Matongé and Quimbombó con Carne de Puerco y Bolitas de Plátano

Mantongé Mural

Matongé Mural

This summer I’ve been taking classes in Brussels, so I took the opportunity to do a bit of exploring. I had already been to Brussels a few times, but always to the Historic Center and other touristy places. I had heard about Matongé from a colleague and was curious to check it out! Luckily a classmate, Samy, was free after class to show me around – and thought it was funny I wanted to go and take photos. I especially wanted to get plantains, okra, and habanero peppers, because they’re difficult to find in Antwerp.  Fresh produce was available in abundance with little markets located throughout Matongé! I bought some Congolese food to-go to try the next day.

With my plantains, okra, and peppers I made Quimbombó con Carne de Puerco y Bolitas de Plátano – okra stew with pork and plantain dumplings. It’s a Cuban dish with a heavy African influence. It’s a bit like gumbo. If you say “King Gumbo” really quickly you get the idea. Everything turned out really well except for my plantain dumplings. They didn’t stay in their form. If I make this again, I will just fry them rather than mashing them and making balls.

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Dutch-style Post-Colonial Dinners

A couple ago of months ago an Albert Heijn opened in Antwerp!  This may not mean much to some of you, but being married to a Dutch man, a Nederlander, this is a big deal!  The Albert Heijn is a Dutch supermarket with Dutch products, meaning a large selection of world cuisine such as Indonesian, South African, and Surinamese (all former Dutch colonies).  This weekend I did groceries at the AH and bought the ingredients to make 2 different dishes – Babi Pangang (Indonesian) and Bobotie (South African). Lekker!

Babi Pangang (left) and Bobotie (right)

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