Cape Verde is a collection of islands off the west coast of Africa, and cachupa is their national dish. There are many different versions, but most are based on some kind of pork or perhaps freshly caught fish, although vegetables may be substituted. Since Cape Verde was a Portuguese colony, this rendition contains chorizo. Because sausage is relatively pricy, the result is probably deserving of the description cachupa rica, which means it was prepared when the family was feeling prosperous.
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
- 1 eggplant (about 1 1/2 lbs/750 g), sliced
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick rounds
- 4 tomatoes, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) thick rounds
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1 red finger chile, cut in paper-thin slices
- 1 tbsp (30 mL) red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) red wine vinegar
- 1 tsp (5 mL) ground dried nora pepper or sweet paprika
- 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
- 1 clove garlic, pureed
- 1/4 cup(60 mL) extra virgin olive oil
- 1. Brush olive oil over eggplant, bell peppers, red onion and tomatoes. Place on preheated barbecue and cook, turning occasionally, until nicely charred. When bell peppers are done, place in a bowl and cover with a plate. Set aside to sweat. When cool, life off the skins, seed and cut into strips, reserving accumulated juices. When the onion is cool, cut the rounds into quarters.
- 2. Dressing: In a small bowl, combine vinegar, nora pepper and salt, stirring until salt is dissolved. Add garlic and reserved juices from roasted peppers. Whisk in oil.
- 3. Arrange vegetables on a platter.Drizzle dressing over top.
- 4. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with parsley and finger chile. Set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.
- The vegetables will be done at different times; watch closely and remove them as completed and set aside to cool.
- Nora is a type of pepper that is associated with Catalonia. It has a rich, sweet flavor. If you can't find, sweet paprika (preferably Spanish) works just fine.
- If you want to add a bit of smoky heat to this salad, add 1/8 tsp (0.05 mL) hot smoked paprika to the dressing.
This is an updated version of classic French pots de crème. You won’t taste the chile, but it adds appealing depth to the flavor of the chocolate. Served with a big dollop of sweetened whipped cream, this dessert is a welcome indulgence.
Dal can be pungent or very tame, and it plays a significant role in Indian cuisine. This mildly spiced version makes a delicious main course over hot cooked rice; it can also be served as a side dish.
Picadillo is Spanish for “hash.” Essentially, this is a Cuban version of the good old American mélange, eaten on its own or used as a filling for empanadas. Spanish influences, specifically Andalusian, are obvious due to the addition of olives and raisins. Picadillo is often served topped with hard-cooked or fried eggs and is usually accompanied by fried plantains.
This traditional garlic soup from Castile may very well be what sustained Don Quixote in his windmill attacks. Continue reading
If you are looking for the perfect partner to serve with plain-Jane grilled or roasted meat or fish, this Italian version of fried potatoes with peppers is deliciously different. You can use any combination of sweet or even mildly hot peppers (throw in a hot banana pepper for more spice), but I recommend varying the colors for a pretty presentation.
Depending upon the source you consult, this roasted red pepper and walnut dip is Armenian, Arabian, Turkish or Syrian in origin. In any case, it is healthful, delicious and a welcome addition to any mezes platter. I like to serve it with warm pita bread or cucumber slices. If you are not meat-averse, this dip can also be used as a sauce for kebabs.
Nasi goreng is Indonesia’s national dish. At its simplest, it is cold leftover rice, seasoned with sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) and whatever leftovers and spices the cook has on hand. Often it is topped with a fried egg and served for breakfast. Of course, it can be much more elaborate, depending on the circumstances under which it will be served. My version leans toward simplicity, making it a quick and easy weekday meal.