Cake buns

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This buns is so rich, someone called it , “cake buns”. I love it coz its crusty on the outside and cakey on the inside.
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You have to measure all the ingredients as for cake.
500g flour
175g sugar
40g powdered milk
1/2 tsp salt
2 level tbs or 20g baking powder
50g margarine
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
340g water

Vegetable oil for frying.
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Mix all dry ingredients. Rub in the margarine then make a well in the centre and add in all fluids. Fold in gently with your fingers to prevent toughness. Fry in hot oil until golden.
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Enjoy : )

Beef Stir-fry

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Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone! Hope you’re having a good time…so in the spirit of Christmas I wanna share this recipe. Apart from curry when I want to eat Indian, I usually make beef stir-fry when I want to eat Chinese to go with Basmati rice.
Ingredients:
1
Marinade
• 500g tender beef cut into thin strips
• 2 teaspoons Sesame oil
• 1 teaspoon grated ginger
• 1 teaspoon grated garlic
• 1 stock cube
• 1 teaspoon vinegar
Stir-fry
• 2 tbs groundnut oil
• ½ cup onions chopped
• 2 tbs attaragu (Scotch Bonnet pepper) chopped
• 3 cups tattasai (red bell pepper) julienned
• 1½ cups broccoli broken into florets
• 1½ cups green pepper julienned
• Salt and black pepper (optional)
Sauce
• 1 tbs sweet chili sauce
• 1 tbs soy sauce
• 1 tbs corn flour mixed with 1 tbs water
• 1 stock cube
Method:
• Marinate the beef in the marinade for one hour or overnight.
• Stir-fry in hot oil until lightly browned on all sides; remove and keep aside.
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• Stir-fry the onions, attaragu, tattasai, broccoli and green pepper in that order, all the while stirring.
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• Return the meat to the wok, add sauce and stir well.
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• Taste and if needed add salt and pepper.
• Heat through and it is ready to serve with basmati rice cooked according to instructions.
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Homemade pizza: step by step

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I always felt pizza was overrated and never digged it until I travelled to Europe and saw there were different kinds; I especially like the thick crust ones with lots of cheese. It’s kind of like I am eating bread and stew, lol. Following this recipe was fun and I found out that making pizza ain’t rocket science. So here’s how to make chicken and sweetcorn pizza step by step, at home.

What you need: Makes three, 12” pizzas.

  • For the topping: 4 large tomatoes ground, Small tin (70g) tomato puree, 1 heaped tablespoon ketchup, pinch of salt, a pair of knorr cubes, ¼ teaspoon white pepper, 1 teaspoon Oregano, 3 tablespoons olive oil, ¼ cup water, 1 small onion chopped, 4 cloves garlic, 1 kg soft chicken, sweet corn, cucumber thinly sliced, green pepper thinly sliced, Mozzarella and Cheddar cheese grated.
  • For the base: 675g flour, 1 ½ teaspoon salt, 3 teaspoons yeast, 450ml lukewarm water and 3 tablespoons olive oil.

What you do:

  • Using the first eleven ingredients, make a tomato sauce and keep aside.
  • To prepare the chicken, season the chicken with garlic, knorr and salt. Sear on both sides and simmer with little water till it’s cooked and all the water has dried up. Remove the skin and bones and flake it.
  • Mix the ingredients for the base starting with the dry ones and then incorporate the liquids.
  • Knead for 5 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Transfer dough to lightly floured surface, divide into three smooth balls and roll out each into 12” rounds and place in lightly oiled pizza pans or baking trays, pressing up the sides.
  • Cover and leave in a warm place (say an unlit oven, make sure you close the oven door.) to rise for 30 minutes or till slightly risen and puffy.
  • Next assemble all the ingredients as seen in the picture then put the toppings on the pizza base in this order: tomato sauce, cheddar cheese, chicken, sweetcorn, green pepper, cucumber and Mozzarella cheese. Note I put the Mozzarella last because its the cheese that gives the pizza that drawy, stringy effect.
  • Bake in a pre-heated moderate oven i.e. at 200°C, 400°F or gas mark 6 for 25-30 minutes or until golden and well risen.
  • Serve hot or warm and bon appetito!
  • PS. I made the third pizza square shaped because its easier to share in little cute squares.
Searing the chicken

Searing the chicken

From top left to right: flaked chicken, cucumber, sweetcorn, tomato sauce, green pepper, pizza base dough, Mozzarella, cheese and Cheddar cheese.

