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Africa - African Cuisine

African cuisine has played a large influence both directly and indirectly among many countries throughout the world. The Mediterranean rim countries of Northern Africa have spread their influence with such foods as couscous and succulent lamb dishes. Curry and rice dishes that were brought to Africa long ago from India and Arabic countries were further spread to the Americas during colonial times.Each country and region throughout Africa have distinct styles of cuisines that are largely based on long historical traditions. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lamb, goat, rice, root vegetables, chile peppers, and a huge amount of spices are quite common in most parts. 
Antichoke Salad

Artichoke Salad With Oranges
4 artichokes (about 2 pounds)
1 lemon, halved crosswise
4 oranges
6 radishes, thinly sliced
12 Kalamata olives
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
salt to taste
In a large pan of boiling water, cook the artichokes and half a
lemon, covered, until the artichokes are barely tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool. Pull off the artichoke leaves and cut the fuzzy choke out of each artichoke. Slice the hearts into <-inch wedges and set aside. Squeeze the juice of the other lemon half and set aside. Over a large bowl, peel and section the oranges, discarding the seeds and the white pith. To serve, alternate the orange sections and artichoke wedges on individual plates. Garnish with radish slices and olives. Mix the olive oil with the lemon juice. Drizzle over the salad. Sprinkle with paprika
and salt.

Bulgar Salad

Bulgar Salad
8 oz bulgur wheat
1/2 pint boiling water
4 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint
3 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander
salt, pepper
1 red pepper, grilled, peeled and sliced
1 bunch of plump spring onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cucumber, coarsely chopped
115 g / 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
lime wedges, to serve
oil-cured black olives, optional
Place the bulgur wheat in a large bowl, add the boiling water and leave to soak for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally with a fork, until the water has been absorbed. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, lemon juice and seasoning. Pour oil mixture over the bulgur wheat, add the herbs and mix well. Then mix in the remaining ingredients. Cover and chill until required.
Serve garnished with lime wedges.

Cucumber Stuffed With Fish

4 medium cucumbers.
2 cups cold flaked fish as halibut, bass, etc. (or use canned tuna or salmon)
1/2 cup celery in 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sour cream
4 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp. salt.
1 head lettuce
1 slice American cheese per serving
1 pimiento piece 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inches per serving
2 or 3 tomato slices per serving
parsley sprigs
Peel 4 medium cucumbers in strips 1/2-inch apart. Cut each in half
lengthwise to give eight halves (or one half per person). Cut out soft centers with a grapefruit knife. Chop and set aside. Cut a strip from bottom of cucumber half so that it will rest firmly on the plate. In a 2-quart bowl: Combine: 2 cups cold flaked fish as halibut, bass, etc. (or use canned tuna or salmon), 1/2 cup celery in 1/2-inch pieces and all the chopped cucumber scooped from "boats".

Blend: 1/2 cup sour cream with 4 Tbsp lemon juice, 2 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add to fish mixture, blend well, and chill. Shred 1 head lettuce in long thin slivers to simulate waves". Arrange on dinner or large salad plates. Place the cucumber boat on the lettuce. Heap the fish mixture to fill the cucumber shells. Cut 1 slice American cheese in half diagonally to form a "sail". Place in the center of mixture, narrow edge upright. Cut a tiny banner of 1 pimiento piece 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inches and pin it to the center of narrow side of cheese with a piece of toothpick.

Garnish around edge with 2 or 3 tomato slices and parsley sprigs.

Yield: 8 salads

Braised Chicken with Chiles

3 green chiles, skinned, seeds removed, chopped
3-lb chicken, cut up
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 onion, slice
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper to taste
Melt the butter and oil and brown the chicken, a few pieces at a time. As the chicken browns, remove and keep warm. Add the onion rings and saute until soft.

Add the broth, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and chile and bring to a boil. Put the chicken back in the pan, cover with the stock, reduce the heat, and simmer until the chicken is done -- about 45 minutes.

Variation: Make a stew by adding coarsely chopped onions, tomatoes, and corn while the chicken is simmering.

Note: Fresh tropical fruits such as pineapple, papaya, or mango along with baked yams will complete this easily prepared chicken dish.

Chicken Yassa

oneless chicken, cut into pieces
lemon juice
black pepper, rice
Combine lemon juice, onions, chilies, and black pepper to make a marinade. Place chicken in a single layer in a baking dish or other glass container, and cover with the marinade. Seal the dish with plastic wrap and and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or longer.
Remove chicken from marinade and grill until crisp and brown,
basting with marinade. Remove from grill. To complete the dish, simmer the grilled chicken in the marinade for about 15 minutes.

In western African countries (such as Nigeria), chicken tends to be very tough, so it is beaten with a rolling pin and, during the cool season, wrapped in pawpaw leaves. The chicken is left in the leaves overnight, which makes the meat more tender and gives it a nice smell of herbs.

Serve the yassa over white boiled rice, topping with the cooked marinade.


2 lb ground beef
2 thick slices white bread
1 cup milk
3 onions, chopped
3 Tbsp curry powder (or paste)
1/2 tsp sugar
juice of 1 lemon
10 almonds, slivered
3 eggs
1/2 cup strong beef stock
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F Grind meat coarsely Soak bread in some milk. Squeeze until dry; retain milk. Saute onions in butter. Add curry powder and continue to saute 1 minute. Add meat, sugar, salt, lemon juice, and almonds. Beat eggs; add half to meat mixture.
Whisk other half into milk. Thoroughly mix bread into meat mixture; add stock. Put meat mixture into greased oven proof dish; smooth top. Pour egg mixture over; top with bay leaves. Cook in oven 30 minutes or until set. Remove from oven. Serve with plain boiled rice and chutney.


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