Ofe Assorted! (An Exotic Soup)

Filing this under food therapies. I’ve called this soup Ofe Assorted because that is what it is, I’ve used the basic principle for cooking soups like Oha, Onugbu, Ofe owerri to make this soup, using 3 of my favourite vegetables together. I have also resisted the temptation of calling this soup Ofe Owerri as I have no intention of offering the “Guardians of ancient recipes”, as that is tantamount to offending the gods of the land.

I have stayed a safe distance from entering right smack into the controversy of what vegetable goes into Ofe Owerri. I understand the importance of preserving ancient recipes, if you must tweak it, by all means mention that you put a spin on it but don’t say that is gospel.

I’m a Yoruba girl raised in Ibadan and I know that something as simple as a Ewedu soup has to be made as simple as it is yo stay true to it. Just Ewedu, iru water, salt ,seasoning and if you want to add potash to soften it. Addition of Egusi , fish and all what else is a spin on it, don’t sell it as the original recipe.

Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cup shredded Oha leaves
  • 1 cup shredded Uziza leaves
  • 1/2 cup shredded Utazi leaves
  • 1 litre Stock
  • 3 tbsp fresh pepper blend
  • 1/2 Cup Palm oil
  • Assorted Meats (cooked)
  • 3 tbsp ground crayfish
  • 1/2 cup mini snails
  • 1/2 cup periwinkle in shell
  • 1/2 cup shredded Stockfish
  • 1/2 cup shredded Bonga fish
  • 1/2 cup shredded smoked Eja Osan
  • 2 Bouillon cubes (I used knorr)
  • 1 tsp Ogiri (optional)
  • 1 tbsp dried Achi
  • Salt (to taste)

Procedure

  • Cook your assorted meats till they are tender and you have about 1 litre of rich stock. To improve the flavour of your stock for this soup add some Stockfish or smoked fish head while cooking your meats.
  • Add your fresh pepper blend and palm oil, ground crayfish and cook for about 10mins.
  • Next add your smoked fish, stockfish, snails and periwinkle , cook for about 5 – 7 mins.
  • Add your achi , stirring it in carefully . Cook on medium heat for about 3 mins.
  • Add your vegetables, giving the Utazi and Uziza a 2 minutes head start before the Oha.
  • Turn the heat off after cooking it for about 5 mins.

  • Enjoy!!!!

Holiday cooking with kids

It’s the long holidays and it’s the holiday most parents dread. The kids are in your face every minute, eating, talking and playing non stop!

Thankfully most schools have deviced a way to take them out of your hands for a few hours, Summer School they call it. But then they come back. As a parent you have to keep thinking of creative ways to keep them engaged and channel their energies positively.

So i have included in our fun list some cooking and baking in the schedule for them (my kid, my wards and a nephew).

Fun! Yaaay.

So far we have made Sponge Cake , Plantain Loaf , Rainbow Meringue Cookies. We would be baking some pastry soon.

Sponge Cake

For the Sponge Cake we used a recipe by Terry Adido of Grated Nutmeg

  • 120 Grams Cake Flour (1 Cup)
  • 6 Large Eggs (Separated)
  • 125 Grams Granulated White Sugar (1/2 Cup + 2 Tablespoons OR 10 Tablespoons)
  • 50 Grams Granulated White Sugar (1/4 Cup OR 4 Tablespoons)
  • 2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • 85 Grams Unsalted Butter (6 Tablespoons) (Melted)
  • 2 Tablespoons Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 2 Teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar (Optional)

Procedure can be found HERE

Plantain Loaf

We used a recipe we found on Allrecipes.com and altered it a bit.

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 over ripe plantains , mashed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup unsweetened yogurt

Directions

  • Prep 10 m Cook 1 h Ready In 1 h 10 m Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, add the lemon juice followed by the yogurt. Stir in the mashed bananas.
  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt.
  • Blend the banana mixture into the flour mixture; stirring just to combine.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean.

The rainbow meringue never quite made it to pictures, thanks to sticky little fingers.

