By now you MUST have had your fill of Jamie Oliver’s Jollof rice news aka jollofgate and quite frankly I don’t blame you. Although I do have to say that I was puzzled by his venture into jollof rice preparation but I shrugged it off and moved on…..apparently the rest of the African continent was not as forgiving…..

Anyway FFF loves jollof rice and I wanted to share our two favourite versions.

The first is our infamous FFF developed “Thai Style Spicy Jollof Rice”. This sweet-savoury dish packs a punch as it spreads warmth in your mouth from the layers of chillies In it.

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As you can see it is very versatile and pairs well with meat, chicken or fish.

Another FFF favourite is “Dafaduka”. This smokey flavoursome meal is the Hausas take on the ubiquitous dish. The use of smoked fish , locust beans and palm oil gives the recipe a certain je ne sais quoi.

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Get the recipe for Thai style spicy jollof rice here and the recipe for Dafaduka here

I wonder if Jamie will now venture into making a “pucker” gbegiri and amala. Will he scatter rosemary on the amala? Will he substitute beans for chickpeas in the gbegiri? So many burning questions!

Incredibly it is that time of year again, come this Friday, November would have rolled round and in my opinion that would mark the commencement of the end of the year.

With this period comes global festivities such as Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas and New Year not to mention end of year office parties, awards and other such celebrations. These flurry of activities raises the question of FOOD; GLORIOUS FOOD.

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Usually, in Nigeria, The Christmas holidays conjures images of rice and chicken. And if you’re adventurous you might throw in some turkey. I say, step out of the box, burn it and explore other lush options of culinary wonders.

Instead of regular jollof rice, why not try my Thai style spicy jollof rice or maybe tasty easy one pot Dafaduka, give roast potatoes a rest and tackle the amazingly fragrant rosemary oven roasted yam. So you think that you just cannot dispense with chicken, then why not try some of my chicken piglets? Or give your whole roast chicken a fresh twist by infusing it with lemon and lemon grass. Breakfast shouldn’t be left out of the fun, there are fun crepes, pancakes and the like to explore. How about my marmalade filled French toast and zingy tangerine and blueberry compote to give your taste buds an exiting start. Make fun salads with unexpected ingredients.

Here are some of my holiday picks for the upcoming Holidays.

Marmalade filled French toast and zingy tangerine and blueberry compote.

Zingy start to any day

Zingy start to any day

Ingredients for marmalade filled french toast
4 slices of fresh soft bread
2 eggs
2/3 cups of milk
3 – 4 tablespoons of butter
marmalade

How To:

Combine egg and milk in a bowl and whisk until mixture is homogenous. Set aside.
Cover one slice of bread generously with marmalade and lay the other slice over it and pinch the edges closed. Steep in the milk and egg and milk wash and set aside.

In a pan melt the butter and add the immersed sandwich. Cook on each side until golden brown.

Ingredients for compote
This compote is a blueberry and tangerine compote
1 cup dry blueberries
1 cup tangerine juice
2 tablespoons butter
2/3 cups of sugar
2 tangerine wedges (garnish)
Cocoa powder (optional garnish)
Mint (optional garnish)

How to

Soak blueberries in tangerine juice for 15 minutes. (If using fresh blueberries skip this step)
Add soaked blueberries and juice into a pan along with sugar and butter. Bring to a boil and the simmer for 6 – 7 minutes until mixture thickens slightly. Stir often.

Remove membrane from tangerine wedges and scoop out the pulp.
Plate up french toast. Place compote on the plate, scatter the tangerine pulp about the plate and finish off with a dusting of cocoa powder and a sprig of mint.

First stage of satisfactionIf you would prefer a more savoury affair for breakfast then barbecue chicken and veg filled crepe is the meal to try. The best part? It makes for a great brunch for those lazy days where you sleep in and can’t be bothered with an early meal.

Savoury delight for a great start to your day

Savoury delight for a great start to your day

Recipe:
Ingredients for crèpes with barbecue chicken filling
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoons salt
1 cup milk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter, plus more for cooking crepes
Directions
Put the flour and salt and in a large mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the milk. Whisk in the eggs, 1 at a time, and then whisk in the sugar, melted butter, and vanilla. Cover and let rest in the refrigerator for about 1 hour.Heat an 8-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Melt a small pat of butter in the pat and swirl around so that it lightly coats the surface.

Add 1/3 cup of the batter and move your wrist in a circular pattern to coat the pan with thin even layer of batter. Cook for about 1 minute or until the first side browns lightly, then flip and cook 45 seconds to 1 minute longer. Remove to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.

To make Chicken filling you need
1 ripe tomato
1/2 green pepper
1 tsp of chives
1 tsp basil
2 tbs oil
1 tbs BBQ sauce
1 cooked chicken thigh (see recipe for herbed chicken on my post Tomatoes, chicken and Mince, Oh My!
5 tbs of a cooked tomato sauce
1/2 chopped onion
1 chopped spring onion (garnish)

Heat the pan with oil, add onions and turn down the heat. Add the basil and chives then add tomato sauce, keep the heat low. Take the meat off the chicken bone and shred. Add to the pan along with BBQ sauce. Stir for a minute, add the tomatoes and chopped green pepper. Leave the heat on for another minute and turn it off.

Fill crèpes and enjoy!

