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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Friends in Fiji

Did you think that "1 Cooking Chick" sounded a little lonely?  This blog started out as "2 Cooking Chicks" with my dear friend Erica Cross, when she and I lived in the same town.  We both moved to new towns and now live hours from each other.  That is why I've continued sad!  That is also the reason I try to involve as many of my friends and family in this blog as possible.  This weekend though, I had the great pleasure of having her and her husband (also a great friend of mine since forever) as houseguests.  So you know we got busy in the kitchen!  The result of our efforts...Fiji Night.

Why Fijian recipes, you ask?  Erica's husband, Britt and his sister Caitlin are long-time hometown friends of mine.  Caitlin and her husband Robb are currently working for the Peace Corps in Fiji.  Erica and Britt recently went to visit them.  They had interesting and delicious food while they were there.  We decided to imitate those recipes. 

Erica and Britt dining in Fiji.  Yes, that's a pig head! Ha!

First of all, let me say how amazing it was to have my girl (or chick), Erica 
back in the kitchen with me!

I love this person!  We were really excited about some Curry!

The makings of our Fantastic Fijian Food Frenzy!! (again with the alliteration...I can't stop!)

And now for the recipes...You thought I would never get around to the info, right?  Too much love to talk about first!

Fijian Green Bean Curry with Roti

2 handfuls Fresh Green Beans
1 Eggplant (diced)
1 Zucchini (diced)
3 small White Potatoes (peeled and diced)
1 White Onion (diced)
2 cloves minced Garlic
1/2 can Coconut Milk
Chilli Powder
Zest and Juice of 1/2 Lime
Salt and Pepper

 Instructions:  1.  In a large pan or pot, cook down the potatoes for 10 minutes and then add the egg plant.  You want both of these to soften before adding the other veggies.  2.  Add in the Green Beans, Zucchini, Onion, Garlic, Coconut Milk and Spices.  3.  Stir well and cover.  Let it cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  About halfway through, add the Lime Juice and Zest.  4.  Transfer to a serving dish and serve.

How it looks in the pan...yum!!

Depending on how many people you are serving, start with about a cup of Flour and enough water to make it into a thick dough (mix water in slowly).  Flour a clean surface (keeping extra flour nearby) and roll out dough until it is flat.  Form into a small ball and roll out to the size of a tortilla (about 1/2 inch thick).  Put some vegetable oil in a pan over medium heat.  Once heated, add the dough.  Cook until browned on both sides.  Do one Roti at a time and transfer to a plate. 

Our little Fijian dinner party
Photo by Ava McElwain (my 4-year-old daughter).  She cut Mr. Britt out of the picture.  Sorry Britt.  And as far as my son shirt no service, right?  Well, it is summer.  Varying levels of nakedness are okay as long as you're under a certain age.

I have to say the results turned out delicious!  I want more recipes and tips from Caitlin and Robb while they are in Fiji.  Here is my plate:
In Fiji, you eat the Curry wrapped in the Roti.  Our Roti turned out a little crunchy (which I liked), so it was more of a flat bread type thing.
One other tidbit on Fijian food...There are two types: Fijian and IndoFijian.  The original Fijian foods are lots of root crops, greens, fish, beef and chicken.  Curries fall under IndoFijian food.  This type came from the British colonialization (is that a word? I'm thinking not...but you know what i'm trying to say...colonizing) of the area in the 1800s.  They brought in Indians as indentured servants to work the sugar plantations.  As a result, we have IndoFijian food.

More on Caitlin and Robb
Here they are with the Prime Minister of Fiji.
Caitlin is working for the Peace Corps as a Public Health Volunteer (maternal and child health) and Robb is an Economic Empowerment Volunteer.  The time frame for their work is 27 months.  They have a very interesting blog about their experiences at  Check it out!