Assembly of ingredients from top left to right: flaked chicken, cucumber, sweetcorn, tomato sauce, green pepper, pizza base dough, Mozzarella, cheese and Cheddar cheese.

Rolling out the pizza dough

Rolling out the pizza dough

All rolled out with sides pressed up.

All rolled out with sides pressed up.

Pizza dough rising in an unlit oven for 30 minutes.

Pizza dough rising in an unlit oven for 30 minutes.

applying tomato sauce and cheddar cheese

topping with tomato sauce and cheddar cheese

topping with chicken and sweetcorn

topping with chicken and sweetcorn

topping with green pepper and cucumber

topping with green pepper and cucumber

Lastly topping with Mozzarella cheese and assembly of the three pizzas

Lastly topping with Mozzarella cheese and assembly of the three pizzas. For the third, I made a square shaped pizza.

Square shaped pizza

Square shaped pizza

Pizza baking in oven

Pizza baking in oven

Pizzas baked and golden

Pizzas baked and golden

Have a slice

Have a slice

Sticky Chicken Wings

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Sticky chicken wings
Welcome to my own version of buffalo chicken wings where you have deep fried chicken wings tossed in a sweet chili sauce. They are lovely as snack, appetizer or side. Try serving it with celery, carrot and cucumber crudités (vegetables cut into batons) with a spicy mayo dip. And get ready to be enchanted by their sticky, goodness.
Ingredients: Serves 3
• 6 Chicken wings jointed
• Garlic grated
• Knorr original
• Salt
• 1 table spoon, flour
• Oil for frying
• Sweet chili sauce
• Spring onions
Method:
• To joint the wings, cut at the first and second joints. The bony piece after the second joint should not be included but kept aside for stock.
• Marinade the chicken in the seasoning and a little flour for an hour.
• Fry in hot oil but for a healthier alternative, grill till golden on both sides.
• Lastly, mix with sweet chili sauce and stir for a bit in a frying pan until heated through.
• Serve garnished with spring onions.

Crisp fried chicken wings

Crisp fried chicken wings

 

Chicken wings and sweet chili being heated through

Chicken wings and sweet chili being heated through

 

Chicken wings in all their glory

Chicken wings in all their glory

Pancakes step-by-step

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Pancakes are mighty easy to make and so it surprises me when I meet people that can’t make them. A simple tip is that the basics are flour, eggs and water then sugar if it’s to be sweet and seasoning if it is to be savoury. The softer you want it, the more eggs you need to add.
My brother ordered some sweet pancakes so I decided to do a step-by-step recipe. This recipe is just a guide, feel free to create yours. I made this in a large (10 inches) frying pan, but you can reduce the recipe by dividing the measurements. For example if you want half recipe, you divide everything by two.
Makes about 24 pancakes
What you need:
• 5 heaped cups of Flour
• 1 cup of sugar
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 teaspoon baking powder(optional)
• 1 tin of evaporated milk
• 15 eggs, whisked
• 1½ teaspoon Vanilla essence
• About 6 cups of water (or enough to achieve consistency seen in the picture)
• Little oil for shallow frying
What you do:
• Mix all the dry ingredients together.
• Make a well in the centre then add the eggs, milk and water. You should add enough water that gives you the consistency of single cream, drinking yoghurt or kunun Zaki
• Mix well with a wooden spoon, whisk or electric mixer till smooth.
• If lumpy, sieve and keep the batter aside to rest for 30 minutes.
• Fry ¼ cup of batter at a time by placing 2 teaspoons of oil in a hot frying pan then swirling the batter till it reaches all sides of the pan.
• When one side is cooked and browned, flip over and cook the same way.
• Serve warm.
• If serving with sweet topping say maple syrup, chocolate sauce, jam, ice cream, etc. reduce the sugar in the recipe.
• Bon appetito

