When Africando was in Belltown and I worked nearby, I ate there as often as I could afford it. :) My favorite menu item for lunch was the Kaolack sandwich (apparently named after the city in Senegal), which is described in their online menu as: "Tender beef strips sautéed with onion, garlic and a touch of habanero sauce on a French baguette..."
Both my husband and I have enjoyed it many times in the past. What the above description doesn't tell you is that the sauce was: 1) very cumin-y, 2) brown in color, 3) also tasting of black pepper, 4) not particularly thick, as sauces go. I have been completely unsuccessful in duplicating it at home, and internet searches of "cumin beef" haven't helped much, either. But neither of us want to give up, because it's so darn delicious, and because we're also both of us pretty darn good cooks and can usually duplicate restaurant food we enjoy.
Tonight's effort - sauce made with onion, celery, mild roasted green pepper, beef broth, black pepper, and lots of hot little red Thai peppers - the taste was almost right, but not quite. Garlic is obviously missing. Since the restaurant makes the sandwich fairly quickly, I'm wondering if the meat is stewed tender beforehand and then mixed with sauce, or if it's a quick saute (the slices are fairly thick, so wondering how they'd keep them tender yet cooked through, but high heat on pro ranges helps with that, of course). Ah, many questions.
So, I'm wondering if any of you have tried the sandwich and/or have any recipes that you think might foot the bill?
by Jen Wheeler | At Christmas time, there are cookies galore, but true dessert lovers still crave something more substantial...