Beef Dishes | Dinner | Soups/Stews

Seafood Okra | Autumn comforts

By on November 1, 2017

Okra soup is something that’s grown on me tremendously over the years, as a child I used to protest against it and opt for something else. Now I find it intensely satisfying, providing comfort when I‘m in need. My latest version of Okra soup may be displeasing to some as it shares a different take on how traditional Nigerian Okra soup is made and whilst this may be true, I see nothing wrong with providing a different take on this using ingredients that are easily accessible. As mentioned in my video (please see video below) I have adapted it to how I cook and sometimes like to eat.

The turning point…

for me was a seafood okra I sampled at a small local kitchen 20 minutes from our home in Lagos. The Okra had little to zero ounce of palm oil, but the fragrant scent and taste of scotch bonnets along with the perfect balance of salt, ground crayfish and stock was unbelievably delicious, so much so I often found myself craving and fantasising about it. Sadly, no matter how many attempts I tried to recreate it at home I still haven’t quite reached there yet. However, I’ve developed something that I’m equally happy with and that is the recipe I’ll be sharing with you, please see below for ingredients.

Okra 1kg

1 litre fish stock

2 cups of Chopped Kale

2 Scotch bonnets chillies

Palm oil

1 onion, chopped

2 x Knorr stock cube

Bay leaf, (optional)

1 teaspoon freshly crushed Ginger (optional)

1 teaspoon crayfish

1 teaspoon smoked ground prawns

Salt

Black pepper

Fish:

Red Seabream perfect for this as it’s meaty & can hold quite well.
Tiger prawns, quite expensive but are great. Alternatively use prawns or shrimps. My ideal pot of soup would include crabs and mussels but I wanted to start of small and whilst I build confidence in cooking with delicate Seafood items.

Important Prep and cooking notes


Chop the Okra into 1 cm chunks, I also like to use kale for this recipe as it provides great texture. Alternatively you can use spinach or pumpkin leaves. Roughly chop the kale too. If you want a more soupy consistency then blitz the okra in a food processor or blender prior to cooking.

Cooking the Fish: fish is very tender and cooks rather quickly, in the video I  cooked the prawns with the seabream but I would recommend cooking the prawns separately, for about 2-3 minutes both sides before adding to the soup. If you would like to cook the prawns with the fish like I did, then cook for no longer than 6 minutes. Grilling them can also provide great flavour but be careful not to overcook as it can provide a tough rubbery texture.

Recipe video:

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Dinner | Soups/Stews

Chicken & Yam Pepper Soup

By on June 12, 2017

No matter what obstacles I face or how down I feel, cooking always seems to get me through. For me it’s therapy, and I can just go along, take my mind of things for a bit and get on with it. I love that rhythm of stirring the pot, chopping the onions (even though they make me cry) watching the contents bubble over the fire. Sounds a bit dramatic, I know, but having been under a lot of stress lately this put me completely at ease.

I made this dish Sunday evening, having spent the day working and doing chores. The ingredients where the only ones available at the time as no weekly food shop was done and my dad loved it and couldn’t stop going back for more.It made me so happy as it’s something I didn’t fuss to much about but yet just went along with. This dish was improvised but it came out great and it’s so simple to make with little or no effort at all. This will also be the perfect remedy for when I’m feeling a little under the weather.

YamPepperSoup

What you’ll need – Ingredients:

1/2 a tube of yam

3 skinless and boneless chicken breasts

2 cups of spinach

500ml chicken stock

250 ml water

2 small scotch bonnet chillies

1/2 red onion

2 tablespoons fishsauce (or 1 teaspoon cray fish powder)

White pepper

Black pepper

Salt

How to make:

Few things to do/consider:

  • Taste the soup as you go and adjust seasoning to preference.
  • Use scotch bonnets chillis sparingly as it can be very hot – recommend half of 1 small scotch bonnet, remove the seeds to reduce heat.

Chicken:

  1. Place the chicken breasts in a saucepan. Season with salt and black pepper and dash of lemon juice (optional).
  2. Fill the saucepan with cold water until it reaches 1 to 1 ½ inches above the chicken breasts.
  3. Bring the water to a boil, then cover the saucepan and reduce the heat to low. Lightly simmer until the chicken breasts are just cooked through for about 15-20 minutes. The timing will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken.
  4. Remove the chicken from the pot and let the it cool for a few minutes.
  5. Keep the water or stock used to cook the chicken as we’ll cook the yams in it.

Yam:

  1. Cut the brown skin off and chop the yam into 2cm chunks. Bring the pot to a boil, using the same one used for the chicken and add the chopped yams. Cook for 15 minutes.
  2. Drain the yams through a colander (keep the water) and return yams to the saucepan.
  3. Shred the cooked chicken with a fork and knife and add to the cooked yams.
  4. Blend the onion and scotch bonnet chillies with 1/4 cup of water,  blend until smooth.
  5. Pour the pepper and onion mixture over the chicken and yam along with the 500ml chicken stock. (I used knorr stock paste dissolved in water).
  6. Then pour 150ml of water and fish sauce.
  7. Sprinkle black and white pepper and salt or extra seasoning, stir and cover, reduce heat to medium – low.
  8. Cook for a further 10 minutes.
  9. Lastly, chop fresh spinach and sprinkle over the soup when being served, this will enable the spinach to have a bit of crunch and stop it for wilting too soon.
  10. Serve 🙂
Yam Pepper Soup
Yam and Chicken Pepper Soup with Freshly Chopped Spinach

 

This recipe is super easy, and I’d like to think relatively healthy, or good enough to cure a cold! Anyway, I do hope you liked it and let me know your thoughts!

xoxox

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Dinner | Healthy | Rice

Something For Dinner | Aromatic Seabass

By on May 31, 2017

Whether it’s a Sunday lunch or week night dinner – this recipe will go down a treat. It’s one of my favourite recipes made with a special marinade of West African herbs & spices served with rice and sometimes plantain. The thing I love about it is that it’s so easy to make and doesn’t take a lot of time.

All you need is:

1 whole Seabass or Tilapia, cleaned and gutted (ask you fish monger to do this for you).

4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil or peanut oil

2 spring onions, chopped

2 teaspoons of freshly chopped ginger, (alternatively use 1 teaspoon of ginger powder)

1 clove chopped of garlic (optional)

1 teaspoon of African dry pepper (alternatively chopped scotch bonnet or chilli flakes)

1 tablespoon of brown sugar or honey

1 teaspoon of African bitter leaf (optional)

2 maggie (stock) cubes or knorr chicken stock cubes (alternatively 4 tablespoons of soy sauce)

pinch of coarse black pepper

fresh parsley to garnish

500 ml water

How to cook

Combine all the ingredients (except the fish) in a bowl and mix well, then coat the fish with the marinade.

If you want to make a light sauce, dissolve stock cubes in warm water and pour over the fish. Alternatively you can skip this step and add the stock cubes or soy sauce in the marinade to marinate the fish.

Bake it in the oven for 15-20 mins, in baking paper or foil.

Take out of the oven, you can even grill the fish for a little longer.

Serve with rice.

 

 

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