Corn Bread

I fell in love with cornbread one night out with friends at a restaurant. Since then, every time I go to other places, I always look out for cornbread but unfortunately, I don’t always get it :(. This constant disappointment got me thinking, “umm I should be able to make some cornbread” and so today, I am going to share my experience making cornbread.

Ingredients
– 1 Cup all purpose flour
– 1 Cup yellow cornmeal
– 1 Cup whole milk or buttermilk
– 2 large eggs
– 1/2 cup granulated sugar
– 1/2 stick butter, melted
– 1/4 cup honey
– 1 Tbs baking powder
– 1/2 tbspn salt

Steps:

At the store, the only brand of yellow corn meal I could find was the one shown in the picture below. It turned out to be very good and did not give any problems during preparation and baking.

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So to get started, in bowl, mix the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Mix till all ingrdients are properly mixed. In different or deep plate like I have, whisk together the whole milk/buttermilk, 2 eggs, butter, and honey.

The honey is optional so if you don’t have any, feel free to skip it. Also, although 1/2 stick of butter is the standard amount, after baking I noticed that the 1/2 stick of butter was a “tinsy winsy” bit too much for my personal taste so next time, I will be using less.

Next, pour the milk mix into the flour mix and stir properly.

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Preheat oven to 375 F,  Pour the mix into a greased baking pan and bake in low rack (if your heat comes from the top of the oven) of 20/25 mins until golden. To ensure it is fully cooked, stick a toothpick in the center of the loaf, if it comes out clean and dry, cornbread is ready else allow to bake for a few more minutes.
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Garlic Bread

Ingredients.

– 1 Tbs full of finely chopped fresh parsley
– 1/4 stick of unsalted butter
– 2 gloves of finely chopped garlic
– French or Italian bread

Steps
– Rinse out parsley leaves under running water as they could be sandy
– Finely chop enough to fill one tablespoon
– Peel & finely chop fresh garlic

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Fresh Parsley

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– Add the 3 ingredients into a clean bowl and mix together. If you want a little kick, you can add a bit of black pepper.
– Slice the bread
– Spread the mix evenly on the bread

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– Preheat oven to 350F
– When the oven is ready, bake the bread for about 10-15 mins

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Garlic Bread is Ready

Baked Potatoes and Gravy

Ingredients.
Irish potatoes
Salt
Dried pepper (You can use black ground pepper)
Olive Oil

Steps (Oven-Baked Potatoes).
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F. Rub the potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and ground black pepper. Prick them with a fork. You can either lay them directly on the oven rack or place them on a baking sheet.

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Seasoned Raw Potatoes

2. Cook the potatoes for 45-60 minutes, until the skin is crispy and sticking one with a fork meets no resistance. Baking this way gives crispy potato skins. To have soft skins, wrap the potatoes in foil paper before baking.

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Baked Potatoes Served with Shrimp Gravy

The Gravy.
See instructions here on how to make gravy.

Steamed Meat

Ingredients
Beef
Salt or Seasoning Salt
Thyme
Maggi
Onions (1/2 a bulb)
* Curry
* Dried Pepper

Steps
1. Properly wash raw meat and cut into smaller pieces.
2. Place cut meat into a clean dry pot
3. Add sliced onions, maggi, salt to taste, 1/2 Tsp of thyme & curry, 1/2 Tsp of dried pepper (using pepper is optional but I like to add it because it spices things up)

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4. Allow to cook for about 20-25 mins. Meat should be soft enough to easily chew and broth still in the pot. (Notice that no water was added. Meat/chicken produce their own water while cooking but if this feels odd to you, you can add very very little water.)

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5. To be certain the meat is fully cooked, slice a piece and see that the inside isn’t red or looks raw. Always ensure you cook meat, chicken, fish fully to prevent transmission of any disease/sickness common to half cooked products.

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Meat is ready to be used. The broth is always very tasty and used a lot to cook other things such as stews, soups and even jollof rice.

Gravy Sauce

Ingredients
Fresh tomatoes 3
Fresh round pepper 1-2
* Fajita Mix (this is basically already chopped onions, green and red bell pepper)
Chopped or powdered ginger and garlic
Maggi
Salt
Curry
Thyme
*Shrimps

Steps
– Wash and dice round pepper and tomatoes

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– Pour a little olive oil in a frying pan and heat using mid flame.

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Olive oil on fire

– When oil is hot, place Fijita mix and stir fry till onions are pale looking

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– Add chopped tomatoes, pepper, ginger & garlic. Stir fry for about 15-20 mins

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– After thawing shrimps and blotting out excess water with paper towel, add to frying pan. Here I used already cleaned and deveined ready to cook shrimp from the grocery store.

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– Add salt to taste, Maggi, 1/2 Tsp of curry and thyme. Stir fry till shrimps is well cooked.
– Gravy is ready!

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Serve with rice (Plain, fried or jollof), fried plantains or baked potatoes 🙂

Serves: 2.