Egg Stew

Fill the bottom of a small saucepan with oil. (olive, vegetable, whatever).  More oil is better than less oil.

Chop 1 small onion and 3-5 cloves garlic and fry on medium high until tender.  If you want you can also chop a carrot or two and add them.

Add 1 small can of tomato paste.  Mix in thoroughly and fry until it no longer tastes like tomato paste.

Add a lot of powdered ginger and cayenne pepper and a little bit of curry powder.  Add 1 bullion cube and some salt.  Taste it and see if it’s good.  If it’s a little tasteless add more salt.  If it’s not spicy enough add cayenne.  If it’s too sharp or salty, add ginger (generally, the more ginger you add the better).  If it needs more depth, add curry.

Fill the tomato paste can with water and add to the stew.  Let it cook for awhile, until the carrots are tender, if you added some.  Add more water if you need to to make the stew not stick to the bottom.  It could take awhile if you add the carrots.

Add 4-6 eggs, depending on the size and how many you have.  Stir very slowly by scraping the bottom and the sides of the pan, like you’re making scrambled eggs.

Do this until all the eggs are cooked, and it’s like thick paste.  There shouldn’t be any excess liquid.

Eat with hot rice.

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How to fry plantains

BUY YOUR PLANTAINS

To eat with red-red, you want ripe plantains.  Ripe= almost black, like a banana you’d never eat

If you are buying them at the store, look for heavy, uniformly softish, yellow -brown ones with black spots

If they look ripe but the skin has hardened in places or there are unexpected very soft spots, don’t buy them.

If all they have are green, just let them sit on the counter for a week or so.  If I’m buying for a party, I tend to buy them green and in advance just so I can make sure I have some.

Don’t try to fry them if they are still green.  In general the softer and blacker they are, the sweeter they will be when fried.  Less ripe ones will taste kinda like potatoes.

CUT AND FRY YOUR PLANTAINS

Start heating oil in a big frying pan on medium heat.  You can get by with a cm or two of oil.  Use more if you are frying lots of plantains.  I’ve never found an oil that doesn’t work; I’ve heard people say peanut oil is best.

Slit the plantain skin and remove it.

Cut the plantain plantain in half the short way and then in logs…maybe in 8ths or 12ths, depending on how big the plantain is.  How big your logs are is personal taste really.  Put a test log in the oil to see when it is hot.

When the oil is bubbling rapidly around the log, put the rest of the logs in.  The oil should bubble around them but not submerge them.  If it does, it’s too hot and you should turn the fire down.

Fry them for a long time, turning occasionally as needed to keep them from sticking to the bottom.  Chopsticks work well for this.

Get  a big shallow bowl (or plate if you don’t have a bowl)  and line with a couple layers of paper towels.  Salt the towels.

How they look when they are done depends on how ripe they were.  A nice, soft, ripe log will turn a dark reddish brown (from the sugar caramelizing).  You want to take them out before they fry hard.  A less ripe log might turn yellow with brown edges and get hard, more like a french fry.  They probably won’t all get done at the same time.

When plantains are done, take them out and put them on paper towels.  Shake the bowl and roll the plantains around to salt them and get off extra oil.

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Red-Red

½ -1C palm oil  (or if you can’t find any, try vegetable oil + 1Tbs mild paprika
About 2/3 bag black-eyed peas
2 small or one big onion(s)—I use yellow or white—chopped big
A carrot or two, chopped in little hemispheres (optional)
Fresh and/ or powdered ginger
Can of tomato paste
Bouillon cube
Cayenne pepper
Salt

Put the beans in a saucepan; put in a lot of water and some salt and start them boiling. Check them once in awhile to make sure you have enough water. It’s ok to add more/ give them a stir once in awhile.

Heat palm oil. Fry onions and fresh ginger and carrots (if you are using them) on medium heat until the onions are softish but not shriveled.

Add the tomato paste. Fry for quite a long time, until it doesn’t taste like tomato paste anymore. I’d say at least 10 minutes, and the longer is better. The carrots should be mostly tender. You can add a little water to keep it from burning to the bottom, but in general less is better. It shouldn’t need to be stirred much.

Add the bouillon cube and hot pepper. Taste it and see if it needs more ginger, and add some powdered ginger if it does. Add salt to bring out the flavors more, but be careful to not use too much.

When beans are soft, mix them well into the tomato-paste stuff.

If desired, gently mix in a can or two of well-drained tuna.  The solid albacore is the best.

Serve with fried ripe plantains (traditional)  or hot rice (not traditional but pretty tasty) or pretty much any other way you can think of.  It’s also good wrapped with rice in a flour tortilla, like a burrito.  Also good with baked sweet potatoes.

 

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