What was I thinking?
With everything that I have on my plate at the moment I invited my boss to dinner? What on earth could have possessed me to do such a thing? And to make it worse his wife will be there too. Christelle is so infinitely stuck up, all she ever wants is to tell us how provincial our lives are compared to the glamorous life she left behind in Paris. I just wish she’d stay at home with her precious shitzu Mignon (dubbed Minion at the office) and do her nails, or sext her lover, or whatever it is that ex-pat trophy wives are expected to do these days.
Well, it’s done now. No point in crying over spilled milk, or spilled wine as the case may be. If only I hadn’t knocked that glass of rose’ over Tim (the aforementioned boss) at last Friday’s office party, then I wouldn’t have found myself extolling the virtues of drinking rose’ on my porch when the sun is setting and the monkeys are hurling abuse from the trees at Tyrion, my adorable rotweiller. And maybe if I hadn’t had a couple of glasses of wine before said spillage, I wouldn’t have enthusiastically invited both boss and charming wife for dinner, so they too could enjoy the precious scene. I have precisely twenty minutes to get to the fishmonger before it closes. Luckily for me I stored the number of Aloha Foods, Nairobi’s best fishmonger, last time I dropped by. This means that I had the foresight yesterday to call in and place an order, which means that I won’t have to select some old glazey-eyed red snapper that no one else has wanted all day, but instead have four dozen Kilifi oysters (20 bob each, shucked. Who can complain?) and half a kilo of Malindi prawns waiting on ice.
Back at home, I’m busy grating copious amounts of ginger and garlic, the cornerstone of my famous dish: Spaghetti Chinoise!
This dish has been a game changer for me and I take full credit for inventing it. The idea popped up one day when I was staying at North Coast with my fiancé (then boyfriend, but that’s another story for another time) Luan, who is Portuguese/Mozambican. The concept is incredibly simple: surf and turf with an oriental twist!
The secret to Spaghetti Chinoise is to cook all the ingredients separately and then combine them at the end with a cubed ripe avocado (don’t mush it up too much, it messes with the consistency of the sauce).
Basically what you do is first caramelise the garlic and ginger and set them aside. Next you take some pork or beef mince and fry it until it is almost crunchy (I add a bit of fish sauce and soy sauce for moisture at the beginning). Next take the shrimp and stir fry them on a high flame with a bit of sesame oil. At this point your spaghetti should have been thrown in the large pot of boiling salted water. When the spaghetti is almost done, stick the reserved ingredients back into the pan, mix them up properly and then once the spaghetti has been drained, stick it all in a bi pot with the avocado thrown in last.
Easy, no? In the end even Christelle couldn’t say no to a second helping of spaghetti. And that was after she’d wolfed down almost twenty oysters. Luan is launching into a conversation with Tim about why ISIL is in fact more fundamentalist than IS, which for me signals it’s time to clear up.
I thought it was going to be a torture but in the end I even managed to squeeze a few words out of Christelle who, poor soul, isn’t that bad after all. Not bad for a dinner I whipped up in half an hour!