FOOD . BEAUTY . STYLE

Friday, 12 May 2017

EGUSI SOUP | Video Recipe



                                           Watch The Full Video Recipe on YouTube HERE


Hi there :)  In this post I’ll share how I made this delicious egusi soup. In terms of Nigerian soups, egusi soup is my favourite (actually hated it as a child lol), and I made this one with beef, tripe (shaki), smoked turkey, fresh turkey and smoked fish. I’ve skipped on the cowleg and kpomo in this recipe (I don’t like them but the husband does). But feel free to use any type of meat you like.

INGREDIENTS
  • Beef (leg of beef cut, most cuts of beef will work well) (1kg - but I didn’t use up everything. I usually make more than I need then just freeze it, so the egusi can be much quicker and easier to make for another time again)
  • Smoked Turkey (900g)
  • Fresh turkey (900g)
  • Tripe/Shaki Honeycomb (400g)
  • Egusi – Grounded Melon Seeds (1.5 cups)
  • Smoked Catfish Fillets (1 cup)
  • Smoked Prawns (1/3 cup)
  • Grounded Crayfish (2 tablespoons)
  • Locust Beans/Iru (2 tablespoons)
  • Dried Efirin/Scent Leaf (1 tablespoon)
  • Bitter Leaf  (1 tablespoon)
  • Spinach (8 cups of fresh chopped spinach)
  • Red bell peppers (4)
  • Scotch bonnet peppers (4) (adjust to suit your heat preference)
  • Onions (5) I used 3 onions for cooking the meats, and the remaining 2 onions for the rest of the cooking.
  • Garlic cloves (3)
  • Palm Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • To seasoning I used: Salt, Black Pepper, Knorr Stock Cubes, Dried Pepper or Cayenne Pepper, All-Purpose Seasoning, Curry Powder and Thyme

METHOD

The first thing to do is to soak the following in hot water: the smoked catfish fillets, the smoked prawns, and the dried bitter leaves and efirin or scent leaves.

Now move onto cooking all the meats. So…

Beef: Wash and clean the beef, add to a pot and season with salt, Knorr stock cube, dried pepper, curry powder, thyme, and black pepper I used about a teaspoon of each. Also add in 1 garlic glove and 1 chopped onion and stir together. Let this sear well on high heat before adding in water. TIP – I do this as its locks in more flavour in the beef.  Allow this cook without water for around 3 minutes, after this add in enough water to cover the pieces of beef. Then just cover and leave to boil on medium heat for about 25-30 minutes.
* After boiling for around 25-30 minutes its ready and you should be able to see that the water added has reduced by half and has produced a rich and delicious stock which is essential for the egusi soup.
* Take out the beef and drain the stock using a sieve.
* Next fry the beef for around 5 minutes turning regularly. You can choose to grill it in the oven if you wish.
* After 5 minutes take out the beef and drain on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil.

Shaki/Tripe: Moving on to the shaki, once washed simply boil this with salt and 2 teaspoons of curry powder. I also add in 2 cloves of garlic. TIP – this is an essential tip to remove that unpleasant smell of shaki and offal’s in general.  Then simply cover with water and leave to boil for 30 to 40 minutes. I don’t like mine too hard so 40 minutes comes out perfect.
* So the shaki/tripe has been boiling now for 40 minutes, and it’s ready. TIP – you’ll know when it’s ready as the edges curl inwards.
*Because of the garlic added, it really doesn’t smell, and at the same time it doesn’t reek of garlic either. I also advise taking a bite so you know it’s not too hard and if you need to cook it for longer.

Smoked Turkey: Next on to the smoked turkey. I don’t do much to this I just wash, place in a pot then add 1 onion that has been cut in half so it’ll be easier to remove and then cover with water. Don’t add any salt to this. Just cover and leave to boil for 10-15 minutes.
* So the smoked turkey will be ready first, as it only needs 10 minutes to boil. TIP – you’ll notice that the stock for this is murky, you don’t want to be using this stock for anything, so make sure you discard it. I personally like to rinse it out with water once ready.
* Now place the smoked turkey in an oven dish or tray and place in the oven at 210 degrees Celsius for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes in the oven it’s ready and will be nicely browned. Leave aside for later. You can also choose to fry it instead if you wanted.

Fresh Turkey: Now finally the fresh turkey. So once washed, place in a pot. I seasoned with salt, black pepper, Knorr stock cube, thyme, dried pepper I used quite a bit as I love the flavour the pepper gives, and 1 chopped onion. Stir together and just like the beef earlier, let this sear well on high heat before adding in water, as this locks in more flavour. Allow to cook without water for around 3 minutes, after this add in enough water to cover the pieces of beef. Then just cover and leave to boil on medium heat for about 20 minutes.
* After boiling for around 20 minutes it’s ready. Take out the turkey pieces. I don’t keep the stock from the turkey, just discard it.
* Fry the turkey for around 5 minutes turning regularly, I used the same oil as I used to fry the beef. And again you can choose to grill it in the oven if you wish.
* After 5 minutes take out the turkey and drain on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil.

