What to cook for Christmas 2

Hi everyone! hope you’re having a wonderful holiday. I told you I was going to post pictures of what I made for Christmas so here goes:

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From top to bottom and from right to left, the small chops are as follows: Apple and raisin pies, puff puff, turkey wings, chinchin, salad, gizdodo, yam croquettes, chili jam, samosa, spring rolls, sausage rolls and tamarind chutney. I also made coconut and goat meat rice but couldn’t be bothered to put them on the table.

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Brought Amarula and wine to the table.

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Same pix but another dimension.

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Baby insisted we decorate a cake for her even though it wasn’t her birthday so we did just that, after all it’s Christmas!

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Just love the excitement on their faces.

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We REALLY, REALLY enjoyed the small chops and zobo chapman.

Coconut rice for free!

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This coconut rice recipe of mine has been loved by all and sundry so here I am given it out for free! I actually make this rice for sale but since people keep on asking for it I decided to share my secret recipe. I know you’re thinking, is that a wise thing to do? In this case it is, because my greatest joy is when home cooks can reproduce what I teach them. So here goes.

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Nwando’s Coconut Rice

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 500g chicken
  • 2 tablespoons grated garlic
  • 2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground Cameroun pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Thyme
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 pairs Knorr® cubes (not chicken)
  • Water as needed
  • 250g chopped beef
  • 2 heaped cups long grain rice
  • 2 sachets Emma® coconut powder
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 tattasai/tatashe chopped
  • ½ of a small can(300g) of Farrow® canned peas

Method:

  • Season the chicken with half of the seasoning and 1 pair of Knorr cubes.
  • Add a little water and boil for 30 minutes or till soft. Remove the stock and keep aside for cooking the rice. Fry, grill or roast the chicken and toss in peppered sauce.
  • Sprinkle little water and cook the chopped meat, with the remaining seasoning and 1 cube of Knorr till the water dries up.
  • Parboil the rice, rinse and keep aside. Put the stock in a pot with some water, taste and add a pair of Knorr cubes and more salt if needed. When boiling, add the coconut powder and whisk till there are no more lumps. Add rice and cook al dente i.e. cooked but firm.
  • Stir-fry the onions, tattasai and peas in the coconut oil in this order for a few minutes, season with the last cube of Knorr.
  • Add the stir-fry and chopped meat to the rice and mix well. Leave food to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Serve with the peppered chicken and a parcel of creamy cole slaw wrapped in lettuce.

PS. Remember to drop your questions here and not on my facebook page so that I can see and reply immediately.

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I decided to play with Picasa and boost the colours as I simply adore colourful food.

Happy Holidays!

Food adventure: Dinner @ Wakkis

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It was Wura’s birthday so her lovely hubby took us out to Wakkis; an Indian restaurant in Abuja known for delectable Indian and oriental cuisine served à la carte. I was so excited coz I had heard so much about Wakkis but had never been there.

Prior to this I had been looking for money to go on a food adventure so you can imagine how I leaped at the opportunity (you know now, awoof no dey run belle). The last time I went on a food adventure, I had so much fun. https://gourmetfinesse.wordpress.com/2013/01/21/sights-and-tastes-of-lagos-iya-basira-tinz-part-2/

Opened in 2000, Wakkis http://www.wakkis.com is a hit dining spot where a lot of dignitaries have come including the famous Don King. The menu offers a variety of chicken, lamb, sea food and vegetarian courses and the ambience is great!

Theirs is a showmanship kitchen that allows the guests (I like how they call their customers guests) to see the Chefs at work and begin to savor the food even before eating it. I got to see the Tandoori oven which is at the entrance. This is a traditional clay oven, used in Indian cuisine.

So basically we had a two course meal. For starters we had; Spicy chicken tikki and crumbed king prawns with tamarind, mayo and chili dips. For beverage we had; Lassi (sweetened yoghurt), Fresh watermelon juice, Chapman and water. And lastly our main course was Chicken curry, Meen moilee, Tandoori lamb shoulder and grilled lamb served with an assortment of rice, naan and raita.

Although I did not bag the award of a being a Wakki’s Wow guest, the food was awesome, the portions were bountiful and in short I had a wonderful experience. So if you are looking for somewhere to have New year dinner, try Wakkis and tell me about it.

Below is the picture story:

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Standing in front of Wakkis.

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Wakkis neon sign.

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Chefs working at the Kitchen. One putting skewered meat into the Tandoori oven.

