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Cooking For Fun

African Appetizers



Bean Drops
(Binch Akara)
Courtesy of Iara <>

1 pound black-eyed beans (peas)
2 teaspoons salt
1 small onion, very finely chopped
2 cups oil

Pour dry beans in a blender with a cup of water. Chop for one minute. Pour in large bowl add water. Stir until skins float. Strain into colander; allow all skin and eyes to flow out. Blend beans, onion and pepper. Pour in a bowl, add salt, and stir with a wooden spoon for
two minutes. Heat alt, and stir with a wooden spoon for two minutes. Heat oil until moderately hot. Drop mixture into oil with spoon. Fry until golden brown. Drain on
absorbent paper. Small balls can be served with toothpicks.

Hot Plantain Crisps
(Ghana Recipe)

4 plantains [should be firm]
4 tsp lemon juice
4 tsp ground ginger
4 tsp cayenne pepper oil for frying

Slice the plantains into rounds 1/2-inch thick, and sprinkle lemon juice over the pieces, stirring to moisten. In a separate bowl, combine the ginger and pepper. Heat about 1/4
inch of oil in a heavy skillet until a test piece of plantain sputters. Roll plantain pieces a few at a time in the spice mixture to coat surfaces, then transfer to the skillet. Fry until outsides are crisp and golden. With a slotted spoon, remove plaintains to an absorbent cloth [or paper toweling] for cooling [slightly]. Serve hot.

Avocado with Smoked Fish
(serves 4 as appetizer, 2 as entree)
Courtesy of Iara <>

1/2 lb smoked fish
4 eggs, hard-boiled, with whites separated from yolks
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup light cooking oil
2 tblsp olive oil
2 large ripe avocados
1 large red bell pepper, or a dozen pimentos from a can or jar

Remove the skin and bones from fish and flake the flesh with a fork. In a deep bowl, mash the egg yolks with the milk until they form a smooth paste. Add sugar, salt,and 1 tablespoon of the lime juice. Then beat in the vegetable oil, a teaspoon or so at a time. Addthe olive oil in the same gradual manner. chop egg whites finely and add them to the bowl, along with the fish. Combine thoroughly but gently. Just before serving, cut the avocados in half, remove pits, and fill cavities with the fish mixture. Garnish with pepper or pimento, and pass around the remaining lime juice to sprinkle on individual servings.


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