Monday 5 August 2013

Cote d'Ivoire: lourobbo's kitchen

We've had a bit of a go slow in the early part of the summer (mainly due to the glorious weather we've been having), but back on the A to Z now and we're on to the Cote d'Ivoire. I really thought that I'd find a restaurant in London for Ivory Coast, but no such luck. Therefore, a Sunday afternoon in the kitchen produces the following menu:
  • Ragout de Porc aux Potates Douces  (Pork stew with sweet potatoes)
  • Tarte aux citrons verts meringue  (Lime meringue pie)

I'm not sure they invoked in my mind what I would consider to the be typical African dishes (and remember, I've cooked a few now!), but no one seemed that keen on me making yet another peanut butter curry. And who doesn't like the sound of lime meringue pie?

I started off with the pastry. This is a novelty as I've taken Delia's advice and usually just buy a ready rolled packet of shortcrust. But hey, let's do this properly for once. So, here's me, remembering what my nan used to say: "Get some air in it"

While that rested, I turned my attention to preparing the Ragout de Porc. First mistake....ooops, apparently this should have been marinating for 6 hours. We were planning to pop out to watch the Surrey Classic riders zip through Wimbledon before dinner, so it ended up with a mere 2 hours to soak up the flavours.
A simple marinade of garlic, onion, clove, ginger, oil, salt and pepper. Then add some water and simmer away for an hour on the hob:

While the stew was stewing, I blind baked my pastry pie case and made the delicious lime curd filling. The juice and grated rind of 3 limes, 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk, sugar and butter. Yum.

Nearly ready to serve, last stage is to boil the sweet potatoes, in their skins, peel, cube and add to the stew for the last 5 minutes, with yet more garlic and the juice of another 2 limes. (This was a very limey meal). Out on to a plate...and the verdict? Meh. Really not worth the effort. Maybe it would have tasted better with longer marinating. But the sweet potatoes were a touch on the hard side, the pork was a bit chewy. And overpowered with garlic. This isn't one I'll be making again.
However, THIS I will definitely be making again. I was very pleased about how my Tarte aux citrons verts meringue turned out. Even the pastry was pretty good - nice and crumbly. As you can see, we were a touch impatient to eat this one, ideally I would have left it a little longer to cool and let the lime curd set some more. But it smelt so good. Plenty of leftover for breakfast too!

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