Saturday, 19 October 2013


Honey, i'm home!

There's no way i would abandon my baby, i've had an eventful couple of months but i promise i'm back and i apologise to everyone i left hanging, especially E & R, the side eye was all the kick in the butt i needed. :p

Summer of eating myself out of shape is over so here's a simple healthy recipe, because there's very little cooking involved, this is a recipe for 1. Feel free to multiply as necessary.

3 Medium Potatoes
1 Spring Onion
1 Tablespoon Chopped Parsley
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
1 Pork Loin Chop
Spice Mix of 1/2 Teaspoon each of Sage, Paprika, Salt, Pepper & Garlic
Cooking Spray

Divide up your lemon juice into 2, mix half with your spices and gently massage the paste into the pork chop. Allow to marinade for 30 minutes to 2 hours.

Chop potatoes into bite sizes and boil with a pinch of salt until tender. Take of the heat and allow to cool a bit.

Chop spring onion and parsley and transfer to a bowl. Add remaining lemon juice and olive oil, a little salt and cracked black pepper and lastly the potatoes. Toss gently until well coated.

Spray a little cooking spray onto a hot pan and add your pork chop, searing each side for 2-3 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of your chop.

Serve up.

Sunday, 30 June 2013


Credit for this post actually goes to my mother, she cooked it, not me and it has got to be one of the easiest Nigerian soups to cook as well as the healthiest because you can use absolutely no oil and it'll still turn out great. for this however i used 2 tablespoons of palm oil. Also perfect fo this "weather for 2" we find ourselves in now.

2Kg Mix of Goat Meat and Beef
500Grms Stock Fish
2 Smoked Catfish
Cocoyam Paste or Ground Ofor (for thickening the soup)
1 Tablespoon Ground Uziza Seed
1 Teaspoon Ground Uda
1 Onion
Ground Crayfish
2 Tablespoons Palm Oil
1 or 2 Tablespoons Cup Chopped Utazi Leaf 
3 Seasoning Cubes
Salt & Pepper

Wash and cook your meats and stockfish together seasoned with salt, pepper, 2 seasoning cubes and chopped onions.

When the meat is tender, add smoked fish, crayfish, uda, uziza and allow to boil together. The uda and uziza seeds will give it a hot spicy taste so easy on your pepper. Gradually add either cocoyam paste or ofor little by little (we used ofor) bearing in mind that you still want the soup to be light because these thickeners continue to thicken the soup even after its been taken off the heat and ofe nsala is meant to be light, just a tad thicker than peppersoup.

Add palm oil and uziza leaf and taste for seasoning. Please don't overdo the uziza leaf of you'll end up with a bitter inedible soup.

Thats all! Serve with pounded yam.

Food, glorious food!

Another easy recipe for the day you cant be bothered with cooking. You'll have to stand in front of the cooker for only 15 minutes, then allow your oven do the rest!

500grm Baby Potatoes (Precooked in its skin for about 15 minutes and cut in halves or quarters)
1Kg Chicken Thighs (on the bone)
200Grms Bacon
4 Large Carrots (Chopped)
1 Onion (Chopped Roughly)
2 Tablespoons Flour
1 Tablespoon Tomato Puree
2 Seasoning Cubes
2 Bay Leaves
1 Cup Chopped Mushrooms
1 Cup White Wine
1/4 Cup Double Cream
2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
Chopped Parsley

Pre-heat oven. 

Add bacon to dry pot or flameproof casserole dish and fry for about 2 minutes until it renders its fat the transfer to a plate.

Add oil and chicken and allow chicken to brown on all sides. 5 minutes.

Stir in carrots and onions and when it begins to simmer, turn down the heat and add flour and tomato puree and mix gently till you have a paste of even consistency.

Add white wine, seasoning cubes, i cup of water and while still stirring, pour in the cream.

Taste for seasoning, re-introduce the bacon to the party and add potatoes. Allow to cook for 1 minute.

If you're not using a flameproof casserole dish, transfer to a regular casserole dish , cover with foil and pop into the oven for 30 minutes.

Open your casserole dish, add your mushrooms and stir the return it to the oven for another 15 minutes.

Serve with a scattering of chopped parsley.


Sunday, 9 June 2013


I got this recipe from my friend @ajikespecial, added calamari to it and it was beautiful! Thank you babe! ;)

It couldn't be any simpler and it makes for an amazing starter or snack.