And they made their own Chapman too

Yaay!

Chapman

  • 1 Fanta/Mirinda
  • 1 Sprite/7up
  • 1 Schwepps/Teem or Limca
  • 120ml of Tasty Time
  • 80ml of Grenadine
  • 5ml of Angostura Bitters
  • 1 slice of a medium sized Lemon Cucumber for garnish

Procedure

Mix all drinks in a tall glass pitcher adding the angostura bitters last, place a slice of lemon and allow it sit for at least 30mins. Serve with ice.

Ube Hummus 

I’ve been quite obsessed with Ube the last couple of days. After making a Corn on Cob rubbed with Ube a few days back, I realised Ube can be a great Dip, pretty much like Hummus. Hummus is originally made with chickpeas, it’s of middle eastern origin.

Since Ube already pairs well with Corn, I tried it with some of my favourite things and it paired really well.

Cooked Ube’s is like mashed Sweet+Irish  potatoes with a tang.

RECIPE 

Makes about 2 250ml Mason  jars.

  • 50 medium sized Ube
  • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

* Optional Ingredients (didn’t use any)

Chill pepper

Garlic paste.
Procedure

  • Wash Ube gently but thoroughly to get rid of sand.
  • Bring about 1.5 litres of water to a boil.
  • Once boiled, dunk the Ube in it for not longer than 3 minutes and strain. (You can salt the water if you like but it’s unnecessary.
  • Allow it to cool a bit so you don’t burn your fingers before using a small knife to open the skin and peel the flesh off the seed of the Ube.
  • Blend in the Ube with Olive oil  two batches a blender.
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Procedure in pictures. Wash, Blanche, Peel
  • Store in an air tight container and refrigerate. (I haven’t tested the shelf life inside the fridge yet, with do, I’d update this post)


Isn’t this platter gorgeous? (Carrots, Cucumber, Celery sticks, Corn, Potato chips, plantain chips)

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Cucumber Stick with Ube

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Ube Hummus with Carrots sticks, Cucumber sticks, Celery sticks, Corn, Potato chips, plantain chips

Corn on Cob with mashed Ube


This is just a simple twist to the Corn and Ube you love. CORN on COB in a Skewer rubbed with mashed Ube

It’s Corn season and with corn comes Ube. Ube is an oval shaped, purple berry with a large seed in the centre. It’s in season at about the same time as corn. As a street food, corn is either boiled or roasted and usually paired with Coconut or Ube. 

Top-Bottom; Corn , Ube.   Picture credit: Google.

Recipe

  • Corn
  • Ube
  • *Salted Butter (or Herb and Garlic butter)
  • *Pepper flakes 

*optional items are marked with asterisk 
Procedure 

  • Dehusk the corn of it comes in a husk and cook the corn till done. Cook it in a pot with lid on
  • Ube is very easy to cook, just steam till the pod is soft and it would peel off easily. You can cook it by placing the Ube on the lid of the pot while the corn cooks.  
  • Mash the Ube with salted butter ( Salted Butter is optional, I used garlic butter). Add some pepper flakes if you want some kick of heat. 
  • Spread it on your cooked corn. 

This is so comfort food!

Plantain Veggie Sauce

This was inspired by a post I saw last night on “So You Think You Can Cook”. The poster didn’t have enough time to share her recipe but I created this from visual inspiration .

Trust me when I say this is so delicious. You can eat it alone or pair with Rice 

Recipe 

  • 3 Large Ripe Plantain
  • 2 cups of meat stock 
  • 300g  sliced Vegetables (I used Ugu+Efirin+Efo tete/green)
  • 3 cups of blended pepper mix (tomatoes/scotch bonnet/ habanero (rodo)/tatashe(capsicum)/ onion)
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable oil (for the sauce, you’d need more for trying the plantain. 
  • 3 cups chopped lighty fried meats (I used goat meat)
  • Shredded Fish (Smoked cod fish, dried sardines (bonga fish), about 1cup or more)
  • Bouillon cubes (2 or more depending on your tatse
  • Salt to taste 

