Saturday, January 17, 2015

Kenyan Goat Stew


If you ever find yourself with some goat meat on hand and you're thinking to yourself "What should I do with this?" then this is the recipe for you! 

Kenyan Goat stew, I found the recipe through an article, written about a Kenyan Chef as he explains that this meat can be trickier to cook than other meats I was able to get a brief guildeline on how to cook it. 

This recipe could not be simpler, and what I like the most is that there is no browning required, it's all very straight forward by adding a couple of new ingredients to the bubbling pot every couple half. 


Starting with the goat meat I had on hand. This small package of stewing meat in my freezer came from a local goat farm here in Ontario called Cross Wind Farm, I had picked up a couple of their products from a farmers market during the late summer months.  They're absolutely worth checking out for all your goat needs! (Try their goat feta and goat pepperette style sausages, to die for!)



Kenyan Goat Stew:
Ingredients:
Goat (1 lb)
Garlic (4 cloves)
Spices -  cumin, curry, garam masala, ground coriander, cardamom, turmeric, paprika, ground ginger, cinnamon,
Aromatics: Tomatoes chopped (I used half a tin of san marzano) , Onion (half a white onion, chopped in medium dice), green pepper (1 whole, small dice), red pepper (1 red pepper, small dice)
Herbs: Cilantro (1/2 cup stems removed and leaves chopped)

Optional: Potatoes, this was my own addition, as I didn't want to cook something else on the side to eat with it so I simply threw some potatoes in towards the last 30 minutes.

Step 1: To begin add the fresh or thawed (from frozen) goat meat in the bottom of a large pot. Cover with lots of water!  Adding a couple of peeled cloves of garlic here is a good idea too

 I had a tiny package of meat on hand, not exactly cure how much, might have been a pound, so it probably wasn't necessary to add to much water but I did anyway. I used 4 large cloves of garlic. 

Set the pot on the burner and bring to a medium boil, watch out with this stage as the foam rises to the top and sometimes it over flows. Skim the scum stuff that floats to the top away and discard.

The pot should be at a medium boil most of the cooking so finding that sweet spot on your stove/burner is key because it's going to be cooking for around 3 hours start to finish.  Having the cooking fan on too is a good idea too.

Cook for one hour

Step 2: Add the following spices: a dash or 1/2 tsp of each Cumin, Curry, Garam masala, Cardamom (I used ground from my baking supplies but you can use the whole pod, throw about 4  pods in)

(salt to taste)

Cook another 30 minutes.

Step 3: Add aromatics, chopped tomato, onion, red and green pepper.

Cook for 45 minutes. At this point you may want to cook with or without the lid depending on how much liquid is left in the pot. You don't want to end up with a lot of liquid at the end. It should be a proper ratio of ingredients to liquid like any other stew. If you need to boil off a little of the liquid them absolutely do so. I tried to keep doing that with every step along the way. 

Step 4: Add more spices.... turmeric, ground coriander, ground ginger, fennel seeds, cinnamon and paprika (half a tsp of each)

At this stage I would add potato if you're including them, about a handful of those baby potatoes sliced in half each. 

Simmer for 30 minutes.

Step 5: Add chopped cilantro. Allow to cook for another 5 minutes and then remove from the heat and serve!

There is no mention of adding salt in the recipe but I did, around stage 2.

The goat in this recipe was so tender, falling off the fat (there were no bones in my goat but I would imagine some bones would be fine and add to the flavour)

So what do you think?  I hope this recipe inspires you to try goat, because it is a very yummy meat and this recipe taught me that cooking it is not as intimidating as I had previously imagined.

And finally one last note, if you found the spices to be rather mild then next time you're making it feel free to add more and gauge it to your taste. 




If you're left with any of the delicious liquids from the stew I have a couple of recipes you could try to use it up (do not throw that stuff away!)
Try making my famous  Tuna Rice  by cooking rice and tuna in it.  Or making a lentil soup, it could be very similar along the lines of a Moroccan Harira soup or a plain red lentil soup, use the broth from the stew with extra water to simmer the lentils then whisk for a creamy flavourful soup!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Cast Iron Tea Pot


To know me is to know how much I love giving (and receiving) practical gifts!  That's not to say I don't like nice (impractical)  things but some of my most prized possessions are ones I can use so often in my daily life and take comfort in knowing that they've made my life easier and can handle a little wear and tear. 

