Grits, Polenta, & Pap | Americans, Italians and South Africans -all three cultures (or their sub-cultures) use ground corn meal to make a creamy delicious base to project other ingredients on and create a yummy dinner. It’s good enough for them and therefore it’s good enough for us. Here’s what we ate plus six more ideas for your culinary fantasizing.
How can your vegetarian friends enjoy the miraculous taste of southern barbeque? By bbq-ing tofu you silly goose.
1 package extra firm tofu, frozen over night and thawed, cut into rectangles, ½ inch wide
1 large egg
1 cup breadcrumbs
salt, pepper, spices to taste
1 cup of bbq sauce, plus more (for what is bbq but a vehicle to get that sauce in your mouth?
Olive oil, a couple glugs
Sometimes the thirst generated by shopping with your mom and sister can only be quenched by a pink drink that contains tequila and is low in sugar.
Sometimes you gotta make gooey bacon-y, breadcrumb-covered minnesota mac & cheese.
While watching Django Unchained (who else has an unsettling crush on Christoph Walz?) all I could think through the shooting is “Damn, I’d love some of that white cake.” White cake is a Whole Thing in the south so I used a recipe that was a winner of a contest from Southern Living magazine.
1 cup milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder (not baking soda!!)
5 egg whites
Vanilla Buttercream frosting:
1 cup butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (32-oz.) package powdered sugar
6 to 7 Tbsp. milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
There is a magical amazing sandwich in Minnesota that can be found at Davanni’s called a meatball sub. It’s so wrong that it’s right. They can’t be overnighted to South Africa so we must be like the resourceful people who first settled the harsh lands of Minnesota (the Dakota) and make our own. Sunday was spent in a wine hangover haze until these sweet sweet sammies were in my mouth. Then we watched Life of Pi, which was meh.
1 kilo/2 pounds chakalaka pork sausages, casings removed
3 slices of sandwich bread, shred in a food processor or by your hands
1 tsp worcersteshire sauce
1 tsp onion powder
3/4 cup of water
1/3 cup shredded parmesan or grana padano
1 chilli, chopped into miniscule bits
2 garlic cloves
A couple big glugs olive oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 cans whole peeled tomatoes
1 chilli pepper, chopped
Salt, to taste
1/3 cup shredded parmasan or grana padano
1 small lick of butter
6 basil leaves, chopped
2 onions, sliced thinly
Olive oil, some glugs
A pinch of sea salt
Patience and care
8ish 6inch seeded buns (your favorite kind)
buffalo mozzarella. Make sure it’s buffalo because that other stuff is tasteless! Also if you’re feeding 8 I would get at least two big balls, and shred it.
Anchovies, despite their controversial reputation and also unless you’re eating them fresh on the coast of Italy, were put on this earth primarily to inject a tasty amount of salt into your cooking. I’ve been running a lot (somebody please give me a medal!) so I haven’t been afraid of getting my carbs on a little bit- it really makes a difference and helps me keep my strength up during long runs. Plus the smells that waft around your house from frying anchovies in butter with garlic are SUBLIME.
the groceries, for 4:
1/2 pound whole grain pasta
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3 tblsp olive oil or butter
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 pound swiss chard, torn off stem and chopped
As noted I love a bit of heat (enough to burn my lips off). I made tons of this chili over at food52. I kept the seeds in my chili paste so, I stored most of it- half in the freezer for future use and the other half in the fridge for my EMERGENCY SPICE COLLECTION. I served with bread, and even P whose spice tolerance is high but generally lower than mine loved it.
I love a light dessert, that’s easy to make. I don’t have a big sweet tooth (that doesn’t usually stop me from NOMMING CAKE when it’s around) so just a taste of sweet after dinner is perfect for me.
It gets hot hot hot in South Africa, and all we can do is eat cold things and swim (VERY DIFFICULT). I like using the unexpected flavor of fennel, we use straight up fennel as an after dinner mint/palette cleanser in India, but mah whities find fennel an unexpected taste.
Enough for 8-10 little granita servings
For this granita, you’ll need:
4 cups of water
1 inch ginger, chopped
1 tsp fennel
1 cup sugar
ginger liqueur or ginger syrup
glitter sprinkles (not very optional in my opinion)
Since we’re going away with friends for the weekend and it will also be my birthday I decided to make mini donuts with a traditionally fall ingredient: pumpkin (my mom also just replenished my supplies of American/Mexican ingredients that are not available here). More important than the pumpkins, I used GLITTER SPRINKLES.
The Brits we know and love have a hard time grasping pumpkin as an ingredient in a SWEET, but we’re always working hard to widen their cultural horizons. P is not exactly into baking, and my mom always said when a grown ass woman wants glitter donuts for her birthday, a grown ass woman has to make them herself. Just kidding, obviously Neels never said that, but after 5 years together it’s pretty clear that P shall never bake me a glitter cake.