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African Thanksgiving

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Apple Cake  

Mango Sambal
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 red onion, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup peanuts
1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
12 bird’s-eye chiles, seeds and ribs removed, chopped to taste
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
2 mangoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 teaspoons sesame seeds
2 mint sprigs, chopped
1 teaspoon sesame oil

Heat the peanut oil in a medium nonstick sauté pan, add the onion and garlic, and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the peanuts, ginger, chiles, and chile powder to the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the peanuts are golden brown, about 10 minutes more. Remove from heat and cool.

Transfer to a bowl, and fold in the mangoes, sesame seeds, mint, and sesame oil before serving.


Pumpkin Mash
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 shallots, sliced
4 garlic cloves
1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled
2 cinnamon sticks
2 teaspoons brown sugar
2 pounds Yukon-gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch cubes
1 2-pound pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch cubes
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
2 chives, minced

Melt the butter in a large deep pot set over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, ginger, cinnamon sticks, and brown sugar, and cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar melts, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, pumpkin, chicken stock, and milk, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and simmer until the potatoes and pumpkin are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and pumpkin, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Discard the ginger and cinnamon sticks.

Transfer the potatoes and pumpkin to a bowl, and mash with a fork. Stir in the nutmeg and salt, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of reserved cooking liquid as needed to achieve an even, creamy consistency. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with chives before serving.



Collard Greens  

Sautéed Collard Greens and Bok Choy
6 slices bacon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, halved
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
4 cups thinly sliced collard greens
4 cups very thinly sliced bok choy

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels, then crumble into small pieces.

Combine the oil and butter in a small saucepan, add the garlic, and bring to a simmer over low heat. Reduce the heat and cook for 10 minutes, or until the garlic is golden brown, taking care not to let it burn. Remove the garlic with a slotted spoon and set aside; reserve the oil.

In another small saucepan, bring the coconut milk and soy sauce to a boil. Remove from the heat, and stir in the mustard and bacon.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the reserved garlic oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the collard greens and bok choy, and cook, stirring frequently, until the greens start to wilt. Stir in the coconut-milk mixture, and cook until the greens are tender and the sauce has thickened. Add reserved garlic.


Apple Cake With Cinnamon Whipped Cream
APPLE CAKE
7 tablespoons butter, plus extra for greasing pan
1/2 cup roughly chopped pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
2 apples
1 cup sugar
Zest from 1/2 lemon, chopped
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla sugar
11/4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a small pan. Add the pecans, cinnamon, ginger, and cardamom, and sauté for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Slice the unpeeled apples into 14 wedges, and put them in a plastic bag with cup sugar, the spice-pecan mixture, and lemon zest. Shake the bag to make sure the apple wedges are covered.

In a bowl, beat together the remaining sugar and butter until it turns white. Stir in the egg. Mix together the vanilla sugar, flour, and baking powder, and stir it into the creamed butter, and then add the half-and-half.

Butter a 9-inch round pan, and coat with bread crumbs. Pour in the batter, and place the apple wedges on the batter, in the shape of a clock, placing the two remaining wedges in the middle. Sprinkle the nut mixture over the top of the apples, and bake in the oven for about 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

CINNAMON WHIPPED CREAM
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons dark rum

Toast the cinnamon in a small sauté pan over medium heat until fragrant, 30 to 60 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool.

Combine the cream and sugar in a large bowl and beat until semi-stiff peaks form, then fold in the vanilla, cinnamon, and rum.


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