LEMON GARLIC RED SNAPPER, HOMEFRIES & AN AVOCADO, CARROT ORIENTAL SALAD

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Happy New Year!! It feels like I’m spring cleaning an old lady hoarders attic…. it’s been a while since posted! Hopefully its like riding a bike or a roll in the sack after a long dry spell…you get the gist!

A lot has happened since I last posted something…I started postgraduate school, travelled quite a bit, ate quite a lot, moved houses…cooked up a storm (I have pictures for evidence!) always meaning to post something but between school, work and squeezing in my reality TV fix I literally felt like my day had 16 hours! It wasn’t all frenzy and headless chicken running around though- there were times when my life was very simple but most of the time it felt as complicated as a Facebook relationship status … to sum it up between September 2015 and today…

We had awesome holiday….I took my leave of absence from work in November, because I had exams, and I resumed work in January so the only bags under my eyes are Chanel! We really had no itinerary for our holiday, a few days before Christmas a friend of ours- Sarah popped into our new place and we got to talking about how we were over  ‘Kenyan Coast  December Plans’ (picture us sipping tea with our pinkies pointing out disdainfully imagining the throngs of humanity that would no doubt be at the Coast….with the exception of pookibear, he would be holding his tea mug- pssst, tea mug versus tea cup totally makes this scene uber masculine!…. oh and of course there were crumpets and cucumber sandwiches with the edges cut off…..I left out the scones because I feel in Kenya scones are not very high tea-ish!! hahahahaha!). Continue reading

RIB-EYE STEAK WITH BASALMIC DRIZZLE , STRAWBERRY AVOCADO & SUNFLOWER SEED SALAD WITH A BASALMIC-HONEY VINAIGRETTE

A love like mine is rare. So is the steak I just sent back to the kitchen. But you’d damn well better not send my love back -Jarod Kintz

I couldn’t agree more with Jarod, my sentiments about steak are: if a good vet could have it back on its feet in less than 15 minutes re- moo-ve (couldn’t resist throwing in a cow pun) it from my plate & put it back on the grill  ….I like mine Medium rare! Perfect segway for today’s post on my cast iron skillet rib eye steak with a basalmic vinegar reduction  served with a strawberry, avocado and sunflower salad with a basalmic-honey vinaigrette… I’m salivating just typing the characters!!

Skillet Rib Eye Steak with a Basalmic Orange Vinegar Reduction served with Avocado Strawberry Salad

abidabuoroskitchen.wordpress.com | Iron Skillet Rib Eye Steak with a Basalmic Orange Vinegar Reduction

The day: A sunday

Time: Some time between coffee o’ clock and coffee o’ clock

Place (s): My kitchen, Karura Forest, Toi Market, My Kitchen, My Verandah/patio/porch (whatever the correct name is!), My living room….the little girls room, back to the living room then….. “Abida! Snap out of it!”

Moving on…

Cast: Lister, Zizmaroo & I

Several Sundays ago my friend Lister and I took Zizmaroo to Karura Forest cycling. I could wax poetic about Karura Forest! It is one of my many favourite paces in Kenya and the fact that it’s about half an hours drive from my house (this is highly dependent on weather conditions – whenever it rains Nairobians turn into headless chickens behind the wheels; time of the month {NO this has nothing to do with PMS!} – there are fewer cars on the road mid-month…or whenever Energy Regulatory Commission reviews fuel rates upwards!; If I decide to stop over somewhere for a gigantic meal – I am about to work it off after all; whether KENHA/KURA (our roads authorities) have decided to repair roads during peak traffic times!! (which always seems to be the case)…….What I’m getting at is if the stars and moon align to create perfect conditions for my zodiac sign {VIRGO BABY!} I think I just failed miserable at trying to sound mythical with this last statement!, then it takes me half an hour!!). Which is Fantastic! I love the tranquility, the awe-inspiring vistas, I love to take walks there, cycle, jog ( this peculiar half trot half walk half jog that I do when I say I’m jogging!) I love Prof. Wangare Mathai, the fierce Nobel Laureate who literally had her braids pulled off her skull just so that Zizmaroo, myself and other Kenyans would not only enjoy being in the forest but also benefit from the numerous ecosystem benefits.

