Archive for the Good Food (is) for the Life Savourer Category

No twitting, only Mojitos ;-)

Posted in Good Food (is) for the Life Savourer, MESSAGES - HAFATRA with tags , , , , on July 15, 2008 by coolienne

15/07/2008: The first day ever I had a mojito on the Island. It was cold today in Tana. Hot chocolate should have been perfect. Still… Has been days he asked me to taste his mojito. Did it today and liked it very much. Mojito! It was walking down memory lane (again). The sun, the beach / the swimming pool, home parties, cool poss. Well, what else should one expect from a Cool Hyène ? Cool poss and mojito!.

I have the lime, the mint leaves (albeit sparse at this time of the year), the rhum (Malagasy white rum), Cristal (bring your own version of Cristal… Champagne ? why not ?) … and found a good barman to mix them.

My Mojito poss, miss ya!  See you where the sun is ;-)

Cabbage or not cabbage ?

Posted in Good Food (is) for the Life Savourer with tags , , , , , on May 14, 2008 by coolienne

Roquette in the patch. Cruciferous at its best!

I know the answer. You not ? Read on!

(Second post about food in two days! Damn right! I am a foodie. A Malagasy foodie.)

Last Sunday, I woke up and had a lovely breakfast during which I caught up with my sis who has just landed a manager position at her job. Since Day 1 in her new role, she uses to return home so late that week-ends have become the only time to see each other. Quality time spent in the kitchen over hot steaming mugs and toasted breads. French toast for her, simple toast for me.

After awhile, time to mind each one’s business, I went handpicking roquette leaves. I had been longing for a roquette salad for some time and Sunday was the day. The leaves. I had to check each of them, whether they are hairy or still young. Had to be careful on this because the thicker the hair, the older the leaves and the stronger the taste. Yet, as I’ve written in the previous post, I prefer my roquette young. Nonetheless, I couldn’t help but chewing some of them, knowing the older leaves would sting my tongue a little bit. I like those moments in the silent, green patch.

That taste in my mouth reminded me of something I know but not that I’m always aware of. That this roquette is of the cruciferous type. Then, a relative of cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, pak choi, red cabbage and all those ramirebaka, ti sam, pe tsai, anan-tsonga that abund in Tana markets.

Now, I noticed a while ago that roquette flowers resemble those of radish a lot, except the colour. Radish leaves’ is parme, whilst roquette has white flowers. Still remember my surprise then. Checked twice whether this plant in the patch was really radish’s. Yes, it was. But then, I wondered, roquette, beside being related to cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, etc… is also related to radish and turnip ? Goodness! Yes! Checked my Larousse and found out they’re all of the cruciferous.

Considering broccoli, roquette and all those Chinese cabbages – Sautés! Sautés! Gimme my sautés!- have gone hip lately, guess I cannot be wrong assuming that cabbage is THE new worldwide veg ?

As a Malagasy girl, I’m so used to those ramirebaka, ti sam, pe tsai, anan-tsonga. We use them in our broths (ro, including the famous romazava), or in our many henakisoa sy anana variations. All are of the Chinese cabbage types. Also, cabbage, cauliflower are, often, used in the French cuisine we are familiar to over here. Everyone living on the island is used to those. Then, spending so many years on the Continent, getting acquainted to then-strangers-turned-into-friends; sharing food with them; living with them undoubtedly broadened many spectra: of knowledge, of taste patterns, of habits. In the “veg section” : among other things, I had learnt to prepare and savour broccoli (calls for farfalle, garlic and olive oil), red cabbage (not that a fan of the rotkreutzel though), roquette (best in salad with parmiggiano or just chewed unseasoned!) and Brussels sprouts.

See ? Wherever you are, whether you’re somewhere living it up in a hip fusion restaurant of the Continent, roaming stalls of markets in Asia, being invited to share the house of Malagasy inhabitants, cabbages won’t let you go! Just remember that… or … trust your nose!

My roquette ? I selected the leaves by checking their back, filed them, as usual, into two categories. One, made from young leaves. My roquette salad ! Another one, made from the older ones. I use to add them to lettuce salads. Voilà !

Now, cabbage or not cabbage ? I’ve learnt the answer !

“Bread must rise. Wine must ferment. Meat must get stale.”

Posted in Good Food (is) for the Life Savourer with tags , , , , , , on May 13, 2008 by coolienne

Good ingredients, Good composé !

Good food!

I was browsing the web to find some technique to get my entrecote stale (should I discard the bone ? should I remove the fat ?) when I stumbled upon these three sentences. They made me laugh because they sounded almost like diktats. I kept on reading the page and found interesting extra information but any which would satisfy my primary quest. To think, this Continental country official in charge of meat quality was right, given he was talking about red meat. Also, even my beloved paper thin parathas (taratasy?) uses to be made from a paste that is left to rest before frying. And wine, is there wine without fermentation ? Now, only a Jew who is scrupulously getting ready for Pessah would challenge those observations on the three noble ingredients. Would they?

Anyway, the assertion made me think of other must dos that define a well-prepared dish in my books. Could I be that picky ? They are so many. After all, I am a gourmet and my body is a temple. These are amongst things I try to observe while preparing my food. Speaking of the temple, it’s still open to grilled, fried, stewed, poached dead corpses. Lol My vegetalian friend should skip the following (I., go check the photo gallery instead!!):

– My bread must rise;

– My wine must ferment;

– My (red) meat must get stale;

– My courgette and my carrots must be young, my roquette too;

– My sautéed vegs must be crunchy;

– My shrimps and prawns as well;

– My vary amin’anana, without coriander, without ginger;

– My soupe (de) légumes must include turnips;

– The best couscous must have chickpeas in its vegetable stew;

– My fries are fried twice;

– My vorona sy henakisoa does not include any tomato sauce;

– None of my vegs are boiled, except in soups;

– The food I use to have home must be sodium glutamate free (de facto, it is);

– The best pasta is al dente;

– My steak must be underdone. Same for my duck fillet;

– My fruits must be ripe;

– The best ravitoto sy henakisoa is fat. N., a good friend of mine, advised to check for that dark oil at the bottom of the pot. She calls it “goudron”: tar. Same for most anana sy henakisoa dishes;

– My omelette must be oozy.

Pretty sure I forgot some. Will add later.

My entrecote ? It is now resting in the fridge, getting stale for some days. The fat on, the bone discarded. I’ll just have to regularly check its freshness until Day 7.

And yours ? what ways do you use to observe ?

*** On the picture: a composé, that’s what I had at noon lunch. I like to eat streetstalls foods without the health hazards. Hence, I re-create those stuffs once home: masikita, composé. Should have discarded the tomato peel in the pasta, for a better presentation. Aah! I’m not flawless. The sausage slices are missing. At shooting time, they were making their way down… to the stomach. Same for the hardboiled egg slices. lol ***