Plate Tectonics – Angola

Plate Tectonics – Angola

Word on the street is, Nas is being sued by a man in Angola for not showing up to a show he was supposed to put on.
A man that had promoted the show there was kidnapped as a result.
He is suing Nas for 10 million dollars.

If that guy wins, he’s getting kidnapped again for sure.
I do think it’s interesting that Nas didn’t pay back the $300,000 advance until the state department intervened.
Oh, Nas.

It’s only fitting that Angola would be our next country.

I thought Angola was in North Africa, because I had read in the cookbook I purchased that it had been inhabited by the Portuguese…
Naturally, I thought it was close to Portugal.
A thing I learned? Portugal was a force to be reckoned with, and had a wicked navy back in the day.

Interesting facts about Angola….
(besides the one about Angola being in Southwest Africa)
The life expectancy rate, and infant mortality rate, are some of the lowest in the world.
Interesting to come from a culinary tour of Andorra, where they live the longest.

There is little to no information about precolonial Angola, save a bit about the people being hunter gatherers, and their descendants being what Europeans call “Bushmen.”
In the late 16th century, Portugal settled in Angola, and started trafficking slaves to Brazil, the Carribean, and the Rio de la Plata area on the coast of South America.
As many as 2 million slaves are said to have been transported to the New World until 1836, when Portugal abolished slavery.

They were only declared independent from Portugal in 1975 after a liberation war, which lasted from 1961-1974.
Mind-blowingly, it went into an intense civil war from 1975 to 2002.
There has been a war in Angola for 52 years, basically.
During the uprisings against Portugal, it is thought that 40,000 Africans died, and around 400 Europeans.
Since 2002, foreign nations have begun to invest in Angola’s untapped petroleum reserves, and it’s economy has begun to recover and expand.
A great deal of that money has come from China.

Dang, you guys.

As a result of the Portuguese presence, Angolan food has a great deal of Portuguese influence.
It’s also got some Indian, Malayan, and European influence as well.
I bought a book of Angolan recipes of off these fine internets.
It’s called, “Angolan African Recipes Cuisine.”

To be honest, the recipes are a bit hard to follow(either translation, or editing issues), so after deciding on a few, I cross-referenced with the computes.

We decided on Calulu de Bacalhau(salt cod stew) (a dish, I was reminded, that the Cosbys ate one year for their anniversary), Feijao com Oleo de Palma(palm oil beans), Arroz de Tomates com Repolho (rice with tomatoes and cabbage), and Funge. and Mousse de Maracuja (passion fruit mousse).

There’s a new grocery store that I got to hit up, and it was pretty thrilling.
I’d like to go there when there wasn’t such a time crunch, and just be.
There were things in there I’ve never heard of.
Like.. LOTS of things I’d never heard of.
From all over the world.
They didn’t have palm oil, though..

I had to head to a teeny tiny African grocery store(if you can call it that?) to pick some up.
Though I had already bought some cornmeal from Cermak’s, I decided I should maybe buy the one at the African store..
Because it would be more authentic? (it was called Indian Head…………………)
The African grocery store was really just 3 small shelving units with very few food items on them.
The beverage cooler was a regular cooler with a hodge podge of items haphazardly thrown into it.
I enjoyed that place very much.

The first order of business was dealing with the salt cod. The Bacalhau.
Not the easiest thing to cut through, I had to do it in order to fit it into the pot.
The smell was pretty legit.
Even more so when I covered it in the pot with boiling water.
I think the term that floated around the kitchen was, “ButtFeet.”

I’ve worked in numerous fish markets, though.. So I’ve dealt with some things before.

I poured boiling water over the salt cod and let it soak for 30 minutes.
I drained that water, and poured more boiling water over it to cover.
The second time, I let it soak for an hour.
(I think it could have been soaked a third time…. but .. time crunch.)
When I pulled the fish out of the water to remove the skin and bones, and chop into pieces..
I decided not to put all of it in there.
I made a judgment call.

It was a lot, okay?

During this time, I got my friend Kate to choppin’.
She chopped okra, onion, tomato, and my brother handled one whole habanero.
I chopped some collards, and blanched them, too.
During this time, we chopped our fresh cod, and marinated it in lemon juice, garlic, and salt.
Just for about 20 minutes.
Lemon juice will cook your fish pretty quickly.

We threw all of this into a pot, and squeezed some palm oil on top.
Palm oil, by itself, tastes like flat, dead, flavorless, fat.
It’s made from ground up palm nuts.
It looks like..
Angola 011

We stirred it up before bringing it to a boil.

I added a bit more lemon juice, and some salt, and let it simmer for about an hour.

During this time, I haphazardly added some water, chopped cabbage, tomato, arborio rice, and garlic to a pot, and set it to simmer, too.
The time crunch got me lazy.
I’ll admit it.
The rice was all mushy. (it tasted pretty good, though.)

We also heated up some canned pinto beans, and added some palm oil and salt.
The consensus was that they tasted like beans.

The funge.
Basically just water brought to a boil, and corn meal added to be like a porridge.
Unfortunately, this cornmeal must have been stored near some scented deodorant, or soap..
Because the porridge made my tongue numb, and it tasted like Grandma’s perfume.
Lesson learned, African grocery store. Lesson learned.

The passion fruit mousse.
I made this while the salt cod was soaking.
Time crunch strikes again……
I bought half & half instead of heavy whipping cream(i hadn’t fully read the directions, and thought the sweetened condensed milk would thicken up..), and couldn’t find fresh passion fruits, nor passion fruit concentrate.
I used a Mexican passion fruit cocktail blend…
The pudding didn’t pud, and later on I tried to thicken it up with pectin. (shut up, i know, okay?)
It got all sorts of gritty and grodie.
We threw it away.. Along with that funge.

Here’s that plate of goods.
Angolan Goodness.
And here are my cute friends, and Juan.

This was probably the most foreign for me as far as flavors go.
I haven’t tasted anything like palm oil before, so it was neat.
I liked it. Even Brad had a bite, and agreed.


Calulu de Bacalhau
1/2lb salt cod (this shit is expensive! something i discovered AFTER my purchase)
1 1/2lbs fresh cod, cubed
3/4lb fresh okra, trimmed and thickly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 bunch collard greens, chopped and blanched (or cassava leaves, if you can find them)
2 cups palm oil
6 garlic cloves, chopped
1 large habanero pepper, minced
Juice of 3 lemons
1 tbsp salt

Marinate the fresh cod in the lemon juice garlic, and a bit of the salt, but just toss all of that into the pot.
And make sure you prep your salt cod, and remove all of that extra gross.

Feijao com Oleo de Palma
4 cans pinto beans
1 cup palm oil
2 cups water
1 tsp salt

Let this simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Funge de Milho
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups white cornmeal (preferably not poisoned)

Bring water to a boil, and slowly add cornmeal while stirring until sturdy.
It’s supposed to be a base for your stew.

I don’t even want to give you the recipe for this passion fruit pudding.
But I will, because it’s supposed to be easy.
I feel like I want to revisit it.
It sounds like it should be good.

Mousse de Maracuja
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup passion fruit concentrate
the insides of 3 passion fruits. (but like.. where would you get that in wisconsin?)

All you have to do is blend the first three ingredients in a blender until it’s thick and holds up together.
You put it into individual ramekins(6), and top with fresh passion fruit gizzards.