Crepes

World Pancakes day is February 2nd every year. I didn’t know this until three years ago. That’s when i took the picture below in commemoration.

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Crepes are thin pancakes, the Americans like their pancake thick the Europeans prefer it thin. Crepes are popular in Nigeria but we just call them Pancakes.

Crepes with Mango/Strawberry Salsa topped with whipped cream and honey.
Crepes drizzled with honey

Recipe

  • 1 1/2 All purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp evaporated Milk
  • 10g unsalted butter
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Sugar (as much or as little as you like)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract (you can use vanilla essence or your favorite flavour)
  • *1 tsp grated nutmeg (optional)
  • 2 tbsp veg oil to fry.

Procedure

  • Mix all ingredients together except oil to a very smooth paste.
  • Place a non stick on low heat, using a pastry brush, brush some oil on the pan or push about a drop of oil on the pan and let it spread across the pan.
  • Scoop the paste into the pan and allow it spread to the edge of the pan.
  • Allow the lower side to dry slighty then flip the sides and allow the other side to dry and the edges to crisp slightly.

Look how slim those crepes are!

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    Crepes with Homemade Strawberry Sauce and Julienne apples
    Rolled crepes with a side of fruits
    Simple serving of crepes dusted with icing sugar and drizzled with honey

Groundnut Soup (Omisagwe)

Since I learnt to make Groundnut soup, I can make it in my sleep.

When i have a flu, i make it extra spicy

Recipe

  • 1 1/2 Cups raw (unpeeled, dehusked) groundnut
  • 2 tsp Uziza Seeds
  • 2 Dried Cameroon Peppers
  • *Goat meat (personal preference)
  • Stock fish
  • Smoked Fish
  • 1/8 cup of smoked prawns
  • 2 tbsp powdered smoked prawns
  • 2 tbsp powdered stock fish flakes
  • 2 smoked catfish (shredded)
  • Salt
  • Seasoning cubes
  • 1/4 cup periwinkle
  • 1 cooking spoon palm oil (or less)
  • 2 cooking spoons blended fresh scotch bonnet ( Ata rodo )
  • Efirin ( African sweet Basil / Scent leaf )

Procedure

  • Boil meat with some water, salt and season, add powdered smoked prawns and powdered stock fish flakes.

  • While the meat is cooking, in a dry pan or wok slighty toast the groundnut, Uziza and Cameroon pepper till you can smell the aroma coming out. Turn off the heat and allow to cool.

  • While the groundnuts cool, slice the efirin leaves.
Handpicked Efinrin from my backyard garden
  • In the dry mill of your blender, blend the groundnut, Uziza and Cameroon pepper to a very smooth powder. The texture of the blended groundnuts should not be grainy. (Blend the groundnut with skin on)

  • Check the meat to see if it is soft then add the stock fish pieces and the whole smoked prawns.
  • Then add the pepper and palm oil. Allow to cook till the palm oil blends in.

  • Then add the periwinkle, shredded smoked fish.
  • Taste if you need to re-season, I doubt though.
  • Next add the blended groundnut and stir it in, the soup starts to thicken add water if becomes too thick. Turn down the heat.

  • Leave for about 5 minutes and add the efirin leaves. Turn off the heat and leave the lid on so as not to overcook the efirin.

Pair with your favorite accompaniment.

Serve with your favorite accompaniment. I found that asides morsels (swallow) it pairs well with rice, fried Plantain, yam as well. You should try it.

P.S
If you ever take a trip down to “Flusville” ensure you take a detour to Hot n Spicy Land! It helps you feel a lot better. 😂🤣😂🤣😁

Chapman

In 2010 while i was job hunting, i took a short cocktail course and the first thing i learnt to make was Chapman.

I started my business Fontaine De Vie as a virgin cocktail business till it evolved to a healthy beverage option company.

Chapman is arguably indigenous to naija. At the time an internet search for “Chapman” would on lead you to names of individuals. Meanwhile it was so popular as a Cocktail at Nigerian parties.

First time i had Chapman was in 1993 or 94, at the restaurant of D’Rovans hotel. Chapman started out as a hotel and bar fixture then made it’s way to the party scenes.

In fact the Coca-Cola bottling co., sampled a variant of Fanta in the 90’s, they called it “Fanta Chapman”. It was my favourite next to “Fanta Ginger Ale”.

Chapman has a signature Sunset Orange colour which comes from mixing Fanta with Grenaldine. It’s Sweet, slighty tangy with a very subtle undernote of bitter. Best served with ice.

