Thursday, January 11, 2007
Better energy and a bobotie recipe
I have a better level of energy, but the cold has firmly settled into bronchitis. If it's not significantly better tomorrow, I'll call the docs and ask for my usual antibiotic. This is the first serious case of bronchitis I've had for at least two years, which is really good! Bronchitis can slide all too easily into pneumonia for me as my immune system is compromised by lack-of-spleenitis.
Back to the better level of energy, a much friendlier topic. I have been knitting (of course) this time a gift for a friend's upcoming birthday. No pics, as she sometimes reads here and I want the details to remain secret until the gift is given. I can't knit anything too complex for long, though, as the brain shorts out. Hopefully that will be better tomorrow, too. I have two projects that require brain awaiting!
I cooked, too. I spent two days putting together curry meals for the freezer. A day to cook the rice and flavor the meat, and a day for the cooking. It turned out well, I think.. its harder to judge seasoning when you have a cold.
Today I finished off a meatloaf. I'll cook potatoes tomorrow to put with it in freezer containers. I make my meatloaf as healthy as I can by using grains instead of breadcrumbs, and adding chopped onions and peppers in abundance. It doesn't hold together as well as traditional U.S. meatloaf, but it tastes lovely. I prefer my 'meatloaf' like other countries tend to make it, rather than the almost homogenous bricks common in this country.
Some examples? Greek Moussaka, Puerto Rican Mofongo (the only meat there is pork rinds or bacon) or what may be my favorite, Bobotie.
Bobotie is a meat pie currently made all over Africa but with a very rich heritage, brought by the Dutch East India Company from Indonesia to South Africa in the 18th Century (more details here at Wikipedia) Like meatloaf in the U.S., every person or family that makes it may have thier own subtle variation, but the recipe I like best is as follows:
2 pounds ground meat (I like a blend of 2 or 3 meats, like lamb, beef, pork, turkey or chicken)
2 TBS butter or olive oil
1 cup onions, finely chopped
2 bread slices, soaked in milk (or milk substitute in this household)
2 TBS curry powder or curry paste
1/2 c golden raisins
1/4 cup slivered or coarsely chopped almonds
2 TBS lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup milk or milk substitute
generous pinch each of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon
1 Tbs garlic
If you have chutney, add about 2 TBS of that too.
Put meat into large mixing bowl.
Pour Milk substitute over bread and set aside to soak in.
saute onions and garlic until onions are translucent, set aside to cool.
Squeeze out the excess milk from the bread slices (SAVE THE MILK), then shred the bread and add to bowl. Add the onions-garlic-oil mixture, curry powder, spices raisins, almonds, lemon juice and zest, ONE egg (chutney if you have it) and mix well. Get your hands right into it is the best way, I think.
Place mixture in a 9 x 13" baking dish.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 40 minutes for the first bake.
While the Bobotie is baking, mix together the second egg and reserved milk (mix it well!) then pour it over the Bobotie after the 1st 40 minutes.
Bake for 15 more minutes. This makes a lovely savory custard on top.
Let rest about 15 minutes before cutting.
Yum. I brought this to a theater group pot luck and one of the members asked me to bring it every time thereafter. I didn't always bring it, but she always asked :-}