2 Cups Fresh Calamari
1 Cup Fresh Shrimps
2 Cans of Tuna
1 Spring Onion (Chopped)
3 Cloves of Garlic (Chopped)
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup of Flour
1 Tablespoon Chopped Parsley
1 Tablespoon Dark Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Red Chili Flakes
2 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil

Add calamari and shrimps to food processor and blitz till its broken down but still chunky. Or you could chop semi-finely with a sharp knife.

Transfer to a big bowl, add tuna and mash together with a fork.

Gradually incorporate all the other ingredients and mash till you have a thick paste.

Add the oil to a large non-stick pan and when the oil is hot, add medium sized seafood mix. A quick tip; to avoid having your seafood patty sticking to your palms, you could rub a little vegetable oil on your palms before moulding.

Do not over crowd you pan, you should give yourself some room to flip the cakes over. 

Fry for 2-3 minutes on each side, till the outside is a nice golden brown and crisp. Resist the urge to press the cakes down as you fry, you will only be pushing out all the moisture and leaking all the flavour into the oil.

Serve on a bed of vegetables, in a burger or just much away as is.

You can make a simple dipping sauce by whisking together a tablespoon of garlic sauce, a teaspoon of mustard, sweet chilli sauce, chili flakes, fish sauce, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.


Tuesday, 21 May 2013


Who doesn't like pasta? It can be cooked a million different ways, it cooks quick and its filling. What's not to like? Now when you throw in some mozarella and parmesan cheese with a few herbs, what you get is nothing short of a delight!

Now what better to eat it with but a beautiful parmesan chicken...

Ps. You can make this recipe as cheesy as you like...

700Grms Penne Pasta
6 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 Cups Flour
2 Eggs
2 Cups Breadcrumbs
300Grms Grated Mozarella Cheese
6 Slices Mozarella Cheese
300Grms Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 Cans of Cherry Tomatoes in Tomato Sauce
1/2 Cup Chopped Basil
1 Tablespoon Chopped Rosemary
1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
1 Tablsepoon Worcestershire Sauce
300Grms Smoked Sausages
1/2 Red Onion (Chopped)
4 Cloves of Garlic (Grated)
Vegetable Oil
2 Seasoning Cubes
Salt and Pepper

We'll start with the chicken...

Season chicken with some salt pepper and garlic powder at least 30 minutes before you start cooking.

Split your grated parmesan cheese into 3.

Arrange your assembly line of 2 whisked eggs, breadcrumbs and 1 part grated parmesan cheese mixed with flour.

Coat chicken first with the flour and parmesan cheese mix, pat properly so it sticks, transfer to the eggs and then into the breadcrumbs, patting to make sure its completely coated the shake of excess breadcrumbs.

Lay them all out and  allow to sit for at least 10 minutes before you start the cooking process so that your coating sticks properly.

Take this time to cook your pasta until al dente (half cooked), drain and set aside.

Pre-heat oven.

Add about 3 tablespoons of oil in a hot pan and sear off for about 2 minutes on each side.

It should have nice golden brown colour and just spring back when you press it down gently.

Gently grease a baking tray and place the chicken on it.

Drain some of the sauce from the canned cherry tomatoes and set aside. Spoon a little gently over each chicken fillet, place a little piece of basil then cover with a slice of mozarella cheese and sprinkle a little parmesan over it.

Pop into the oven  for 5 - 7 minutes until the cheese just melts.

This step is totally optional, you can end the cooking of your chicken in the pan, just allow to pan fry for a little longer, about 4 - 5 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of your chicken breast.

If your cheese doesn't melt the way you would like just smoosh it all up with a spoon... :)

Take chicken out, cover with some aluminum foil and set aside so it stays warm.

In a large pan, fry up your onions and garlic until it softens then add your chopped sausages until it just begins to brown.

Add the cherry tomatoes with the rest of its juices, worcerstershire sauce, basil, oregano, rosemary, seasoning cubes, salt and pepper and allow to cook for 2 - 3 minutes.

Tip in your pasta, add remaining mozarella cheese and gradually fold everything in together then taste for seasoning.

When the cheese has melted properly, transfer pasta into a greased casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. Pop into your oven which should still be on and really hot for 15 minutes.

Parmesan will not melt like mozarella will, its a harder sharper cheese but it will melt in a bit. When it has melted and browned a little bit your food is ready.

Plate up & dig in!