Recipe

Serves 5

1 Fanta/Mirinda (50cl)

1 Sprite/7up (35cl)

1 Schwepps/Teem or Limca (35cl)

80ml of Tasty Time Blackcurrant (or any blackcurrant cordial drink)

100ml of red Grenadine syrup

5ml of Angostura Bitters

* 20ml Campari (if you want to make it alcoholic, skip the angostura)

5 slices of a medium sized Lemon A couple of slices of Cucumber for garnish

Procedure

Mix all drinks in a tall glass pitcher adding the angostura bitters last, add 3 slices of lemon, 3 slice of cucumber and allow the flavours to infuse for at least 30mins.

Serve with ice.

Chapman bottled on a client’s request. See the Lemon and Cucumber infusing in there.

Egusi Soup

Yesterday i got my favorite type of fufu, from Oja Odan in Ogun state. So i ditched the traditional Sunday Pounded yam or Fried rice and we had fufu instead, and egusi of cause to go with it.

Recipe

  • 2 cups Egusi (Melon Seeds)
  • Assorted Meats (Cowleg, Goat meat, ponmo, offals)
  • Assorted Fish (Stock fish, Smoked fish)
  • Smoked Fish
  • Ground crayfish
  • 2 cups Thinly sliced Ugu leaves
  • Peppers (4 Scotch Bonnet + 5 Jalapeño/Bawa/Sombo/ long tatashe)
  • 1 Onion
  • Meat Stock (from cooking the meats)
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Salt
  • 3 tbsp Iru (locust beans)
  • 2 cooking spoons Palm oil

Procedure

This is one of the methods i use in preparing egusi.

  • Cook your meats, season with bouillon cubes, salt, ( i like to cook with smoked catfish head for a richer flavour). Cook till tender and well done.
  • While cooking your meats, Rinse your Ugu leaves to get rid of dirt, then slice thinly.Blend your melon seeds with pepper, onion and water. Blend to a smooth consistency.
  • Heat up your palm oil till it reaches smoking point, pour in your blended melon and fry for about 10 mins, don’t let it burn.
  • Now add the rich stock from your meats and allow to cook till the fried melon paste and the stock are well incorporated.
  • Next add crayfish powder,Iru. Taste for seasoning, may not have need to re-season your soup, if your stock is rich in flavour.
  • Cook with lid off to allow the water to reduce faster in the soup.
  • Once the water content has reduced to at least a quarter of what it initially was, add your assorted meats stock fish and other condiments like those listed in the recipe.
  • Cook till the water has reduced completely and the soup won’t run off the back of the soup in a watery manner.
  • Now add your Vegetable, and stir in gently with a ladle. Reduce the heat to the minimum and turn it off after cooking with the vegetables for 3 minutes.
  • Serve with any swallow of your choice.

Money saver tips for Vegetable Fried Rice ingredients

Buying in bulk and storing can save you a ton of money. Every home manager loves to shave off an extra penny here and there from home keeping expenses and this is one of them.

I was at the frozen foods section of a large supermarket chain recently and i saw the price on a bag of chopped vegetables, good lordy. There is no way i was going to parting with that amount of money on imported packaged food, that lord knows what sorts of preservatives is in it.

Fried Rice is a regular meal in my home and i have learnt to save a lot of money by buying my vegetables in bulk and storing in the freezer.

The vegetables in the picture below cost me the following from Mile 12 Market , Ketu Lagos Nigeria.

Carrots 300 naira
Green Pepper 300 naira

Red Pepper 200 naira

Runner Beans 200 naira

Green Peas 300 naira

Spring Onions 200 naira
Total cost 1500 naira.

Green Pepper 300 naira

Red Pepper 200 naira

Runner Beans 200 naira

Green Peas 300 naira

Spring Onions 200 naira
Total cost 1500 naira.

From this amount of vegetables, i will get a total of 6 -600g- bags of vegetables enough to make fried rice for my family of 5 (sometimes more) at least 6 times.

So on the average each pot of fried rice will cost just about 250 naira or less for vegetables.

Procedure.

  • Wash your vegetables properly under running water to get rid of dirt. Peel the carrots, de-seed the peppers, and chop them up separately.

  • Combine all the ingredients in the bowl, toss properly to ensure that the vegetables combine evenly.

* If you want, at this point you can bag it up and store in a freezer at this point.

  • I prefer to season the vegetables so they are ready to use when i want to cook. I season with salt, bouillon cubes,curry, thyme.

