Bright eyed and bushy tailed from my recent personal retreat to sunny Zanzibar I have hit my food lab with renewed vigor. Armed with a variety of spices and dry herbs, it has been an aromatic infusion since my return. But this time my focus will be on using fresh herbs.

Today, I whipped up two simple meals for lunch and breakfast and show cased herbed butter in both meals.

I had bought a bunch of curly leaf parsley on impulse earlier in the week and didn’t want it to perish in my fridge so I chopped it up and mixed it in with 200 grams of butter (at room temperature). To finalize the preservation process, I placed the mixture in some cling film and carefully rolled it into an even cylindrical shape. I plonked in the deep freeze and all but forgot about it. All this happened late one night so I was in no condition to take pictures……I was practically sleep walking…..anyway getting back on track….

Breakfast was a simple fare of sliced bread, fried eggs, beef sausages and baked beans but the kicker was……yes you guessed it! Herbed butter! It just elevated the meal nicely. Isn’t it amazing how a simple inclusion makes a big difference?

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To give your sausages and eggs a mini make over follow these tips.

1. Scour your sausages with diagonal slashes before frying or grilling. Be careful not to slice it through just light cuts.
2. To make your eggs look geometric use a round metal cookie cutter to give the egg definition.

Simply place your non-stick pan on the burner and place a lightly greased or oiled cookie metal cutter in the pan. Add a bit of butter or cooking oil on the pan but inside the cookie cutter. Then carefully crack an egg in a bowl and pour it gently into the cookie cutter. Let the egg set for about 2 minutes; you may season with salt and pepper at thus point. If you like your yolk runny the cook the egg for a further minute and take off the heat. If like me you like your eggs well done then place a lid over the pan for at least two minutes and voilร  nicely rounded fried eggs.

Lunch had to easy to make too as I was in no mood for complex dishes. I had marinaded some pork chops yesterday so I just had to figure out what else to pair it with. I settled for sweet potatoes and carrots.

Ingredients.

4 pork chops on the bone (about an inch thIck)
1 tbs wasabi
1 tbs Dijon mustard
1 tbs steak sauce or BBQ sauce
1tsp coarse salt
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp cracked black pepper
2 tbs vegetable oil

3 medium sized sweet potatoes
100 grams unsalted butter
1 tsp coarse salt
1 tsp black pepper

3 large carrots
1 tbs honey
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup green grapes

This meal serves 4.

The “How To”

Marinade your chops in a ziplock bag using the mustard, wasabi, steak sauce, sesame oil and salt. Give them a good rub in the bag and leave over night or at least 4 hours in the fridge.

Bring them out to come to room temperature fir at least 20 minutes before you intend cooking them.

Turn on your oven to 195 degrees centigrade.

Wash and peel you potatoes. Chop them in half and cook for about 15 minutes. While the potatoes are cooking commence prepping the chops.

Put a thick bottomed oven proof pan on high heat and add 2 tbs of vegetable oil to it. Leave the pan on for 3 minutes until the oil is very hot and even smoking slightly and carefully add your chops to the pan. (Be sure to scrape off most of the marinade of the meat before seating. This is only so you can use the marinade for a sauce later and also to ensure that the meat is relatively dry when it hits the pan to get good color on it).

Leave chops in the hot pan, heat turned to medium for 3 minutes without touching them. The carefully flip them over using a pair of tongs and put the pan straight into the oven for 10 minutes but keep checking them so as not to over cook and dry them out. From the 6 minute mark check their progress. It is cuit a point when you press on the middle of the meat with your find and it springs back immediately. Do not poke the heat to check for doneness as you will release essential juices.

Once the chops are cooked take them out and transfer them unto a plate and cover with foil to rest for 10 minutest this will allow the meat to “relax” and distribute it’s juices.

The potatoes should be cooked by now. Drain them, add 100 grams of butter and mash until you have a chunky consistency. Cover the pot and set aside. Scrape and slice carrots. Blanch them for about 3 minutes. Drain and drizzle 1 tbs of honey over them and mix through.

Add the marinade to the pan juices from the chops and cook for two minutes until slightly thicker. Sear cherry tomatoes and grapes in 1 tbs of vegetable oil on high heat for 1 1/2 minutes. Now you are ready to plate up and enjoy your meal! A nob of herbed butter completes this delicious meal!

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There was complete silence during this meal and all plates were returned completely devoid of food save for the bone from the chop.

My mum and hubby both took a nap after this meal so it is quite filling; be warned!…..lol!

FFF Tip: it is easier to work with herbed butter when it is frozen that way you can slice the pieces off as required.

A variety of herbs can be preserved in this fashion including basil, coriander, flat leaf parsley and tarragon. If you prefer a healthier route this mode of preservation, you can freeze the herbs in olive oil by placing them in an ice tray and filling with olive oil. Then you just use the required number you frozen cubes for your sauces and meals.