This beautiful cast iron teapot was a gift from my in-laws. At first upon reading through the instructions I thought it sounds pretty high maintenance!


I have to say that it has not been empty a single moment since we've begun using it ( Other than while I'm asleep which I'll explain in a bit) Seriously, it is the most amazing teapot and we just can't get enough of it! 

The cast iron is enameled inside so upon opening the box and before it's initial use I followed the instructions and rinsed the inside with soapy water and a sponge. The outside should remain dry at all times.  There is also a warning to not get any oil on the outside as the cast iron absorbs it and the marks won't be removable, for this reason  I've put away the small drinking cups for special occasions as I don't want any lip marks forming on them, especially if drinking tea while consuming oily foods. 

Other than the teapot being a little heavy it is worth every penny! You can make the perfect green and white teas in it, which I've been doing (Buddha's blend from David's Tea!)  The little stand is a must as the outside of the teapot gets very hot to touch and propping it up on it's stand will avoid ruining, melting or burning your trays.

The little routine I have going is every evening and when all the tea is finished I simply remove the lid and dry the top (where the lid sits) with a paper towel to avoid any rust as that's usually where steam collects on the rim. I also dry the lid and set it next to the pot on a tray. Any small amount of water inside the pot will evaporate by morning and then the next day I add a bit of boiling water inside, swish it around and pour it out to clean the inside.  Now it's ready to use!

The taste of the tea is delicious and it stays warm for quite a while, also it always comes out at a perfect drinking temperature (when making green or white teas as the water isn't boiling to begin with)

We're not exactly sure how it works but the teas have been consistently delicious since we've began using it.

Coupled with the Zojirushi Water Boiler  we invested in last year they're a perfect team and every tea lover's dream!

Both of these make perfect gifts!  








Moving Forward, Adventuress


My first post of 2015 and I've been asking myself this question for over 2 years now.... Where is AdventuressHeart going?

I started this blog almost ten years ago, when people were still asking what the word "blog" meant, and today the concept of blogging has just about exploded!

For me there is a lot of negativity and pain associated with this blog, not just because of the journey I've been on these last ten years but because I started blogging at the lowest point in my life and through writing I was hoping to distract myself and pull myself away from things.

Like life this has been a journey for me and in the process I feel I've lost touch with many things, I've lost touch with the essence of AdventuressHeart, a girl in love with everything from history, heritage, tradition and all that makes up our beautiful culture in the Middle East today.

I've taken a break the last couple of years, slowed down and I now feel strong enough in my life to move forward... I'm not sure what that means in terms of this blog but I think I need to pick up the pieces.

We've come a long way.



I've chosen to share these photos in this post because they are happy moments

 The first set is of a simple lunch I sat down to enjoy one afternoon (at Bindia Toronto)  One of the rare moments I've felt alive in a long time .. or.... may be it was just the spices!

The next set is of a Lamb Kofta (meatball) curry which I cooked in my kitchen a couple of days later...   and devoured on the back deck, between rain showers.. the turmeric stained my finger nails but who cares, it was great fun.

p.s my apologizes as I haven't got a recipe to share today, it just came together like most of the cooking in my kitchen




NYE





Happy 2015 all! I hope you all had the most amazing holiday season and looking forward to a new and fresh year, I know I am!

With this flu making it's rounds lately it seems I just couldn't catch a break and on almost all the holidays this year.  I recall just finishing my Thanksgiving cooking, plopping that turkey on the table when  I felt that scratchy sore throat feeling, and once again the days leading up to Christmas I woke up with a lump in my throat every morning for an entire week. Fearing the worst was to come we kept the Christmas dinner light and easy this year with a roasted goose,  pretty dessert, and just simple sides like roasted potatoes and a fresh salad. Less calories to work off in the new year too! :D  

Just when I thought it was all over and feeling in the mood to get out there and celebrate the New Year I got stuck in bed on New Year's eve. With all that said and by God's grace we made it to 2015!!   I'm determined to stay positive, look on the bright side and make the best of everything, it's a start to my positive outlook for 2015!