Now that the #bakeoffbakealong is over, I need something to fill Mondays. I’ve been wanting to take on this project for ages, me and Tom had the idea a few months back and never got around to kicking it off. This new gap in blog content seemed like a pretty good time to get going.
The deal is, we open up a random country generator to choose a country and have to cook food from that country for each other. We’re allowed one retry if the country seems absolutely impossible to research food for. We can cook one, two or three courses, but the food has to be something that would be eaten in our designated country. The more traditional, the better.
I’m going to be documenting this process in much the same way as I did the bake along. I won’t include recipes – but will include external links where possible – and it will be more about the journey and the story behind the food than it will be about telling you how to make the food. I like writing about food in this way once a week, it’s relaxing.
The first thing I did after landing on my designated country was what every good millenial does when there’s a task at hand they don’t have existing knowledge of – I hit up Google. A simple ‘mauritius food’ search brought up the first bits of information I needed to start planning a dish.
According to its wiki page, Mauritian cuisine is a blend of Chinese, European and Indian but a French influence appears to have become most prominent over the years. In searching the web for classic Mauritius recipes, I was amazed by the real cultural mish mash. It’s fascinating to see how dishes I would usually associate with other countries have been tweaked slightly or have evolved for the Mauritian palate/pantry over time.
The Mauritian chicken daube is the dish I settled on cooking for us. To be completely honest, this is because it looked like it was gonna be the thing I’d need to buy the least amount of ingredients for. Money is real tight around here this month. I found a few recipes for this (it’s a popular one) and settled on cooking from this one from the Jamie Oliver website. He’s just kind of a trusted source for me, I feel safe in his hands.
If I had more to spend, I’d have gone for three courses. Just because I couldn’t spring for them does not mean that I can’t tell you what might have been..
I would have started with Dhal Poori (this is spelled in a lot of different ways on a lot of different websites) which is a flatbread made with yellow split peas. It sounds so cool, flatbread dough but with yellow split peas kind of stuffed into it. I would have served that with chutneys which are apparently big out there.
For dessert I was gonna go for Gateau Patates (again this is spelled or worded slightly differently depending on where you look) which is like deep fried coconut in sweet potato dough. They sound amazing and I’m hoping I can give them a go another time – perhaps when I’m not already on various calorific food crusades in the name of Christmas.
The chicken daube was lush. It was easy to make, it’s really just chicken, potatoes, tomatoes, white wine and a few spices on the hob for half an hour. It’s a lovely one pot dish that I’ll definitely be making again. The potatoes soak up so much gorgeous flavour, and the chicken cooks to perfection.
Check back next Monday to see Tom’s first attempt cause it’s his turn next..