Game day…easy toastadas

I am what you call a聽 #LazyChef
I dont’t think cooking should cost an arm and a leg nor should it burn out a person. For me, it is fun…hence a profession to reckon with

This was just the perfect to go recipe. I had to make it my own. It is low fat, low calorie and the way the tastes marry each other is divine

Recipe…
Open drain and wash a can of black beans. Mash a little and mix with some cilantro and salsa (you may make your own home made salsa by roughly blending chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, chile peppers, and garlic in a blender or food processor, along with chopped sweet peppers. Season wi th salt and pepper)

Dice tomatoes, and an avocado.
Chop some cilantro
Mix all with lime juice and set aside

Chop some chicken or use the ground (mince) meat and cook in a sauce pan with little oil or pan spray season with garlic, cumin and salt

Get already made small round taco shell which has been toasted or toast in oven at 400 for 6minutes until a little hard(i used corn shells). Remove from oven and set aside wrapped in a warm cloth

On the warm taco shell, arrange your spread like so

Spread beans, place cooked chicken on top with some cheese. Place in oven to melt cheese
Remove and top with the cool dressing and some sour cream

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#DineExquisitelyAfrican
#ChefNma
#ExquisitelyGolden

Nmajewel
#chefnma

Game day jollof spaghetti and tangy chicken wings

So it was friday morning and I woke up quite early and with a start. I had a mild, sweet and tangy hot sauce mix on my mind. I have a line of signature hot sauces/dips and I wanted just one more that was not tomatoe based for other meats and fish dishes. I actually came up with two, but I shall share only one for now. While I was mixing a way I had the opportunity to talk with a woman who makes me laugh and smile, her name is Kemi. Well, well we kind of share somethings in common and for the first time we spoke. I remember her saying “I hope I am not disturbing you o. I hear cooking.” Sisi Kemi, your ear sharp no be small 😂

Well while I was talking to Sisi Kemi, as I call her, I was mixing away and Eureka! (My favourite kitchen slang) my sauce was born. In fact, I had two at once. I used one of it for some chicken wings which went well with one of my jollof spaghetti or “supergetti” dishes (as I used to call it while I was little). I have a couple of more spaghetti dishes which I shall share later on here

Let’s get right to how I made this version

For the chicken wings:
Salt
Black pepper
Red pepper flakes or crushed atarodo (whichever you have)
Oil for frying *optional

For the wing sauce:
Melted butter
worcestershire sauce
Salt
Garlic powder or freshly grated garlic
A dash of sesame oil
Dry grinded pepper
Chopped Green onion or scallions

For the spaghetti, I used a sofrito base. Sofrito simply means a savory sauce made with tomatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, and herbs. And for my own sofrito base I used
Sweet carrots, atarodo(habanero pepper), onion,聽 any color of bell peppers, and tomatoes
Tomato paste (diluted with some meat stock to reduce it’s tangy taste and concentration)
Cooking oil
Nutmeg
Garlic
Ginger
Salt
Chicken broth
Seasoning cubes(optional)
Curry
Thyme
Basil or Scent leaves

Please eye ball your measurements. I never really measure (I promise to start soon)

Before you start, blend some onion, tomatoes peppers, and sweet carrots and set aside.

For chicken. Preheat oven or oil. If using oven, 350 degrees is okay. I used the oven as it is a more healthier method. Moving along.
Season chicken with salt and peppers then toss and set aside to marinade while oven gets hot

In a bowl, mix all the ingredients for the sauce聽 and set aside (you may refridgerate it to rest)

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Place chicken on a none stick pan or a griddle that can go in the oven and grill until done and lightly brown with a crust. If you are frying the wings, fry until done and lightly brown. Then toss in the bowl with the sauce mix

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For my spaghetti I cooked it according to package directions which involved boiling a copious amount of water. Add a pinch of salt and oil once water boils(I used olive oil) then cook spaghetti uncovered on medium heat until aldente). Decant and save some of the water in which the pasta was cooked(about 3tbsps. I will tell you why later); then drain the pasta while running cold water through it to stop the cooking.

