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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Soups/Stews

KENKEY, GRILLED MACKEREL & SWEET PEPPERY SAUCE | GHANA INDEPENDENCE AND MOTHERS DAY SPECIAL

By on March 6, 2016

It’s Mothers Day and I wanted to make something with my mother in mind. I am currently not with her – my kenkey partner as we sit down wack a few bowls of this together. It’s only my mother, sister and I who are loyal to this, the men however, shy away often times but do make their way back from time to time. I told her over the phone that I would be making grilled mackerel with pepper and Kenkey from scratch (not the kenkey) and I also sent her this photo which she was tremendously pleased about. This is a Ghanaian dish – my mother is Ghanaian and it also happens to be Ghana Independence Day so what a better way to celebrate than indulging in one of our home comforts and my mothers favourite.

People often get confused with where I am from so I thought I’ll let you know before we move on as it’s a question I get a lot. My father is Nigerian and my mother is Ghanaian and Anglo-Canadian. We connect with all sides and each is ingrained in our gastronomic pursuits and practices. Eating all the various foods both sides have to offer.

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Grilled Mackerel drizzled with sweet peppery sauce.

Kenkey also known to as Dokunu, is a sour dumpling made from fermented corn, maize and ugali. It has a sour taste that tingles at the back of your mouth as you take the first bite. It is best enjoyed with your hands and usually eaten with blended pepper like shito, a delicious peppery sauce made from scotch bonnet, stock fish and onions. It can also be eaten with soups and stews and is usually served with fish.

Below is my recipe for this amazing dish. Although some do make Kenkey at home, like my Grandmother and mother would, I did however, purchase mine from a local Ghanaian store, freshly made.  The pepper and Mackerel were made by me, so yes, let’s get started…

Kenkey: Cook in warm water for 10 minutes or simply warm in the microwave for 3 minutes, just follow packaging instructions.

The Mackerel

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Seasoned Mackerel

Ask your fishmonger to clean the fish for you and rinse well then pat dry prior to cooking. 

Ingredients:

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Soy sauce

Alternatively us 1 Tablespoon Maggie cube or simply sprinkle salt for taste.

1  Tablespoon fish Sauce

Splash of shiaoxing rice wine (optional)

1 Tsp Lime juice

2 cloves of Garlic chopped

Black Pepper

Chilli flakes or 1 sliced scotch bonnet.

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 teaspoon Chopped parsley.

Make 3 incisions in both mackerels this will allow the marinade to seep into the fish. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix well and drizzle it over the fish, feel free to rub it in. Set it aside and leave it to marinate for 10 – 15 minutes if you like, overnight. Line a baking tray with parchment paper or foil and place the fish in the tray and bake for 15 minutes at 180 degrees turning halfway through to cook both sides. Fish is very delicate and doesn’t take long to cook so look out for golden skin as this should indicate that your fish is or already cooked.

Marinated fish into the oven… Scotch bonnet slices placed on the inside to give a delicious infusion.

 

The Pepper Sauce

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Scotch Bonnets – Didn’t use all of them though…

The pepper sauce is very simple. I wanted to play on this a little by adding a little sweetness. This complements the sourness of the Kenkey and Saltiness of the fish.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoon veg oil

4 scotch bonnets (adjust to heat preference or simply remove the seeds)

4 tomatoes

1 bell pepper

1 Tablespoon Tomato paste (optional)

1/2 a medium onion

1 Teaspoon ginger powder

1 Tsp Black pepper
1 Bouillon/stock cube (Maggi) or salt
1 Maggi Shrimp (Alternatively 1 tablespoon dried fish both can be purchased from Afro-Caribbean food stores).

1 tsp brown sugar

1/2 lime

Instructions:

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Blended peppers, onion and tomatoes.

Blend onion pepper, tomatoes in food processor for 30 seconds until it forms a smooth paste sprinkle with salt before blending.

Once it’s blended set aside.

*Note: if you’re using freshly chopped ginger fry it in the oil before adding the pepper mixture this would give a nice infusion.

pepper cooking
Pepper frying with sprinkled Maggi

In a pan add the vegetable oil and once it’s hot add the pepper mixture and cook for 5 minutes, occasionally stirring. Add the Tomato paste stir, then sprinkle Maggie or extra salt if needed and 1 shrimp Bouillon cube, ginger, sugar and lime stir and fry for 2 more minutes.

Once it’s done set aside.

