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Congo (Congolese Recipes)

World Cuisine Recipes

   The Congo region of Africa has been argely free of culinary influences of the outsider world, until the 19th century, with the exception of the widespread adoption of cassava, Peanut and chilli pepper plants which arrived along with the slave trade during the early 1500s. Traditional Congolese foods use a combination of locally available fruit, grains and vegetables, milk and meat products. Freshwater fish and bushmeat also form an important part of the diet as does palm oil and peanut butter.

1 whole chicken, cut up or 2 lbs beef or lamb or fish fillets
2 large onions, cut up
2-4 chili peppers, mashed or dry crushed red pepper
6-7 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and mashed
Cooking Instructions:
Season the chicken, meat or fish well with salt. In hot oil in a large and heavy stewing pan, saute the meat with the onions until well browned. Add chili peppers, tomatoes and enough water to barely cover. Simmer until tender and nicely cooked. Serve with boiled rice or fried plantain.
   Variation:  You can mix 1/4-1/3 cup peanut butter with a little boiling water until smooth and add to stew 15-20 minutes before it is done.
Congo Chicken Stew (Congo Chicken Moambe)

3-4 lbs chicken parts, cut in serving pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 onion, minced
1 dash nutmeg
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup peanut butter, creamy and unsalted
Cooking Instructions:
Place chicken in a 6 quart soup pot with water to cover; add salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower to simmer and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove chicken and reserve 1 1/2 cups of the chicken broth. In another pan, saute cayenne pepper, onion, nutmeg, tomato sauce and butter for 3 minutes. To the pan, add the cooked chicken and the 1 1/2 cups of reserved broth and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Add peanut butter to thicken, place in a 350 degree F. oven for 30 minutes, uncovered. Serve warm with cooked rice.
African Tomato Sauce

3 teaspoons oil (for frying, palm oil is most authentic)
2 medium , finely chopped
1 (4 ounce) can tomato paste
3 tomatoes, chopped and mashed
1 bay leaf
Grated to taste
Salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
Cooking Instructions:
Heat oil in a frying pan. Fry onions for a 3 minutes. Stir in all other ingredients. Add water as necessary to make a smooth sauce. Season to taste. Stir. Bring to a slow boil, reduce heat, simmer for ten minutes. Serve with grilled or roasted chicken, fish, or meat, or fried Plantains or Yams.
Colorful Chickpea Salad

2 cups chickpeas
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup savoy cabbage, thinly sliced
2 spring onions, sliced
8-10 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oi
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2  lemon, juice of
Freshly ground black pepper
Cooking Instructions:
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and then sauté the cabbage for 2-3 minutes, until it has softened but is not completely wilted. Mix the cabbage in a bowl with the chickpeas, spring onions, garlic cloves and tomatoes. Whisk the oil, cayenne pepper and lemon juice separately and pour it over the salad. Sprinkle over some salt and pepper and mix. Chill for a couple hours before serving.
Fish Stew (Mbisi Ye Kalou)

1 1/2 lbs firm white fish fillets
1 large onion, sliced
1 green pepper, seeded and sliced
4-6 tablespoons butter or oil
1 chili pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
1 lb fresh greens or kale or spinach or collard greens or swiss chard or beet leaves
1 ( 10 ounce) package frozen
1 cup water
Cooking Instructions:
Cut fish into thick pieces. In a stewing pan, sauce the onion and green pepper slices in 2 tablespoons of the oil or butter. Add chilies, greens and water. Simmer, covered, about 10 minutes. Add 2-4 tablespoons oil or butter and fish. Continue to simmer, covered, until fish flakes easily, about 20 minutes.
Swordfish Kebabs

2 lbs swordfish steaks, cut into large cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lemon, juice of
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon paprika
3 tomatoes, quartered
2 small onions, cut into wedges
Freshly ground black pepper
Cooking Instructions:
Place fish in a large dish. Blend together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, paprika and seasonings in a small bowl. Pour over the fish. Cover loosely with clear film and leave in a cool place to marinate for up to 2 hours. Thread the fish cubes onto skewers, alternating with pieces of tomato and onion. Grill the kebabs for 7 to 10 minutes, basting frequently with the remaining marinade and turning occasionally.