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In a cooking pot, heat some oil, add some chopped onion and stir fry until translucent. Add in some grated garlic and ginger (for aromats) stir fry quickly(to prevent burning the garlic) and once you can smell the spices (ie ginger and garlic) you added, add the blended carrots and pepper mix and season with curry, thyme, and salt. Fry like you would a Nigerian fried stew until the oil floats to the top. At this point, add a little stock to taste and fry again until the oil floats to the top. Check for seasonings(If you dont have any stock, season with salt and or any other seasonings you desire. I usually stick to salt as I almost always have some meat broth)

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Pour the now cooled pasta into an empty pot.
Pour your cooked tomato sauce into it.
Remember that pasta water you saved? Pour it into the pasta along with a tiny handfull of basil or scent leaves(do not add too much of the cooked pasta water. A few tbsps is fine). The pasta water helps to tie the taste of your sauce and pasta together. That way you don’t taste one side of pasta and another side of sauce 馃檪
Add some freshly grated nut meg. I love nut meg, it is one of my to go spice. I think I put it in everything.

Serve spaghetti with the chicken wings and some finely diced green onion or scallions

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You may serve the wings alone as your game day food…super bowl game day(woohoo) food or for you Premier league lovers…it goes well with any dipping sauce you would like with it

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#DineExquisitelyAfrican
#ChefNma
#ExquisitelyGolden
#LazyChef
#SofritoAlaPasta
#StayingTruetoAfricanCooking

Nmajewel
#chefnma

Chinese style fried rice using bulgur

The name fried rice comes from the method, which involves the use of a high temperature and a high temperature oil eg peanut oil and frying the rice over high heat.

As per #fitfam, I like to use olive or sunflower oil

I was craving some fried rice, and a friend Monica had posted a recipe which looked quite similar to my recipe but for the sesame seeds and ginger.

I went looking for the recipe and could not find it, but before she could repost it, I had already done it from memory, tweaking, and combining both recipes

I will state the differences…
I used bulgur, two different soy sauces (dark and light), the use of basil, and turkey. You many use shrimp, beef, pork, or even a combination of both

Here is what you will need
Bulgur or any long grain rice
Sesame seed oil
Ginger(Monica’s option)
Garlic
Sesame seeds(Monicas option and optional)
Onion
Dark and lighy soy sauces
A pinch of salt
Sun flower oil
One or two eggs. Depending on how much fried rice you are making
One chili pepper (deseeded)
Sweet carrots
Sweet peas
Black pepper
Chopped almonds (optional)

Here is how I went about it…
Cook your rice first (if using basmati rice, I never preboil. Just wash until the water runs clear then cook, or you may use the regular rice where you can preboil. Refridgerate your cooked rice a day to the day you would be making the fried rice or you may use immediately…just cook and spread it out on a flat sheet pan and refrigerate or air out to cool it down)

From google “The key to good fried rice is having cold day-old rice in the fridge: not only does this mean the stir-fry comes together in a snap but it guarantees fried rice with the perfect chewy-tender texture.”)

In a wok, I heated some sun flower oil and poured a whisked egg into the hot oil making a scrambled egg. I quickly put the cooked egg into a bowl and poured some more oil into the wok(if you still have oil in the wok then don’t add anymore) and poured in a hand full of chopped turkey, stir fry frequently until slightly brown, add in your onion and keep stirring until transluscent. Add some chopped or shaved garlic and shaved ginger. Keep stir frying until fragrant. Pour in your chopped chili pepper, carrots, and sweet peas. Add your eggs, a pinch of salt and your soy sauces. Pour in your rice or bulgur and keep stirring(becareful and stir gently so as not to break the bulgur or the rice) Check for seasonings and add some more soy sauce to taste. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds or chopped almonds, black pepper, and a tsp of sesame seed oil. Garnish with basil and let the rice rest for about 3-5minutes then serve.

