From 10:30 we got cooking with the aim of serving lunch at 1 pm. My team mates and I made the herbed polenta, apple crumble and the mukhwa’s. I have been wanting to make the herbed polenta for ages (it’s a recipe from the Anjun Anand book I have) but I always thought it seemed like a dish which would take ages. Turns out it doesn’t. Making it reminded me of making ‘nsima‘ (not that I have ever actually made nsima personally but I watched often) the staple food for the majority of people in Malawi, made from corn flour.
Recently I had been thinking about finding a recipe for the seeds you get after a meal in Indian restaurants (didn’t know they were called Mukhwa’s) and my teacher must have read my mind. The seeds are great for digestion. Unfortunately my colleague slightly burned them so although still tasty, they weren’t as tasty as they should have been.
The apple crumble on the other hand was out-of-this-world. I’m definitely making it next weekend!
The most interesting foods I learnt about were Karela and Sunchoke. Never heard of them? Neither had I. Karela aka bitter melon, bitter gourd or bitter squash, I have seen in more exotic shops and wondered what it is and how on earth you cook and eat it. Now I know. It’s extremely bitter but made with coconut, it was divine! I will definitely try this at home. As a colleague said, it made you realise how seldom you eat food that is really bitter.
Sunchoke turns out to be Jerusalem artichoke which I have heard of but I certainly would not have recognised it if I’d seen it. The recipe was for sunchoke chips and as I was done with my dishes, and chips/crisps are my other food weakness I though it might be a good recipe to learn 🙂 So I selfishly offered to help out my colleagues who had been painstakingly slicing the sunchokes with a vegetable peeler for ages (the slices had to be paper thin). Blissful unaware, I picked up the peeler and started slicing away only to look up a few minutes later to see everyone staring at me in what can only be called amazement. I was completely confused until they said “how the hell do you slice so fast?!” It was the joke of the afternoon; Claire said “let me help” and sliced more sunchokes in 10 minutes than we had in 2 hours (literally). Who knew I had hidden talents?! My mother would have been proud!
All in all, it was a good day and we came home with lots of great recipes.