Monday, 13 May 2013


A different, filling and simple way to eat potatoes for breakfast.

Had some potatoes, didn't want to have it boiled or fried or mashed so i went searching and found this recipe.

1 Small Onion
2 Cloves of Garlic (Chopped)
2 Smoked Vienna Sausages (or any other sausage of your choice)
2 Strips Smoked Beef  (Or Bacon)
300grms Potatoes (Half Cooked, Peeled and Chopped)
1/2 Cup Chopped Parsley
1 Teaspoon Fresh Rosemary
1 Teaspoon Paprika
Salt & Pepper

Fry onions, garlic, sausage and smoked beef in 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil till onions softens.

Take off the heat, add another 1/2 cup of oil and toss in the chopped potatoes and stir every couple of minutes until potatoes are cooked through.

Return smoked beef, sausage, onions back into the pan. Season with salt, pepper and paprika.

Add chopped parsley, mix properly and serve.

You can top it off with a fried egg.

Sunday, 5 May 2013


Don't you sometimes just want to do away with the niceties and fineries and just get down to being in your natural element? I know i do and i was in one of those moods when i thought, "heck, i'll just roast a big chunk of meat and everyone will just rip a portion for themselves as they please". And that's exactly what we did...

You can roast just about any cut of meat but the reason you see leg of lamb or lamb shank being roasted more often that others is because it is more tender. I especially love lamb (even more) because its a power house of nutrients and contains very little fat (hear, hear oh ye dieters). Its high in Protein, Iron, Zinc, Vitamin B, Copper, Manganese and Selenium (great for skin and nails).

3Kg Leg of Lamb
Fresh Mint, Oregano and Rosemary (1 Tablespoon Each, Chopped)
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 Tablespoon Corriander
10 - 12 Cloves of Garlic
1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Smoked Paprika
3 Bay Leaves
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Aluminum Foil

Pre-heat oven. 350F for electric or gas mark 6.

Rinse off your leg of lamb and pat dry with a clean kitchen towel.

Place on a large sheet of foil, large enough to wrap it all up.

Take a knife, imagine all the bad habits you have and wish you could get rid of and take that anger out on the lamb, back and front of the leg. Ok, don't take all of your anger out on it, emm just poke a number holes about 1/2 inch deep into the meat.

Stuff holes with garlic cloves and half your portion of herbs, alternately or both herb and garlic in the same hole if it will fit. These will permeate and flavour the meat on the inside as well as it cooks. Your can take out the garlic cloves before eating if you find them a bit too strong.

Mix the remain herbs with cumin, corriander, paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper, bay leaves and olive oil and make a paste.

You can always taste a wee bit of your paste to make sure you have a balance of flavours and check especially for amount of salt being used.

Generously coat leg of lamb, this time imagine it was some cocoa butter commercial. Lol.

PS. All of this can be done 1 - 12 hours before desired cooking time. Just remember that meat must be brought back down to room temperature before going into the oven to ensure and even roast.

When you're done with the rub down, wrap lamb tightly, then double wrap with another sheet of foil till you have a tight package.

Place on an oven tray, put in the middle of the oven and go find something to do for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, carefully remove the foil from the lamb and baste with the juices and pop it back into the over for another hour. 30 minutes on each side for a perfect browning.

When the meat is cooked the juices should run clear when poked with a skewer.

Allow meat to rest for 20 minutes before carving ripping apart.

I could have sworn i took a pic of the lamb straight out of the oven, alas i didn't. Womp!

Cavemen and women had to time for that wait and take picture business. It was delicious, need i say more?

Try it out and let us know what you think and/or how you made yours a bit different.

Tuesday, 30 April 2013


My Banga Soup recipe is a little bit of this and a little bit of that from all over the place and my friend who watched me cook yesterday was clearly a tad confused, not that i was concerned, it's the finished product that counts and at the end of the day i had 3 near comatose and fully satisfied friends in my house.

Its not your traditional Ofe Akwu recipe, its Banga with seafood (growing up in Port Harcourt, you can't do soup without seafood especially not Banga Soup aka native Soup), its Banga with the Niger Delta Spices and its Banga with Atama Leaves (i'm not Efik or Ibibio but i do cook a lot like them).

Lets start, shall we?