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Chef hanging up skewered meat and jacket potato to rest.

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Array of meat and side salads.

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Back view of Chefs at work

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Snuggle pups awaiting their food.

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Wakkis ethnic interior.

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Our drinks.

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Up close and personal.

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Crumbed king prawns: half a dozen king prawns marinated in lime and chili, deep fried and served with chili mayonnaise.

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Spicy chicken tikki: Curried chicken and potatoes croquette with chili and tamarind chutney. This was my favourite starter.

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This was such a hit we quickly cleared the plate. The tamarind chutney (the black stuff) was especially good.

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Tandoori lamb shoulder: Whole shoulder of lamb slow cooked with spices and roasted over charcoal accompanied by raita and side salad.

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Grilled lamb ribs: ribs marinated in lime, yoghurt and Indian spices, roasted over charcoal and served with Naan bread. This was my favourite main, so tender and tasty.

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Pugy ponsy doing press mouth lol.

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Chicken curry: Nuggets of chicken in a curried cashew nut sauce served with fluffy basmati rice.

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Meen moilee: Fillet of fresh water fish cooked with ginger, tomatoes and coconut cream.

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The spread! The End.

 

What To Cook For Christmas

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Christmas is around the corner so what to cook? What to cook? Christmas represents two things. Firstly for Christians it is the time we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and secondly for other people it is a holiday. But however you look at it, it is a wonderful time of the year when we celebrate, have days off from work or school and most importantly in this case we dine and share with friends and family alike.

Now as a foodie I want to contribute my quota to making your Christmas feast a hit. So let’s say last Christmas your menu was basic and boring, why not try spicing it up this year. But as revolutionary as I might want to be in my suggestion, I know that I can’t touch our “rice and chicken” staple so I am only adding a twist. Of course there would be rice but 2 kinds; the usual Jellof rice will be there because it goes very well with side dishes but the meat will be goat meat. Then the second rice will be Coconut rice and fried turkey wings coz I guess a lot of people having eaten so much chicken throughout the year.

In trying to keep with traditional Nigerian party favourites, below is a suggested menu, but whatever you remove or add, make sure you include fruits and vegetables as they are good for you. I don’t have pictures now but will definitely upload some after my own Christmas feast. Will make most of the stuff myself but will buy the samosa and spring rolls as they are still tricky for me.

PS. Remember not to eat alone but invite friends and family as a West African proverb says, “those who eat alone, die alone”

Christmas Menu

Hors d’oeuvre (small chops):

  • Gizdodo

Skewered plantain and gizzard colorfully punctuated by green pepper, onions and tomatoes.

  • Yam croquettes

Mashed yam, mixed with sauce and shredded meat, dipped in egg and bread crumbs then fried for a crispy, golden finish.

  • Fish fingers

Skinned and marinated catfish, prepared croquette style and served with lemon wedges.

  • Sausage roll minis

Beef sausage, encased in short crust pastry, cut into byte sizes and lovingly baked in a hot oven.

  • Samosa and spring rolls

Fillings of choice stuffed in triangular and cylindrical wraps then fried to a crisp exterior.

Dips: A selection of relishes to go with the small chops.

  • Spicy Mayo

A mix of salad cream, mustard, garlic and black pepper.

  • Chili jam

Attaragu (Scotch bonnet peppers), pureed, reduced then fried and seasoned with Knorr cubes and straw berry jam.

  • Tamarind chutney

A chutney of tamarind (tsamiya) and Indian spices.

 

Main:

  • Party jellof rice and fried goat meat

Jellof rice cooked with goat stock and on fire wood for a smoky flavor then served with Goat meat pieces fried dry.

  • Coconut rice and fried turkey wings

Fresh coconut rice stir-fried in coconut oil with tatashe (red bell peppers), chopped beef and farrow peas then served with golden turkey wings.

Dessert (or sweet):

  • Chinchin

Chinchin at its best, made from a perfect recipe that’s not oily nor too hard nor too sweet but rightfully crisp and delightfully crumbles in your mouth.

  • Puffpuff

Smooth, round balls of yeast batter that are fried till golden brown then rolled in cinnamon sugar while hot.

  • Cake ‘n’ ice cream

Make your choice from a selection of Chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream or Madeira cake with banana ice cream all home-made.

Drinks:

  • Maltina for the adults

A choice of your favourite malt drink be it Maltina®, Malta Guinness®, Amstel Malt® or Hi Malt®.

