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Thaï coleslaw with peanuts

26 Jan


This amazing coleslaw is chopped cabbage, loads of chopped green onions, a good bit of cilantro and a little crushed peanuts, tossed with dressing: 4 parts lime juice, 2 parts rice vinegar, 2 parts sesame oil, 1 part soy sauce and olive oil to taste.

Great on its own as a side or light lunch, or… Make grilled lotte fillets and served with this Thaï coleslaw, mango and tomato wrapped in Marie Simone’s tortillas. So good.



Tex Mex Lasagna

25 Sep

Super yummy, very fast dinner. I would have taken a picture, but it disappeared too quickly!

In a large bowl, mix:
1 lg can black beans, drained
1 can chicken, drained
1 can corn
1 cup salsa or chopped tomatoes
1 cup plain lait caillé
1-2 Tbsp taco seasoning or cumin
Big handful chopped cilantro

Layer in a baking dish, alternating with whole wheat tortillas from Marie Simone as the ‘noodles’.

Top with shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 until bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Niébé and rice with mango salsa

23 Sep


1 1/2 cups cooked, drained beans (niébé)
2 cups uncooked rice
1 cup dried coconut
4 cups water
1 cube chicken bouillon

Combine in a big pot with a lid. Cover and cook on medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Let sit five minutes before uncovering.


Mango salsa
1 lg mango, diced
3 tomatoes, diced
2 lg onions, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Lime juice

Combine in a bowl and serve generously over the beans and rice. Add salt and lime juice to taste.

(Also good chilled the next day!)

– Local beans similar to blackeyed peas are called niébé. They can be found fresh or dried depending on the time if year. Dee-licious.

– CityDia sometimes carries brown rice.

Mom’s dill dressing

29 Apr

2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2-3 Tbsp white vinegar
Pinch of sugar
Milk to thin to desired consistency


Pita bread pizzas

19 Oct

When it’s this hot out, the last thing I want to do is log hours in the kitchen. Our current favorite go-to meal is pita bread pizzas. Pita bread is easy to find in Dakar as it’s made locally and sold through many supermarket chains and bakeries. (My favorite is from Layal bakery.)

photo 1You can, of course, top the pizza however you’d like. But here are a couple tips…

  • Since pita bread is light and thin, go very easy on the sauce and toppings. Use maybe 1/3 the amount you think you should. 🙂
  • Rather than baking it, just broil it for 4-5 minutes, keeping a close eye on it.
  • Eat it quickly! It’s delicious hot, but can get soggy if it sits. (But who’s going to let something this delicious sit anyway?)

Our favorite pita pizzas right now are:

Tomato paste + sprinkling of basil, thyme and oregano + mozzarella + pepperoni + parmesan

Steamed spinach + dollop of Shady Shack garlic sauce + oregano + parmesan + mozzarella

Cheesecake Dakarois

17 Mar

Picture 1
Cheesecake has long been one of the hardest recipes to make in Dakar. Even if you know how to find that one shop downtown that sells Philadelpha cream cheese, you need to take out a loan to buy enough to make a decent dessert.

But this recipe uses ingredients available at your corner buutik. How crazy is that? It’s not only crazy, it’s really good! There were four us eating it and we all agreed it was pretty awesome. It has a nice texture that falls between the super creamy recipes and the thick, crumblier kinds.

Petit Beurre crust (recipe below)
1 kilo strained lait caillé
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Pour 1 kg of plain, non-sucré lait caillé into a cheesecloth and let drain until very firm, like thick sour cream. This will take several hours and can be done in the fridge overnight. Ardo brand lait caillé is my favorite since it’s fairly thick already and has a nice, rich taste. If you don’t have a cheesecloth, you can use a clean piece of muslin.

In a blender or food processor, combine the eggs, sugar, strained lait caillé, vanilla and salt. Blend until smooth. Pour filling into crust and bake for 35 minutes at 350°.

When the cheesecake is done, it will still a little wiggly in the center but the top will look firm. Make sure you don’t overbake.

Let cool, then chill for two to three hours in the fridge before serving.

Petit Beurre Crust

1 package petit beurre cookies (available at any grocery store and most buutiks)
3 tsp milk
3 tsp melted butter

Crush the cookies into very fine crumbles. You can use a food processor, stick blender, mortar and pestle, Ziploc and can of beans… Whatever it take to get fine crumbs.

Add milk and butter, stirring well to mix. The mixture should begin to clump. If not, add just a little more butter and milk. Pour now-sticky crumbs into a pie plate and smush down very firmly with your hands or a sheet of wax paper. You don’t need to pre-bake the crust. Just pour the filling straight in.

Deviled eggs dakarois

18 Nov


6 hardboiled eggs (directions here)
2 Tbsp mayonnaise (Calvé – yum!)
2 Tbsp strained lait caillé (creamier filling, less fat than mayo)
1/4 tsp yellow mustard (Hypermarché has it!)
2-3 cornichons pickles, chopped
1 Tbsp pickle juice
pinch of sugar


Cut eggs in half. Put the yolks in a bowl. Mash well with a fork. Add mayo, mustard, and pickle juice, mixing until smooth. Stir in chopped pickles.


Spoon the mixture back into the yolks. Sprinkle with paprika, and voila!

Tip: For transporting deviled eggs, try mini-muffin tins!