  • Toss it well to ensure that the seasoning is well incorporated. Let it sit for 30mins before bagging.

Pack into air tight, freezer bags or polythene bags and freeze till you are ready to use. I’ve stored mine for as long as 2 months in a freezer.

This also saves you a lot of cooking time.

Edikang Ikong

So i woke up to tend my vegetable garden, which i had left unattended for a about two weeks or a lil more. I wear many hat’s like many people and the month of April right to the first two weeks of May was very busy. First i got NAFDAC approval for my products FDVie Juice yaaay! Then we were vendors at the GTB Food and Drink fair , then renovation of the production facility , plus daily life!

So my garden was overgrown with Waterleaf! I remember my first attempt at planting waterleaf with seeds, i waited many months it didn’t yield until my staff told me to propagate using stems instead. Now the plant is in every pot in the garden, just dispersing its seeds. That means I’d be having a lot of waterleaf soups.

Freshly harvested waterleaf from my container garden

So after pulling out a lot of waterleaf yesterday, i made Edikang ikong

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 800g washed and choppedWaterleaf
  • 500g washed and chopped Ugu leaves
  • Assorted Meats
  • 1 cooking spoon blended pepper mix (Scotch bonnet -ata rodo/Bawa)
  • 3/4 cup palm oil
  • Stockfish
  • Smoked Fish
  • 1 tbsp blended crayfish
  • Bouillon cubes
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

  • In a pot, season your meats with salt and bouillon cubes (to your taste) *Don’t* season with onion. Add water and cook till the meat is soft and tender. I usually cook my meats with smoked fish heads for rich flavour

  • When your meat is cooked and the water is properly reduced, add your blended pepper mix and palm oil.

  • Taste to see if it requires additional seasoning, if it does add some more. Add, stock fish, smoked fish, crayfish and cook till the water is reduced completely.
  • When the water is completely reduced and you can see the palmoil glistening on the meats, add chopped water leaves.

  • (Let your washed water leaf and Ugu leaves strain in a seive to allow all the excess water get away, your chopped leaves should be near dry)

  • Stir in properly , the water leaf will wilt into the pot, let it simmer for about 3 minutes
  • Next stir in your Ugu leaves, stir it in well till it incorporates well with the waterleaf.
  • Cook with lid off , on medium heat for an additional 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with your preferred accompaniment.

Please don’t tell my Yoruba ancestors that i almost denounced Efo Riro in favour of this tasty pot of goodness that is native to the Efik people.

Oatmeal swallow

Ojojo (Wateryam Fritters)

Ijebu omo alare e we so! Shout out to Ijebu people all over the world.

This is a tribute to Ijebu cuisine. When you think food native to the peoples of the vast Ijebu kingdom, you think, Ifokore, Ojojo , Ebiripo , Ijebu Garri etc.

Ojojo is wateryam fritters and its native to the Ijebu people of the south west of Nigeria. It can be eaten anytime of the day as a meal or a snack. As a meal it’s popularly either served with Eko/Agidi (roughly translated as white corn jello) or Garri Ijebu.


Recipe

(Serves 2 or 3)

Ingredients

  • 3 slices Wateryam (grated it comes to 1 cup and half)
  • 1 tbsp of roughly chopped pepper mix (1 Ata rodo (Scotch bonnet), 1 Bawa/long tatashe/Sombo , Onion (about a quarter of a medium onion)
  • 1/2 of a bouillon cube (i used Knorr
  • Salt to taste

Procedure

  • Slice and peel water yam.

  • Using a grater, choose the smallest perforation to grate the yam to a paste. To avoid nicking off your fingers while grating, you can use the grating disc of your food processor. The one with the smallest holes. This would give you about 1 cup and half of wateryam paste.
Food processor disc and Grater
Grated wateryam
  • Add your roughly chopped pepper mix, your salt and seasoning .
  • Mix till when incorporated.

  • Heat your oil up till very hot.

Hot oil Tip
Since we don’t use thermometers in cooking here, i learnt to know when oil is hot enough for frying from Sister Som, my friend’s sister. She taught me to put a drop of water in oil while bringing up the heat. As the oil heats up , it would start to make popping sounds to get rid of the water. When the sounds stops, you know your oil is hot enough.

  • Scoop the paste using a spoon or your hands into the oil.
  • Fry on medium heat till its golden ans crisp on both sides.

