The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa by Marcus Samuelsson

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Notes about this book

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    2007 James Beard Award Winner

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Pomegranate rice

    • tsusan on November 22, 2009

      that's fenugreek seeds, not fresh fenugreek. Also dried oregano, not fresh.

  • Cod stew with sesame seeds

    • Elena Rose on January 16, 2010

      decent dish, easy to make. I would consider making again, but need to pump up the flavor

  • Lamb and veal kefta with tomato-cucumber salad

    • amraub on April 15, 2012

      Made without the tomato-cucumber salad. Kefta was quick, easy, and flavourful.

  • Vegetable tagine

    • amraub on April 15, 2012

      I was excited to try this recipe because it used so many of our CSA vegetables, but the end result fell flat. I was expecting more flavour and this just didn't do it for me. It's also odd because the spices end up making the potatoes look like carrots!

  • Spiced butter

    • moreace01 on October 19, 2010

      Great flavor. I used this spiced butter (niter kibbeh) in my Doro Wat this past weekend. I used premade ghee. I will say that Samuelsson's directions on making clarified butter are a little sparse, so if you aren't useing ghee and don't know how to clarify butter, I'd read up on it first.

    • L.Nightshade on November 02, 2014

      Dishes using Spiced Butter, page 24: Chunky Mashed Potatoes, page 176; Black-Eyed Peas, page 173; Trout Spaghetti, page 234; Steak Tartare, page 295; Corn Mashed Potatoes, page 94; Stir-Fried Beef Stew, page 131; Shiro, page 103; Plantain Chutney, page 48; Cumin Braai Bread, page 141; Beet-Ginger Chutney, page 47; Sautéed Vegetables, page 193; Candied Yams and Plantains, page 175; Chicken Stew (Doro Wett), page 245; Dark-Spiced Turkey Legs, page 252; Barbecued Roast Beef with Plum Sauce, page 273; Pomegranate Rice, page 99; Toasted Peanut Bread, page 153; Jollof Rice, page 265; Guinea Hen with Shiro, page 255; Spicy Plantain Chips, page 106; Curry Chapatis, page 142; Potato-Lentil Dumplings page 162; Zanzibari PIzzas, page 166; Pumpkin Mash, page 186; Warm Cabbage, page 197; Lamb Curry, page 288.

  • Injera

    • moreace01 on October 19, 2010

      This recipe did not work out well for me. The batter was very thick and made more of a fluffy pancake than a flatbread. I also had trouble getting the breads out of the pan without breaking. While this recipe was quick (no overnight fermentation), it didn't really work out as expected.

  • Boerewors sausage patties

    • TrishaCP on January 01, 2015

      The long ingredient list here is because the recipe requires two component recipes from the book- Green masala and Barbecue sauce. The green masala I added to the patties and the barbecue sauce is brushed on before cooking. I didn't have time for the barbecue sauce so brushed them with plum ketchup instead. These had a really pleasant flavor from the spices and brandy, but I think I would reduce the bacon next time because it really dominated. I subbed regular ground beef for the ground veal and that seemed to work ok.

  • Boharat beef skewers

    • TrishaCP on September 29, 2013

      This wasn't bad but it wasn't great either. There may have been user error on my part though- so let me explain. The big problem for me is that I found the recipe too acidic. Since I couldn't find lemon powder and no alternatives were provided, I subbed citric acid in my boharat mix (the one from the cookbook). In retrospect I think grated lemon peel may have been a better sub- because the acid from the spice blend plus all of that lemon juice was just too much for the meat. (Though the veggies tasted great!)

  • Boharat

    • TrishaCP on January 01, 2015

      Dishes using Boharat: Boharat beef skewers p. 282 and Lamb-stuffed tomatoes p. 290.

  • Chicken-peanut stew

    • TrishaCP on May 17, 2020

      This was a really satisfying dish, served with yellow rice as recommended. I used all dark meat (thighs), and I would do so again since you braise and then sauté the meat. I also subbed one habanero for the two Scotch bonnet chiles.

