And now, a recap of the past few days. Running around, addressing cards, late hours, stress. Then suddenly — sometime mid-afternoon on Sunday — calm. I found myself in a quiet house. Little G was napping, Jeff was jogging. The house was clean. The presents wrapped. I curled up on the couch, nursed some hot spiced cider and read the newspaper.

If you’re a fellow journalist, you know how wonderful it feels to see a story you’re proud of in the paper. On Sunday, I soaked up the fact that a piece I’d worked on for weeks had finally run. The photos were excellent, the display couldn’t have been better.  It was the story of a second chance — a homeless kid who hadn’t been in school for three years. A family friend took him in, enrolled him in high school and together, the two of them struggle to survive.  It generated more than a hundred emails and phone calls from people wanting to help. My goal was to tell a good story. I’ve been blown away by the response.

I was also suprised by how well I liked this bobotie. (Nice transition, huh?)  Bobotie is a South African dish similar to meatloaf. Hot curry powder gives it warmth. Raisins and chopped apples add sweetness. Slivered almonds give crunch. This version uses ground lamb. Others call for a mix of ground meats. It’s baked with a thin layer of custard on top. We ate ours with rice. Yum! Recommended: a dollop of chutney, which unfortunately we didn’t have.

Gourmet, January 2006

1 cup coarse fresh bread crumbs (from 2 slices firm white sandwich bread)
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 medium onions, finely chopped (2 cups)
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup raisins (1 1/2 ounce)
1/4 cup slivered blanched almonds (1 ounce)
2 tablespoons curry powder (preferably Madras)
1 teaspoon sugar
3 large eggs
2 pounds ground lamb or beef
1/2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Soak bread crumbs in milk for about 15 minutes, then drain the soaked crumbs in a sieve set over a bowl, lightly pressing to remove excess milk. Reserve milk.

Preheat oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle. Butter a baking dish –9x9x2-inch, or 3-quart capacity.

Cook onions, apple, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until onions and apple are softened, about 12 minutes. Be careful not to brown them. Add raisins, almonds, curry powder, and sugar and cook, stirring, 1 minute, then remove from heat. Lightly beat 1 egg in a large bowl, then add bread crumbs, lamb or beef, raisin mixture, lemon juice and zest, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, and pepper and blend with your hands until combined well; do not overmix. Spread meat mixture evenly in baking dish and bake 30 minutes.

While meatloaf bakes, whisk together remaining 2 eggs, reserved milk, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Pour off excess fat from meatloaf (still in baking dish). Pour egg mixture over meatloaf (much of egg will fill space that has formed around meatloaf), then return to oven and bake until custard is just set, about 15 minutes more.


1 Response to “Bobotie”

  1. January 13, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    I made this today while Atlanta unthaws! Used ground turkey. Thanks for the recipe!

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