Check to see if your fish is done. Once it is take it out leave it to rest for a few minutes before serving.

Unwrap your Kenkey and slice into pieces and serve with your fish and pepper.

Sometimes I like to eat the Kenkey with tinned mackerel in sunflower oil and blended pepper, onions and tomatoes no cooking this however, is a lot fiery than when it’s been cooked down so just a little warning.

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I do hope you give this recipe a try xoxo

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Lunch | Soups/Stews

PEANUT BUTTER SOUP

By on December 3, 2015

PSoup

Peanut butter soup is a West African staple made from grounded peanuts, juicy plum tomatoes, spices and specially crafted stock. This is one of those feel good soups that seriously warms the soul.

In Ghana – were part of my family is from, peanut butter soup (Nkatenkwan) is eaten with Fufu (foo-foo) – cassava and plantain pounded together with bit of water in a large pestle and mortar to create a soft, chewy dough that is shaped into a ball for serving.

At home, we make the fufu over the hob with semolina flour and warm water and stir until it forms a dough. We neglect the spoon, and eat with our hands and I love that it can be eaten with a variety of things like rice balls omo tuo as we call it and sometimes with eba.  There are many variations to this with each country (mainly in West Africa) having it’s own special way of crafting this delicious soup.

I will show you how I make this recipe passed down from my mother which in turn, has been tweaked a little by me. It is very delicious and I can guarantee you will lick the bowl dry haha! So yep, let’s get started!

What you will need:

penut butter

Smooth Peanut Butter – 2 Large Serving Spoons

1 Canned Tomatoes

2 Fresh Tomatoes (optional)

2 Cloves of Garlic

2 Scotch Bonnets (Habanero peppers or 1 if you don’t like spice)

1 Red bell Pepper (Capsicum)

1 Large Onion

 Homemade or store bought chicken stock, (Knorr’s chicken stock pot being my fave)

1 Teaspoon of Salt or All purpose seasoning.

2 Sprigs of Thyme.

Prep:

raw chicken

Wash the chicken in lemon or salt water, drain and pat dry with a kitchen towel if you can. Sprinkle the chicken with either salt, all purpose seasoning or bouillon cubes like (Maggie or Knorr), some black pepper, 1 whole scotch bonnet (pierced with a knife) one whole onion, 2 whole garlic, thumbsized ginger (optional) finished with a sprinkle of thyme and a cup of water. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.

*Another simple way to season the chicken is with 1 whole onion, 2 scotch bonnets, salt, garlic and ginger which I blend to a thick paste using a food processor or blender. I pour this over the chicken once it’s washed, sprinkle two maggie (bouillon) cubes, cover and cook for 20 minutes on medium to low heat. This creates a great stock for the soup.

cooked chicken

For the soup:

Once the chicken is cooked, add the steamed onions, garlic and Scotch bonnet from the chicken to the blender/food processor, along with the bell peppers, tinned and fresh tomatoes, and a bit of the stock from the steamed chicken. I blend it to a paste and pour it all over the chicken, (at this point you can add chicken stock) aswell. Leave it to cook for a further 20 minutes and when that time is up, add the peanut butter, stir lightly and cover leaving to cook for a further 15 minutes.

For the fufu:

1 Cup of Tropiway semolina flour

2 cups of hot water

Combine slowly in a pan over the fire and turn until dough begins to form (*ps watch my video to see how it’s done)

Once the fufu is done wet you hands and mould to a ball, and set aside.

Check on the soup as it should be done – place the fufu in the bowl and pour the soup generously over the fufu and serve.

Fufu

Enjoy! XX

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WATCH VIDEO HERE: YOUTUBE.COM/KEZIAENIANG

 

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Soups/Stews

My go to Chicken Soup

By on October 20, 2014

The best soup for day’s when your feeling a little unwell….

22

Been feeling a little under the weather lately, so to make things a little better I made my go to chicken soup for an instant pick me up. It is one of my favourite recipes and its great for days when I’m feeling a little blue. I call it ‘soup for the soul‘ because of it’s warm soothing effect and it’s beautiful blend of spices and fresh herbs.

Soups can really help with colds, flus and even hangover and for me this soup is great for either, I do however, like mine with a little hint of spice! (be careful with the spice if you have a sore throat, replace it with ginger as it’s anti-flammatory and great for sore throats) details below! Otherwise the spice works well for me, especially when I’m suffering from a blocked sinuses or loss of  appetite. So when next you’re feeling under the weather give this recipe a try 🙂

Cooking time 30-35 minutes

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For this recipe you’ll need chicken, (if you’re using chicken breasts fillets it should be cut into smaller pieces). Either that or use left over chicken, which should be shredded for the soup.