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ABIDA’S STRAWBERRY & BLUE POPPY, PAPRIKA CHICKEN SALAD WITH A YOGURT AIOLI DRESSING

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. – Lao Tzu

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I am the kind of girl who finds something that works for her and sticks to it… be it a skin care routine…brand of diapers that work for my little Zizmaroo (Sidebar: Major sigh of relief now that Zizmaroo is fully potty trained! The amount of money spent on keeping her tush nice and dry! LAWDY! It could have gotten me a Eurotrip!) …the spicy Thai chicken salad on the Java menu …a great Segway into todays post about a strawberry,blue poppy seeds and a chicken – Bear with me, I’m not about to launch into a ‘why did the chicken cross the road variety of joke!” I’m just listing the ingredients that went into my salad!

Back to my opening quote on change, I have been going through some major life changes and as earlier mentioned when I commit, I commit… that is until I’m feeling non-committal… which may be 5 minutes or 5 years later! For as long as I can remember, my go-to salad on the Nairobi Java House menu has always been the spicy Thai chicken salad, I never even bothered to look at the other salads on the menu … coz that would have felt like cheating – and infidelity is not my thing! (PSSSST there may or may not be a double entendre in my salad infidelity issues!!) but due to the life changes that I have been undergoing, about two weeks ago when I was getting my morning coffee to go, I dared to steal a glance at the salad selections on the menu and their strawberry and chicken salad caught my eye… (allow me to talk in third person because I feel like I dissociated from myself – what happened with that salad was truly an outer body experience!) 5 minutes later Abida, a triple latte and a strawberry chicken salad exited the coffee shop, 4 hours later Abida wolfed down the salad and within minutes of devouring it she decided she just had to attempt to recreate it!

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VIAZI KARAI, HONEY- SOY PORK CHOPS, PINEAPPLE PECAN SALAD WITH A HONEY SOY VINNAIGRETTE

Humour keeps us alive. Humour and food. Don’t forget food. You can go a week without laughing.-Joss Whedon

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I have few friends but those that I do have I hold dear, and one such friend is Shella … my oldest friend-chronologically! ( No, she doesn’t have dentures, spectacles with lenses as thick as the bottom of a coca cola bottle, adult diapers and a walking stick! … We met in kindergarten, went to the same primary school, went to different high schools, same university different courses, had each others backs through ebbs and flows in each others lives, have gone MIA from each others life at some points in our lives (but we always find our way back to each other!) had our beautiful babies and we are still going strong! …enough of the sentimental brouhaha… such a snoozefest!!😴 💤😴

Two weeks ago I just thought of her so I Whatsapped called her and suggested we get together over the weekend, prepare a meal, have some wine (her) ,cream liqueur (me) and juice in sippy cups (her bambam and my zizmaroo)… no sippy cups were actually involved since they are way past that age! She asked me to send her a shopping list which I got around to doing a day before our lunch date (planning the menu was such a life changing decision that could not be rushed! I just had to wait till the last minute then hurriedly send it to her….NO rushing involved there!!) She’s been planning on buying a new cooker and our lunch date spurred her into getting it sooner than she might have…Come to think of it, our interactions always involve some epicurean endeavour!). With the anticipation of tinkering in a new shiny oven sending tingles in my silly place ( a girl has to take the tingles wherever the source! UNLESS of course the source of the tingles requires a doctor prescribing some antifungal/ antibacterial ointment!) I waited for the 12 hours standing between me and that wonderful inspirational marvel known as ‘the new oven’ my girlfriend Shella!

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ORANGE GINGER PORK , RAISIN COCONUT RICE AND APPLE FRESCO SALAD

Cooking certain dishes like roast pork reminds me of my mother.- Maya Angelou

Orange Ginger Pork Chops

Orange Ginger Pork Chops

I abso-most-certainly-lutely concur with Maya Angelou, I can remember having roast pork at the club when I was young, and the Knorr Roast meat marinade that my mother used to make and that became a go to pork recipe for me until the supermarkets no longer stocked the marinade and I mourned for the longest time. But the good thing is I was then forced to become creative with my pork recipes and I now have an arsenal of go to recipes for whichever occasion.

Another pork dish that sticks out in my mind is a roast pork and pineapple dish that we had at the Mombasa Club I think it was in 2009, when Pookie and I were on holiday…ahh! May the Chef’s hands be blessed!

