Appetizers: Additional Recipes

Appetizers: Additional Recipes

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Recipes

FRUIT GIMLET

This gimlet, made with papaya only, was served us as an appetizer by Patience A. Kotei in Accra, Ghana. Subsequently, we served it using a combination of fresh fruits and it was a most delightful first course. For striking effects use champagne glasses or any attractive wine glasses for fruit cups-and chill them thoroughly.

Fill 8 champagne glasses with balls or squares of FRUIT from melon, watermelon, papaya, pineapple, singly or in combination (1/2 cup fruit per person).

Sprinkle each with 1/2 tsp. CRYSTALLIZED GINGER, finely chopped.

Pour over: 1 Tbs. GIN

1 Tbs. LIME JUICE and
1 tsp. BROWN SUGAR.

Garnish with MINT SPRIGS.

Serve chilled on a 5- to 6-inch underliner dish.


M'BAAZI

M'Baazi means "beans" in Swahili and is pronounced em ba-ah'-zi with the voice pitched higher on the final syllable. Any kind of beans may be used except green or waxed beans. You'll be surprised to find that dried beans can taste so good! If it is not convenient to prepare the coconut milk, use 1 cup of milk and add 1/2 cup of finely grated packaged coconut.

In a 2-quart saucepan:

Simmer: 1 cup DRIED PEA BEANS in

1 quart BOILING SALTED WATER until tender (about one hour). Drain.

In another 2-quart saucepan:

Saute: 1/2 cup ONIONS, chopped finely

1/2 cup GREEN PEPPER, chopped finely
1 tsp. SALT
1/4 tsp. CRUSHED RED PEPPER in
4 Tbs. OIL or BUTTER until soft but not brown.

Add the drained beans and continue to saute until the onions are brown.

Add 1 cup COCONUT MILK (see page 225)

Simmer gently until the coconut milk thickens to medium-sauce consistency.

Correct the Seasoning

Place in 1-quart bowl and chill until thoroughly cold.

Line small sauce dishes with lettuce cups.

Dish out 1/2 cup M'BAAZI per portion.

Garnish with 1 or 2 PARSLEY SPRIGS and TOMATO WEDGES.


FOOL MUDAMMAS

To make authentic fool Mudammas try to buy the pink-colored Egyptian lentils available in gourmet and specialty shops. These tiny beans are a versatile staple. They make an interesting addition to soups or can be served alone as a starchy vegetable.

In a 2-quart bowl:

Soak 1 cup EGYPTIAN LENTILS or WHITE BEANS overnight, in water to cover.

Drain and Cover with 3 cups WATER in a 1-quart saucepan.

Add 1 Tbs. SALT.

Cook until the skins split-about 1 hour.

Drain and Chill

Add: 1/2 tsp. SALT

2 cloves GARLIC, mashed or finely minced
1/2 cup OLIVE OIL
1/4 cup LEMON JUICE and blend.

Chill

Arrange cups of ROMAINE or other loose head lettuce on salad plates.

Place 1/4 cup (4 Tbs.) ABOVE MIXTURE in a mound on each lettuce cup.

Garnish each with 2 or 3 SCALLIONS, trimmed to 3-inch lengths.


YELLOW MELON MUSCADEL

Muscadel is the South African name for our Muscatel. Wines are used extensively in the preparation of fruit appetizers.

About 3 hours before serving, prepare following syrup:

Boil together for 5 minutes: 1 cup SUGAR

1 1/2 cups WATER or FRUIT JUICE
2 Tbs. LEMON JUICE
2 Tbs. VINEGAR
1 tsp. GROUND GINGER.

Strain through a cheesecloth and cool.

Serrate 4 small CANTELOUPES (or any small melons) zigzagging across center with a knife to give uniform halves.

Remove seeds

Sprinkle salt and pepper.

Pour 2 Tbs. SWEET WINE (a MUSCATEL or PORT) in each melon half.

