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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Baked vegetarian spring roll

My first year in college, my classmate Muriel did teach me how to make delicious chicken spring roll. She is a fifth generation Chinese descendant born and raised in French Guyana. I dearly cherish my freshman year in Toulouse. I befriended people from all over and tasted all their delicious favorite recipes. We used to get together twice a month and cook until we could not eat no more.
Besides the best recipes are the one taught by someone. You can remember each steps. With time, I put a little more of me to make it my own. I like it  as a vegetarian baked appetizer, or a I add the chicken to make fried spring roll..It is delicious because the fresh  ginger is the soul of this recipe.
Of course I love the fried version better but the baked version is good and healthier!!! And the truth is that I am not a teenager anymore! Fried food cost too much  working out!

5 medium shredded carrots
5 Green leaves of Napa cabbage shredded
5 baby Bok Choy shredded
2 large onion sliced
4 handfuls of chopped cilantro
1/2 cup of Asian chive( my new addiction)
1 handful of Mung Bean noodle also named cellophane noodles
1/4 cup of dry black Asian fungus shredded once soaked
3 inch long young ginger root chopped
Black pepper, salt to taste
2 tablespoons of dry ginger
1 tablespoon of coriander
1 pound/500g , one bag of soy beans or mung bean sprout
1 pack of spring roll sheets( Always always Menlo  brand )
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
olive oil
Recipe is coming...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Express Thiebou Yapp-(Sénégal)

 Express because it was a busy weekday dinner. No time for long marinade or lovely simmering but the taste was at the rendez vous. A fast Thieubo Yapp is always good for the soul. 
I especially made it  for our little American African French, who was missing his Senegalese grandpa. He said that Papi’s rices are the best but it was really good. Well, I took it as a compliment of course!!
For shortcut, I used a pressure cooker and the microwave. Yes!!!
It is not traditional but it tastes good! Of course, I prefer the long simmering version but sometimes, time is lacking , so shortcutting traditional ways is acceptable.

 The traditional recipe directs to cook the rice in the stew with the meat. However, I hate having a burnt sticking pot and it is harder to evenly cook rice.  Again, the traditional recipe calls for broken rice, but I am addicted to white jasmine rice. However, it is much easier to obtain a perfectly cooked rice with broken rice. So try if you can. Broken rice is cheaper too!  When I went to Senegal, I noticed that everybody loves the burnt crunchy rice like a delicacy served as a condiment with hot peppers.  My rice was not as red as it should because it is my express version with less tomato. Well, I must post a traditional version later…

3 cups of rice
2 pounds of meat cut in medium chunks
(beef ribs, beef stew or lamb/ it depends on which cut you like)
1 green cabbage
4 medium carrots
3 medium onions
1 Eggplant
1 medium cassava root if you like it.
( I usually use frozen cassava roots, but I did not have any)
1/3 cup olive oil or vegetable oil or palm oil
1 clove garlic chopped
Beef broth or Maggi cubes or Kub or  about 2-4 cubes
Salt, , pepper to taste
3 small bay leaves
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
3 tbsp Mustard
1tsp cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon of paprika

In a mixing bowl, put meat, spices, mustard, salt, bay leaves, let blend in while chopping the rest of vegetables. Then, in a pressure cooker, bring to heat the oil and brown the meat cut into pieces for 10 minutes. With my little experience a good browning is the key so do not be afraid to let it brown.
Add sliced onions, let simmer about 5-10 minutes.
Add your Maggi cubes plus 6 cups of boiled water or your beef broth.
Cover with hot water up to the limit line, close your pressure cooker, cook to medium heat for 30 minutes.
Open your pressure cooker then put all your vegetables.
When your veggies are cooked, remove and set aside.
I cooked my jasmine rice in the microwave with boiled water+ some of the stew sauce +1teaspon of paprika for 20min.(exactly twice 10 min,I leave the bowl in the microwave until plating)I use a medium size ceramic bowl that I close with a small ceramic plate. It works for me. The liquids must cover one inch above the rice!
Keep on cooking meat in stew at medium heat (lid off )until meat falls off the bones!!
When everything is cooked, serve on a large plate and everybody digs in with spoons or  hands!!
Do not forget to put Maggi sauce for the purist. Enjoy...
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