  • Mineral for the kids

An assortment of fizzy, soft drinks: Take your pick from the Coca cola® or Pepsi® group but make sure you have all the different colours for them kids to pick from.

  • Zobo chapman (for whom it may concern)

A mocktail made from fresh pineapple and ginger flavoured Zobo mixed with Fanta and with banana and lemon slices floating within.

Sides: To go with the main course

  • Potato salad

A sweet salad of potato punctuated with parsley, onion and carrots then dressed with mayonnaise, sugar and lime juice.

  • Complete Nigerian salad

A vegetable salad consisting of all the salad vegetables you can lay your hands on, boiled potatoes, sardine, baked beans and eggs then dressed with salad cream. The trick is to make sure you cut the veggies small small.

  • Fruit salad

A selection of exotic and local fruits namely apple, grapes, pineapple, watermelon, papaya and guava.

I have given a brief synopsis of each item but be sure to let me know if you need any of the recipes.

Yummy Christmas!

Stir-fried chicken with pineapple

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Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 chicken breasts, skin, fat and bones removed and cut into thin strips
  • ½  teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 250g pineapple cut into cubes
  • Spring onions cut diagonally
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Knorr chicken

Method:

  • Add oil to a wok or frying pan and heat till hot but not smoking. Add the chicken and stir-fry for about 5 minutes until it changes colour on all sides.
  • Sprinkle in the dry pepper and stir-fry for a minute. Add the soy sauce, wine, Knorr, salt and pepper to taste.
  • Stir-fry for about 5 minutes or until chicken is tender. Add the pineapple and spring onions last, stir-fry a bit and it’s ready to eat.
  • Serve with flat bread. You can eat it like a taco and moisten with ketchup, mayo or both. Enjoy.

Source of recipe: Adapted from The Hamlyn Cookbook

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Mandela tart

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So I decided to make a tribute to our beloved Madiba, Nelson Mandela who passed away yesterday at the ripe old age of 95; may his beautiful soul rest in peace. In his honour I invented this pretty little tart with Hobnobs biscuit as a base, groundnut candy and pomegranate compote as a filling and vanilla sauce as a topping.

You will need:

  • Hobnobs
  • Butter
  • Groundnut
  • Sugar
  • Pomegranate
  • Water
  • Egg yolks
  • Milk
  • Vanilla
  • Corn flour
  • Mint leaves

This is a free-style recipe so there are no exact measurements; you just follow your heart.

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You crush the biscuits, add butter and mix in a frying pan to melt the butter.

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Next you mould the mixture in ramekins and chill in the fridge to set. I find that they come out better when the ramekins are layered with cling film.

Make the groundnut candy by caramelizing sugar and roasted groundnuts. Then make your pomegranate compote by boiling the pomegranate seeds in sugar and little water till it’s a wee bit thick and syrupy. Leave to cool

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Then spoon in the groundnut candy and pomegranate compote.

Lift out the tart carefully and garnish with mint leaves

Serve with vanilla sauce or more compote if you like.

For the vanilla sauce:  heat milk (say a cup and a half), sugar and vanilla until simmering. Pour this into well beaten egg yolks (say 2) while whisking to prevent curdling. Mix about a teaspoon of corn flour with little water and whisk into the mixture. Return to the heat and stir with a wooden spoon till the sauce coats the back of a spoon.

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Chicken and vegetable biryani

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Serves 4

What you need:

  • 8 chicken pieces
  • 50g butter
  • 50g groundnuts
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Biryani spice mixture (2 star anise, 12 black peppercorns, 6 green cardamom pods, 5 cm cinnamon stick and 1 teaspoon turmeric)
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • Salt

Paste:

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves chopped
  • 5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 150ml natural yoghurt
  • Salt
  • Chili pepper
  • Knorr chicken

Garniture:

  • Fresh coriander
  • Julienned bell peppers
  • Boiled eggs

How it’s made:

  1. 1.     Grind all the paste ingredients together then rub over the chicken and marinate for 30 minutes.
  2. 2.     Heat the butter in a wide sauce pan and fry the nuts until golden brown. Remove and set aside for garnish. Add the onion to the pan and fry until golden. Remove half and reserve for the garnish.
  3. 3.     Add the bay leaves and biryani spices to the onion in the pan, stir well then add the chicken and the marinade. Cook over moderate heat for 15 minutes. Stir in the rice then add warm water and season to taste. Cover and cook on moderate heat until the rice is tender.
  4. 4.     Garnish with the fried nuts, onions, coriander, peppers and egg. Serve hot.