Napolitaines in progress

Making a paste

Fish Vindaye

Mauritius coloured loom band

Steggie shaped dessert

Mauritius

Sorry for the long break...our family moved apart for 5 weeks but now we're all back together and are thrilled to be returning to our 192 Countries of Dinner challenge. This week after some serious tin shaking, Mauritius was selected...

 

Off to my usual wiki and google searches and thankfully there were easily identified traditional meals to choose from - I opted for Fish Vindaye - a rather easy cook to ease myself back into the challenge and Napolitaines for dessert - these actually proved a little more time consuming than originally anticipated.

 

Read on to discover the recipes and see how we rated our Mauritius themed meal this week...

Using our flower cookie cutter

Joined in the kitchen by April this week

Jammy deliciousness

We had to cook the icing!

The finished product

Dessert - Napolitaines

So, seeing as I started this week's cook with dessert, I though I'd share that recipe first.

 

The most popular dessert and one of the most traditional when searching online was Napolitaines  - presumably from the French influence of the country. A quick read of the recipe and it was clear that everything was already in my pantry to make these so a great start!

 

The recipe can be found here.

 

Chef's notes:

The dough was pretty easy to make, especially if you've made shortbread before. Bear in mind that this shortbread recipe does not contain sugar so you are definitely going to need the jam and icing to make this a sweet treat. It was quite crumbly but the 30mins in the fridge certainly helped with handling the dough.

 

I didn't have a heart shaped cookie cutter so utilised one of my flower shaped ones. Harrison was less than impressed with the flowers when walking past and got our stegosaurus cutter out so we had a couple of dinosaur shaped creations too.

 

I lost track with cooking times a bit - I started with the usual 11 minute alarm and then kept adding 5 mins at a time on each check. I was also cooking in batches (this recipe makes a lot) so I'd say cooking time is probably nearer 30mins than 20.

 

The icing was the biggest challenge on this cook. It's the first time I've ever seen a recipe that requires you to make the icing in a saucepan over heat. Mine did not go to a syrup consistency as described in the recipe so Paul came to save the day by adding more icing sugar. However as soon as we took the icing off the heat it pretty much set immediately. So more water was added and then some quick decorating was required as the icing sets almost instantly. I'd recommend following the recipe and taking the pan off the heat at regular intervals to see how much it thickens.

 

I also opted for lilac icing....for no reason other than I thought they'd look pretty.

 

The Verdict

Paul - 9/10 - nice texture and the jam & icing combo made them just sweet enough.

Harrison - 1/10 - shortcake was a disgusting flavour.

April - 10/10 - delicious! My favourite part is the icing.

Danie - 8/10 - nice flavour, melt in your mouth consistency. I need to perfect the icing as that was problematic but still tasted nice.

 

Guest judge - Charlene. So as it was Charlene's birthday and after our feast I was going round to her house, I took her a cookie to try and she loved it too - giving a verdict of 8/10 - Thanks for taking part Charlene!

Fresh tuna!

Making the spicy paste

Marinating the onion

Looks just like the recipe picture

Served with rice

The Main - Fish Vindaye

Fish Vindaye came up as a the traditional dish of Mauritius so I thought that was probably the best choice for our meal. The cook looked easy (which it was) and there was nothing too tricky to source. It turned out that the Tuna wasn't available in our local supermarket but a trip into Botany on a recommendation and 1kg of tuna was sourced from Pak'n'Save!

 

The recipe can be found here for the fish vindaye.

 

Chef's Notes

- 1kg of tuna (5 loin steaks) was probably far too much - we actually have enough left for another family meal so I'd recommend aiming for less to make this a more cost effective meal.

- I did alter this recipe a little. I used mince garlic instead of cloves for convenience and opted for 8 teaspoons instead of 8 cloves as I though that was comparative. The recipe didn't specify whether to use yellow or black mustard seeds so instead of 1 tablespoon I did 1/2 tablespoon of each colour. I used 2 onions instead of 3 because 3 seemed excessive and instead of 10 green chillies, I used 3 large green chillies which was plenty for this dish.

- The recipe didn't suggest what to serve this with, perhaps they serve it on it's own. I served ours with some rice.

 

The Verdict

Paul - 9/10 - Very tasty and spicy

Harrison - 9/10 - onions were disgusting but the tuna was yummy, just a bit strong.

April - 0/10 - I hate it!

Danie - 8/10 - nice flavours. a tad too spicy for me as I had tingling lips. Nice easy cook though.