The Unique Dish The Pioneer Woman Just Learned How To Make

Celebrity home cook, TV personality, and blogger Ree Drummond — better known as "The Pioneer Woman" — has built her brand on the cowboy comfort food she cooks up in her ranch-style Oklahoma kitchen. According to her website, a typical spread of Drummond's signature dishes might include "broccoli-cheese orzotto, tomato soup, and chicken nuggets with cheese and marinara and more cheese." Take a quick glance at Drummond's latest recipes on Food Network, and you'll find fare like pot roast, cheese-stuffed pasta, and beef stew with vegetables. All in all, her repertoire tends to lean on simple and hearty meals. 

But while the self-proclaimed "ranch wife" may be known for her life in the country, she told Design and Living that she identifies as a city girl at heart. And as such, she occasionally diverts from her midwestern culinary habits to explore other cuisines. In an impromptu Instagram Live video on Wednesday, the Pioneer Woman learned to make a traditional Zimbabwean dish from her friend, makeup artist Jacque Mgido.

Drummond learned to make Sadza

Jacque Mgido chose to teach Ree Drummond how to make sadza, a thick cornmeal porridge that's prolific throughout Mgido's native Zimbabwe and other parts of South and East Africa. Drummond introduces the Instagram Live video by explaining that she and Mgido are "hiding in the kitchen" (aka they're taking a break from filming Food Network's "Christmas Cookie Challenge") to make the dish, which Drummond has evidently been eager to learn. 

"I've always wanted to show her how to make sadza," confirms Mgido, who admits that she's breaking tradition by using two kinds of yellow cornmeal as opposed to the standard white variety. She begins by adding water to the cornmeal and bringing it to a boil, then turning down the heat and stirring frequently so that there isn't a bubble in sight, much like the process of cooking polenta. Unlike polenta, however, Mgido adds even more cornmeal to the pot after the original layer has thickened up a bit, yielding an even denser mixture.

It sounds delicious on its own, but Mgido explains that the real purpose of sadza is to serve as a "vessel" for other dishes — an edible utensil of sorts. In the video, Mgido whips up spinach sautéed with peanut butter alongside a traditional stew and slow-cooked greens that she had prepared the night before. Considering how enthusiastic Drummond was about the dish, we wouldn't be surprised if Mgido has a cameo on "The Pioneer Woman" in her future.