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”
Hors d’oeuvre (small chops):
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.
- 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 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.
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.
- 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.