It is amazing how being knocked sideways by an ailment forces you to literally sit still. Well knocked sideways by malaria I am but the whole sitting still business….sigh…..is driving me a little coocoo.

Granted I am relieved not to be a human jungle gym for a day; the boys are making do with their father and I am not complaining……

So I figured that I could write a post from my sideways position.
FFF has grown in the last 6 months and I must say that I am very very proud. In addition to our baked goods, we now offer a range of meals for small events and our clients are always pleased with us.

Below is a list of FFF’s party favorites. I promise that any of these dishes will bring an amazing dimension to your party. Enjoy!

Our spicy meatballs are now almost legendary ๐Ÿ™‚ . You can try it yourself using this recipe or contact us to place an order

20140524-152602-55562191.jpg

Another firm favourite is our pan roasted potatoes. They are just simply delicious

20140524-153125-55885266.jpg

FFF’s whole chicken roasts are perfect for family gatherings especially for Sunday lunches. We have two delicious options; pesto roast chicken and lemon roast.

20140524-153408-56048483.jpgRamon

20140524-153409-56049345.jpg

When it comes to canapes, well, let’s just say people swoon. And we are happy to watch them swoon too because a lot of love goes into each and every canapรฉ on the platter. Be inspired and try a canapรฉ recipe here or simply order ๐Ÿ™‚

20140524-153716-56236786.jpg

20140524-153716-56236123.jpg

Our lasagna brings out the closet Garfield in all of us. Here at FFF we don’t discriminate. Even Garfield must eat. Try the recipe here.ย Of course we will be more than happy to take your order.

20140524-154111-56471315.jpg

20140524-154110-56470548.jpg

In our journey as caterers we have discovered Garfields as well as cookie monsters. Our cookies are yum and make for great party favors! Who knew?!

20140524-154507-56707732.jpg

20140524-154508-56708642.jpg

20140524-154511-56711769.jpg

Brownies! What can we say? We make the fudgiest, chocolatiest ones around. Just ask anyone who has tried them.

20140524-155420-57260558.jpg

20140524-155421-57261486.jpg

I defy any Nigerian party to not include rice on the menu. We have great unexpected options too. Our Thai Style Spicy Jollof rice has been pleasing palettes for over 5 years. Our Dafaduka is also a crowd pleaser.

20140524-160140-57700885.jpg

20140524-160143-57703744.jpg

A great pairing with rice is fried plantain popularly known as dodo. So why not? We offer that too.

20140524-160424-57864467.jpg

We love rosemary and our rosemary baked chicken is loved by all who have tried it.

20140524-161027-58227551.jpg

A crisp fresh salad will add color and vitality to any table. We make some of the freshest around.

20140524-161340-58420516.jpg

20140524-161339-58419994.jpg

20140524-161339-58419184.jpg

We would like to thank our clients for choosing FFF. We looking forward to gaining new ones.

Go ahead and add a uniquely delicious dimension to your party. To ensure that you make the right meal choices, we will have a consultation and design the perfect menu for your party.

Contact us at nkem.o@foodfashionfusion.com

We can’t wait to hear from you.

