Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chad

Location: Central Africa, south of Libya
Area: Over 1.25 million sq km; 21st largest in the world
         A little more than three times the size of California
Borders: There is a C party going on in the middle of the continent, with Chad bordering Cameroon and Central African Republic, among other countries.
Official Languages: French and Arabic
Population: Almost 11 million; 77th largest in the world
Infant Mortality Rate: over 95 deaths/1000 live births; 9th highest in the world
Capital: N'Djamena
Source: CIA Factbook

Finding a recipe for Chad that was not bathed in peanuts was difficult.  Instead, I ended up with two separate non-entree recipes.  Millet snacks are a simple-looking dessert and Chad Salad may or may not be authentic, but seemed intriguing.  The only "difficult" ingredient was millet flour.  They ended up having it at Whole Foods, but every other place I looked was a no-go.  That meant that it was expensive. :-(

The day I planned to make Chad ended up being a bit hectic, and the kitchen was a little chaotic.  Kevin was making his mother's green noodles recipe, which is delicious but involves work.  With everything going on, I just got to the salad, which means the two recipes were broken up onto different days.
Marinating chicken for a delicious dinner.
Honestly, the longest part of the salad was making the brown rice.  I didn't read the instructions on my rice cooker for the water:brown rice ratio.  Bad call.  It wasn't fully done at first and I had to add more water and put it back on.
The other part that required work was dealing with the lemon.  Last time I tried to zest one it didn't end well.  I was pleasantly surprised at the ease when you have the right utensil, though.  Juicing a lemon by hand, however, was a bit more difficult.
I need to calibrate to using this camera.  A bit too much flash for how I normally point and click.

While I chopped, Kevin chopped for the green noodles dish.  Isn't he wonderful?

Our place is a mess.  Keep this in mind to compare for pictures in a later country.
Making the dressing was as simple as mixing everything together for the salad.  It was certainly an interesting mix of ingredients.  Similar to way-back-when, Kevin suggested I use a shot glass to measure out the honey.  This time we went with our super-discount Brett Favre one we got at Lambeau though.

Mix it all together, and you have a salad with dressing!  And some wine if you are good.

Kevin finished up the green noodles and we were ready to eat!

Before we get to the conclusion though, we will skip to the next day, when Kevin made dinner AGAIN.  As a transition, we have some poor-Tesla pictures.  We had to bring him to the vet, and he wasn't happy with the conclusion.
I am NOT happy about this.
I will still pose for your amusement, though.
Anyway!  Now onto Sunday, and Kevin is making green burritos!  Not sure why green was the theme of the weekend, but it worked out.  And I was up for the millet snacks.

The Whole Food millet flour smelled really good.  I had never worked with it before, so I wasn't sure what to expect.  It took a really long time to sift all of the grains, but other than that it started well.  I used whole wheat flour, although I realized that they probably called out "wheat" to distinguish it from millet.  Oh well.


I added everything else and started working the dough.  (Icing sugar is powdered sugar, by the way.)  Except dough is a...generous word for what it was. It didn't stick together at all and crumbled at my touch.  I always have this problem.  I am not sure what I am doing wrong.  Eventually I added a bit of water, but it still was not working.  I just had to go with it.
It looks okay...
But then it crumbles...
Post water-adding.
I still couldn't get it into the thin ribbons it called for.
I looked all over for groundnut oil until I finally looked it up online.  It is peanut oil.  Seriously?  I really need to do more research earlier.  It would save me a lot of time...

It all started well, but whenever I tried to move the dough around it immediately disintegrated.  The result did not look very appetizing.

At least we still had green burritos.  And Curie was being social, so she could cheer us up.



If you want the recipe to this or the noodles, let me know.  This one is a Hetzel original (from his dad) and is delicious.
As you may guess, the dessert did not end up working.  It just tasted like oily grains, really.  Not good.  It feels like something was missing from the start.  I don't know how to fix it though.

What about the salad, though?  I like all of the individual parts of what was in there.  Putting it all together was interesting.  In a way that neither of us liked.  The dressing was too spicy.  Not in a hot way, but just with too much stuff going on.  Having a banana coated in coriander and cumin was not our idea of a good salad.  After a few bites we didn't want to eat anymore.

Harumph.  Not a good country-week overall.  At least I had a backup to make me some delicious entrees.  Maybe I should encourage this more often...

Next time: Chile

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