I can’t tell you how much I appreciate y’alls support during Project Food Blog so far. You better believe I was jumping in my chair when I saw that I get to compete in round 2! So, thank you very much. You guys are the best!
Round 2′s challenge is called The Classics.
Ready to tackle a classic dish from another culture? Pick an ethnic classic that is outside your comfort zone or are not as familiar with. You should include how you arrived at this decision in your post. Do your research then try to pull off successfully creating this challenge. Try to keep the dish as authentic as the real deal, and document your experience through a compelling post.
So, with absolutely no clue what to do, I went to my local library and picked up 4 books. 3 of them were Asian inspired and the other one, which was a direct opposite, featured German cuisine. Not exactly sure why I picked that one up, but heck, why not? I flipped through pages and pages, bookmarking some recipes, but none of them felt like it should be the dish for this challenge. I walked away from the books for a while, feeling pretty bummed. What dish was I going to make?
I wanted to find a recipe that was different, featuring ingredients that normally make me turn the other way. I ended up finding this dessert recipe featuring couscous. Can you believe I’ve never tried couscous before? I was intimidated by it..completely.
This recipe also has sour cream, which is an ingredient that does not appeal to me at all. I rarely use it in recipes, because it’s a personal food aversion of mine. So, why not go all out with an ingredient I’ve never tried and an ingredient I really don’t like? Challenge enough, no?
I’m sure you want to know where this dish is from. Ultimately, I ended up going to a whole different continent for this challenge: Africa!
The dish is called Caakiri, which is a yogurt based couscous dessert, originating in Western Africa. The dish tastes a lot like rice pudding, but with a very different texture. I found the dish to be a little too tart for me, probably due to the high amounts of yogurt and sour cream. However, more sugar seemed to help that issue.
Couscous and yogurt mixture pictured.
The best thing about this dish was that the ingredients weren’t too hard to find, and it introduced me to couscous. I’m pretty sure I’m going to make this grain again really soon.
Note: this recipe is halved from the original source and it still made PLENTY!
Source: The Congo Cookbook
- 1 cup couscous
- 2 cups water
- pat of butter
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1/2 can of crushed pineapple, drained
- Bring water to boil in a medium pot. Add couscous, butter and salt. Stir, cover and remove from heat. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Then stir and let couscous cool.
- Combine all of the other ingredients in a bowl.
- Add couscous to yogurt mixture and add sugar to taste. Serve warm or cold.