Authenticity isn't a big concern. My main concern is to give the kids familiar foods. My goal is to take common American food ingredients, like chicken breasts, and flavor them with spices and ingredients that are commonly found on a safari.
While writing the menu, I envisioned safari meals being cooked by a native chef who uses familiar African flavors to spice up meals that safari-goers know and love. I've built the menu on common African ingredients like long-grain rice, peanuts (or groundnuts), yams and chicken. Spices like curry, coriander and cardamon will booth the flavor-profile of the menu.
Here's the basic menu. Although I may change a few things before July, the basic menu for the banquet will remain.
- Safari chicken -- I've adapted the common African stew with peanut sauce for the banquet. Instead of making a stew, I will pound and run a mixture of salt, pepper, curry and garlic on each chicken breast. After grilling on the barbecue, the chicken will be finished in the oven (until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.). If we serve family style, I may plate the breasts over a bed of sauteed spinach.
- African red sauce -- The sauce will be a combination of aromatics (onion, garlic and green bell peppers) sauteed in olive oil, fresh tomatoes, stock, peanut butter, soy sauce, sesame oil and hot pepper sauce. I'll spoon it over the chicken breasts and place bowls on the table.
- Jollof rice pilaf -- "Jollof rice," according to Wikipedia, "is a popular dish all over West Africa. Its base consists of rice, tomatoes and tomato paste, onion, salt, and chili pepper, to which optional ingredients can be added such as vegetables, meats, and other spices." I may add black or red beans to the dish.
- Roasted yams -- Since this common African food may not be as popular with campers, I'll prepare it in smaller quantities. A butter and honey simple glaze will add a wonderful flavor to the yams.
- Dessert -- Even though I haven't fully landed on a dessert yet, one chef on another website suggested something made with pumpkin, another common ingredient. He said that a pumpkin cheesecake tart may hit the spot.
These are just a few ideas among many that I could use. I'll report back later in July after the banquet. In the meantime, please leave your comments and any additional ideas for the meal.