Procedure 

  • Chop up your plantains and deep fry till it’s almost turning brown and set aside.
  • You should have pre-fried your meats.
  • Pour 1/4 cup of oil in a pot, allow it to heat up, once hot pour the pepper mix , fry slightly and pour in the stock. If you are using bonga fish, rinse well and add to the pepper from the start. Cook for 5 mins and add the fried meats. On medium heat, cook the stew till the water has completely reduced add your bouillon cubes and salt. Cook with lid on.
  • Once the water has completely reduced, add smoked fish, and vegetable. Cook for about 5 minutes with the lid off.
  • Stir in the fried plantains and let it simmer for about 2 mins and turn the heat off.  

Ugba Salad 

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This recipe is courtesy of an amazing lady i met on facebook, Ngozi Ogwuegbu Nnopuechi. She made the “awesomest” Ugba Salad for a hangout some time back  and she was kind enough to share her recipe with me when i asked her. This is a shout out to her. I sent her a picture of my first attempt below.

This was my first try in 2015. Ngozi was quick to commend me.

 

 

 

It was so hard to photograph this, with all the lighting issues i had then

 

Recipe 
2 Cups Ugba,

3 Uziza  leaves sliced thinly ,

4 Utazi leaves sliced thinly,

1/2 tsp Powdered Crayfish ,

Ehuru (2 seeds ground finely),

1 tsp Potash,

1/4 cup Palm Oil,

Salt (to taste)

Pepper (to taste preferably cayenne pepper)

*Stockfish (optional)

*Garden Eggs optional

 

Procedure

  • Soak your stockfish in hot water until the fish is tender. Rinse your ugba thoroughly , some people prefer to wash it with warm water and salt.
  • To make the base, heat up your palm oil in a pot or wok. Dissolve the potash in 1 tbsp Water. Pour the dissolved potash into your heated oil. The oil will froth and cuddle, turn down the heat and stir well.
  • Once base is done add Ehuru it has a strong aroma and salt
  • Add the Stockfish, Ugba and then pepper crayfish seasoning
  • Add the thinly sliced Uziza leaf and utazi leaf and you’re done

You can serve with smoked fish or fried fish. I experimented with dodo (Fried Plantian) and it was absolutely delicious.

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Ugba Salad with Fried Plantains, an amazing discovery!!

 

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Fried Chicken in Vegetable Gravy 

Christmas Eve lunch. 

The initial plan was to make a simple gravvy using the stock I had from cooking all the chickens my husband brought from the farm yesterday. Then I remembered I had some vegetables that would waste if I don’t cook them today. I’d be spending Christmas with my parents and they would be no good by the time I return.

So here I have Fried Chicken in Vegetable gravy which we had with Basmati Rice. 

This is one of those recipes I practically eye balled , so I’d try to give a close enough recipe. 

Recipe

  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Cup flour
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Tomato ketchup (*absolutely optional, i just wanted my broth to be darker) 
  • 1 tbsp Cayenne Pepper 
  • 10 pieces of fried chicken 
  • 1/2 cup water 
  • 2 cups of mixed chopped vegetables (use your vegetables of choice)

Procedure.

  • Mix half cup of flour with half cup of water.
  • Place a pot on medium heat, add stock, warm it up and slowly pour in flour mixture. Stir while you pour.
  • Add the pepper, soy sauce, and *ketchup and let it simmer. 
  • Add your chicken to the broth, and cook on medium heat with lid on for 5 minutes. Cook with the chunky vegetables e.g Carrots and Potatoes 
  • Add the rest of the  vegetables, don’t  cook longer than a minute. Turn off the heat. 

GIVEAWAY TIME! ! ! ! ! (#Plantain #Chocolate competition )

Earlier in the year, I announced that I’d be having a give away.  I would be selecting FIVE (5) LUCKY WINNERS to gift BOXES of CUSTOMISED  CHOCOLATES BARS to, courtesy of The ChocBoy

TO QUALIFY 

CREATE A RECIPE THAT INCLUDES PLANTAIN AND CHOCOLATE!!!!!!

