Angola was the first country that kind of scared me a little bit culinarily. The Wikipedia page for Angolan cuisine mentioned that some insects are popular to eat here along with cassava. Firstly, I don’t think I will ever want to eat insects. Secondly, I don’t think I could ever get John to eat them. And I have no idea how to cook cassava. All the pictures kind of show it to look like gummy mashed potatoes. Either that or some sort of gel candy. At any rate, I was not excited about the options.
Seafood is also very popular. Angola is in Southern Africa on the Atlantic coast. The majority of the cities are on the water. Fish stews and grilled prawns are eaten a lot. Another very popular dish in all the Portuguese speaking nations is feijoada which is a bean and beef/pork stew. I didn’t feel like stew this week so we will be eating that when we hit Brazil. Additionally peanuts are common in a lot of different dishes since they grow very well in many areas in Africa.
African Banana and Peanut Cake
The ingredients and the method here make this actually just a variant of banana bread. I’m not sure how authentic this recipe is. I got it here. There are many recipes on the internet that are similar to this but I picked that one because it had English measurements instead of grams. The banana bread was actually very tasty. I enjoyed the salty peanuts with the typical tasting banana bread. It was a nice twist on a classic.
The second thing I made was Shrimp Fritters. This recipe was in Portuguese so I had to figure it out from the very odd Google Translate version. They were crispy and very delicious. I think John was actually very surprised they were edible. Shrimpy but not fishy. And not hard at all to make.
Recipe adapted from Receitas de Comidas
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. water
1 Tbs. butter
1 c. flour
1/2 onion, chopped
1 Tbs. olive oil
12 oz. shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
1 Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. milk
1 egg yolk
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
2 Tbs. tomato paste
salt and pepper
Prepare the dough by heating the water, butter and salt until almost boiling. Remove from heat and add the flour. Mix until it pulls away from the pan and forms a stick dough. Let rest 10 min.
Prepare the filling by sauteing the onion in oil until translucent, about 10 min. Add the shrimp and cook until pink. If already cooked, heat for 2 min. Add the tomato paste and stir for 2 min until distributed. Add the flour, salt and pepper and stir another min. Add the milk and let it thicken. Then remove from heat and add the egg yolk and parsley. Set aside.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface. I made 4″ diameter rounds but you could make smaller if your shrimp is well chopped. Cut circles in the dough with a glass or bowl. Fill the rounds with 1-2 Tbs. filling depending on the size. Fold into half moons and crimp the edges. Dip the fritters in flour then egg and then breadcrumbs and deep fry until golden brown.
Makes 8 large fritters. 4 servings – 2 per. 500ish calories a serving.
Next week if I’m not totally burnt out, I will be making a fish and rice dish and then a chicken and peanut dish.