Saturday, 24 March 2012


There is no comfort food like light, smooth a delicious mashed potatoes! Throw steak and a good gravy in the mix and you've got me, any time of day or night!!!

Red wine
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Steak seasoning

Defrost and pat dry your steak. Rub it through with a spice mix of black pepper, salt, garlic powder and steak seasoning and set aside.

Wash and chop celery, onions and carrots roughly and set aside.

Wash and peel potatoes and boil with a little salt.

While the potatoes cook, coat the steak in flour and dust off any excess. Pour about 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a pan and when its hot, add steak. Allow it to cook on each side for 5 minutes on each side for a nice, tender medium rare meat with a nice crust.

Take the steak out and add chopped vegetables and mushrooms to the remaining oil in the pan and allow cook for about 5 minutes.

Pour in about a cup of wine and about a tablespoon of flour and turn the heat down. Taste for seasoning and add more as required. Let it cook for another 2 minutes till it thickens to the gravy consistency of your liking and take off heat.

When the potatoes are soft, add a little garlic powder, a knob of butter and half a cup of milk and mash with a potato masher in the pot over low heat till its all smooth.

Serve up with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

Enjoy, just like my dinner guest did...

Cheers and bon apetit!

Friday, 23 March 2012


This recipe was a rainy (weekend) morning staple at home; nice, hot and spicy. Simple, healthy and medicinal because of the spices used. It's also a traditional meal for new mothers as it is believed to break residual blood clots and cleanse the system. Haven't had this in nearly 10 years and this was actually my first time making it, if i could fool an ibo food pro, then so can you...

Dried fish
Alligator pepper
Efura (ehuru)
Scent leaf
Salt & pepper

I'll start with introductions, on the bowl we have our dried fish (that we all know) and on the saucer we have alligator pepper (the brown rough pod), uda (the bead-like black bunch) and the 2 little bean like items are the efura.

Roast the efura on an open flame until it blackens and releases a nice aroma. Rinse the uda and alligator pepper and pound together with the efura in a mortar or blitz roughly in the dry mill part of your blender.

Blend crayfish, 1 onion and crayfish together and set aside.

Peel and cut yam into pieces and put in a pot with water just covering the yam. Pour in all the other ingredients except scent leaf and cook until yam is soft.

Rinse and cut scent leaf and add to the pot, allow to cook for another minute. This would be enough time for the scent leaf to release its flavour.

Serve and enjoy!

I like to take my yam out of the peppersoup and eat it with some palm oil.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


I just had to love this meal, considering that it made a feature appearance on our dinning table at least once a week. My mum can eat this everyday of the week and with good reason. It was always made for dinner cos this meal is a certified knock out. I remember cooking it for a friend about 2 years ago, she passed out immediately after, lol. It's rich and was considered food for royalty and always features in Ibibio events and is the staple of the pre-wedding fattening room. It has a long prep time (2 hours, depending on the quantity) and a 20 minute cooking time but is well worth it. This one i dedicate to @Zitera who asked when i would cook and put up this recipe. :)

Wateryam or cocoyam
Ugu leaves
Dried fish
Goat meat
Periwinkle (still in the shell, with the long end cut off)
Palm oil

Wash meat and catfish and cut into pieces, spice and cook in the same pot and set aside.

Wash periwinkle thoroughly to get all the sand/mud out, cover it with water and add some salt.

Clean snail and fish and set aside.

Peel yam and cut into big pieces and wash.  Grate with the smallest part of the grater into a smooth paste.

Pick your ugu leaves off the stem, wash thoroughly and use it to wrap the grated yam a little at a time starting from the part of the leaf cut from the stem and rolling tightly to the tip of the leaf. Place one by one into a big pot. If you're not using a non-stick pot you can cover the base of the pot with some periwinkle and a little palm oil to avoid burning when you start cooking. Wateryam can be a bit itchy so to protect you hands as you wrap it you may want to rub some palm oil on your hands.