So just a recap of the meats that have been cooked do far: beef, shaki, smoked turkey, and turkey. Now set these aside to be used later.

Now move onto the remainder of the cooking. So…

  1. Next its time to prep the egusi. So cut up 1 onion and add to blender, and blend till smooth.
  2. In a bowl, add in 1.5 cups of ground egusi and pour in the blended onion. TIP – Adding the onion really makes a big difference, you can also add in a little ground crayfish in there as well. Mix this in well before adding water.
  3. Now add in a little water to make a paste, about ¼ cup and mix in well. If it is still a bit thick add in about another ¼ cup of water, mix in well till the consistency looks like a thick pancake batter.
  4. The way I like my egusi soup is to fry it. So to a pot or pan, add in palm oil, and once its hot enough (but not bleached), add in the egusi mixture.  Spread it out a little bit but don’t mix it in completely in the oil.
  5. After about a minute or so, mix in well then let it do its thing for a bit, then mix regularly so it doesn’t burn. You want to keep cooking it till it thickens and dries up a bit, and ends up looking like curdled cheese or scrambled eggs. Once that’s done, set aside for later.
  6.  Now to a blender or food processor, add in 4 red bell peppers, 2 onions and 4 scotch bonnet peppers,, a little water to get thigs going and blend it up just until all the ingredients have been chopped up. Don’t blend it till smooth, you want a coarse pepper mixture.
  7. So now we can finally combine all the different elements of this dish together.
  8. So to a pot on high heat, add in oil with a little palm oil. Once this is hot enough, add in the pepper mixture, I don’t like wasting unnecessary time when cooking going back and forth to the stove, so immediately I add in 2 tablespoons of locust beans (iru), and 2 tablespoons of ground crayfish and mix in well.
  9. Also add in the smoked prawns and smoked catfish fillets that have been soaking in water. Combine well into the pepper mixture and leave to cook on high heat for 10 minutes covering the pot slightly.
  10. After 10 minutes the sauce will have reduced a little and developed a really good flavour with the ingredients already added.
  11. Now it’s time to add the meats. So add in some of the beef, turkey, shaki, and smoked turkey. TIP – add them in cautiously a little at a time, so you don’t add too much, soaking up all the sauce which can lead to a dry egusi soup. Next add in the beef stock and combine everything well.
  12. TIP – I haven’t seasoned the sauce with salt or anything yet as the meats and the stock will add in the majority of the flavour and taste. I will season as needed once all of the flavours marry together first.
  13. So once you’ve added the meats and the stock, cover slightly and leave to cook on medium heat for 10 minutes.
  14. After 10 minutes, stir, and this is where I taste to know if it needs any further seasoning. And I did, so I added a Knorr stock cube and a little salt and it was perfect.
  15. Now add in the egusi that was fried earlier, and add in a tablespoon of the dried efirin/scent leaves and bitter leaves. This is the game changer and completely elevates the taste of the dish. Stir in well cover and leave to cook on medium heat for 10 minutes to get all of the flavours from the egusi, peppers, meats and everything, properly infused.
  16. While thats cooking, the final stage is to prep the spinach. So cut off the stems of the spinach, (its nice to have a little bit but too much). Bunch up the leaves together, removing any that aren’t fresh, and just basically chop it up.
  17. Next thoroughly rinse the spinach to clean it, removing the soil and any stones. TIP – It’s really important to rinse it well, its takes a few repetitions, so you basically just give the spinach a really good bath a couple of times lol. And I like to use cold water to rinse it and not hot, as I want the moisture from the spinach to infuse into the egusi soup.
  18. So back to the pot, after 10 minutes it looks like this and it’s ready for the spinach.
  19. So add in the chopped spinach, add it in a bit at a time to make sure you don’t add too much for the amount of egusi available. So this was 8 cups of fresh chopped spinach.
  20. So once the spinach has been added, lower or even turn of the heat and leave to simmer for about 2-3 minutes until the spinach has wilted, making sure not to cover the pot anymore.
  21. And after this, the egusi soup is ready! And trust me when I say it tasted spot on and so delicious! Pair with pounded yam which is my preference for egusi soup, or eba or amala, and some ice cold water (…enjoyment!)

If you were to make this for your guests they’ll actually be asking you how you made it. With Nigerian cooking it’s really what you put in that you get out, take your time and don’t skip steps or look for shortcuts if time permits, your tastes buds will thank you later.