  • Green masala

    • TrishaCP on January 01, 2015

      Dishes using Green masala: Zanzibari pizzas p. 166; Duck skewers p.246; Boerewors sausage patties p. 281; Bobotie p. 285.

    • TrishaCP on January 01, 2015

      I had issues blending this masala. Usually for wet masalas I use the smaller attachment to my food processor and for dry grinds a coffee grinder repurposed just for spice grinding. Next time I would grind the dry spices separately first because they never grind as they should except in the coffee grinder. Still, this is a flavorful mix- per the book it can be used to replace curry powder. Keep in mind it is only as hot as your jalapeños- I left the seeds and ribs in and it was still very mild.

  • Tomato sauce

    • L.Nightshade on November 15, 2014

      This may well be the best tomato sauce I've ever had. The roasted cherry tomatoes remind me of Batali's tomato raisins, and I can eat them like candy. The peanuts and the ginger take this tomato sauce to a higher level; just delicious! I used habaneros, as I've never even seen a scotch bonnet around here, and they're supposed to have a similar heat index. Nice punch, not overwhelming. Perhaps due to a poor blending device, mine was quite chunky, it could be puréed. I served the sauce with Chicken Mofongo, and it was almost more like a side dish than a sauce, but it added moisture and flavor to the chicken dish. I'm seeking an opportunity to use it again! Serve with Falafel with quick tomato sauce, page 184; Merguez Sausage, page 293; Chicken Mofongo, page 243.

  • Cucumber salad

    • L.Nightshade on February 06, 2012

      We LOVED this salad! It works great with a West African groundnut stew. I used mixed chiles (no thai bird chiles here), two whole filleted sardines instead of two fillets, and I did not add the tomatoes to the saute, just used them raw. Amazing flavor combination!

  • Chicken and shrimp soup

    • L.Nightshade on November 09, 2014

      The bring-home hit of this dish for us was the shrimp and portabella balls. I'll happily make this soup again, and not bother with the chicken, or even the whole shrimp, the broth and the shrimp balls were what won us over. The shrimp balls are made up of finely chopped shrimp, sautéed portobella tops, cornstarch, and egg white. They were pretty gloppy, so I added a tiny bit more cornstarch than called for, and still didn't think they'd hold up in the broth. But lo and behold, they quickly became firm little balls, and absorbed all the flavors of the broth. Man, I'd make these things and pop them in bouillon if necessary (probably never happen as we seem to have gallons of homemade stock multiplying in the freezers). I do realize this is a personal taste/texture thing, but to me, these were like wonderful little dim sum treats; compact balls of great flavor. Not to demean the entire soup, we have some leftover, which I'll happily devour. But those shrimp balls were right up my alley.

  • Green curry paste

    • L.Nightshade on November 02, 2014

      Dishes using Green Curry Paste: Curried Trout with Coconut-Chile Sauce, page 207; Grilled Tilapia-Avocado Soup, page 122; Spicy Crayfish Boil, page 126; Plantain Chutney, page 48; Vegetable Samosas, page 164. Delicious! Will try it on grilled shrimp.

  • Berbere

    • L.Nightshade on November 02, 2014

      Dishes using Berbere, page 12: Chunky Mashed Potatoes, page 176; Barbecue Sauce, page 45; Black-Eyed Peas, page 173; Trout Spaghetti, page 234; Barbecued Pork Ribs, page 271; Steak Tartare, page 295; Crispy Avocado, page 95; Stir-Fried Beef Stew, page 131; Warm Tuna "Tartare," page 237; Berbere-Crusted Rack of Lamb, page 274; Shiro, page 103.