The top FIVE PICTURES with the highest number of likes WIN. 

The competition starts TODAY 29/07/2016 and ends on MONDAY 1/08/2016.
ABOUT THE SPONSOR 

 ChocBoy (The Best Chocolatey Service in Nigeria)   has generously donated boxes of chocolates that would be personalised with the winner’s name. 

The ChocBoy Chocolatey Brand produces, packages & sells chocolate bars,chocolatey treats,chocolatey products and customized chocolate bars.

The company is an indigenous company here in Nigeria that delivers the best chocolates and chocolatey experience for you and in any event.

With a vision to become the preferred premium, Nigerian made chocolate brand, the mission is to produce chocolates that will give a yummy, smooth and an unforgettable chocolatey experience that keeps our consumers wanting more.

THE COMPETITION 

Rules!!!!!

Take a picture of your Plantain/Chocolate creation, and cc @ounjealadun 

@thechocboy 

@dodogang_ 

Your post  must contain the following hash tags.

#chocboy #ounjealadun 

#chocolate #dodogang #ounjegiveaway #plantainchocolate 

For our Facebook followers, you can still participate by sending us your entries through our inbox, we would share your pictures on Instagram and collate the votes!

Shout out to @dodogang_ for the social media support. We love you!!!!!

You can get inspirations for your entry from our plantain catalogue in the link below. 

https://ounjealadun.com/category/plantain-goodness/

TIPS

Now you don’t have to break a leg or even rob a bank to be a part of the GIVEAWAY!!!!

Your entry can be as simple as this, just incorporate Plantain and Chocolate into a dish. 

Banana Ice cream sprinkled with #Plantain chips and #chocolate syrup.

This right here is Banana Ice cream sprinkled with  #Plantain chips and #chocolate syrup.

Spicy Plantain Chips dipped in Chocolate Syrup


Plantain Waffles topped with frozen yogurt, chocolate syrup and shaved milk chocolate.


Pictures of Chocolate bars that have been generously donated by The ChocBoy. Please follow them on Instagram and Facebook.  

Visit www.chocboy.com for more information on the chocolatey treats they offer.

Customized Box of chocolates for that special person.
Personalised Chocolate Bars
Milk Chocolate, White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate

Prawn Dodo 


A few days ago, my Gizdodo  was featured on a blog and it really cheered me up. Thing was I had been ill, drifting in and out of sleep from being heavily medicated with flu pills and antibiotics,  I had initially thought it was malaria and so I self medicated (don’t be like me). 

That blog post reminded me a lot of a part of my life that I had not paid attention to at all this year. Cooking! 

Not just cooking, because of course I have cooked food this year, but being a mad scientist in my kitchen.  Using my cooking as a therapeutic outlet and chronicling it.

Not quite sure how I would fit this back into my life right now, but I’m sure I won’t let myself go too much to the extent that I’d neglect the things I love.
I love seafood as some people would know and this here is Prawn Dodo made using Gizdodo recipe.  You should try it out.


Recipe

•    500g Fresh Prawns 

•    3 Ripe Plantains

•    1 Large Onion

•    4 Tomatoes

•    Jalapeño peppers ( Bawa / Sombo / long tatashe ) As many as you want depending on how much heat you can handle. I used more than 10 pieces

•    3 medium sweet bell peppers  (i used yellow, red, green)

•    Scotch Bonnet  (Ata rodo) as many as you want

•    1 cup beef Stock

•    2 Bouillon Cubes (knorr beef cubes in this instance)

•    Salt to taste

•    Vegetable oil ( to fry )/ Or Air fry

•    1/4 Coconut oil 

Procedure

–    Dice up your plantains and fry till golden brown and set aside. 

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Fried plantains

–     Coarsely blend your tomatoes, onion and peppers. You can use as little or as much of any of these ingredients. What we want to get is at least 1 1/2 cups of the coarsely blended pepper. 