…It’s a Monday and Pookie bear calls me and asks “Mookie, will you Make apple fresco salad for dinner today?”…..his voice all syrupy and sweet, so my knees buckled, my heart skipped a beat and to stop myself from giggling and twirling my 4 inch weave around my index finger as my colleagues watched I gave him the list of items to pick up…it doesn’t really qualify as a list since it was 2 items – blue cheese, walnuts, celery, lettuce, and apples…ok i guess it WAS a list! (Now bear with me as I ramble on about how apple fresco salad is Pookies favourite salad ever, we first discovered it at the Nairobi Java House – Nyali Branch and it was the only salad he’d bother having, so when the coffee-house removed the apple fresco salad from their menu Pookies heart was broken 😱😢🙊💔. He called me to share the sad! sad! news…and I knew I had to do something FAST…his ailing heart was at stake! so a little online research, a stop by the grocery…and our home-made apple fresco salad was born!)

As soon as I hung up I started thinking of what would complement the apple fresco salad and I decided a pork dish was just what I needed. So the next step in my thought process was, which pork recipe and I knew I would either brine it and grill it or use the oranges I have been planning on picking up from the market since hangnails have become eponymous to my hands (if you look up hangnail I guarantee an image of my hand will pop up!!… did you know hangnails are also refered to as stepmother’s blessing!) and the ginger rhizome that was starting to dry out in my pantry. The raisin coconut rice was left over from the weekend when Pookie made us his special chicken dish (yes he cooks!😍).

Apple Fresco Salad

Apple Fresco Salad

The only time to eat diet food is while you are waiting for the steak to cook – Julia Child

Wise words never rang truer!!!

Ingredients:

For the pork chops:

  • 500g Pork Chops
  • 1 Tbsp Freshly Ground black Pepper
  • Orange rind from 2 medium-sized oranges (approx 2 tbsp)
  • Freshly squeezed juice from 2 medium-sized oranges
  • Orange flavoured basalmic vinegar
  • Ginger sliced into thin strips

For the brine:

  • 1/a cup of sugar
  • 1/a cup of salt
  • 1 cup water

For the Apple Fresco Salad:

  • 2 green apples
  • 1 pink lady apple
  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • 2 cups basil (lettuce can work as a substitute)
  • Celery
  • Blue cheese

For the vinaigrette:

  • Olive oil
  • Honey
  • Orange flavoured basalmic vinegar
  • A pinch of salt
  • Some bicep power

For the Rice:

  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 1/2 a cup raisins

Directions:

Pork Chops

Prepare the brining solution by mixing the sugar salt and water and place your pork chops in the solution to brine. If you can do this overnight awesome!- if not then you can brine for at least an hour – I guarantee the world will still rotate on its axis if you have to brine for an hour!! (confessional 🙏… I sometimes double the quantities of salt/sugar and only do it for 30 mins or however long I can manage coz lets face it sorties you just want to get over the cooking part and get to the eating!)

For the marinade, in a large bowl, mix the orange juice and rind, add the orange flavoured basalmic vinegar and sliced ginger and stir. Remove the pork chops from the brining solution and place in your marinade grind so black pepper and sprinkle. (let the chops marinade for at least one hour)

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This is what I mean by a snug fit!

Pre-heat the oven to 180º celsius.

Place the chops in a baking tray (ensure the tray isn’t too large or else the chops will dry out, you want the chops to fit snuggly together…we want to get a sauce out of that heavenly marinade.) Then pour the marinade over the chops.

Bake the chops for 40 mins.

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Rice

Bring the water to a boil, add the coconut milk and bring it back up to a boil. add the rice and raisin’s and let it cook.

Salad

Thinly slice the apples into half-moon shapes and chop up the celery, in a large bowl mix the apples, walnuts and basil (if using lettuce tear it to bite sized pieces) break the blue cheese into small pieces ( and under no circumstance should you smell your hands coz the blue cheese smells like rotten socks…. but it tastes sooooo good- One of life’s major paradoxes!!) Pour in the vinaigrette and toss the salad- for those of you with x-rated humour-NO PUN INTENDED.

Plate…or not! and enjoy… i won’t judge I have been known to eat from the pot or in this case the baking tray… for all those raised eyebrows- it’s very eco friendly- all the water saved!

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