You could serve with a side of yoghurt to give the meal an extra boost.
Savoury crepes and a side of yoghurt

Savoury crepes and a side of yoghurt

Crepes and pancakes are fun and os easy to make. See BN Cuisine with Nkem: Delightful Crepes and Delicious Pancakes for more fun, easy, yummy recipes.
Worth waking up for

Worth waking up for

My Thai Style Spicy Jollof Rice is a pleasant twist to our Nigerian Jollof rice.

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Ingredients for Thai Style Spicy Jollof Rice

3 cups Basmati or Jasmine Rice

3 table spoons olive oil

1 canned chopped tomatoes

4 pieces of dry lemon grass

1 can coconut milk

1 big onion

3 cloves of garlic

2 table spoons of salt

3 table spoons sweet chilli sauce

1 table spoon dark soy sauce

2 table spoons freshly ground black pepper

2 table spoons chilli flakes (optional)

2 spring onions/ shallots (garnish)

The How:

Chop all vegetables and set aside in individual bowls.

In a pot heat olive oil and add onions and garlic. Be careful not to burn then, after about 3 minutes on medium heat, add the canned chopped tomatoes, allow to simmer for about 20 minutes, then add the coconut milk, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce, black pepper, salt lemon grass. Simmer for another 10 mins. Depending on the instructions for cooking the rice you may have to allow the mixture cool first before introducing the raw rice. Cook until rice is tender. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Garnish with chopped spring onions after serving.

Serves 4

birthday lunchFor your chicken roast, freshen it up by adding lemons and lemon grass to the stuffing. For a step by step guide, visit my Facebook page.

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Want a different take on potatoes? Try hassel back potatoes and Marsala chicken or fragrant rosemary roasted yams and chicken

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Salads get a raw deal (lol, pun intended) but they can be delightful accompaniments to meals. With a few unexpected ingredients like Ube or flowers from chives you can really make a salad the focal point on your table.

20130923-181242.jpgTomato canapeSee recipes for these delectable salads on my post “Nigerian flair to the everyday Nigerian fair”

What festive season is complete without dessert? NONE! There are so many simple recipes that are amazing to eat and fuss free to make. My go choices are homemade no churn ice cream and my banana bread varieties. My facebook page has all the recipes you need. The ice cream was inspired by a recipe I saw on Nigella Lawson’s website and I have adapted mine to make so many delicious varieties.

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Homemade icecream and banana breadNeed I say that there is a wealth of options to explore on the gastronomical landscape.

If you would like some help with bringing some interesting variations to your dining table over the holidays, kindly contact me and I’ll be happy to provide a special one-of-a-kind service to you.

 

 

Banquet tables filled with various dishes and meats and all sorts of things to eat and drink come to mind when you think of a feast, and that is not too far from the truth. But I make bold to state that it is not enough for the table to be laden with assorted platters; each dish in itself ought to be well prepared and beautifully presented so as to ensure a memorable gastronomic experience.

In my quest to create a gastronomic experience for Femi’s birthday get-together this past Saturday, I planned to make 8 dishes and I was very excited about the prospect; until the heat (literally) was on – but I am getting ahead of myself. So I decided to make a “mediterrasian” spread; I knew that mixing Mediterranean and asian menus would appeal to the Nigerian palette as well as offer something interesting as far as regular “party food” in Nigeria goes. So I pulled up some of Femi’s favourite dishes and threw in a few new ones and the menu was set! I decided to make chicken curry and steamed rice, Thai Style Spicy Jollof Rice, Chicken Piglets, Spaghetti and Meat Balls (with pesto on the side), Braciole, Summer “Floral” Salad, Beef Chowmein, Plantain Batonettes and Potato Casserole.

The Feast


With my menu in hand, I set about purchasing the ingredients I would need for my feast; for the Braciole and Beef Chowmein, I headed to our neighbourhood Spar Super market where Stephen the Butcher gave me the nicest cuts of Sirloin and Rump steak  (a handy tip; it helps to talk to your butcher about the cuts of meat you need, he could help you tenderize, slice and dice them to your requirements too!). Between Shoprite and Spar, I was able to buy most of what I needed – bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, bacon, chicken thighs and drummettes, spring onions, cucumbers, carrots, basil, parsely, lemons, egg noodles, basmati rice, Coconut milk and parmesan cheese. The local open market provided items like Plaintains, red onions, ginger etc.
The night before the feast, I decided to make the chicken curry so that the flavours would have settled and be well infused by the next day. I also marinated the chicken for the Chicken Piglets and the Casserole.

Prepping the chicken piglets


Braciole in the Making

Given the amount of food I intended to roll out I had to order my activities like an assembly line to ensure that everything turned out well. It got very hot in the kitchen with all the burners and the oven going and at some point I was convinced that I had over reached myself but I pressed on and in the end, with the help my ever supportive hubby and my friends Joke, Morenike and Debola who were so gracious and helped with setting the table and washing up, the feast was set up!

The feast also consisted of delish cup cakes by Cup Cake Couture (run by Uzo Orimalade) and Hans & Rene (run by Tayo Bolodeoku). If you noticed that there was no pesto in the spread pictured above and below, your observation would be accurate 🙂 ; I decided to leave it out….The chicken curry is also not easly discernable in the pictures because it was served in the white coverd dishes (I promise it was 🙂 )
There you have it; a veritabel feast!

Braciole (stuffed beef sirloin)


Summer "Floral" Salad


Beef Chowmein


Thai Style Spicy Jollof Rice


Chicken Piglets


Plantain Batonettes with sweet chili dip


Cup cake Tower


All Spread out


Feasting