Announcement: New Category! Ôś║

Hey everyone! Hope the new year has brought lots of good things your way but if it hasn’t don’t worry, relax & cook something African!

Today, I like to introduce a new section/category on the blog called Kitchen Bloopers. Here, I will be posting my epic kitchen fails as well as humorous cooking fails from around the web. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I do and I look forward to hearing about yours too.

Cheers,
African Foodie ­čśë

Custard Fail

Oh my goodness, this post has been a long time coming! I remember some months ago when I announced that I would be posting my epic kitchen fails but some how time seemed to elude me & suddenly everything else in life became super important. Anyways, I am glad I am finally getting around to doing this. I hope you enjoy this post and we can both laugh about what horrible custard I made.

So custard has been a very tricky meal to make & I am sure I am not alone in this boat (Oya, don’t deny it. You have messed it up before). I love custard so so much especially served with fried plantain or beans or even cake! (when I’m feeling high brow ­čśë ). This wonderful afternoon I wanted custard so bad & I set out to make me a ‘quick’ bowl and here is the disastrous result.

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problem no 1, as you can see, there are lumps in it, which is a big no no

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After trying so hard to remedy the situation I was finally able to get a lot of the lumps out

20130125-115336.jpgProblem no 2, after serving it & digging in, I noticed the custard was brick like ­čśŽ it wasn’t a nice creamy consistency & it felt like eating partially melted ice cream.

So there… I look forward to the day I can cook custard perfectly with my eyes closed.

Apple Berry Festival

Today’s post is going to be on something more universal, something that should be part of everyone’s meal regardless of culture or origin and that is fruits!

It gets hard to always remember to have fruits after a meal so to make things easier a great option is to blend them and have as a drink. The other great thing about this method is that you can use it as a snack in between meals,  preventing you from filling yourself with junk food or other unhealthy things.

Today, I will be using the NutriBullet blender to make a drink I call the Apple Berry Festival ;). This is different from a smoothie because it is all just fruits.

Ingredients
6 Apples
15-20 Strawberries
2 handful of Blueberries
2-3 handful of Raspberries
1 Mid size bunch Seedless Red Grapes
1 Mid size bunch Seedless Green Grapes

Steps
– Wash all fruits properly in clean cool water
– Chop apples into chunks. Dispose of the seeds
– Chop strawberries also
– Flip the NutriBullet Jar and add in portions all the different fruits.

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– Add half a cup of water to enable proper blending. Cover the jar with the blade bottom & flip over.
– Insert jar into blender base, push down and turn clockwise to switch on.

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– Blend fruits tills it is smooth. Remove from blending jar and turn into a pitcher.
– Continue process till all fruits have been used up. Allow to cool in the fridge and consume within 3-5 days.

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This drink is one of the best things you can do for your body because you have a mix of great fruits that help support your immune system & helps with weight management. Did I also mention, you get glowing skin?.

Feel free to mix up the fruits used!

20130112-205222.jpgCheers Folks!

Okra Soup

Okra soup is one of the easiest and quickest soup anyone can make. From personal experience, it serves as an interim solution when one can’t decide on what soup to cook next. Also, because of the little preparation time, it has become one of the go to soups.
Okra soup is usually eaten with stew or mixed with vegetables such as Ugw to increase the amount of soup or just to have something a little extra in it.

Some people believe eating raw okra helps improves voice for singing, I don’t know how true that is but the taste is good for sure.

To make Okra soup,

Ingredients
– Fresh okra (15 fingers)
– Salt (1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon)
– Maggi (1 cube)

Steps

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– Wash fresh okra and either finely chop with a knife or grate it (excluding the head). I prefer to use a grater because for me it is quicker and it comes out much uniform. Older generations use knives because they are more used to it and I guess have more experience. Today, some people still use knifes to chop it but put it into a blender and give it 1 or 2 quick pulse. Feel free to explore and decide what method suits you.

– In a clean pot, add the cut up okra, add water to about 1 inch above the level of the okra, add salt and maggi to taste.

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– Note, do not cover the okra while cooking else it will bubble up and spill all over the cooker and cause a big mess.

– Allow to cook for about 7 – 10mins. Okra will turn a bit whitish and very “drawy”. You also have to occasionally watch the okra while it cooks as it dries out and burns pretty quickly.

Serve with stew and eba.

 

 

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.┬áHere 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 ­čÖé

Serves: 2.