PB Cookies!!!

PB Cookies!!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cooking the African way

One of my favorite things to do is to find different ethnic markets and explore them looking for interesting and new ingredients.  I was very excited to find that we had an African/Caribbean Grocery here in Austin!  I started wandering through this small market one Saturday and found such treasures as cans of akee and even bottles of Ting and Peanut Drink.  It was then that I spotted the box of Fufu.  I was so excited and curious to learn how to use this manioc and plantain mash.  I had eaten fufu years ago at an African restaurant in Austin.  It was served as the starch base for a tomato and beef stew.

I brought home the box of fufu and read the recipe on the back eager to make something similar to what I had all those years ago.  The box explained the philosophy of African cooking. “Traditionally, the African way of food preparation and cooking is based on the use of one’s’ imagination, creativity and flexibility, which cannot be subjected to any rigid ways of quantifying the ingredients involved.”  I found it interesting and sort of laughed at the vague recipe that followed.  At the same time I found it liberating.  It validated my own process of modifying and changing up recipes.  When I modify things, my family now jokes that I am just cooking the African way!  I then took the recipe from the back of the box and fixed it in a crock pot.  I added red bell pepper, lots of garlic and cardamom pods.  It was quite good.  I served it all with a chopped salad that closely resembles tabbouleh…but without the wheat or parsley.

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