Sunday, March 12, 2017


This has been a busy weekend! I had to order my daughter new glasses, and then my son and husband went to Cincinnati for an overnight art field trip while my daughter and I got to visit a cat café and go to cosmic bowling later on. And so now I’m finally finishing my three-day weekend with some Nigerien food. 

I know it's not healthy, but I really like sausage. And these are great!
I’m starting today off with some Nigerien Sausage Rolls. In a large bowl, I combined 3 c of flour, 1 stick of butter, 2 eggs, ½ c of water, and ½ Tbsp of salt together and kneaded it until it started to come together as a dough. I didn’t realize that I was out of all-purpose flour, so it ended up being 1 c of all-purpose and 2 c of spelt flour. Then I let it rest for about 2 hours. I bought already cooked turkey sausage crumbles, so I skipped the part where I browned it. When the dough was ready, I rolled it out and cut out rectangles. I took these rectangles and laid my sausage crumbles near one of the short ends. Starting from that end, I started rolling it up, trying to keep the sausage on the inside. When I got to the end, I pinched the outside edges to keep it all together and laid the whole thing on a baking sheet. Once I finished doing this will all of the dough, I brushed them all with an egg wash made from the egg whites. I baked this in a 400ºF oven until they were golden on top. I didn’t keep exact track of the time, but it was probably in the 10-13 minute range. I thought they were good, even though I think they might’ve been better with the using only all-purpose flour.

The picture doesn't show much, but there wasn't much to talk about either.
Next, I made Egusi Soup. I started out browning some ground beef, draining, and setting it off to the side. Then I put a can of diced tomatoes (juice and all), some diced green peppers and onions into my blender and blended them just a little (but not too much). Then I poured this into a pot, added in my ground beef, 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil, and the 1 c of ground egusi (I actually used pumpkin seeds that I had to grind myself since I couldn’t find the egusi. I saw it there last month when I was stopped by, but they must’ve been out.) And I left out the Maggi cubes because they have MSG in them. I let this all cook down for about 20-30 minutes, adding in a little beef stock, salt, and pepper for flavoring in lieu of the Maggi cubes. This one was not my favorite. The flavor was ok, but the texture was throwing me off. And the color, too. There were also places where the pumpkin seeds didn’t get ground all the way, so every now and then it felt like I was eating a shard of bark.

I actually kind of liked the addition of the shrimp with it, but I think a different kind of bean would've tasted better.
I also made Ewa Dodo (literally, ewa is black-eyed peas and dodo is plantains). I rinsed my peas in cold water and then boiled them for 2 minutes. I took them off the heat and let them soak for about an hour. Then I simmered in the same water for an hour until they are tender. This time, I watched my water levels like a hawk. After this, I added in some onion, tomato, and some crushed red pepper and let it cook for another 15 minutes. Then I threw in some tomato paste, oil, and salad shrimp and let it simmer covered for another 10 minutes. Separately, I sliced my plantains, sprinkled them with salt, and fried them. I drained the fried plantains on a paper towel and served next to or on top of the black-eyed peas. First of all, I wasn’t impressed with the way the plantains fried up. They fried up hard like chips and not as flavorful as I thought they could’ve been. Second, I think black-eyed peas have a musty flavor. But adding the shrimp, tomatoes, and spices helped. My husband thought it was too spicy, but I didn’t think so. I only used 1 ½ tsp for a large pot. He’s such a wimp. The kids barely touched this.

No complaints in the fruit department. It's all good here.
And finally, I made a Mango Salad. I didn’t feel like actually cubing pineapple and mangoes myself. So, I bought canned fruit and let someone else do the hard part. In a small bowl, I mixed together a drained can of diced pineapple and mangoes. Then I mixed together ½ c lemon juice and a cup of apricot nectar and poured on top of the fruit. I served this on lettuce leaves and garnished it with sliced strawberries. This was probably the best part of the meal. The mixed juices gave the normally sweet fruits a slightly sweet-sour flavor. I thought it was great!

Overall, this one was a half and half.
I realized today how important it is to multitask. I was making all of these dishes pretty much at the same time. I typically have more than one dish going at the same time. I prioritize my time and maximize my downtime. But you can only pull off multitasking if you are efficiently organized. Otherwise, I’ll forget about a dish, and it goes to crap (as I’ve found out before). I do this in my work day as well as taking care of my family (with the same results). However, on the downside of being a multitasker, I often feel like I’m working All. The. Time. Sometimes I just want a moment to chill, drink my coffee, and read my book. One day, one day.

Up next: Nigeria

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