Thank you so much for stopping by, I hope you find this recipe and video useful. I really hope you try it, and please let me know how it goes if you do J

You can also watch the video of this recipe here
Share:

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

PEPPERED FISH | Video Recipe




                                          Watch The Full Video Recipe on YouTube HERE

Welcome! In this post I am going to be making a delicious peppered fish. I’ve used red sea bream but you can use any type of fish you like. This is the kind of fish you’ll find Nigerian parties that you always need connections to get some. But with this recipe I’ll show how to make an extremely tasty version that you can make yourself.

INGREDIENTS
·         Red Sea Bream (3) (or any other fish you prefer)
·         Red bell peppers (3-4)
·         Green bell pepper (1)
·         Onions (2)
·         Scotch bonnet peppers (2) (adjust to suit your heat preference)
·         Garlic cloves (2)
·         Ginger (3 teaspoons grated)
·         Oil
·         Ground Ginger, Crushed Chillies, Ground Black Pepper (half teaspoon)
·         Salt, All-Purpose Seasoning, and Knorr Stock Cubes to taste

METHOD
  1. To begin prep the fish by descaling and cleaning as needed, and cut the fish into 3 pieces. (So I had 9 pieces in total not including the heads)
  2. Season the fish with: salt, half teaspoon of ground ginger, half teaspoon of black pepper, teaspoon all-purpose seasoning and crushed chillies. Toss together to ensure the fish is properly coated and leave to marinate to absorb all of the flavours while we work on the other steps.
  3. Blend the ingredients for the pepper sauce: so to a blender or food processor add in 1 onion, the 3 red bell peppers, 2 scotch bonnet peppers, 2 cloves of garlic and grated fresh ginger…also add in some water to make it easier to blend.  TIP – So with this sauce you want it to be coarse in texture and not smooth, so use the pulse function on the blender, so you don’t blend till smooth.
  4. Add in the blended mixture into a pot and on high heat just basically boil off the pepper mixture until 90% of the water content has evaporated. This should take around 20 minutes in total. You can skip this if you’re short on time but taking the time to boil off the mixture produces a richer tastier version of the sauce.
  5. Now it’s time to fry the fish. So add some oil into a pan and once it is hot enough add in the pieces of fish, you need to shallow or deep fry the fish rather than pan sear it so it holds well during the rest of the cooking. Fry for 3 and a half minutes on each side until golden brown. TIP – the pan you are using in non-stick you will have to lightly coat the fish with some plain flour so it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  6. Once fried, remove and drain on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
  7. Now it’s time to fry the sauce we reduced previously. So add oil into a pot or pan (use about an extra half a cup of oil than you normally would) this is so the sauce will be really fried. You can just remove the excess oil prior to adding the fish.
  8. Once the oil is hot enough add in one diced onion and fry on a medium heat till they start to turn translucent, this should take about 4 minutes.
  9. Next add in the reduced pepper mixture, and once added don’t stir it in the oil immediately, just leave it as it is for like a minute. I do this because I don’t want to reduce the high temperature of the oil as I want the sauce to actually fry and not simmer.
  10. After about a minute, lightly mix it around and fry on high heat stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn too much.
  11. After 3 minutes season the sauce, so I used a teaspoon of salt, all-purpose seasoning and Knorr stock cubes.
  12. Keep frying on high heat stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn too much. It may minimally burn at the bottom as the onions and peppers caramelize (it also adds to flavour J). So just leave to fry for 15 minutes stirring regularly.
  13. After 15 minutes the sauce is ready. You’ll know this as it would have developed a deeper red colour and a lot of the oil floats on top. So now you can remove the excess oil. TIP – Use this oil to fry some plantains, it tastes absolutely delicious!
  14. Next add in the fried fish, and incorporate well with the sauce. Also add in 1 sliced green pepper at this point, stir this in and reduce the heat, simmering for about 3 minutes or as long as you can so that the fish soaks up all the delicious flavours. And it’s ready!

This fish was so soooo tatsy, I really hope you try it.

You can also watch the video of this recipe here


Share:

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

NIGERIAN FRIED RICE | One Pot Way | Video Recipe


So in this post I am cooking fried rice.  However I’m using a one pot method where everything starts and end in one pot rather than cooking the rice and sauce separately. This is my go to way of making Nigerian fried rice, it’s easier and not just that you just get a more in-depth delicious flavour this way.

INGREDIENTS

This recipe feeds a village. Joke, this recipe will fill the pot I used in the image below, it’s a 24cm stockpot. So if you don’t want to make as much, divide the quantities of ingredients in half.