Cassava Leaves (Saka saka)

3 packages of frozen cassava leaves, chopped, or 1.5 kg fresh, chpped, cassava leaves
1 package (250 g) of frozen spinach (or fresh)
2 green bell peppers (cleaned and finely chopped)
1 Scotch Bonnet chilli, finely chopped
4 small onions, sliced into rings
1 large red onion, roughly chopped
1 large red onion cut into rings
6 large cloves of garlic, mashed
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
360 ml red palm oil, or 360 ml groundnut oil + 2 tbsp paprika
120 ml peanut butter
1 l of water
Cooking Instructions:
In a large pan, add all the ingredients except for the palm oil, peanut butter and the red onion rings. The water should just cover all the ingredients (add more if necessary). Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover. Continue cooking until the cassava leaves are soft (this can take 2 hours or more). Add more water and continue cooking until the cassava leaves are done. Once the cassava leaves are done, take the pot off the heat and ensure you have about 250ml of liquid left (add water if you don't have enough liquid). Meanwhile, mix the peanut butter with some oil to soften it. Pour this over the vegetables and return the pan to the heat. Allow to heat through and cook for 10 minutes. Then add the remaining red oil and cook for a further 10 minutes. Serve with FuFu, boiled cassava, boiled yam or rice.
Mushroom and Lemon Sauce (Sauce aux Champignons et Citron)

500 g mushrooms, cleaned with a cloth and chopped into small pieces
4 tbsp cooking oil or butter
juice of 1 lemon
Cooking Instructions:
Heat the oil in a sauce pan or frying pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and stir-fry until tender then add the lemon juice. Reduce the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes. This sauce is traditionally served with roast or grilled meats.
Congolese Chicken with Peanuts

4 x 1.1 kg chickens quartered
4 tbsp melted butter
salt for sprinkling
120 ml peanut butter
120 ml mayonnaise
100 g chopped peanuts
3 green bell peppers, blanched in boiling water, skinned, de-seeded and cut into 3 cm strips
Vegetable oil
Cooking Instructions:
Brush the chicken quarters with the melted butter and sprinkle with salt. Place on a baking sheet breast-side down and bake in an oven pre-heated to 170C for 30 minutes then turn breast-side up. Blend the peanut butter with the mayonnaise and brush this mix over the chickens so that they are completely smothered in it. Return to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes, or until the chicken is done. Meanwhile fry the green peppers in just enough vegetable oil to stop them burning. Continue cooking until they are quite dark brown. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the chicken. Serve on a bed of saffron or turmeric rice (ie yellow rice).
Congo Chicken Soup (Muamba Nsusu)

1 chicken, cut into serving pieces.
1 large onion, chopped
1 small tin, tomato paste
120 ml peanut butter
2 scotch bonnet chillies, pounded to a paste
Palm oil
Cooking Instructions:
Add about 1l of water to a large pot and bring to a boil. Add the chicken and continue boiling until the meat has cooked. Meanwhile, gently fry the onion in about 4 tbsp palm oil, cooking until the onion is tender. When the chicken is done, remove from the broth (keep this on a low simmer), allow to cool a little and remove the meat from the bones. Take 200ml of the chicken broth and combine with the peanut butter and tomato, stirring to a smooth paste. Return the chicken meat to the broth then add the peanut butter paste. Stir and continue to simmer until the soup has thickened. Serve with rice, Baton de Manioc or FuFu and accompanied by a hot sauce.
Curried Beef Meatloaf (Babute)

900 g lean minced beef
1½ tbsp curry powder
4 eggs, beaten
240 ml milk
360 ml 50% cream and 50% milk
240 g dried apricots, finely chopped
6 bay leaf butter
Cooking Instructions:
Combine the beef, salt and curry powder together in a bowl. Combine the eggs, milk and milkcream mixture together in another bowl. Combine half the egg mixture with the beef and stir-in the apricots. Turn the mixture into a greased 33cm x 22cm baking dish. Pour the remaining egg mixture over the top and float the bay leaves over the milk and dot with butter. Place in the centre of an oven pre-heated to 180C and bake for 45 minutes (or until the top resembles baked custard). Serve immediately spooned over rice.
Black-eyed Pea Fritters (Akara)

400 g dried black-eyed peas (cowpeas)
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1 scotch bonnet chilli, finely chopped
1 green pepper, finely chopped
cayenne pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
groundnut oil or palm oil for frying
Cooking Instructions:
Clean the black-eyed peas under running water then soak them over night. After soaking rub them together between your hands to remove the skins. Rinse to wash away the skins then drain in a colander. Crush or grind the black-eyed peas to from a thick paste. Add just enough water to form a thick batter that clings to the back of a spoon. Add the remaining ingredients (except oil). Place the batter in a refrigerator for two hours before use. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan or wok, beat the batter with a wire whisk or wooden spoon for a few minutes to aerate it then make fritters by taking-up a tablespoon full of the batter then using your finger or another spoon quickly push it into the hot oil. Deep fry the fritters until they are golden brown in colour. Make sure you turn them frequently whilst frying so that they colour evenly. If the fritters fall apart whilst frying add a single beaten egg to the batter.

World Cuisine Recipes


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