Happy December! I am sitting here wondering where 2016 went! Honestly as you grow older the years go by faster!
It is raining a lot and rainy season means mushroom foraging because the conditions are favourable for the fungi to grow. It is actually quite exciting to randomly find a mushroom while taking a walk. Two weeks ago we got a midnight call to go harvest termite mushrooms (which I have talked about here). Yes they are that rare and special. I have childhood memories of picking these mushrooms. It was always a special treat to eat them because they appear randomly during the rainy season and if you can spot them you are a winner. Termite mushrooms are mostly used for soup. Now we Ugandans like using curry powder a lot. A LOT. Flavouring this soup with curry was only natural. The curry adds to the distinct earthy flavor these mushrooms have. The dried version of these mushrooms is sold in most supermarkets but nothing beats fresh food! I realise I have been sharing quite a number of soups and stews lately. It is only because they are the order of the day.
What you will need:
4 C. Termite mushrooms
1 C. Large carrot, grated
3 Large Tomatoes, diced
1 Large green pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
1 Garlic clove, crushed and chopped
1 Tsp. Ginger, grated
1 Tbsp. Curry powder
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon oil
- I did not put any measurements to the vegetable stock. Add as much or less as you want. More liquid wall make the soup watery.
- Wash mushrooms thoroughly but carefully. Drain mushrooms and set aside.
- Place saucepan on high heat and add oil. Add garlic and ginger in oil and let the release a fragrant aroma.
- Add onions and tomatoes and saute till the onions are translucent and the tomatoes are soft and tender.
- Add the mushrooms, green pepper carrots and the curry powder. Cover pan and let the mushrooms cook for about 5 minutes. Add vegetable stock (or any stock you have really!) and let the mushrooms simmer for 15-20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper
- Remove from fire.
- Serve with your favourite carbohydrates.
To my dear International readers, have you ever tasted these mushrooms? Let me know in the comments below.
It is official Caramel is my new favourite flavour! Way back in high school there was this caramel popcorn that we used to always make sure that we had at break time. Perfectly crunchy popcorn with a generous coating of browned caramel. it was addictive. Now popcorn is a huge deal here. There are a ton of popcorn machines in the taxi park and I am always tempted to buy a bag every time I am there. popcorn has been in our family for as long as I can remember. We have this thick cast iron pot with a lid that we use to make popcorn. It keeps and distributes the heat well.
So for the love of popcorn and caramel, I wanted to recreate this caramel popcorn that I used to eat over 5 years ago. Popcorn is fairly easy to make and so is caramel. You need only three basic ingredients: cream, sugar and butter/margarine. With Paramount Dairies Whipping cream, you will be able to make rich well-flavoured caramel easily. And since caramel is so easy to make (Why did not I know this before?) I thought combining the two would create a delightful and surprising dessert or snack really! And it did.
What you will need:
1 C. Sugar
½ C. Whipping Cream
1 Tbsp. Butter/margarine
1 Tsp vanilla
¼ C. Water
500 gm. Popcorn kernels
¼ C. Oil
- Make sure the cream is at room temperature
- To make good popcorn, use a pan that has a lid or find one that can fit on the pan well to keep all the heat inside
- In a clean sauce pan, combine sugar, water, vanilla and butter. Place on medium fire and let the sugar slowly melt.
- Once the sugar has completely melted, increase the fire and let the sugar syrup brown to a caramel colour.
- Once it has browned, add the cream and mix well. Remove from fire before the caramel gets very burnt.
- Place the kernels in a bowl. Pour in the oil and mix well
- On high heat. Place pan. Add about 3-4 tablespoons of popcorn. Cover the pan and let the corn pop.
- Once it stops popping, remover from fire immediately.
- Repeat the process till you have popped all the corn.
- Once you have the popcorn, pour in the caramel while it is still hot.
- Pour while mixing to make sure all the puffs are coated with the caramel.
- Sprinkle some salt.
- Wait for the caramel to harden . About 5-10 minutes.
The best flavoured popcorn! It’s true that caramel is addicting. I almost. ALMOST made a batch to just eat out of the jar. Almost.
This post is made possible by Paramount Dairies. You can find Whipping Cream and more cream products in major supermarkets in Kampala. Thank you for supporting brands I believe in.
This is a story of when we bought too many a tomato. So you know when you go to the market ( in this case when the market comes to you) and the price is so low you are convinced to buy everything with an excuse to save for the future? Well that is what happened. We fond ourselves with over two baskets of tomatoes. We started putting tomatoes in everything! Until we got too tired. The irony is we have two cherry tomato vines in the backyard that are flourishing and putting on fruit every day. So we decided to preserve the bought tomatoes (see homemade tomato recipe here) and make stew out of the cherry tomatoes! It is a good deal right? And let me tell you this cherry tomato soup is just so amazing! it has a perfect blend of sour sweet and salty and can be eaten on its own or with anything you know like the yams I talked about last month.
What you will need:
2-3 C. Ripe Cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp. Ginger, finely chopped or grated
1 Tbsp. Sugar
1 Tbsp. Oil
2 Tbsp. Vinegar/lemon juice
Salt to taste
- Wash the tomatoes and drain them well. In a hot sauce pan, add oil and let it get hot.
- Add the sugar and let it melt slowly till it turns a caramel colour. Don’t let it get too burnt.
- Add the ginger and stir well till they are coated with the browned sugar. Next add the vinegar and stir well till the browned sugar melts in the vinegar.
- Add the onions and cook them for about a minute.
- Next add the cherry tomatoes whole. Stir well and let them cook in their own juices.
- Add salt and let the stew cook for 20- 30 minutes until all the tomatoes are soft and tender.
Serve with your favourite carbohydrates or eat it on its own.
Tell me have you ever eaten cherry tomatoes? How do you eat them?