Traditionally, Ojojo is served with Eko or Garri Ijebu. I tried this with Ghanaian Shitto and its amazeballs.

Ojojo with Eko and shitto

Homemade Fries: How to make great fries from scratch.

You can shave a few pennies off your shopping budget if you make your own fries at home for your self.

Say goodbye to store bought brands and stock up on your DIY (do it yourself) brand.

Blanching your potatoes before frying would give you really great golden potatoes. Blanching them and freezing for later use is just as great.


Ingredients

  • Medium sized Irish Potatoes
  • Vegetable oil
  • *Salt Optional

Procedure

  • You need potatoes of course

  • Wash and peel the potatoes using a knife or a potato peeler, and keep them in bowl of room temperature water, to prevent oxidation.

  • Using a knife or a potato slicer (a potato slicer is preferable because it keeps the slices consistent), cut the potato into strips.
Potato slicer

Cut potato strips.
  • Cover the potato strips in water, and if you’d like salt them and leave soaked for 30mins
Potato covered in salt water
  • Strain the water from the potato using a seive
  • Heat up some oil in a pan. Enough oil to for deep frying. Heat it up till its really hot.

Hot oil Tip

Since we mostly don’t use thermometers in cooking here, i learnt to know when oil is hot enough for frying from Sister Som, my friend’s sister. She taught me to put a drop of water in oil while bringing up the heat. As the oil heats up , it would start to make popping sounds to get rid of the water. When the sounds stops, you know your oil is hot enough.

  • Fry the potato till it’s just cooked, without allowing the skin to crisp.
  • Take it out of the oil and spread it out on tray lined with absorbent paper towel. See picture below.
Blanched fries
  • Set the tray into a freezer and freeze over night.
Frozen blanched potato fries
    • Take it out of the freezer and bag in an airtight freezer bag. If you however don’t have freezer bags, you can use airtight polythene/nylon bags.

    • Store it in a freezer till the next time you want to make some fries.

    When you are ready to make your fries, take the frozen chips out of the freezer, heat your oil till very hot, and deep fry till crisp and golden.


    Like this

    Mango Liqueur

    A simple homemade alcoholic recipe for Mango lovers


    Recipe

    Ingredients

    • 3 medium sized Mangoes
    • 750ml Dry Gin or Vodka

    Procedure

    • Wash and clean your mangoes.
    • Chop it up into sizes that fit into a bottle.

    I usually chop with skins for more flavour.

    • Use a clean sterile glass bottle.
    • Put the chopped mangoes in the bottle and pour your Gin or vodka into the bottle. Shake and cover.
    • Store the bottle in dark place for not less than 3 days to let the mango infuse. I usually let my fruit liqueur sit for 2weeks at least, for intensity of flavour.

    • Shake the bottle up regularly when it’s being stored

    Serve with ice! Enjoy

    Okra Utazi Surf and Turf Peppersoup

    I will file this under comfort food. Slightly spicy, light delicious, something you snuggle up in bed on a cold day to eat.

    Utazi is a beautiful aromatic herb and i love the fragrance and the bitterness of it.

    I wanted to make a okra peppersoup and i thought it would taste great to pair the heat of the pepper with utazi.


    Recipe

    Ingredients

    • 250g Cod Fish (You can use any fish of your choice)
    • 2 Large carbs
    • 2 snails
    • 1/2 cup small shrimps
    • 2 tsp of peppersoup spice
    • 1/2 tbsp cayenne pepper
    • 5 Medium sized Okra
    • 2 green scotch bonnet
    • 2 yellow scotch bonnet
    • 5 Utazi leaves
    • 1 (4cups) litre water
    • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
    • Salt to taste
    • 1 tsp Achi powder (optional)

    Instructions

    • Clean and cut your fish into sizes you like. Clean up the rest of your seafood and the snails.
    • Clean your okra, peppers and utazi
    • Cut the okra and the peppers into slices

    • Cut your Utazi into thin slices.

    • Put your fish and snail in a pot, add the pepper soup spice, cayenne pepper, salt, bouillon cubes, with two cups of water. Add half of your pepper slices
    • Cook with lid on, on medium heat till the fish is cooked. Give the snail at least 5 mins headstart before you add the fish.
    • When the fish and snail is cooked add the rest water, bring to a simmer. If you are using achi, add it now.
    • Add your crabs, and the okra. Cook for 3 mins then add the shrimps, utazi and rest peppers. Cook for an additional 3 mins and take it off the heat.

    Now serve and tuck in!!!!

    Look how gorgeous