Consistency of pancake batter

Consistency of pancake batter

Batter poured into hot pan

Batter poured into hot pan

Pancake with top set

Pancake with top set

Pancake flipped over

Pancake flipped over

Pancake folded in half

Pancake folded in half

Pancake folded into a quarter

Pancake folded into a quarter

Big cook, little cook: how to make Sausage roll & home-made cookies

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My niece and I decided to cook. Actually I decided to make sausage rolls and then she wanted to make her own pies. We ended up cooking side by side and as a reward I made cookies for her.
SAUSAGE ROLL
Ingredients makes about 100 mini sausage and fish rolls
• 1.5Kg Flour plus extra for rolling
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 750g margarine
• Cold water
• Beef sausage meat
• 2 Eggs
Mix the flour with the salt. Rub in the butter till it resembles large crumbs. Add little cold water till the mixture just comes together. Divide the mixture into 5 portions then knead very lightly till smooth (if you over work the dough, it will be tough).
Next roll each ball on a lightly floured surface, cut into rectangles 4 inches wide. Spoon the sausage meat in the middle as seen in the picture. Moisten the long edge on the left with water, then roll over the pastry towards the left and press a bit to secure making sure the seal is underneath.
Then cut into mini rolls 2 inches long, brush with egg (i.e. egg wash) and bake in a hot oven about 20 minutes or until a delicate golden brown colour is achieved. Well the sausage meat finished and the pastry remained so I decided to make fish rolls.
FRITTERED FISH ROLL
• 3 Cans of sardine (you can used cooked and flaked mackerel i.e. “Titus” instead)
• Onions chopped very finely
• Carrots same
• Green pepper same
• Knorr cubes
• Cameroun pepper
• 2 Eggs
Note: The vegetables are optional
Drain all the oil from the sardine. Use just a little to sauté the vegetables while you can discard the rest or use it for something else. If you use all, the fish roll will be too oily.
Season the veggies with a little knorr as the sardine already has salt in it. Lastly add your Cameroun pepper. Leave filling to cool and stuff the pastry dough as seen in the picture.
Next you continue as for sausage roll and bake. Leave to cool a bit, then for that delightful crispy crust, dip in egg and fry in hot oil until golden brown.
Below is the recipe for the cookies.
‘CHOC N SPRINK’ COOKIES: Makes about 30
• 125g butter softened
• 165g brown sugar
• 1 egg
• 260g flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 35g cocoa powder
• 200g dark chocolate melted
• Sprinkles
Cream butter, sugar and egg until combined. Fold in dry ingredients gently.
Knead cookie dough on a floured surface until smooth. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes, bring out, mould into balls, flatten and bake on greased baking trays lined with baking paper in a preheated moderate oven (180°C) for about 12 minutes.
Cool on racks, spread with melted chocolate and douse with sprinkles. NOTE! that the melted chocolate and sprinkles must be put after and not before baking, if not it well melt in the oven. For maximum fun, do this with your kids.
Cookie recipe adapted from “The Australian Women’s Weekly – Cupcakes and Cookies” cook book

The pastry dough rolled out

The pastry dough rolled out

Sausage meat

Sausage meat

Little cook making her little pasties

Little cook making her little pasties

The sausage meat smack in the middle of the dough

The sausage meat smack in the middle of the dough

sausage roll minis, egg washed and ready for baking

sausage roll minis, egg washed and ready for baking

Sausage roll with chili jam and mango juice

Sausage roll with chili jam and mango juice

Fish roll stuffing

Fish roll stuffing

Bon appetit

Bon appetit

cookies baked on greaseproof paper

cookies baked on greaseproof paper with melted chocolate drizzled and sprinkles put on after baking

Choc sprink cookies

Choc sprink cookies

 

