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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜€)

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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 πŸ™‚ . You can try it yourself using this recipe or contact us to place an order

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

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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.

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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 canapΓ© on the platter. Be inspired and try a canapΓ© recipe here or simply order πŸ™‚

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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.Β Of course we will be more than happy to take your order.

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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?!

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

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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.

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

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

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

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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.

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#foodfashionfusion

Every time there’s a holiday like Saint Patrick’s day, Mardi gras or a national Independence celebration, I am inspired to make a meal to commemorate the occasion. I am neither Irish nor French but that hasn’t stopped me from making such meals as I did in my “Full Steam Ahead” post.

October 1 is Nigeria’s Independence Day and the opportunity presented itself for another fun food lab activity.

I made Dafaduka, a Nigerian Rice dish, which was well received at my son’s school on their Independence/national day party. This one pot wonder is no fuss but packs maximum flavour.

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Recipe for Dafaduka

4 tbs Palm oil
4 cups of Rice
1 tinned plum tomatoes or 5 fresh tomatoes – chopped
1 tbs Cameroun peppers (dry)
2 Scotch bonnet peppers
1 medium Dry fish
1 onion
1 tbs dry ginger (fresh gingermaybe used if available)
1 Dawada (dry locust bean patty)
Chicken stock or water
Salt to taste

Method

Wash rice thoroughly, drain and put in a pot. Chop tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers and onions.

Add oil, chopped ingredients and dry spices to the pot except the salt and dry fish. Break up fish and steep in hot water for about 10 minutes. Drain, then carefully take out all visible bones and set aside. Add stock or water (quantity of liquid will depend on the type if rice.

I used jasmine rice which cooks quickly. Add some salt and taste for salt at the end of cooking. Put the pot on and bring to a boil the reduce to simmer until rice is tender.

Add boned dry fish half way through cooking. Serve accompanied by dodo or simply enjoy on its own.

There you have it, a veritable Nigerian dish and a throw back to my childhood.

I saw an interesting recipe for Marsala chicken that I knew I had to try andΒ the end result at the dinner table was happy smiles all around πŸ™‚

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Marsala Chicken Recipe

Ingredients
4 chicken breasts, boneless & skinless,
1/2 cup flour,
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Dried oregano to taste
4 Tbsp oil
4 Tbsp butter or margarine
2 cups fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 clove of garlic (chopped)
2 tsps dry chili flakes (optional)
1 cup Marsala wine

Method
Pound chicken breasts between sheets of plastic wrap until about 1/4″ thickness.
COMBINE flour, salt, pepper and oregano in a mixing bowl. Dredge chicken pieces in the flour, shaking off any excess.
HEAT oil and butter in a skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken breasts on medium heat for about 2 minutes on the first side, until lightly browned. Turn breasts over to cook other side, then add mushrooms, garlic and chili to the skillet. Cook breasts about 2 more minutes, until both sides are lightly browned. Continue to stir mushrooms.

Add Marsala wine around chicken pieces. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Transfer to serving plate.

Serve with side of your choice, I chose boiled potatoes, grilled aubergines and blanched mange touts.

Please note, I could not find Marsala wine so used a combination of a dry white wine and white grape juice. You could also use Madeira wine if you find it.

All in all it was an enjoyable holiday.

On to the next conquest!