Www.facebook.com/foodfashionfusion

#foodfashionfusion

It is amazing how being knocked sideways by an ailment forces you to literally sit still. Well knocked sideways by malaria I am but the whole sitting still business….sigh…..is driving me a little coocoo.
Granted I am relieved not to be a human jungle gym for a day; the boys are making do with their father and I am not complaining……
So I figured that I could write a post from my sideways position.
FFF has grown in the last 6 months and I must say that I am very very proud. In addition to our baked goods, we now offer a range of meals for small events and our clients are always pleased with us.
Below is a list of FFF’s party favorites. I promise that any of these dishes will bring an amazing dimension to your party. Enjoy!
Our spicy meatballs are now almost legendary ๐Ÿ™‚ . You can try it yourself using this recipe or contact us to place an order
20140524-152602-55562191.jpg
Another firm favourite is our pan roasted potatoes. They are just simply delicious
20140524-153125-55885266.jpg
FFF’s whole chicken roasts are perfect for family gatherings especially for Sunday lunches. We have two delicious options; pesto roast chicken and lemon roast.
20140524-153408-56048483.jpgRamon
20140524-153409-56049345.jpg
When it comes to canapes, well, let’s just say people swoon. And we are happy to watch them swoon too because a lot of love goes into each and every canapรฉ on the platter. Be inspired and try a canapรฉ recipe here or simply order ๐Ÿ™‚
20140524-153716-56236786.jpg
20140524-153716-56236123.jpg
Our lasagna brings out the closet Garfield in all of us. Here at FFF we don’t discriminate. Even Garfield must eat. Try the recipe here.ย Of course we will be more than happy to take your order.
20140524-154111-56471315.jpg
20140524-154110-56470548.jpg
In our journey as caterers we have discovered Garfields as well as cookie monsters. Our cookies are yum and make for great party favors! Who knew?!
20140524-154507-56707732.jpg
20140524-154508-56708642.jpg
20140524-154511-56711769.jpg
Brownies! What can we say? We make the fudgiest, chocolatiest ones around. Just ask anyone who has tried them.
20140524-155420-57260558.jpg
20140524-155421-57261486.jpg
I defy any Nigerian party to not include rice on the menu. We have great unexpected options too. Our Thai Style Spicy Jollof rice has been pleasing palettes for over 5 years. Our Dafaduka is also a crowd pleaser.
20140524-160140-57700885.jpg
20140524-160143-57703744.jpg
A great pairing with rice is fried plantain popularly known as dodo. So why not? We offer that too.
20140524-160424-57864467.jpg
We love rosemary and our rosemary baked chicken is loved by all who have tried it.
20140524-161027-58227551.jpg
A crisp fresh salad will add color and vitality to any table. We make some of the freshest around.
20140524-161340-58420516.jpg
20140524-161339-58419994.jpg
20140524-161339-58419184.jpg
We would like to thank our clients for choosing FFF. We looking forward to gaining new ones.
Go ahead and add a uniquely delicious dimension to your party. To ensure that you make the right meal choices, we will have a consultation and design the perfect menu for your party.
Contact us at nkem.o@foodfashionfusion.com
We can’t wait to hear from you.
Www.facebook.com/foodfashionfusion
#foodfashionfusion

When Easter Sunday came round, I knew I had to prepare something nice for lunch not only because it was Easter but it also happened to be my mum’s birthday.
A rice based meal would have been very predictable and not to mention tedious; grilled chicken – been there, done that over and over. So after much deliberation with hubby and with Food Network providing bits of inspiration, I settled for a “meat platter” type meal. Of course this was music to hubby’s carnivorous taste buds.
The menu was partly inspired by Sunny Anderson of the Food Network’s “Cooking For Real” and some of my ideas. It consisted of Caribbean Jerk Chicken, Pan grilled Minute Steak on a bed of Mango Salsa, Spicy Meatballs, Potato Mash and a pallet cleansing cucumber and carrot salad all washed down with Sunny Anderson’s refreshing Mean Green Cucumber Juice.

It was sort of an ode to the Afro-Carribean diet with a twist.

I started by marinating the chicken over night, the only ingredient I left out of Sunny’s recipe was the fennel seed and I alternated dry ginger for fresh ginger (which I thought gave the marinade more of a kick). Following her recipe, I baked the chicken for 20 minutes skin-side down, and then made a glaze with some of the left over marinade and then finished it off for another 25 minutes in he oven at a higher temperature. My friend Uzo has a slightly different take on Jerk chicken. Check it out at Uzo’s Food Lab

Glazed Chicken


To make the cucumber juice, I used two large English Cucumbers; available at my local Spar grocery store. I recommend the English Cucumbers over the locally grown ones because the local ones have seeds. It was very easy to make and the result was simply refreshing and delicious.

Cucumber peel in blender and grated flesh prepped and ready for the simple syrup before blitzing


Blitzing cucumber peel and cooked flesh before sieving and chilling


Making the mango salsa was a breeze and I made it extra spicy so that the chopped fresh peppers would counter balance the sweetness of the chopped mango flesh. I also threw in some chopped red onion, chopped spring onions, chopped parsley, salt and freshly ground black pepper and some lime juice. The salsa was accompanied with a simple pan seared minute steak which I drizzled with lime juice and set aside to rest.

The potato mash I made slight chunky to add some texture to the dish. I was fairly liberal with the butter and cream and with a sprinkling of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper it was ready in no time. It was the last dish I prepared so that it arrived at the table nice and hot.
The cucumber and carrot salad consisted of cucumber and carrot shavings and halved cherry tomatoes; it doesn’t get easier than that.
The meatballs were made from the classic meatball recipe which you will find in my “Anatomy of Feast” post and my “Back in the Saddle” post.
The dish came together nicely and each part complimented the other well. Not a single plate came back to the kitchen with any food on it. My mum was flattered that I made a special meal on her special day and my husband was pleased with the prominent helping of protein on his plate; all in all a winning menu.

Potato Mash, Caribbean Chicken, Meat balls, Minute Steak and Mango Salsa, Cucumber and Carrot Salad and Mean Green Cucumber Juice.

For me, tucking into the meal transported me to a sunny beach side resort………

TIP OF THE DAY: To make sure that your meals arrive at the table nice and hot or at least warm, put the serving dish/plate in a hot oven minutes before you plate up. NOTE: Ensure that the dishware is oven safe. ๐Ÿ™‚