Remove the bones from your catfish and add it to the pot with your cooked goat meat, snail, periwinkle (taken out of the salt water it was soaked in) and dried fish. Add salt, pepper, crayfish and sliced onions.
Re-heat meat/fish stock and pour over wrapped yam to just cover the yam, if the stock doesn't cover it or you have no meat stock, boil some water and pour over the yam to just about cover it. Turn on the heat and cover the pot. If you pour cold water over it or use cold stock, it will all come loose, the hot stock/water starts the cooking process, holding it all in place even before the heat is turned on.

Allow to cook for 15 minutes without turning it, if you turn it too soon, it will all come unwrapped. After 15  minutes of cooking it would be solid enough to turn without turning it all into a pot of mush. Use a wooden spoon and starting at the edges start lifting and gradually turning. Add palm oil and turn a bit more then cover for another 10 minutes to cook through on low heat.

Serve and enjoy!

Sunday, 18 March 2012


In 2 weeks i'll be going on vacation and i'm trying to eat my way through what i have in my fridge without having to do any (major) grocery shopping so this popped into my mind, i'ts healthy and i had to only buy fresh vegetables.

2 tablespoons of olive oil
Seafood mix of shrimps, calamari and... baby octopus :)
2 Tomatoes
Spring Onions
1 Onion
Green peas
Green, red and yellow pepper
Garlic and Ginger
1 Lemon
Chopped parsley
Salt & pepper

Season catfish with salt, pepper and onions and cook for about 15 minutes, take fish out, remove the skin and flake the fish into a separate plate and set stock aside. While the fish is cooking parboil your rice, drain and set aside.

Pour olive oil in a pan and soften onions, grated garlic and ginger. Add rice and mix until the rice is completely coated, allow cook for 2 minutes. Pour in fish stock, teaspoon of curry (the original recipe says saffron so if you can get some then by all means use it) and green peas (as it takes longer than other vegetables to cook). Taste for seasoning and cook over high heat with the lid off the pan for 20 minutes or until rice is nearly cooked.

Add seafood mix, fish, remaining vegetables and squeeze in juice from lemon. Allow to cook for another 3 minutes and take off the heat.

Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with simple salad drizzled with a lemon juice and olive oil dressing.

Cheers to good food!

Saturday, 17 March 2012


It's been a crazy busy week and i've had no time for myself and have done absolutely no cooking. I started fantasizing about this meal on Thursday and ordered some fresh pork ribs. I decided to serve it with garlic Potatoes cos its one of my favorite ways to eat potatoes.

1kg pork ribs
Powdered spices - garlic, ginger, oriental 5 spice, salt, pepper, paprika, pork seasoning
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons bbq sauce
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
a dash of vinegar
A knob of butter
Chopped parsley and spring onions

Mix all spices with the vinegar, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar in a ziploc bag or big bowl. Add pork ribs and mix thoroughly, cover and pop in the fridge for 3 - 24 hours.

Turn on your oven and allow to heat up. Arrange pork on to oven grilling tray (no need to grease the tray cos the pork is already fatty and will release its oil as it cooks). Add honey and bbq sauce to the marinade left over and set aside.

Glaze the pork with the marinade/honey/bbq mix, grill on each side for about 15 minutes, glazing the other side as you turn it over.

While the pork cooks, peel potatoes and boil as normal. When it is ready to eat, drain out the water and leave a little at the bottom of the pot. Add your knob of butter, garlic and chopped parsley and spring onions. Let it cook for another 30 seconds and take it off the heat.

Serve with ribs.

 I need to fix the lighting in my kitchen, it really isn't burnt... X_X

Sunday, 11 March 2012


Couscous is one of the healthiest grain foods and its also something i remember my mum making when we were much younger, then all of a sudden it just went away. I rediscovered it a few years ago and it has become my food on the go; little prep time, can be eaten a number of ways and cooks in a few short minutes.

I had guests last night and meant to make and serve this as one of the courses but we got stuffed on Pad Thai and forgot about it completely. I woke up this morning with mere minutes to spare before dashing to work and made this in 10 minutes. This was inspired by Belle - (my plating is nothing as nice n' fancy as hers... :p).

