Over the summer I thought I had outgrown my taste for alcohol. I thought, what an unexpected and wholesome development!
Yes, well. Cheers.
Three African dinners to report on:
1. Red penne. A lustrous pasta sauced with harissa (pepper paste) and ground almonds from Soul of a New Cuisine. Marcus Samuelsson likens it to pesto, which it somewhat resembles, except spicier and red. It is very delicious, though not quite as delicious as pesto. Another solid recipe from that very solid book.
2. I've been testing recipes from Marcus Samuelsson's Soul of a New Cuisine against the same recipes from The Africa News Cookbook. I was secretly rooting for the humble spiral-bound Africa News over the shiny chef's book, but the chef's book easily wins this round. The bobotie (Malay-inspired ground meat curry) from Soul of a New Cuisine was tender and fragrant. The bobotie from Africa News dried out in the baking so the top formed a mahogany brown crust studded with puffy burned raisins. I have spared you the photograph. To accompany, I made the buttery Africa News yellow rice which we liked, but which couldn't really compete with Samuelsson's "fancy" yellow rice, full of mango, yellow tomato, expensive saffron and corn on the cob. Not a fair fight, but Samuelsson still wins.
|pretty and humble|
|Pass the maple syrup.|
The following recipe for hot fudge pudding was at the top of one of my mother's stacks. I'm pretty sure she never made it. Clipped from the San Francisco Chronicle in 2003, it's one of those wacky recipes that has you mix ordinary cake ingredients and then pour hot water over everything to make a horrendous mudpie that miraculously bakes into something coherent and wonderful. It is super-easy and calls for ingredients you might actually have in the cupboard right now.
|Homely, but so good|
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 cup chopped nuts (I used almonds)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 3/4 cups hot water
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F and butter a 9-inch square pan.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar, and 2 tablespoons of the cocoa into a mixing bowl. Stir in milk, butter and nuts.
3. Spread the batter in the pan. Mix together the brown sugar and remaining cocoa and spread over the batter. Pour the hot water over everything.
4. Bake for 45 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.
It reheats well. Last night, since the homework hasn't kicked in for real, Owen and I sat on the sofa and ate leftover pudding and watched The Gods Must Be Crazy, which I remembered as hilarious but is actually awful. Owen loved it, though, and told me he wished he was a Bushman.