts of the cross so that the cross looks like the map symbol of
railroad tracks. Holding the tip of the blade steady at the center of
the cross, make shallow cuts at 1/4" intervals all around the loaf to
create a sunburst or wheel design on the top. Flatten the small ball of
reserved dough and press it firmly into the center of the loaf. Set the
loaf aside in warm draft-free spot for an hour, or until it doubles in
bulk. Preheat oven to 350F. Bake bread in middle of oven for 50-60
minutes, until it is crusty and golden brown. Slide the loaf onto a
wire cake rack. While bread is still warm, combine the remaining 2
tablespoons of niter kebbeh with the berbere and brush the mixture
evenly over the top.

Niter Kebbeh (Spiced Butter Oil):
2 lb. unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 sm. onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 T. finely chopped garlic
4 t. finely chopped fresh gingerroot
1 1/2 t. turmeric
1 cardamom pod, slightly crushed (or pinch of cardamom seeds)
1" piece cinnamon stick
1 whole clove
1/8 t. gr. nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)

In heavy 4-5 quart saucepan, heat butter over moderate heat slowly
without letting it brown. Then increase heat and bring butter to a
boil. When surface is completely covered with white foam, stir in the
onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg.
Reduce heat to lowest possible point and simmer uncovered and
undisturbed for 45 minutes, or until the milk solids on the bottom of
the pan are golden brown and the butter on top is transparent. Slowly
pour the clear liquid niter kebbeh into a bowl, straining it through a
fine sieve lined with a linen towel or 4 layers of dampened
cheesecloth. Discard the seasonings. If there are any solids left in
the kebbeh, strain it again to prevent it from becoming rancid later.
Pour the kebbeh into a jar, cover tightly, and store in the refrigerator
or at room temperature until ready to use. Kebbeh will solidify when
chilled. It can be safely kept, even at room temperature, for 2-3
months. Makes about 2 cups.

Berbere (Red Pepper and Spice Paste):
1 t. gr. ginger
1/2 t. gr. cardamom
1/2 t. gr. coriander
1/2 t. fenugreek seeds
1/4 t. gr. nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
1/8 t. gr. cloves
1/8 t. gr. cinnamon
1/8 t. gr. allspice
2 T. finely chopped onion
1 T. finely chopped garlic
2 T. salt
3 T. dry red wine
1 c. paprika
2 T. ground hot red pepper (cayenne)
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 c. water
1-2 T. vegetable oil

In heavy 2-3 quart saucepan, toast ginger, cardamom, coriander,
fenugreek, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, and allspice over low heat for a
minute or so, stirring constantly until heated through. Remove pan from
heat and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Combine toasted spices, onions,
garlic, 1 T. salt, and the wine in a blender and blend at high speed
until a smooth paste. Combine paprika, red pepper, black pepper, and
remaining 1 T. salt in saucepan and toast them over low heat for a
minute or so, until heated through, shaking pan and stirring spices
constantly. Stir in water, c. at a time, then add the spice-wine
mixture. Stirring vigorously, cook over lowest possible heat for 10-15
minutes. With rubber spatula, transfer berbere to a jar or crock, and
pack in tightly. Let paste cool to room temperature, then dribble
enough oil over the top to make a film at least 1/4" thick. Cover and
refrigerate until ready to use. If you replenish the film of oil on top
each time you use the berbere, it can safely be kept in the refrigerator
for 5-6 months. Makes about 2 cups.


6 egg yolks
2 14-oz. cans sweetened, condensed milk
1 c. strained fresh Key lime juice, or substitute other fresh lime juice
1 c. heavy cream, chilled
1 T. sugar

In a deep bowl, beat the egg yolks with a wire whisk or a rotary or
electric beater for 4-5 minutes, or until they are very thick. Beat in
the condensed milk and the lime juice. Pour the mixture into the pie
shell and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Cover with plastic wrap
and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or until the filling is firm to
the touch. Just before serving, whip the cream with the sugar until it
is stiff. Spread the cream over the pie, smoothing it and creating
decorative swirls on the top with a small metal spatula. Serve at once.

6 oz. (3/4 c.) graham crackers, finely crushed
6 T. unsalted butter, melted

Combine cracker crumbs and melted butter in a 9" pie pan and press
evenly over sides and bottom of pan. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

Note: The above recipe is pretty much as it appears in my Time/Life
cookbook, but I have made a few improvements in the crust. I tried
their version of the crust and it just fell apart when you tried to
serve a slice of pie. Here's what I do. First of all, since I always
use a 10" pie plate, so this crust recipe is not big enough. It even
seems a little scanty for a 9" pie. Double the amount of graham cracker
crumbs and add cup sugar. Blend all ingredients well in a bowl and
then press into pie plate. Bake in oven for 15-20 minutes at 350F.
This makes a much crunchier and tastier crust as the sugar, when melted
by baking, holds the crumbs together so that the crust does not just
crumble apart when you serve it. Also, the sugar coats the crumbs and
keeps them from getting soggy from the filling, giving a pleasant
crunchiness to the crust which compliments the creaminess of the
filling. If this makes too much crumb mixture for your pie plate just
don't use it all.

Kate Connally
If I were as old as I feel, Id be dead already.
Goldfish: The wholesome snack that smiles back,
Until you bite their heads off.
What if the hokey pokey really *is* what it's all about?