  • Awase

    • L.Nightshade on April 06, 2014

      The ingredients are Berbere, cayenne, ground ginger, ground cardamom, salt, lemon juice, dry red wine, and water. I ground World Spice Berbere (with Ajwain seed, Cloves, Fenugreek, Ginger powder, Tellicherry Black Pepper, Cassia, Cardamom, Coriander and Pequin chilies), roasted it with the other spices. A compellingly complex and delicious sauce.

  • Sauteed morning glory

    • L.Nightshade on November 15, 2014

      This is an easy, flavorful treatment for greens, I used chard this time. Peanuts are sautéed in peanut oil until golden, then ginger and garlic are added. When the garlic starts to color, greens, jalapenos, soy sauce, and sesame seeds are added. When the greens have wilted, the dish is drizzled with lime juice and sesame oil, and seasoned with salt and pepper. That's all. Simple, tasty green things; a very nice side.

  • Foie gras-date chutney with toasted spiced dried fruit bread

    • L.Nightshade on November 09, 2014

      This recipe calls for searing foie gras in one-inch cubes and incorporating it into the chutney. I couldn't see doing that, although I may try it one day. Instead, I made the chutney using the fat from searing the foie, and served it with small slices of foie. The spiced fruit bread is spread with softened butter that has been blended with ginger, cardamom, cinnamon, and salt, and toasted in a heated skillet. I serve this with the foie, toasted bread, and chutney separate on the plate, to be stacked as desired by the diners as desired. I loved this dish. I originally had my doubts about the fruity bread with chocolate served with the foie gras, but for me, it totally worked.

  • Curried trout with coconut-chili sauce

    • L.Nightshade on November 09, 2014

      Let me start off by saying it's possible that I'm not a huge trout fan. Or maybe we overcooked the trout a bit. This recipe includes the Green Curry Paste on page 26 (Thai curry paste can be substituted). I made the paste, and found it delicious. The curry paste is mixed with a little peanut oil, and half of that mixture goes onto the slashed fish and into the cavity. The rest is mixed with serrano, tomatoes, red onion, and garlic, and set to simmer while the fish is roasting. Once reduced, coconut milk is added. The trout is turned once halfway through cooking, then drizzled with lemon juice when done. The sauce is passed separately. I love the sauce: loved the green curry paste, and loved it cooked with the onions, tomatoes, and coconut milk. But I think it needs a nice firm piece of grilled fish, or even shellfish. I did make extra, so we'll see how it freezes, and try it on something else. Again, perhaps trout is not my favorite fish, and perhaps we overcooked it. YMMV.

  • Malata

    • L.Nightshade on November 09, 2014

      Peanuts, squash (the recipe calls for butternut, but we had a yellow acorn on hand), onion, and garlic are sautéed in peanut oil for about 10 minutes. Next chopped bird's eye chiles and chopped ginger are added, and sautéed for another 10 minutes. Then clams, a little clam juice, white wine, thyme, and salt go in, and the pot is covered. The clams are removed and set aside as they open. Spinach gets added to the pan, and when it cooks down a bit, the clams go back in and the stew is warmed through. It is served in heated bowls with wedges of lime. This steamy (slightly Halloween-y), flavorful dish was perfect for a cool night. It came together so easily, but tasted quite special. I'd make this again in a heartbeat.

  • Snapper wrapped in banana leaves

    • L.Nightshade on November 15, 2014

      What fun! I loved making this dish; it's like wrapping little presents. I plated the packets unwrapped, MS also gives the option of unwrapping them before plating, but I opted for the "gift unwrapping" at table. I greatly enjoyed the flavors in the fish, and the coconutty rice. Mr. NS was a bit less than forthcoming in his praise. He wasn't a big fan of the plantains, and thought the fish was a tad overcooked near the ends. I think that was my error, in that the cooking time for six packets is probably different than the time for two packets. I'd cut the time down if I made it again (for rare fish fans like Mr. NS). Our homemade chicken stock has no salt, and I added salt sparingly. Mr. NS salted a bit at table, but I just savored the flavors of coconut, ginger, cilantro, and peppers. Mr. NS wants to sample it with a firmer fish like halibut.

