February 28, 2008

A South African Feast in the South of France

Our most recent World Food Evening took us on a sensory journey to the aromatic and zesty cuisine of South Africa.

We all brought a dish, as usual, and shared a wonderful meal that included Prawn Cakes with a spicy Cilantro Sauce, a deliciously curried Bobotie served with Apricot Blatjang and Tomato and Onion Salad, and finally a Coconut Tart for dessert.

soft, fragrant prawn cakes

crunchy, onion salad

I'm so disappointed that the photo of the Bobotie was blurry. By the time the main course comes around, I either forget to take photos or don't pay close enough attention to get a decent shot. It was a fabulous dish, full of spices, meat and fruit, then topped with a egg custard and baked. What an amazing melange of flavors!
The recipe came from BBC Good Food magazine. I've added an "American translation" to some of the British terms. (believe me, sometimes it's necessary!)

  • 2 slices white bread
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 25g butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1kg packet lean minced (ground) beef
  • 2 tbsp madras curry paste
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 3 cloves
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 2 tbsp peach mango chutney
  • 3 tbsp sultanas (golden raisins)
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 300 ml full-cream milk (whole milk)
  • 2 large eggs

1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. (350F) Pour cold water over the bread and set aside to soak.
2. Meanwhile, fry the onions in the butter, stirring regularly for 10 mins until they are soft and starting to colour. Add the garlic and beef and stir well, crushing the mince (ground beef) into fine grains until it changes colour. Stir in the curry paste, herbs, spices, chutney, sultanas (golden raisins) and 2 of the bay leaves with 1 tsp salt and plenty of ground black pepper.
3. Cover and simmer for 10 mins. Squeeze the water from the bread, then beat into the meat mixture until well blended. Tip into an oval ovenproof dish (23 x 33cm and about 5-6cm deep)(9-10 inches and 2-3 inches deep). Press the mixture down well and smooth the top. You can make this and chill 1 day ahead.
4. For the topping, beat the milk and eggs with seasoning, then pour over the meat. Top with the remaining bay leaves and bake for 35-40 mins until the topping is set and starting to turn golden.
Serves 6

A new addition: a challenging quiz to make sure we get more out of the evening than recipes and great food! We all loved it and I believe it is to become a World Food Evening tradition from now on.

Thomas was happy to nibble on his mommy's necklace.

Our next gathering will be a swanky Manhattanesque Cocktails and Hors d'Oeuvres soirée. Pin It

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