The Olympic Food Challenge has been a complicated affair, for Olympic Food Challenge Master, Ewan that is (thankfully my only responsibility has been cooking a few dishes and writing a few posts). Imagine all those countries, all those bloggers and all those posts to manage; it’s enough to drive anyone insane. And just as everything seemed to be going so well, I managed to throw a spanner in the works by discovering that two of us had been given Guinea-Bissau!
After a bit of searching through various spreadsheets, it became clear that Guinea was missing from everyone’s allocated countries and that the fault for the error lay firmly at Excel’s door (with that stupid auto-fill function that wouldn’t recognise Guinea as a country in its own right).
Ewan was embarrassed by the mistake, I, however was pretty god damn happy. Finding recipes for Guinea-Bissau hadn’t been easy and the best I had found was a chicken, peanut and tomato dish. Having cooked something similar for the Congo, I didn’t really fancy this one. Interestingly, fellow blogger, Lil Miss Squirrel, managed to find a tuna and avocado recipe which looks a bit tastier!
Getting a new country gave me new hope… hope for something a bit more interesting than boiled chicken and peanuts. I dropped onto a rather useful website which lists about 18 recipes from Guinea, and after dismissing Bouille (or porridge with lemon juice) and anything with goat (I was cooking on a school night and didn’t have the time for the slow cooking this meat requires) I went for Yétissé de Poulet.
Ok, it wasn’t entirely different to the Congo dish as I still had to boil the chicken and there were tomatoes involved, but I liked the fact that it meant that I could cook with okra (a new one for me). I was also intrigued by the cassava… until I googled it that its. It seems that cassava contains cyanide and could potentially kill you if prepared incorrectly. Now, I am a competent cook and I’ve never killed anyone so far, but I didn’t really fancy taking on this risk, no matter how much I love this challenge… so I used two potatoes instead.
How was it? Well the chicken (which I’d skinned by the way) was juicy and tender (this boiling lark works wonders!), the aubergine was creamy, (but I’d probably stick another one in next time) and the sauce was a bit bland (and really oily, despite not taking any notice of the instruction to add 250mls of oil, and it could take a couple more chillies).
The rice, for me, was disappointing as I hadn’t prepared the okra properly causing it to produce more slime than Slimer himself. Only after eating the dish did I google about cooking okra and I learnt that sitting the okra in water (which I did to wash the stuff) and chopping it (which I did, along with scrapping some bits of dirt off) were all big no-no’s. Having said that the recipe calls for the okra to be mashed before it’s mixed with the rice, so maybe it was supposed to be slimy after all. Anyhoo, the husband liked it!
Overall the dish wasn’t a real winner and although I talk about changes that I would make to the dish when I cook it next, I’m pretty sure there won’t be a next time. And… given the athletes eat so much bland and oily food, it’s not too surprising that they haven’t won a medal yet.