Red, yellow, green pepper
Spring onions
Garlic, salt, pepper, curry, chicken seasoning.

Put a cup of couscous in a bowl and pour enough hot water over it just to cover it and cover the bowl with cling film. After 5 minutes take the cling film off and fluff up the couscous with a fork, the couscous would have absorbed all of the water.

Get to slicing up your chicken and vegetables.

Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and fry some grated garlic and onions, as soon as the onions become translucent add the chicken, salt, pepper, chicken seasoning and curry. Stir fry until cooked.

Throw in the shrimps and calamari and fry for another minute then add the vegetables.

We still want the vegetables to have some bite so leave them on the heat for no more than a minute then add the couscous, mix properly and plate. That's all, really!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012


I'm not a fan of plantain, i can actually go a whole year without eating dodo and not miss it. Lol, bring down your brows, i'm still human... I don't care much for unripe plantain either but i love this recipe. It was one of the first meals my mother cooked for me when i first indicated my discomfort with my weight. It's unripe plantain which is more of iron and minerals than carbs, vitamin A from the green vegetables and Omega 3 from the fish...uber healthy and guilt free goodness!

A few days ago i fell ill and i needed something healthy, that was easy plus i was missing my mum so i cooked this up for dinner.

Five fingers of unripe plantain
Catfish or meat of your choice (pre-cooked)
Palm oil
Salt and pepper

Peel plantain and use the blunt side of the knife to scrape and part of the peel off the plantain. Dice plantain into pot and pour just enough water to cover it.

Add your catfish or meat of your choice along with about 1 cup of the stock you cooked it in, (pre-cooked meat as well as fish is recommended because this meal cooks fairly quickly), ground crayfish and sliced onions. Allow to cook for 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper and before all the water is absorbed add about 2 tablespoons of palm oil. Cover the pot and lower the heat. After 3 minutes, add cut ugu, mix properly and turn the heat off. To make it a bit spicier you could add "scent leaf" or uziza leaf.

Makes for a good rainy day meal too...


Easy peasy pasta is an easy dinner after work, there isn't much to prep and can cook in about 15 minutes. I came up with this recipe on a day i found myself with a mish-mash of ingredients and was in no mood to step out to the shops.

Olive oil
250grms Minced meat
Chopped carrots, onions, spring onions
Green pepper
2 Cups of Red wine
2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons of Tomato puree or 250ml Marinara Sauce
Parmesan cheese
2 Seasoning Cubes
Thyme and oregano
Chopped parsley
Salt and pepper

Brown minced meat, with chopped onions, garlic and ginger and allow to cook, turning every minute until browned. Season with salt, pepper, thyme and oregano and cook for another minute.

Add chopped ingredients to the pan.

Add tomato puree/marinara sauce and mix properly and allow cook for another 5 minutes on medium to low heat. Pour in Worcestershire sauce and red wine, stir and let it cook for another 5 minutes. The red wine gives it a full a nice full bodied flavour but is optional especially if you're using marinara sauce. Taste for seasoning and serve with pasta with some chopped parsley and grated parmesan cheese.

Enjoy with a nice glass of vino! :)

Saturday, 3 March 2012


The very first time i tasted Ofada Stew was at a wedding back when i still lived in Lagos and i loved it! Didn't care much for the ofada rice but i loved the spicy palm oil stew and attempted it at home the next day. It was a disaster (my friend Enoh i'm sure still laughs about what a mess it was). Well i picked myself up and tried again and again and i can say i've mastered it - in your face girl!

Though i've heard of various methods, this works for me perfectly.

3 Green peppers (de-seeded)
6 Large tatashe (de-seeded) or red bell peppers
3 Medium tomatoes
1 Onion
Assorted meat washed and chopped into small pieces
Palm oil (about half a cup)
1 Tablespoon locust beans (iru)
2 Seasoning cubes
Salt and pepper

Spice your meat with salt, pepper, 1 seasoning cube, garlic and ginger and set aside

Pour your oil in a pot and turn on the heat...and while you're at it open up all windows and doors that you can 'cos it's going to get very smoky, very fast. "Bleach" your oil for about 5 - 7 minutes (the bleaching actually adds flavour to the oil.