  • Black-eyed peas

    • stockholm28 on November 19, 2014

      I really liked this. It had great depth of flavor. I made the spiced butter and berbere the night before and soaked the peas overnight. With the coconut milk and butter, it is pretty rich. He suggests you serve it as a side to grilled meat or fish, but I thought it worked well as a very hearty vegetarian main.

    • Jardimc on October 31, 2020

      Lots of layered flavors. Too much going on in this tasty dish for a side. More like a main course If served over white rice.

  • Yellow rice

    • jjankows on December 20, 2014

      We enjoyed this, though if we make it again I will omit the corn. All in all, a nice side for some of the other main dish recipes in the book.

  • Chili mayonnaise

    • kitchen_chick on June 18, 2016

      Additional ingredients: three egg yolks. Only 1 Tbs chopped blanched almonds. 1 C olive oil, 3/4 C canola oil. Plus more standard pantry items.

  • Papaya ketchup

    • kitchen_chick on June 18, 2016

      Tomato amount: 1 cup chopped can or 2 tomatoes seeded and roughly chopped. Papaya amount: 1 ripe, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped (about 1 cup). One lime. One serrano chili.

  • Crab burgers

    • kitchen_chick on June 18, 2016

      Cookbook mentions serving these crab cake with these other recipes: Curry Chaptis (or toasted buns), Rum-Pickled Chilies, Chili Mayonnaise, Pickled Cabbage, and Papaya Ketchup. Blend some of the chili mayo and papaya ketchup to get the orange sauce pictured on page 155. I serve them on toasted brioche buns.

  • Trout spaghetti

    • kitchen_chick on May 18, 2016

      The ingredient list here is combining multiple recipes. This recipe uses nit'r qibe (spiced butter) and berebere, and many of the ingredients are for those sub-recipes. You can use plain butter in a pinch, though Samuelsson's spiced butter is easy to make, especially if you start with ghee instead of clarifying your own butter. And personally, I would buy berbere rather than make it. The trout is treated like ceviche in the recipe. I usually don't have the time to marinate the fish long enough to "cook" it, so I'll add it to the pan right before adding the spaghetti so it gets gently cooked through. You must treat berbere amounts in the recipe as suggestions and adjust based on whether your berbere is hotter or milder and your personal spicy-heat level preferences. (For example, the berbere I have right now is VERY hot and I would use only 1/3 or maybe 1/2 as much as the recipe.)

  • Banana fritters

    • kitchen_chick on July 18, 2017

      Very simple. I used extremely ripe bananas so I omitted the small amount of sugar, but don't leave out the salt and the honey to glaze them. Those add a lot to the fritters.

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  • ISBN 10 0764569112
  • ISBN 13 9780764569111
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Sep 19 2006
  • Format Hardcover
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Wiley

Publishers Text

2007 Beard Award Winner!

In The Soul of a New Cuisine, award-winning chef Marcus Samuelsson takes his formidable culinary talents and curiosity to Africa to bring the continent's diverse cultures and cuisines alive for home cooks. Sharing more than 200 recipes from all parts of Africa, from Curried Trout with Coconut-Chili Sauce of Kenya to Braai Vegetables of South Africa, Samuelsson recounts fascinating stories of his journey across the continent. Beautifully designed in full-color throughout and featuring more than 250 breathtaking color food and travel photos, the book is ideal for readers who would like to explore the free, relaxed spirit of African cooking.

Marcus Samuelsson (New York, NY) is Executive Chef and co-owner of Restaurant Aquavit and AQ Café at Scandinavia House as well as Riingo restaurant in New York. Star of the Discovery Home Channel's Inner Chef, he is the author of Aquavit: And the New Scandinavian Cuisine. He was born in Ethiopia and raised by adoptive parents in Sweden.



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