  • Rice 700g / 3 mugs (I used ‘Asli’ Golden Sella Basmati Rice, just so perfect for Fried Rice!)
  • Chicken breast (650g – diced)
  • King Prawns (340g – use raw king prawns instead of cooked king prawns if you can)
  • Scotch bonnet peppers (2)
  • Vegetables (I used frozen mixed vegetables, it has a mix of carrots, garden peas, green beans and sweetcorn. You can also use fresh)
  • Onion (1)
  • Spring Onions (4)
  • Garlic cloves (2)
  • Ginger (2 teaspoons grated)
  • Chicken stock
  • Thyme (1 tablespoon)
  • Curry powder (2 teaspoon)
  • ‘Dry pepper’/cayenne pepper (2 teaspoons)
  • Bayleaves (2)
  • Oil (1/2 cup)
  • Salt, All-Purpose Seasoning, and Knorr Stock Cubes to taste


METHOD

To prepare chicken stock: Boil chicken with onions, garlic, ginger and a choice of seasonings, I used thyme, curry powder, black pepper, little salt, all-purpose seasoning and Knorr chicken stock cubes. Before adding any water, first of all add all of the ingredients into a pot along with the seasonings and cook on high heat for 5 minutes, then cover the chicken with water and boil. Once the chicken is ready, take it out, and then cook the remaining liquid on high heat for 5 minutes to reduce the stock. This way you get a richer tastier stock. Which in turns leads to a more delicious fried rice.

To make the fried rice: 
  1. So to begin add oil into a pot or pan and once the oil is hot enough add in one diced onion and fry on a low-medium heat till they start to turn translucent, this should take about 4 minutes.
  2. Next add in the spring onions and fry together. Make sure to only use the white part of the spring onion at this stage, the green leafy part will be added later. This prevents the green part from wilting too much (you don’t want spinach lol).  Now let the onions and spring onions fry together stirring occasionally for 2 minutes.
  3. After this add in 2 finely sliced scotch bonnet peppers, use more or less to suit your tolerance. Stir in with the onions and spring onions and fry together on medium heat for 2 minutes making sure it doesn’t burn.
  4. Next add in the grated ginger, I used about 2 teaspoons. Stir in well and fry together for 1 minute. TIP – Adding the different ingredients bit by bit and not all at once, develops all of different flavours making the fried rice even more delicious.
  5. Still frying on medium heat, add in the grated garlic, add the garlic last because it burns quickly.
  6. After a minute increase the hob to high and add in the diced chicken breast. Stir to incorporate everything together.
  7. After about a minute, before the chicken breast cooks, add in the seasonings: salt, all-purpose seasoning and Knorr chicken stock cubes to taste, 2 teaspoons dry pepper/cayenne pepper, a tablespoon of thyme, teaspoon curry powder, and 2 bay leaves. Stir to incorporate everything together, continue to fry and stirring occasionally.
  8. Once the chicken is no longer pink add the vegetables (be careful not to overcook the chicken at this stage), Mix in well and immediately add in the chicken stock and cover to bring to a boil.
  9. While its coming to a boil wash the rice. So wash the rice repeatedly to remove the starch. You want to do this until the water turns clear. TIP – Make sure to wash the rice continuously till the water turns clear. This step is very important as if not done well, the fried rice will be clumpy and sticky.
  10. So back to the pot…As soon as its all come to a boil add in the king prawns and immediately after add in the washed rice, doing this ensures the prawns do not overcook or get tough and chewy. So stir in properly to get the rice well mixed in.
  11. Add in boiled hot water, add in just enough water to cover the rice, so the water should be just above the level of the rice. After adding the water stir well. TIP – Make sure to use hot water and not cold water so to start the cooking process quickly.
  12. Cover and leave to cook on a high heat first of all for 15 minutes.
  13. After the first 15 minutes stir the rice from the bottom up (not too much as it can make the rice go a little mushy). You will see that most of the water has been absorbed and the rice is halfway cooked.
  14. Now reduce the heat of the hob to medium low, cover the pot and continue to leave to cook for a further 15 minutes.
  15. So after a total of 30 minutes the rice is fully cooked. So now add in the green leafy part of the spring onions. Mix in well and the fried rice is ready!

So that’s how I make Nigerian fried rice, and in just one pot. I prefer this way as its just hassle and hiccup free really, and it tastes better to me.

You can also watch the video of this recipe here


Thanks for reading, hope you found this recipe useful :)
Share:

Sunday, 1 January 2017

HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2017!


Happy New Year to you reading this! We made it!

Isaiah 43:19 (NIV) - See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. 
https://www.bible.com/bible/111/isa.43.19.niv

I am praying such transformations happen in all of our lives this year in Jesus name.

* Healing for those who are sick (Psalm 103:2-4)
* Provision for those who lack (Philippians 4:19)
* Joy for those who mourn (Isaiah 61:3)
* Peace for those in distress (Psalm 118:5)
* Fruitfulness for the barren (1 Samuel 1:27)
* Clarity in confusing situations (Psalm 119:130)
* Victory in all battles (Deuteronomy 20:4)
 Amen.

#Jesus

Share:
© Ivonne Ajayi. | All rights reserved.
Blogger Template by pipdig