"The second item I prepared was classic Thai street food: Crying Tiger Beef. But instead of cooking a whole piece of marinated skirt steak (the traditional method), I bias-sliced a partially frozen steak and marinated the sliced beef. When the block was screaming hot, I quickly seared the steak strips to medium-rare, about two to three minutes per side. (The longer food stays on the block and the higher the food’s moisture content the more salt it will pick up from the block.) To accompany the steak, I grilled marinated asparagus on the salt block until crisp-tender and served it with Jasmine rice."
Read the entire article on salt block cooking by Mike Stines here.
Here is a typical Madagascar-style sauce that was served at the Restaurant L'Exotic in Montreal. The sauce accompanied most of the entrees at L'Exotic and it also can be added to soups or stews to spice them up.
The neighboring island of Mauritius in the Mascarenes has a harissa-like sauce called mazavaroo that is usually served on sandwiches. This recipe for it was given to one of my writers, Leyla Loued-Khenissime, by Virjanan Jeenea, the sous-chef at the Oberoi Hotel in Mauritius. Leyla writes: “I was happy to see that his recipe is simple compared to others I have run into. I tried it four different ways: with fresh bird's eye peppers and again with fresh Thai dragon peppers, then adding shrimp paste to one and ginger to the other. The best result I obtained was by following the Oberoi recipe with the bird's eye peppers, although it still lacks that smoky fantasia found in the jar I initially bought. Below is the Oberoi's adapted version.”
Here is the French Polynesian-style ceviche. Serve this to the guests while they are waiting for the pig to roast. This recipe only serves three people, so you’re going to be busy multiplying this by 10 or 20 after depleting your checkbook buying the fish.
Pili-Pili is the generic name for African chiles as well as the name of this shrimp dish from Mozambique. Shellfish is abundant off the coast, and the prawns are so large that a couple will make a meal. The marinade not only goes well with shrimp or prawns, but also with fish and chicken. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
The use of peanuts, also called groundnuts, in soups and stews is common over all of Africa but is especially popular in the west. "Chop" is African slang meaning food or a meal. The vegetables in this stew can be varied to suit your tastes; if you do, however, eliminate the okra it will alter the consistency of the sauce. The important step to remember in preparing this soup or stew is to mix some of the broth with the peanut butter before adding to the soup to keep it from curdling and breaking apart.