Carefully add your meat, you might want to put the pot down on the floor to avoid the oil catching on fire and please be careful. Put it back on the heat and leave the pot uncovered for 10 minutes. If you are using shaki (tripe), boil it separately first with little water for about 15 minutes to soften it as it is usually tough and takes a longer time to cook.

While the meat cooks in the oil, add your peppers, tomatoes and onions into a blender and "blitz" it (i don't like mine completely blended smooth) with as little water as possible.

Add your blended ingredients and a tablespoon of locust beans (iru/dawadawa), stir and allow to keep cooking on high heat with the pot uncovered. At this point it will look like any other stew but fret not because after about 30 minutes it will thicken up and you will find your oil coming to the surface again, frying the stew.

Drain any excess oil and serve with rice or even white boiled yam..


Thursday, 1 March 2012


Apart from probably the owambe Yoruba firewood party rice, coconut rice is my absolute favorite. I make mine a blend of fried rice with all the vegetables and tomatoes from jollof rice and just have an amazing 3-way ;)

A lot of things have changed since the first time i cooked rice for the family, well it was when i was 12 and it was a total soupy disaster. Mum made everyone eat it though and asked them to take second helping so it would finish quickly as she wasn't gonna cook anything until her daughter's first pot of food was done. Poor guys, who could blame them for hating me that day. My father put up a brave face but i can swear mum snuck him something else later, lol.

Also, then mum would buy the coconut, break it, grate it and get the milk out of it using hot water. Boy were my hands/knuckles messed up then, now (thankfully) you can get coconut milk or coconut powder in the shops. So here goes, again, i don't do precise measurements so...

Seasoning cubes
Sunflower oil
Green pepper
Runner beans/green beans
Spring onions
Cocunut milk
Olive oil

Season your chicken with salt, pepper, curry, thyme, garlic, ginger, seasoning cubes and paprika. Set aside in the fridge for an hour or as long as you can.

Time to make the salad. Wash all vegetables in salt water  and rinse. Get your salad bowl and in no particular order add torn up  lettuce, sliced/diced cucumber, quartered and de-seeded medium sized tomatoes, shredded carrots, sliced boiled eggs and tuna chunks, sliced green pepper (optional). Toss it all together and serve with a healthy home made dressing of equal parts olive oil and vinegar, seasoned with salt and cracked black pepper. The flavour of the olive oil and the tanginess of the vinegar makes for an amazing dressing (you can also use lemon juice in place of vinegar). Cover bowl with cling film and pop it in the fridge till you're ready to serve. (The cling film serves to keep it fresh). A bowl full of this could serve as a meal on its own or a "snack".

Chop up your remaining vegetables - carrots, green pepper, spring onions, runner beans, onions and set aside.

Parboil rice and wash with a bit of salt, rinse and strain.

Add your chicken to a pot and add 2 cups of water and let it cook for 10 - 15 minutes depending on how soft your chicken is. Take the chicken out of the stock and deep fry, set stock aside.

Blend the remaining tomatoes and pepper and fry up in some sunflower oil. When its cooked and no longer tastes tangy add the chicken stock and coconut milk. Add other seasonings and taste. Cover pot and allow come to a boil. I don't generally add any extra water when i'm cooking.

Add the rice (the stock should just about cover the rice if you don't want my soggy mess of  '93), cover the pot and let it cook on high heat. When the stock is almost all absorbed, add the shrimps (they don't need more than 5 minutes to cook and even continue to cook even when the heat is off and the food is still hot). Turn down the heat and add the vegetables and mix. You can also sautee your vegetables in a tablespoon of butter and some seasoning and add it to the rice when its all cooked but why add more fat? If you add your vegetables raw, just leave it on the heat for 2 minutes and turn the heat off.

Yes yes, official taster tasted this and Maddy missed out. Still owe you hun... :*

Bon apetit!