What do you do when you are in the mood to cook but you are very limited on ingredients? You improvise!
I was in the mood for a homemade pizza today so I went into the kitchen to gather ingredients only to realize I was missing a whole bunch of them! I needed a plan B. Unfortunately, plan B rested on making the best of whatever was available. Of course, it would have been easy to prepare nshima with the usual accompaniments (ingredients for this are always readily available in any Zambian home!) but am not a huge fan of nshima and I prefer dinner to be on the slightly lighter side. It’s almost always guaranteed that lunch is nshima in this home so am free to play around with dinner choices.
Because I am currently not in my own home (am visiting my brother and his wife in Livingstone), I am very restricted in terms of how far on the kitchen experimental crazy line I can go! Of course my sister-in-law has given me the freedom to cook whatever I like, but still…just imagine how embarrassing it would be if the kids woke up in the middle of the night fighting for a spot on the white seat all because they had the misfortune of eating one of my crazy experiments. Ayayai.
The first thing that caught my eye was the potatoes sitting quietly in a corner. People, no matter what you have or wherever you are, there’s always a thousand ways to prepare potatoes! I knew without a doubt I didn’t want them mashed, too obvious and too boring. I wanted a remix, with meat and with some color in it! I was short on greens so I did whatever I could with what was available.
Let me take you through it. I called it the;
Sweet Chilli Bacon and Cheesy Potatoes
What you need:
- cheddar cheese
- Green pepper
- Onion (white/red/green)
- Tomato sauce
- sweet chili sauce
- olive oil
- Spices of your choice
(Please note that I cook from the heart, I am not a professional cook…in fact, I am very far from it since I only recently started to enjoy cooking. You can use your own discretion for measurements on everything. I just took into account my own family size.)
- Cut potatoes into cubes and boil on high heat for less than 10min. (Others of course just mix the potatoes with the other ingredients and bake directly without pre-boiling but I like to boil mine)
- fry the bacon and tear it up into sizable pieces
- Make the sweet chili sauce mix using the carrots, green pepper, onions, spices and whatever else you wanna add. I personally fried the carrots and the other vegetables in Olive oil for just a little bit and then added the two sauces to the mixture.
- once potatoes are boiled (not so much that they are fully cooked), put them in a casserole dish, mix them up in mayo, mix in the bacon and then add the sweet chili sauce mixture.
- Sprinkle cheese on top and bake for 20-30 minutes.
Dinner is ready!
PS: Did I mention that I don’t eat bacon? LOL. Naturally, that means I never tasted the final product. I just pray everyone liked it. I hope!