Recipes culled from a lifetime trawling around the world Napoleon, being French, understood that an Army marches on its stomach...
Napoleon, being French, understood that an Army marches on its stomach...
|I could not find the chicken lips while dissecting the chickens but saved the breasts and thighs|
for later and for this exercise in providing sustenance, just ran with the feet and wings,
plonking them in a pan with a bit of water, banging the lid on and boiling them up a bit.
|In the meantime I collected a few simple ingredients.|
A few garlic cloves beaten to a pulp with a bit of rock salt.
Roughly chopped tomatoes
and a couple of plastic sacks of beaten and pounded to hell peanuts.
|Chop the onions up (you can see I took my time over this). Add the|
tomatoes and garlic paste and fry it all up in a pan.
|I squeezed out the peanut paste into a small pan of boiling water|
|and kept stirring it until it looked like milky breakfast tea.|
|I added the onion tomato mix to the chicken|
|and then added the peanut juice|
|Served with rice, and maybe a side dish of really hot local peppers and a cooling cucumber salad |
made with natural yoghurt and finely chopped mint, this is delicious.
|A Peasant collecting Clams, God Bless her. |
She deserves more than four bucks a bucket.
|This is Sauerbraten (a marinaded roast beef) with Spaetzle and Red Cabbage.|
The dish will look something like this but, delete the beef
and exchange it for the Guinea Fowl/Pheasant in the picture below:
|A lot of people hate doing things manually, they want to see an On Off button but this is so easy|
Bon Appetit Monsieur Big Don 'Mad' Kev Alviti!
Go on, admit it. How many of you having read my last post saw the title of this one and thought, shit, it's turned into a shoot out at Fat Hippo's?
|That should be enough to start with...|
|Cooking with Gas! Steaming nicely. Note the shitty little stove I survive with at the moment|
|This is what the sauce should look like with the addition of a little of the water in which the lobsters were boiled|
|Five lobster tails, a pot of Coconut milk, a wooden cutting board and a sharp knife. What else can I say about this photo?|
|Lobster bodies thrown back into the water to make a lovely stock|
|Little Alex just can't resist testing the reduction. He is my finest critic (out of the mouths of babes and all that), and he is certainly not verbose limiting his reviews to just 'YUCK!' or, 'MMM. NICE DADDY!'. Today I was a nice Daddy.|
|Doesn't take long to reduce so keep an eye on it. If you burn it, you have to go straight to jail, not pass Go and not collect 200 Quid...|
|Some decent sized (20-25 Kg) Kingfish we caught earlier. I'll get round to doing some nice recipes with these later. Honest!|
|While I was rattling the pans, the monkeys were hooting at each other in the jungle not 50 yards from the kitchen door. Must have been the smell of the cooking. Sorry for the quality of the photo, it was taken with the camera on my phone which, apart from a ladle, was all I had to hand. Do not expect any Monkey recipes from me by the way...|
In the meantime I have kept myself, and a few willing helpers, busy laying 196 square metres of tiles in the restaurant area as well as surrounding the same with the double wall that will form the beds for my herbs and flowers.
Once I started humanitarian mine clearance, and then strayed into the security business in Africa, my diet was often reduced to just dried fish and pulses. The lean diet, aided by the effects of persistent malaria, reduced my weight from 80 to 57kgs.
So, I decided that if I wanted to eat well, and avoid having to buy a complete new wardrobe, I had better teach myself to cook. Easier said than done when in a war zone. It is all very well getting the best cook books but all of them assume that the local delicatessen or well stocked supermarket is but a short drive away. So I stopped lugging the books around in my back-pack and started to look at the ingredients that were available around me. I then figured out the best way to turn, what were sometimes collectively quite an odd assortment, into a dish that would not only sustain me, but was a delight to eat. Well I wasn't always successful, my rats in Satay sauce were, quite frankly, gut churning but I was desperate at the time.
To my surprise, however, I found that cooking in the front line, so to speak, was an enjoyable experience. It took my mind off the horrors around me and the discomfort we all suffered. It brought me close to a surprising variety of people and I am sure that on more than one occasion, instead of being ambushed, the smell of cooking wafting through the bush encouraged my would be assailants to appear sheepishly out of the gloom, weapons pointing safely towards the ground, politely asking if there was any going spare.
What made cooking a joy for me was when I stopped slavishly following recipes and started to create using the ingredients that I could find. It means that many of my recipes vary significantly from traditional methods. All I can say is that all my dishes have been field tested, sometimes under fire.
The better recipes, the ones that my crew asked me to make time and time again, I have included here along with a few anecdotes about the place I happened to be when I first had a go at the dish. You, of course, should feel completely at liberty to modify away to your heart and palate's desire