500Grms Seafood Mix (Shrimps, Calamari & Baby Octopus)
1.5Kg Beef, Goat Meat and Kpomo
1Kg Fresh Palm Fruits
1 Cup Crayfish
250Grms Stockfish
1 Dried Catfish
1 Red Onion
1 Oburunbebe Stick
1 Tablespoon Uziza Seed
1 Teaspoon Rogojie
1 Tablespoon Ground Ehuru
3 Seasoning Cubes
Salt & Pepper

Now i know there are a lot of weird sounding spices here, you can go ahead and just ask in the market to Banga Spice Mix and the women will know exactly what you need.

In a mortar, grind the rogojie and uziza seeds together. Its best in a mortar because they are very small and smooth seeds that will very easily evade the blades of your dry mill or  blender. Grind and set aside. Rinse mortar.

Season meat with chopped onion, 1 seasoning cube, salt and pepper and cook together with stockfish until tender then set aside.

While meat is cooking, wash palm fruits and boil for about 15 minutes in salted water or until the flesh is soft and can be torn of the kernel.

Put another 3 cups of water to boil.

Drain and add palm fruit to mortar and pound gently. I know this looks like a lot of work but i really isn't, the skin comes right off and you don't have to work it for more than 5 - 7 minutes.

When you are done pounding, add half of your hot water to the palm fruit in the mortar and allow it sit for about 2 minutes, this will help draw out all the oil from the fruit. If its too hot to touch, you can dot a little cold water into it but not too much because we don't want a watered down juice.

Its time to get dirty! Get your hands in there and squeeze and juice the palm fruits

When you feel you have enough juice, take the chaff and kernels and transfer them into another bowl.

Strain the juice you have in the mortar into a pot and repeat process with the kernel and chaff (which will definitely still have some pulp in it) till you have a clean dry kernel and chaff.

Now of course you don't have to go through this long process if you don't want to. You can just go buy palm concentrate in a can, i hear it tastes about the same but i've never tried it and don't know if i ever will. I like things the old school way mummy taught me. :)

Now, remember your meat? Yeah, its time to get it back on the heat.

As soon as it starts to boil, add crayfish and dried fish and stir and leave for another 2 - 3 minutes.

When it comes back to a boil, pour in all the extracted palm juice and  your ground ehuru, uziza and rogojie seed. Split your stick in half to get right into the essence of it and toss it right into the pot as well.

Believe it or not, your soup needs no more work.

Allow to boil on high heat for 30 - 45 minutes. As it boils it'll continue to reduce and thicken. When the red oil concentrate begins to come to the surface then we are almost done. I do not like to use any thickener for my banga soup, if you must use just a little, even a tablespoon of flour dissolved in half a cup of water can help but do not make it too thick because the soup continues to thicken even after cooking and with every re-heat.

Hope you didn't forget your sea food mix, this is when it is needed.

Toss it all in and allow to cook for 3 minutes.

Add a good pinch of dried atama leaves (too much and your soup gets bitter), stir, taste for seasoning and allow cook for another minute then take of the heat.

Serve with pounded yam, eba or even rice.

Enjoy! Food, glorious food!

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


You're tired, you're not in the mood to wash pots and pans, and you want something healthy? This is it...

500grms Potatoes
6 Chicken Breasts (with Skin and Bone In)
1/2 Cup White Wine
3 Medium Size Lemons (2 Sliced and 1 Juiced)
1 Portobello Mushroom
1 Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes
4 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)
1 Small Onion (Chopped Roughly)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
100grms Green Beans (Trimmed)
Salt & Black Pepper

Season chicken before hand with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic and ginger and set aside for about 30 minutes. 

Pre-heat oven to 450F.

Grease a casserole dish and set aside.

Whisk together remaining oil, wine, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Arrange the bottom of the casserole dish with lemon slices.

Toss beans in the marinade, remove with tongs and layer over the lemons. Add Onions. Toss potatoes in marinade and arrange in casserole dish.

Next toss the chicken in the marinade  and arrange on top of the potatoes, skin side up.

Lightly rinse mushroom, you don't want to over do it because portobello mushrooms are very delicate. i love them for their deep woody taste. (I ate most of it before it even hit the plate). Tear it up and place in all the open spaces.

Pour over any remaining marinade and pop it into the oven.

Allow to cook for 1 hour, take out chicken and check if your potatoes are cooked. If the need a little more time pop them back in for another 15 minutes.

Feel free to peel the skin of the chicken right off after before eating if you like, but just leave it on for the cooking process as it helps to keep the chicken moist while in the oven.

Enjoy with a side salad...