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#DineExquisitelyAfrican
#ChefNma
#ExquisitelyGolden

Nmajewel
#chefnma

Egusi soup and roasted fish with a touch of uziza

I grew up watching my mother cook. Oh how I disliked it. But I have a lot of memories of her cooking, including my dad. I remember my mother making egusi with tomatoes and peppers. And I know my add added some kind of thickner to his…normally achi (daddy’s recipe coming soon). I wanted some egusi soup with something different to it. So after conversation with a friend about using uziza in egusi soup, I decided to try it as it sounded quite interesting. I had always used a sprinkle of utazi, but uziza sounded brilliant.
So I present to you, my two vegetable Egusi and roasted fish with a sprinkle of uziza…
Thank you Lady Anuli for the uziza tip
Ingredients:
Fresh fish (preferrably mackerel)
Palm oil
Plum tomatoes
Egusi
Red bell pepper
Salt
Seasoning cube (optional)
Uziza
Okazi
Spinach (I used a bag of defrosted spinach. I squeezed the water out before using)
Crayfish
One small onion

Directions:
Season fish with salt and pepper then roast slowly without over drying.

Blend peppers(tatase and atarodo), onions and tomatoes then boil out the excess water if any.

Blend your egusi into a smooth and slightly thick paste. If your egusi has already been blended; then add some water and make a paste

Heat up some palm oil, pour in some crayfish and tomato mix. Fry until the oil floats to the top and looks clear. Then add dollops of your egusi paste and let it fry. Once the bottom is fried; flip (it may not flip like a pancake but it’s okay). After about 3minutes, stir everything together. keep stiring until the egusi and tomato mix looks like scrambled eggs then add your meat stock or water (if using meat, then add your meat and meat stock at this point)and check for seasonings. Add some dry pepper and let it cook on medium heat for about 5-10minutes on low heat(the dry pepper marries well with the other peppers and causes an amazing burst of flavours); then add your vegetables. I used okazi and spinach(these are both ideas of my parents. My dad liked egusi with achi and okazi, my mom liked it with ugu, bitter leaf, or water leaves. I didn’t have ugu or water leaves so I used spinach)…then add some uziza leaves and stir. Following the vegetables, add your roasted fish and dry fish(if using a tougher version of dry fish, then add it earlier when you add the meat stock or water). check for seasonings and shake the pot a little(dont stir so that you don’t break the fish)…after about 3-5 minutes set aside and serve when slightly cooled and fish must have soaked the juices of the soup

Please cook on low to medium heat to avoid burning

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Nmajewel
#chefnma

A blissful discovery. Egusi Na’Akwu (Egusi with palm nut cream)

I remember first sharing the finished picture to this recipe on my personal聽facebook page and on a facebook group(so you think you can cook…sytycc). It has now become a big hit with a lot of people around me. It all started one day, I waltzed into my kitchen looking to cook some egusi soup. I blended the egusi seeds and went to fetch some oil in my pantry…lo and behold there was none “no way jose” I said quietly to myself. I kept searching and I found a can of palm nut cream. What would it hurt, I am too lazy of a chef to start hassling myself for oil and we all know that savory does not have to cost an arm and a leg right? After all I use it for ogbono soup, yes you first heard it here. I use palm nut cream for ogbono soup sometimes…yes I can see the look on your face. Not to worry, my recipe would be coming soon I decided to go for the palm nut cream with egusi and here was how: For this recipe you would need Egusi(blend or mix into a paste with crayfish) Palm nut cream(for two cups of egusi, 2 cooking spoons of the palm nut cream will work just fine) Atarodo Dry pepper Salt Any meat of your choice (I used chicken) Dry fish Stock fish Crayfish Spinach or water leaf( I used a bag of frozen spinach and I just squeezed the water out after defrosting) Knorr (for meat stock) or any other type of cube. I use a special one which I shall share later Cameroon pepper (optional for meat stock. A tsp will work just fine) A small Onion (optional for meat stock only) Procedure: Wash your meats and place in a pot along with the stock fish, freshly crushed atarodo, crayfish, cameroon pepper (if you enjoy a lot of heat),and salt(do not add water at this point) Let the meat cook on medium heat until the water has kind of dried out; then add water enough to cover the meat and stock fish and reseason adding your seasoning cubes, taste and let the meat cook until tender. image In another pot and on low heat pour your palm nut cream and egusi mix and stir for about 3minutes. Pour in your meat stock (please eye ball the mixture so as not to make it too watery), and add your dry fish. Let it cook uncovered on medium to low heat for about 10minutes. Add your spinach(I always use spinach in place of water leaf whenever I cannot find any water leaf), stir, and check for seasonings. You may add some dry pepper at this point to tie the taste of the soup together. image Serve with rice, yam or any swallow(not the bird) of your choice #DineExquisitelyAfrican #ChefNma #ExquisitelyGolden #LazyChef #StayingTrueToNigerianCooking #YumYumInYourTummy Nmajewel #chefnma

Liquid Gold. How To Make Ncha with Ngo’

So I am enjoying blogging about food and today I bring you my adventures with ng贸 (palm kernel skin burnt into ash).
Last year while I was on a phone call with my sister, I complained about how my ‘akanwu’ aka potash was out and how badly I needed a new stash. She almost screamed the phone out of my ear saying “that thing is a chemical and can be quite poisonous, do you want to hurt yourself?” “I shall send you some ng贸.” Making faces as if she could see me, I asked “what is that?”
Laughing she said “ah, oyinbo. I dun forget say you be ajebutter. It is made out of the covering of the palmnut. After it is burnt, the ashes can be used for ncha.” “When you recieve it, just let me know and I shall teach you how to use it.”

Well, almost a year later, I decided to open and use my stash of ngo, but I had forgotten how to use it. I decided to reach out to Jackie right after I had posted a question on a facebook group (so you think you can cook aka ‘sytycc’) asking questions on how to use it. Jackie, this lady seems to know all these things and she gladly shares her ideas. Well, she gave me some directions and so did some really kind members of the group. I tell you some people are just like angels in human form. Thank you guys.

According to Jackie, she said she does 1part ng贸 and 2 to 3 parts water all mixed together while gently stirring. She also said it must taste like potash…”okay na!” I said to myself excitedly. The ladies from the food group also said mix ng贸 and water then use and save. Another question I asked Jackie was, “do I refrigerate?” And Jackie’s answer was “No, let it stay in room temperature and just mix and pour into your palm oil when you want to use it.”

So let’s get right to it
Here is a photo of my ng贸

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I measured a tablespoon and mixed with 3 table spoons of luke warm water.

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I stirred and tasted the ng贸 and it tasted just like potash water. Eureka! (thank you for the tip Jackie). I let the ng贸 mix sit while I measured a little portion of palm oil into another bowl.
Here is the first result.

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You can see the ng贸 and the now thickened oil, but alas! It had the ng贸 particles…”no no no” I thought to myself. Then ding!!! I may need to filter this thing into the oil. Finally this little sieve had a use 馃槀…Off I went to try it again with another little bowl of oil with a tiny sieve in tow 鈽 and the result was voila!
Creamy goodness

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A smooth ng贸
Thank you Jackie and my sytycc ladies.
Yet another adventure conquered
#DineExquisitelyAfrican
#ChefNma
#ExquisitelyGolden
#LazyChef
#Igbokwenu
#LiquidGold

Nmajewel
#chefnma

The fried rice that brought and satisfied a decade missed of my mother’s love

I didnt want to blog about food but for this one I shall as it is special.
I had not seen my mother in a decade and it felt like forever. Life had me doing a whole lot and she was kept busy too…she finally paid a visit and there at the airport I saw my mother “Mommy!” I screamed…”Nmam!” She said excitedly as she grabbed and felt for my entire body; then she grabbed my children, touching them from head to toe. For the both of us, it felt so surreal…Mommy stayed for some weeks and I treated her to her own recipes. She was even so suprised as I grew up not really liking cooking. I only made “supergetti” for my brothers and native rice. I also made daddy’s okra; “oiless okra ie

Moving on, one really beautiful afternoon, I wanted to make mommy some fried rice. She watched me as I juggled with the ingredients and the kids and she said “Nma, bia kam’mu m茅 y谩. I starred at her and whispered “No mommy, go and sit. I will do it.” She smiled and replied “you forget I am a chef. Let me do it.” And folks, that was how mommy made her special fried rice. I don’t even think I do it justice enough.

Due to popular demand on my facebook page on how to make the typical Nigerian fried rice, I decided to do this quick tutorial.
The name fried rice comes from the method in which the rice is cooked using a high temperature and a high temoerature oil eg peanut oil. For this recipe, I used the following ingredients:

*One whole corn; shelled and peeled using a fruit peeler or you may use one can of natural whole kernel corn rinsed and drained.
*Fresh sweet peas or one can of naturally sweet peas; rinsed and drained.
*Green beans. Snapped and cut diagonally (or which ever way you like it cut)
*Carrots washed with a strong clothe and diced. (Do not scrape your carrots or you may loose some of the nutrients. Wash with a strong clothe)
*sweet onion cut into thin slices
*liver (beef liver)
*Chicken tighs. Diced.(Mommy used shrimp, but I did not have any shrimp and I am one #LazyChef who doesn’t like to sweat ingredients along with the fact that we all know that “savory doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg,” so I used chicken)
*high tempereature oil. You may use peanut oil, but I settled for sun flower oil.
*Cabbage, finely sliced or grate with a grater (picture has been attached)

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*Regular long grain rice

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*Chicken or beef stock
*Curry, thyme, freshly grated nutmeg, salt, and garlic (garlic is optional)
*Seasoning cube(optional)
Red pepper flakes or chopped atarodo (remove the seeds to reduce the heat)
Directions:
In a pot, wash and bring liver to a boil. Wash and drain again; then cook with salt (mommy says always precook offals). When cooked, chop and set aside

Season chicken tighs (I used chicken tighs as they are most flavourful. Cut around the bone if not deboned and season with salt, pepper, and thyme then let it marinade while you prepare the other ingredients.)

Prepare all your vegetables(chop away at this stage) and set aside

Wash rice until the water runs clear; then pre boil and drain (run cold water over it while draining to stop it from cooking); put back in a pot with meat stock (I shall do a different tutorial for making stock), season with curry (not too much, just to taste. We don’t want curry tasting fried rice or a fried rice that looks as green as the Nigerian flag…*laughs), thyme, and salt as needed. Bring rice to a boil and reduce heat, cover to cook until aldente (it should have a bite to it)
While rice is cooking, in a wok heat some oil and fry your chicken stiring constantly to prevent burning. When the chicken is well browned. Remove and drain unto a peper towel; then pour in the liver and cook until browned all over as well. At this point check on your rice making sure its done(aldente…keeping some bite to it)
*Note that you can grill the chicken and livers instead of frying(just a healthier option)

In a wok, heat some more oil (please eye ball your oil measurements. Do not use too much oil) When oil becomes quite hot throw in your onions (be ready to do this stage quickly), when the onion is almost becoming transluscent and you can smell it, throw in your green beans, stirring constantly, then the carrots, peas and corn. Stir fry for just a few minutes(it’s safer to say 3 minutes. You want the veggies to retain it’s crunch); then throw in your cabbage, check for seasonings while adding some thyme (I love thyme:)) and聽 constantly stirring, add your rice in small increments until each grain is coated with the veggies and oil. Check for seasonings again and at the end you may add some grated garlic for aromats, I used nut meg instead; then serve.

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#DineExqusitelyAfrican
#ChefNma
#ExquisitelyGolden

Nmajewel
#chefnma