I’m using what is known as boiler chicken and one that I purchased from my local butchers. It’s slightly tougher than normal supermarket chicken and should be cooked in a small amount of water for 30 to 45 mins, this is great for soups as it adds a very nice flavour.

Other ingredients for the soup are: 

Fresh herbs: Coriander handful and chopped, Thyme 1 sprig, Rosemary 1 sprig (Teaspoon)

Spices: Scotch Bonnet x 1, Cayenne Pepper x 1 Teaspoon (optional), Curry Powder 1/2 (Teaspoon)

Seasoning: Fresh Garlic and Ginger. (1 teaspoon each), maggie cubes x 2 (or  1 Teaspoon Salt)

All purpose seasoning teaspoon x 1

Prep:

Wash the chicken pieces in lemon water (or salt) then rinse with Luke warm water.

Add all the ingredients, the seasoning and all in a pot with your chicken and mix well, you could add some chopped veg at this point. In regards to spice like I mentioned earlier in the post, add 1 whole scotch bonnet not chopped! to the pan with all the ingredients. After 15 minutes or once it’s soft remove the scotch bonnet, this add a very nice flavour to the soup without making it overly spicy.Pour about 250-300 ml of water (1 1/2 to 2 cups of water) cover and leave to cook for 30-35 minutes stirring occasionally. Once the time is up it’s ready to be served and that’s it easy peasey and no time spent to cook! Hope you like this recipe and tell me what you think!

🙂

Kezia Xx

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Soups/Stews

Spinach Soup with Eba

By on September 9, 2014
IMG_8550Growing up in a british/African  household we eat a lot of  traditional and non traditional foods, one which I love is  called Afang soup also known as spinach soup with special afang leaves . It is a nigerian dish from the southern part of Nigeria and a place where part of my family is from. The soup rich with nutrients consisting of assorted meat, spinach, Afang/water leaves, palm oil and a few extra goodies.
The soup is usually served with rice or Eba I’m sure many of you are wondering what this is… it’s basically cassava grains called Gari and is mixed with hot water to form ‘eba’ a soft and chewy dough like texture. This recipe is one my mother has taught me countless times as it’s eaten a lot in the Eniang household. So I’ve decided to put what I’ve learnt to the test and I’ve created a simpler recipe that is similar to the traditional version by using ingredients that were easy to get hold off from my local supermarket. The only thing missing however, is the afang leaves so I made use of the spinach instead.
 so yeah let’s get cooking…..
Ingredients:
– Onions x 2
– Scotch Bonnets x 2
-Beef/Tripe x 400g
 – Fresh or Frozen Spinach (Or WaterLeaves) 800g (Equivalent to 1 packet)
– Afang Leaves 400g
– Palm oil x 4 Table spoons (Tryna be healthy here)
– All purpose seasoning x 2 Tablespoons
– 2 Maggie cubes (Or Teaspoon of salt)
-Gari (or rice)
What you’ll need.
A pot
A food processor / Blender
A medium sized bowl
Soup
  1. Peel and chop the onions and place them into the blender/Food processor, along with the scotch bonnets and blend and set aside. place the meat in a bowl under the tap and wash 2 to 3 times, drain the water and set aside.
  2. Sprinkle the maggie cubes and all purpose seasoning on the meat followed by the blended onions and scotch bonnets.
  3. Mix together hands or spoon to fully flavour the meat.
  4. Place the now marinated beef in a pot, add a bit of water and leave to cook for 30-35 minutes. Chop the spinach to small pieces or better yet it’s easier to use frozen chopped spinach (saves time).
  5. Once that time is up add the spinach to the beef mix slightly and leave to cook for another 10-15 minutes if you are using fresh spinach to avoid it getting too soggy cook for 10 minutes, once it’s up add the palm oil then cook for final 15 mins once it’s up it’s done and ready to be served along side the rice or eba.

Eba

  1. Pour a cup of boiling water in a bowl and then 1 cup of Gari, mix with a spoon until a dough is formed leave to cool for a few minutes then mould into a ball and serve with the soup.

It’s pretty straight forward recipe and can keep you full for like the whole day 🙂

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