Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Botswana: Cooking Around the World with Camilla (CATWWC)

We were back in Africa for our Cooking Around the World adventure tonight, traveling by tabletop to Botswana. Dylan had two questions when I brought the bowls to the table. I could only answer one of them.

"Mommy, why are you serving white rice? You always serve a rice with color. You know - brown or green or red or black."

That is true. But those rices do not stick together. I needed rice that could be formed into balls. So I took a cup of white rice from Nonna.

"Mommy, why do the people in Botswana serve their rice in balls?"

No clue, Sweetheart.

Formerly Bechuanaland, a British protectorate, Botswana adopted its new name with its independence in 1966. Dominated by diamond mining, Botswana has a robust economy. I refrained from talking to the boys about diamonds and my intense feelings about them. (In case you don't know me in real life, my engagement ring is a sapphire.) There's time for that discussion later. And, yes, I do have an opinion about just about everything.

This is my take on a traditional Botswanan recipe for a stew layered with vegetables cooked in stock. I added chicken into my stew and took some liberties with the vegetables. The classic stew features potatoes, squash, carrots, corn, turnips, and celery.

olive oil
minced garlic
chopped fennel
chicken boullion
chicken, boneless, skinless and sliced
salt and pepper to taste
carrots, coined
potatoes, cubed
thinly sliced kale
fresh oregano
fresh basil

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium-high flame. Add the garlic and fennel. Saute until slightly brown. Add chicken and cook through. Add carrots, potatoes, salt and pepper and cook till fork tender. Pour in boullion and add kale, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir in rough-chopped fresh herbs. Spoon stew over balls of cooked rice.

This Knight of the Global Table Adventure is signing out for now. We're off to Brazil next.

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