Chinese rice and chicken sauce

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Serves 10
For the Sauce
• 1kg of chicken skinned and chopped into small pieces
• 2 teaspoons corn flour
• 8 medium garlic cloves grated
• 5cm/2inches ginger grated
• 2 pairs of Knorr cubes
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
• 1 teaspoon vinegar
• 1 teaspoon Cameroun pepper
• 1 medium green pepper, seeded and cut into big cubes
• 2 tablespoons tomato puree
• ½ medium onion chopped finely
• 3 cups of water
• 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
Marinate the chicken with the ginger, garlic, a pair of knorr cubes and Cameroun pepper. Add 1 teaspoon of corn flour, mix well and marinate for 10 minutes. If possible leave overnight.
Next combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, remaining corn flour and knorr. Mix well and keep aside.
Using a non-stick sauce pan that has cover, divide the chicken into three and sear a batch at a time in the hot oil. Remove each batch and keep aside. Next fry the onion till translucent, add the chicken, tomato puree and stir for a minute.
Then add the liquid mixture, stir well, cover, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or till chicken is tender. Add the green pepper and turn off the heat. Cover to infuse.
For the rice
• 5 cups of rice (preferably Basmati)
• 2 tablespoons Chinese “5 spice powder”
• 3 pairs of knorr original
• 1 teaspoon of salt
• 4 tablespoons sesame oil
• 1 cup of Spring onions sliced diagonally
• 500g shrimps
• Water as needed
Thaw and drain the shrimps from all water if frozen. Season it with a cube of knorr and marinate until ready for stir-frying.
It is best to use basmati rice, but I used long grain rice because that was what I had. Wash and parboil rice, then drain. Place in a pot with a 3 cubes of knorr and salt, add water to just cover. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer till just soft adding more water as needed along the way. Note don’t overcook rice or it will become mushy when stir-fried.
Next, working in batches, put a little sesame oil in a non-stick pan till hot, then add the shrimps and stir-fry till just right, add the rice, 5 spice powder and knorr to taste and stir fry for a bit. Remove from heat, Sprinkle the spring onion on top, stir and put in an open vessel. Continue till all the rice is finished. Just cover with cling film not to overcook the spring onion. Serve hot with the chicken sauce spooned on the side.

Searing the chicken

Searing the chicken

 

Simmering sauce

Simmering sauce

 

Green peppers added

Green peppers added

 

Stir-frying the shrimps

Stir-frying the shrimps

 

Cooked rice added and further stir-fried

Cooked rice added and further stir-fried

 

Spring onions added to the mix

Spring onions added to the mix

 

Voila! C'est fini.

Voila! C’est fini.

Beef Dopiaza

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As you must have noticed, I love curries. This is because they are different from the normal “rice and stew” and go very well with rice. Anyway apart from okro soup I think everything else goes with rice. I once heard of a guy’s roommate that used to eat spaghetti with okro soup, nyama! aka yuck! The mere thought is assaulting to the senses. Anyways I digress, back to the curry at hand. “Dopiaza” means “twice or double onions” so a lot of onions are used in this curry. I love this recipe because this is a great way of using onions which is abundant in Nigeria and which incidentally is my best root vegetable. Curries are usually thickened with tomato, grounded nuts, yoghurt or cream; in this case, onions are the thickener. Serve this with ½ cup of Jasmine rice per person cooked according to the instructions on the packet.

Serves 2

What you need:

  • 200g onions, finely chopped
  • 4cm fresh ginger, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves grated
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 250g lean beef cut into cubes
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced thickly
  • A pair of Knorr original cubes
  • 200ml water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper(uzziza seeds)

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What you do:

  • Place half of the onions in your dry blender and process to make a paste.
  • Place the oil in a non-stick saucepan, heat up a bit and add the remaining onions. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the cumin powder and beef. Cook for about 4 minutes until browned and seared all over. Stir in the garam masala and turmeric.
  • Add the onion paste, stock cubes, water and seasoning and bring to boil. Stir, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Next add the carrots and simmer for further 30 minutes until the beef is tender. Add more water along the way if the sauce dries up. However note that the sauce should be thick.
  • If it is too thin at the end of the cooking time, remove the lid and simmer until reduced.
  • Serve by the side of fluffy white rice as seen in the picture.
  • Happy eating!