Fill each with 1/4 Cup WATERMELON BALLS.

Pour about 2 to 3 Tbs. syrup over each melon.

Refrigerate for several hours before serving.

Garnish with 1 or 2 sprigs MINT.

Serve on salad plates.


(South Africa)

Here is another melon idea: Cut a 2-inch circular plug out of a canteloupe- scoop out seeds and fibers. Fill melon with diced fresh pineapple and strawberries, add 3 Tbs. port wine or any sweet brandy. Replace top and seal it by spreading cold butter on the seam. Chill. Cut in half to serve.


AVOCADO DIP

In a 2 quart bowl:

Peel 4 AVOCADO PEARS (soft), cut in small pieces, and mash smooth.

Add 4 Tbs. LEMON JUICE and blend with the mashed avocados.

Add: 2 1 1/4-oz. cans ANCHOVY FILLETS, cut in 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 cup SWEET WHITE ONIONS (Spanish), chopped finely
1 tsp. CRUSHED RED PEPPERS
1/2 tsp. GARLIC POWDER.

Mix in a blender or chop finely.

Add 1/2 cup SWEET SHERRY.

Cover the bowl with aluminum foil and chill until ready to use.

Serve with sesame crackers.

To serve the dip as an appetizer, arrange individual lettuce cups on salad plates, place the dip in the lettuce cups and garnish with thin onion slices and tomato wedges. You may serve this with sesame crackers. To serve the dip as a snack, place the dip in a glass bowl garnished with parsley surrounded by crackers on a platter.


L'ASSIETTE DES ASSIETTES

L'Assiette des Assiettes means "the dish of dishes." In Senegal the term is used to refer to the appetizer of appetizers, white fish on black- eyed peas, a dish featured in every good restaurant in Dakar Only the sauce varies. The one above was given to us by M. Mamadou of Les Cannibales Deux. (The heart of palm may be purchased in a gourmet shop or omitted if desired.)

On a dinner plate:

Arrange 1 BED OF LETTUCE.

Place 3 Tbs. COOKED BLACK-EYED PEAS in center of plate.

Place a 3-inch square piece COOKED FISH (haddock or halibut) on the peas.

Surround with: 2 TOMATO SLICES overlapping

3 CUCUMBER SLICES
1 or 2 PIECES HEART OF PALM
1/2 HARD-BOILED EGG.

Mask the fish with the following dressing (enough for 8 portions):

Combine: 1 bottle TOMATO CATSUP

1 tsp. WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE
1/2 cup WHITE VINEGAR
3 Tbs. SUGAR
1/2 cup ONION, chopped finely

Chill thoroughly before serving.


LIGHT SOUP

In Africa, there are light soups and there are dark soups. Light soups are made with meat, fish, or poultry for the basic stock. The soups are thickened with white beans or else with melon seeds which are prepared in the same manner but are ground to a paste called Egusi. Dark soups are made with groundnuts (peanuts) which are mashed to a pulp before they are added to the stock.

In a 4-quart kettle:

Place: 1 3-lb. CHICKEN, whole

1 cup WHITE PEA BEANS
1 cup ONIONS, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup GREEN PEPPER, chopped coarsely
2 quarts WATER
1 Tbs. SALT
1/2 tsp. PEPPER
1/2 tsp. CRUSHED RED PEPPER (optional).

Bring up to boil and simmer until chicken is done.

Remove the chicken and put aside for use in an entree later.

Add: 1 16-oz. can WHOLE TOMATOES (crush them first-2 cups)

2 cups EGGPLANT, cut in 1-inch cubes
1 16-oz. can OKRA (optional).

Simmer until beans are thoroughly cooked and soup has reduced by one quarter.

Correct the Seasoning to your taste.


Extracts from: Bea Sandler. The African Cookbook. Diane & Leo Dillon (Illust.). New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1993.

To order a copy of The African Cookbook, please contact:

The Carol Publishing Group
600 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10022

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