–  Chop you bell peppers. 

Basic ingredients

–    In a pot or wok add coconut oil, blended pepper, add 1 cup of beef Stock,  taste for seasoning, if necessary season a little more. Cook with lid off till the water is reduced completely, turn the heat down a notch and allow the pepper simmer, then add chopped bell peppers and prawns.

–     Turn the heat down completely and  cover the pot/wok  for 2 minutes to allow the prawns cook, take off the lid and cook for an additional  5 minutes, then stir it in well and add the fried plantain and stir in using a wooden or plastic spoon/ladle  so as not to mash up the plantain.

–     Stir in well and turn off the heat. Serve warm.

Ofe Onugbu

In recent times I’ve done very little “cooking”, most meals have consisted of quick fixes, take outs or otherwise cooked by someone else. I had a rough start this year. Thankfully it’s been rough for the right reasons, Growth in my  business Fontaine De Vie. Shortage of man power,  break down of some machinery welcomed the growth, it was a gruelling time because we just had to meet up. I went from a production staff strength of 5  to 1 coupled with no domestic staff to help with the home front, I found myself borrowing more hours  from the next day  only to fall short. It’s amazing how my health didn’t fail in all of this. I made it through and  I’m grateful  for the lessons I learnt during the phase.  Challenges are made to strengthen  you, it won’t break you if you don’t let it. 
Ofe Onugbu recipe is the same as that of Oha, only difference is the leaves, Oha and Onugbu (Bitter Leaf). I’m a yoruba girl who loves to cook eastern and south eastern soups, a little more pepper than the traditional requirement and I’m good!

Ingredients

•     Onugbu leaves (Bitter Leaf) a handful

    Thickeners 

•    Cocoyam – 8 small corms

Or

•    Achi (2 Tablespoons *powdered)

Or

•    Ofor  ( 2 Tablespoons *powdered)

•    Red Palm Oil – 2 cooking spoons

•    Assorted Beef meats

•    Assorted dry  Fish

•    Fresh peppers (scotch bonnet / habenero /ata rodo)

•    Salt to taste

•    Crayfish (powdered)

•   Bouillon Cubes

•    1 teaspoon Ogiri Igbo (for the traditional taste but optional)

Procedure

–    Grind pepper and set aside.

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Blended Pepper

Achi on the left, Ofor the right, ground mixture of both in front

*If using Cocoyam

–    Wash and boil the cocoyam corms till soft.
Remove the peels and  in a blender , blend to a smooth paste you can also use a mortar and pestle , that is the more traditional approach.

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Mashed Cocoyam using a blender

–   Personally I buy, bitter leaves that have been washed in the market. However when I get home I pour boiling hot water over the bitter leaves and leave it steep for about a minute and strain, a friend advised I use salt to just wash it a little more instead of using hot water,  to get rid of more of the bitterness. Now you may prefer to buy your own Bitter Leaf fresh , and wash from the scratch, I think it is tedious, but hey whatever rocks your boat. Set it aside.

–   Season and  boil the meats, when then are tender add stock fish and dry fish.

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–    Add the pepper, ogiri Igbo and ground crayfish and cook for 10 minutes. Now add either Achi/Ofor powder mix or the cocoyam paste in small lumps then the palm oil

See Pictures below.

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Ogiri

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–    Cover the pot and leave to cook on high heat till all the cocoyam lumps have dissolved. You can add more water if you feel that the soup is too thick. 

* Remove smoked catfish if you are using any at this point to prevent disintegration

–    Add the washed Onugbu (bitter) leaves and leave to cook for about 5 minutes.

* Ever since the Igbo woman who sells  me spices adviced I use a combination of Achi and Ofor instead of Cocoyam, I have come to fall in love with it. The smoothness, the consistency, the taste, is so different from what I get with cocoyam.  I love it.

Serve with your favourite starchy side dish. E.g Eba, Amala, Pounded Yam,  even Rice.