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This recipe was adapted from the “Oriental express” by Weight watchers.

I decided to add a little something, something so here is a dreamy salad of fruits(strawberries, guava and mango) and yoghurt.

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Pesto Pasta

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Instead of the usual tomato sauce to go with spaghetti, this sauce combines curry leaves and nuts to make a herby mix. I like it!

Note that curry leaves can be substituted by basil. They have the same taste and are basically the same.

What you need:

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  • Spaghetti
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Chicken cut into bits.
  • Knorr
  • Garlic (powder and cloves)
  • Salt
  • Cameroun pepper, ground
  • Lime
  • Groundnut
  • Curry leaves
  • Butter
  • 2 tablespoons white wine/stock
  • Firm, juicy tomato

What you do:

To make the pesto, with the aid of a mortar and pestle crush the nuts, garlic, and basil. Season and mix with a little butter and oil.

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Cook the spaghetti till al dente and keep aside.

Season and stir-fry the chicken, add the pesto, white wine/ chicken stock and pasta. Heat for few second to warm through.

Serve on a ring of juicy tomato slices and garnish with a sprig of curry leaves.

PS. Sorry I just enjoyed taking these pictures so here’s more…

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And more…

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And more.

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Cooking from the heart

Cooking from the heart

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Sorry World Wide Web, I have been busy with the Knorr taste Quest season 2 which concluded on Saturday the 12th of April. And guess what? I emerged first runner up or in easy English; 2nd and I must say it was a wonderful experience. I will give you chronicles of the cooking show as it unfolded week after week but first a back log of some of the meals I made in the house.

I made this on Valentine’s day but didn’t have time to post it. I had the honour of having Chinelo Ozojie (of Knorr Taste Quest 2) prepare this with me so here goes. The idea of cooking from the heart is that you freestyle since you are cooking for love sake. This means no exact measurement or recipes. You just look around your pantry and cook with what you have. I love curries and so we are going to make Chicken curry and Garlic naan served with a side of Pasta salad.

Garlic naan:

This is an Indian flat bread made basically from flour and yeast. It could be plain or jazzed up with flavours like garlic, coriander, cumin and poppy seeds just to mention a few. It is traditionally made in a Tandoori oven but can be made in a normal oven, skillet or simple non-stick frying pan.

  • 2 cups flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ tablespoon yeast
  • 2 tablespoons milk/yoghurt
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 20 ml water
  • 1 clove garlic

Combine the ingredients as for bread and leave to rise for an hour or till doubled in size. Next divide into portions, roll out into tear drop shapes and then cook on both sides in a pan.

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Chicken curry:

I love curries coz they are so ssspicy! A curry is simply a sauce made using masala (Indian spices) and other ingredients. To bring it home, it is like Nigerian “stew” that has lots of turmeric/curry powder, other Indian spices and then instead of the base of just tomato, you have other thickeners like yoghurt, coconut milk, onion, cashew or almond paste. For the protein just like for stew you can use any meat, fish or paneer (tofu or soyabean cheese). Lastly the oil used is ghee (clarified butter).

  • Chicken cut into bits
  • Oil
  • Knorr chicken
  • Tandoori masala (or any other masala)
  • Curry powder
  • Cloves
  • Bay leaf
  • Ginger and garlic
  • Coconut powder
  • Water
  • I big onion
  • 1 big tomato chopped

Cut the chicken into bits, sear in oil then add all the other ingredients and cook till delightfully thickened. Refer to my post on curry for more details.

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Pasta salad:

I got the inspiration of this salad from Barcelos® fast food, their salad is something like this. The basic difference is that theirs is a vegetable salad with a little pasta in it while mine is the reverse.

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  • 2 cups cooked pasta
  • 1 can farrow® peas
  • ½ medium onion chopped
  • 1 medium carrot chopped and cooked
  • ½ medium cucumber chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes seeded and chopped
  • Mayo as needed
  • Sugar as needed.

Combine ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve.