Let’s be frank with one another, eating chips, also known as “French fries” (never mind that the French have nothing to do with this….) is enjoyable! I remember as a child eating potato chips with my fingers dunking them in thick gooey mayonnaise and just wishing the plate would never empty…..FYI, I hate ketchup a my chips but Iwon’t  judge you if you swing that way 😀

With my ever slowing metabolism and acute awareness for the need to make healthier food choices, it’s gladdenimg to know that I can still enjoy chips without the high risk of suffering a coronary shortly afterwards!! #Hallelujahchorus

This recipe is easy peasy; you require no special skill sets, or tools. Just a good appetite and an oven; c’est tout!

Ingredients:

To serve 4

2 medium sized sweet potatoes (I used the orange species purely for the vibrant colour)

3 medium sized purple potatoes (you could use regular potatoes but how could I resist the purple colour?!)

2 medium sized plantains (just barely ripe – they should be a very pale yellow and still quite firm)

2 teaspoons black pepper

4 sprigs fresh rosemary

3 cloves of garlic

3 tablespoons vegetable oil (corn oil is a great choice or olive oil)

Pinch of salt

The “How To”

Pre heat your oven to 230 degrees Celcius and line a baking tray with parchment paper.

Wash your potatoes and plantains and peel them. Then carefully cut them lengthways till you have evenly sized chips from all of them. You want to ensure that all chips are approximately the same size so that they cook through evenly in the oven. Also, peel the garlic and smash the cloves on a chopping board with the flat side of your knife. Alternatively, you could halve them with their skin on and use them like that.

Pat the chips dry with a clean kitchen towel then place them on on the prepared oven tray along with the garlic. Sprinkle with black pepper, drizzle with oil and scatter the springs of rosemary on the tray. Give everything a good mix to ensure they are all coated with oil.

  

Pop the tray in the preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes. Check it at the 28 minute mark. Once it has a nice golden brown exterior and the inside is cooked it’s ok to stop cooking it. Of course if you want an extra crunch you may leave it in for an extra minute but be careful not to burn it!

  

Season with salt, plate it up and enjoy it with your favourite sauce! As I mentioned earlier, mayonnaise is so delicious with chips but there are so many other options. Here, I served it with super spicy meatballs. You can try my meatball recipe here.

   

 

If you can’t find purple potatoes or orange sweet potatoes or you just simple are not keen on such a colourful fare. This cooking method is just as amazing with regular potatoes and even yams too! Sprinkle chopped chives on the potatoes when they are out of the oven and be transported to a gastronomy galaxy of chipsy happiness! For the yam recipe check this post.

   

 

FFF Tip of The Day

Instead of peeling your potatoes, give the skins a good scrub with a brush or sponge, rinse thoroughly and cook them in their skins. This gives an added crunch as well as higher nutritional value.

There is nothing more satisfying than being in alignment with your purpose. Through my journey in life, I am becoming more aware of what I should be doing and what I should invest my time in. Without a doubt “the food industry” is a terrain that FFF has a firm position in and our global reach is expanding more with each passing day (literally).
A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by the organizers of The Milano Expo 2015, informing me that FFF had been selected to participate in the expo as well as join the company of global foodies; chefs, bloggers, restauranteurs etc in the Expo community. Here we share and post recipes. It is really thrilling!
I thank everyone who trawls the blog, leaves comments, tries out our recipes and contracts our services; YOU motivate and keep us growing,
The vision is a reality!

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There is nothing more satisfying than being in alignment with your purpose. Through my journey in life, I am becoming more aware of what I should be doing and what I should invest my time in. Without a doubt “the food industry” is a terrain that FFF has a firm position in and our global reach is expanding more with each passing day (literally).

A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by the organizers of The Milano Expo 2015, informing me that FFF had been selected to participate in the expo as well as join the company of global foodies; chefs, bloggers, restauranteurs etc in the Expo community. Here we share and post recipes. It is really thrilling!

I thank everyone who trawls the blog, leaves comments, tries out our recipes and contracts our services; YOU motivate and keep us growing,

The vision is a reality!

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It’s not a typographical error, I did call a part of my post Plean Soufflé; so now that I have cleared that up, I suppose it’s only fair to explain what a “Plean” really is or how it came about……..no it’s not an alien food item from planet Zörg……nice try though 😀😂

It all started when February 14 rolled round; after I groped my way from beneath tonnes of cake batter, whipped cream and moulded chocolate it dawned on me, tragically, that I had made no culinary plans ……or errrrrmmmmm any plans for that matter for this (in my opinion exaggerated) occassion.

Essentially I had to get creative and FAST!! There was a growling Papa bear wandering around in my house and my baby cubs were at risk!! Eeeeeeekkk!!

Ok drama over, a quick rummage through my fridge reveled that I had; whipped cream, tonnes of left over chocolate cake shavings, fresh strawberries and strawberry yoghurt. This was a no- brainer! Strawberry chocolate parfait!! I just layered the different ingredients and voila! And I didn’t even have to light an oven! So that was breakfast sorted.

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By the time lunch hour rolled round, I was in pseudo panic mode! As I cast my gaze around my kitchen my eyes fell on the following ingredients,

3 extremely ripe plantains
1/4 cup beans flour
3 ata rodo aka scotch bonnet peppers
1 tbs ground Cameroon pepper
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tbs cray fish
1 tbs paprika
1 tbs powdered ginger
4 tbs vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
2 eggs
1/3 warm water (optional)
1 thinly sliced cucumber (garnish)

A light bulb went off in my head and I gathered them all up and this is what I did with them. I was completely winging this recipe and didn’t know what to expect……I was literally making it up as I went along.

I did know however that I wanted to achieve a beautiful union between moin-moin and Ukpo ogede: you read all about these here. And on what better day that February 14 to attempt such a pairing? Even food has a place in romantic entanglements, non?

The “How To”
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celcius. Carefully oil an oven proof rectangular Pyrex baking dish or any mould of your choice to be frank.
Wash and peel the plantains and chop them into medium chunks. Peel the onion and garlic and cut them up, set aside. You may opt to seed the peppers or leave the seeds in, it depends on if you can take the heat. Now this is where things get interesting; you’re probably braced for a laborious cooking process but not today – remember that I was tired. I pulled out my food processor with the blade attachment and tossed everything in except the eggs and water.

Blitz the ingredients until you have an even, lump free mixture then add the two eggs and blitz again until evenly mixed through (about 1 minute). Check the consistency, if it appears quite viscous and dense then you may want to thin it down a it with the warm water otherwise, carefully empty the contreras into your oiled receptacle (in my case my rectangular dish). And then place the dish in a Bain Marie (a water bath that can fit in your oven; it should just have about 1 inch of hot water in it). Cover your dish with foil, place it in the oven for about 35 minutes. Check for “doneness” by inserting a tooth pick in it if it comes out clean then it is ready, if it not give it a few more minutes (a lot will depend on the dimensions of your dish).

Voilà! You just made your very first Plean Souffleé! By now you must have figured that I invented that word by pairing Plantain + Bean…..The end result should be a fluffy sweet yet savory and very spicy “pudding”. To temper the spiciness, I added slices of cucumber on the plate to cool the palette and to anchor all the flavours I also incorporated pesto (this time from a jar not freshly made). All these elements came together magically and paired with the stuffed chicken it was magic on a plate!

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Here’s the recipe for the stuffed chicken.

Ingredients

2 medium sized chicken breasts
1 clove of garlic
150 grams of cheddar cheese
1 tsp ground black pepper
Salt to taste
1 tbs butter

The How To
Pre heat your oven to 200 degrees Celcius.
Trim away any sinew or silver skin on your chicken breasts, rinse and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel. Lay them on a clean, dry chopping board and carefully cover them with cling film. Now with a meat mallet or with a rolling pin beat the breasts until you have an even thickness across the surface and they are about 3/4 of an inch thick; set aside. Chop the garlic and slice up the cheese. Divide them unto the chicken; placing them carefully along one short end of the chicken, then carefully roll the chicken tightly and secure with a butcher’s string tied around it or use tooth picks to keep the seams closed.

Now place a thick bottomed pan (with an oven proof handle) on medium high heat an add the butter, once the butter starts to sizzle place both rolled up chicken pieces in the pan and sear on all sides until you get a lovely brown colour. Transfer the entire pan and it’s contents into the oven for 22 – 25 minutes. Press on it carefully to check if it’s cooked, the chicken flesh should be firm when you press it with your index finger and the juices in the pan should be clear. Cover with foil to rest for another 10 minutes or so. Remove strings or tooth picks, cut up and serve warm.

For dessert we had the infamous triple chocolate mousse cake. The recipe is right here. I didn’t make it on that day. I had prepped it a few days earlier when prepping client’s order.

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I hope you enjoyed my culinary journey of discovery and indeed invention. 😀

Show me an average Nigerian and I will show you a person that ranks “rice and stew” as a favourite meal or at the very least a meal reserved for special occasions like family Sunday lunch. Don’t get me wrong, Jollof rice ranks up there too but today, the focus is on it’s less colourful and less controversial relative 🙂

In Nigeria, stew is not stew if it isn’t a blend of red peppers (locally called tatashe, shombo and ata rodo in Yoruba language) and tomatoes. Now the balance of each ingredient varies from tribe to tribe…..no really it does. Some people might include onions in this blend as well.

Stew is a very personal sauce in Nigeria and in some tribes it is beyond personal. Take the Yorubas for example; their lips will remain clamped shut if you serve ANY meal you expect them to ingest (and eventually digest) without stew; in fact it is considered to be an affront.

I am married to a Yoruba man so TRUST me I know what I am talking about; recall my ordeal from an earlier post? If you haven’t read about it please do so here.

Loosely speaking the sauce is prepared by blitzing a combo of the above mentioned vegetables and fruits (yes tomatoes are fruits!!!!!!!), then cooking them down till you have a beautiful thick crimson paste which you the fry the heck out of in searing hot vegetable or palm oil. Alternatively you could roast said vegetables/fruits whole then blitz them before finishing them off. See this post on how to use roasted peppers to enhance your sauce.

The beauty about Nigerian stew is it’s versatility. It is such a great vehicle for an assortment of flavours; it works well with ginger, garlic, basil, thyme, chicken, fresh fish snails, gizzard, turkey, smoked fish, beef, oxtail, tripe, sweat breads name it! Errrrr not necessarily all at once. It am sure you catch my drift.

Anyway back to focus of my post, the most consistent way stew is consumed in Nigeria across almost every single tribe is with white rice (essentially steamed rice or as “boiled rice” as it is generally referred to.

One popular pairing is of Ofada sauce, a pungent peppery stew, served with locally grown rice. It is an acquired taste and if you ever venture near it please be sure to have a fire extinguisher to hand because your tongue is guaranteed to catch on fire or at the very least your brain will……..it’s worth it though…….I think………..

Lest I forget to mention, rice and stew is never really complete without a side of fried plantains locally called “dodo”. If you set such a dish before a Nigerian, you have a 99% guarantee of having a happy camper whose buccal cavity will remain decidedly agape as he inhales the meal.

Here are some of my versions of this classic Nigerian staple: Ordinary just got extraordinary!

As we say in my language, “Ko di echi” (until the next time 😀)

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Cloud computing is not that novel a concept; I have been using cloud computing for over 2 decades! Yep you read right 🙂 You know how, you have tonnes of ideas, info and just stuff that you “plan” to put in writing ONE day? Well I have a gazillion bits of such data floating around in my head, stored away in different folders……….so that makes me the ultimate geek right? speaking of geeks…..this post is about a super geek I met a couple of months ago; this post is at least 5 months over due……..ok, before your eyes glaze over this post IS about food but hear me out.

The web is an amazing environment if you know how to navigate it; I belong to a foodie group on FB called “So You Think Yo for u Can Cook” or SYTYCC. It’s awesome! You meet the weird and the wonderful there. It didn’t take long before a young lady stood out for the simple reason that her meal concepts and recipes stood out. I was intrigued and you know me, when I am intrigued, what do I do? All together now, “I cyber stalk!” Her blog is just filled all sorts of amazing info and she take a time to break things down; even the most intricate recipes. And get this, she has managed to make meal preparations, especially Nigerian food a cinch. All sorts of nifty tricks for making laborious processes easier. And talk about modernizing the Nigerian cuisine, she has that down too. Don’t take my word for it, just take a look at Dooney’s Kitchen

In no time, we established a rapport of sorts and even started calling each other. She lives in the United Kingdom and I live in Nigeria but the expensive international call costs didn’t stop us from nattering on like old friends. She seemed nice, open and very very friendly so when she announced that she would be visiting Lagos, Nigeria it only made sense that we meet up!

After having met her, I can tell you authoritatively, that she is not nice, calling her friendly is just a lie!

Let me explain, she had a busy schedule so we decided that it would be better for her to come visit me at home. After navigating impossible traffic and dealing with a less than intelligent taxi driver, she arrived at about 5.30 pm. I rushed out to receive her and was met with a petite elegant lady who’s pictures belie her true beauty! The first words out of my mouth were “Welcome but I don’t like you much, how come you’re so small”? …..I know, I need to work on my social graces! But seriously! Who cooks all that food and remain svelte and elegant!?? WHO????? Is there no justice in this world?? 😀

Anyway, she totters into the house lugging shopping bags filled with gifts for me and the choc boys! I couldn’t believe it! I am thinking “but we only just met”! Calling her “nice” or “friendly” is a disservice. She’s truly a special person; warm, giving and DOWN – TO – EARTH!!!

In no time, we are talking about all and sundry including her grueling ordeal at the airport. On her arrival it took the better part of four hours before she could depart the airport or reach her parents for that matter. All this drama because the airport was undergoing renovations……go figure….

So, it was early evening and it was only proper to offer this lady something to eat. Problem was, I didn’t make anything social for her because A. I didn’t know what to offer her B. I didn’t know what to offer her C. I didn’t know what to offer her and D. I didn’t know what to offer her. Now, I know you’re probably wondering if I am off my rocker but please before you judge me, go to this site and then tell me what you would offer a person who can throw down like that?!

I offered her sautéed potatoes and meatballs and guess what she liked it! She actually ate it and asked for more meatballs! I swear the hallelujah chorus was playing! Over her meal, she revealed her picky eating habits which almost drove her mum nuts, the long list of foods that will not pass her lips and her key strategies for avoiding eating foods she hates. By the time she was done I whispered a prayer of gratitude for dodging all those bullets!!

The evening ended with us taking a gazillion selfies! It was mad fun! I was sorry to see her go because we got on like a house on fire.

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Dunni Obata runs Dooney’s Kitchen as well as working full time as an IT expert; her role is so complicated that I don’t even quite fully grasp what she does…..lol. But I a know that she is multitalented and real; that’s the truth.

Today is the International day of the woman and if you are women reading this post, please take a moment to ensure that you’re life has meaning. Ensure that you aren’t just existing; Dare to Dream!