Emergency milkshake

13 Nov

A friend recently served us milkshakes at their house. I took one sip and thought, “Wow! They used homemade ice cream for these!” Nope. In fact, the recipe couldn’t be easier. And it’s perfect for hot season (which will end soon, inchalla) when you need an emergency pick-me-up.

(Just ignore the Starbucks cup. I know it's hard.)

(Just ignore the Starbucks cup. I know it’s hard.)

Emergency milkshake
1/2 cup whole milk powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
15-18 ice cubes
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the milk powder, sugar and water in the blender and let sit a couple minutes. Add the extract and ice cubes. Blend until smooth.

Drink right away or pour into cups and freeze until more firm, if you prefer.

Mint milkshake: replace the 1/2 tsp vanilla extract with 1/4 tsp mint extract + 1-2 drops of green food coloring.

Coffee milkshake: add stick-packet of instant coffee, like Via or Carte Noir, before blending.


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

Mini veggie wraps

12 Oct

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mini pitas (these are from Layal Bakery)
chopped, peeled cucumber
cherry tomatoes, cut in half
Shady Shack garlic sauce
basil leaves

Spread the garlic sauce on the pitas. Top with cucumber, tomatoes and basil. Go to town.

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 6.25.55 PM

The ‘Ooh Nana’ blended drink

12 Oct

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 2.49.19 PMI call it the ‘Ooh Nana’. Basically chocolate milk and loads of ice in the blender… then a hint of mint (‘nana’ in Wolof).

2 Tbsp good, dark cocoa powder
4 Tbsp milk powder
sugar to taste
pinch of salt
1 cup of water
1 cup of ice
2-3 drops mint extract

Mix together the cocoa, milk powder, sugar and salt. Add a splash or two of water and stir until smooth. Add the rest of the water and stir until evenly mixed. Put the ice in the blender, then add the chocolate milk and mint extract. Whirl it up until the ice is blended in.

Mango lassi

25 Sep

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Two of my favorite things, combined into one delicious summertime drink.

1 large ripe mango, peeled a cut into chunks (mango soleil is my favorite in Dakar!)
1 cup lait caillé nature
4-6 ice cubes
2 Tbsp milk powder

Put it all in a blender and whirl it up!

Pasta la FraĂ®cheur, inspired by LGM restaurant

22 Sep

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 8.52.58 AM Back in the old days, like 2003, LGM restaurant in Point E was THE place to go for pizza in Dakar. Although it’s still there, odds are good that you’ve never been. The pizza hasn’t changed in 10 years, but there are just so many more options available now. (But if you like a thin crust, brick oven pizza with Emmental… you should try it.) I used to go regularly with my friend and we always ordered the same thing to share: 1 salade la fraĂ®cheur, 1 pizza reine and then 2 mango sorbets for dessert. It was the perfect meal for 5,000cfa each. The salad was made by spreading a couple lettuce leaves on a place as a decorative base, then topping 1/4 of the plate with sliced tomato, 1/4 with grated carrots, 1/4 with sliced cucumber and 1/4 with canned corn. Then a traditional French dijon vinaigrette was drizzled on top and a black olive plunked in the center. So simple, but so memorable. I decided to adapt LGM’s salad into a pasta salad for a pot-luck later today. Of course, it needed to be sampled first… two big bowls, just to be sure! Pasta la FraĂ®cheur 500g macaroni pasta, cooked al dente then drained 4 carrots, grated 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and sliced into 1/4 rounds 1 small can of corn 250g cherry tomatoes 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (it needed some color!) your favorite vinaigrette or Italian dressing Mix in a huge bowl, chill for a couple hours, then serve.

Cilantro-lime fish cakes with sriracha dipping sauce

18 Mar

Picture 1
I just made these for lunch in under 15 minutes. So good! I love fish, cilantro and sriracha sauce, so this recipe was calling my name. (Plus I had some cooked rice to use it.) My son loved the fish cakes by themselves, but for me the dipping sauce makes them perfect.

2 cups cooked Senegalese broken rice, cooled
1 1/2 cups sardines or leftover fish
1/2 cup diced onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsps mayonnaise
1 egg
2 Tbsps lime juice
1 clove garlic, crushed
Sriracha dipping sauce (recipe below)

In a large bowl, mix together the rice, fish, onions and cilantro. In a separate bowl, whisk mayo, egg, lime juice and garlic together until smooth. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the rice and fish. Stir to combine.

Tip: Use a stick blender to purée 1/4 to 1/2 of the mixture, then mix it with the rest. This helps it stick together better.

Drop the mixture in a greased, hot skillet by spoonfuls about 1/4 cup each. Pat them out with a spatula to 1/2 inch thick. Add the fish cakes to fill the pan. Cook for 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Picture 2

Sriracha dipping sauce
2 tsps lime juice
2 Tbsps sriracha sauce (or more!)
3/4 cup mayo
1 good handful chopped fresh cilantro
1/8 cup diced onion

Use a blender, food processor or stock blender to create a smooth – or chunky – sauce. Your choice!