Rice Pudding

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On the last day of our vacation in August, we arrived Virginia very early in the morning very tired – after an exciting week in Florida- and very hungry too. Le hubs cousin -who had been longing to host us-  treated us to a breakfast buffet at a nice Indian restaurant. The food was really good, and for dessert I had rice pudding. I’ve been longing to make my own rice pudding since then. Few weeks ago I did even though I’ve been too lazy to blog.

Looking at the pictures now, I can taste the coconut milk in the rice pudding, the Sorrel and date syrup and the orange slices at the side.

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Recipe

Ingredients

Serves 8

•       4 cups cooked jasmine  rice (I used basmati as I didn’t have any jasmine rice at home) 

•      4 cups coconut milk

•      1 Cup condensed Milk

•      2 Eggs

•      1 tsp grated nutmeg

•       1/4 tsp Cinnamon

•      1 tsp cloves

•        1 tbsp Vanilla extract

•      1/4 cup sugar (optional)

•      1/4 tsp salt

•      1 tbsp lemon juice  (optional)

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Procedure

–      In a pot, add 3 cups of hot water to pre- cooked rice, cook on medium heat, add, cloves , nutmeg. * Jasmine rice is preferred because it gets mushy when it is cooked and has great texture.  I had to mash up my rice a bit because is used Basmati rice.

–      Add Coconut milk and condensed milk. Turn down the heat and let it simmer. Add  sugar, salt, and lemon juice. Stir well and leave to simmer for 5 minutes.

–       Break egg and whisk with vanilla extract,  add the egg to pudding and stir in properly. Let it simmer for about 1 minute and turn off the heat.

FOR SORREL SYRUP

•      1/8 cup dried sorrel leaves (also called zobo leaves)

•      1 cup sugar

•      1 cup sugar

•      *Chopped pitted dates or raisins

Boil the sorrel leaves in water, once boiled, remove the leaves from the water, add sugar and leave to boil till the water reduces to a thin syrup,  add chopped dates or raisins and turn off the heat.

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Serve warm or cold.

Fried Rice (Nigerian Style)

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As a teenager fried rice was one dish I held down with confidence. I had no doubts I would be cooking Fried rice for my SSCE food and nutrition practical as well as Efo riro, I knew the invigilators would be hooked. I didn’t want a repeat of the near disaster that happened during my GCE practicals. I had grated my right thumb on the grater whilst grating coconut for my coconut cake, I nearly ended in the ER and my barbecue grill that left me with half of my turkey half cooked. I got a C4 in GCE and got a B2 in SSCE. I knew my fried rice game was tight! So what makes my Fried rice game tight? This is it.

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Recipe

Ingredients

• 2 1/2 cups long grain rice

• 1 cup Meat stock

• 1/4 cup vegetable oil

• 3 scotch bonnet

• A couple of garlic cloves

• 2 thumb sized ginger

• 1 bay leaf

• 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder

• 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme.

• 3 Small green pepper

• 2 medium sized red bell peppers

• 1/2 cup blanched green peas

• 1/2 cup sweet corn

• 4 large Carrots

• Some spring onions

• Gizzard

• Hotdogs

• Poached Eggs

• Salt

• Bouillon Cubes

Procedure

– Chop, peppers, carrots, spring onions and set aside best to set it aside in a fridge

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– Chop gizzard, hot dog and set aside.

– Wash rice with water till the water is clear and strain in a seive

– In a pot, heat up the oil and fry scotch bonnet, bay leaf, chopped ginger and garlic till it burns in the oil, then take it out

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– Pour rice into hot oil and stir till it starts to brown up

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– Add stock, 500 ml water or a little more, curry, thyme, salt , bouillon cubes. Turn the heat down

– In a wok or pan, using about 1 tsp of vegetable oil, stir fry the vegetable mix, and meats, till vegetables are slightly tender

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– Add to cooked rice and stir in with sweet corn and poached eggs

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*Remember if the rice is nearly cooked but still a bit hard, cover with foil or moinmoin leaves and the pot lid to trap steam and cook rice through.

My 6yr old son who doesn’t like to have any vegetables in his fried rice.
What i do is, just before adding the vegetables into the pot of rice, i separate his own add Shrimps and either kidney/ liver or heart. And he loves it.

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An old photo below

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*Stir with wooden spoon or ladle

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Jollof Rice (Nigerian Style)

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Last year the social media space was agog with the #jollofgate saga, thanks to the jollof rice recipe by Jamie Oliver,  which many West Africans (esp Nigerians) thought was a sacrilege. I read the most hilarious comments about food ever. People take their food seriously I tell you.  I sided with Jamie on the recipe because he was spot on with the basic ingredients and he had stated that it was his TWIST to jollof rice. I have had the privilege / misfortune to have jollof rice from other West African regions asides Nigeria and Ghana, and I would say never again! Most people who called for his head on a platter mostly had problems with the plating of the food. In support of #JollofGate I made this jollof rice which had mushrooms, broccoli, purple cabbage…. and the ingredients included paprika,  cinnamon,  turmeric and a host more. 

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Now the dust is completely settled I’m doing a post on Jollof rice , no fuss, no gimmicks!
Recipe

Ingredients

* all measurements in the post refer to standard measuring cups and spoons.

•   2 1/2 Long grain Rice

•    2 cups pre cooked pepper mix (tomatoes + jalapeños + scotch bonnet, ratio 5:1:1)

•    1/4 Tomato Paste

•    1 Cup Chicken or Beef Stock

•    2 bay Leaf

•    1 1/2 Tablespoons Curry powder

•    1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme

•    Salt to taste

•    2 or more Bouillon Cubes (These days I use MSG free seasonings )

•    1/2 Cup Vegetable oil

•    2 Onions

•     *4 cloves of garlic (optional)

•     Chopped mixed vegetables  (optional)

•    Plum or Cherry tomatoes

My tips for great jollof rice,

 1. A rich beef or chicken stock,

 2. Good Tomato base (Ground tomatoes+peppers+Onions & Tomato Paste)


Below I’d share how I make my beef stock and the ratio for my Tomato base. 

I doubled the ingredients in recipe here so I had 4 cups of freshly blended pepper, 1/2 Cup tomato paste. Cook the mix till it done.


This is how I make my rich beef or chicken stock. 

Celery + Carrot + Onions (Mirepoix in french). I always have smoked fish (see my mum has a fish farm and they roast a lot fish for sale) most times I save the head of the fish so as to use in cooking my meats. Most times I add only salt to this other times I may just add seasoning .  These days I’m embracing MSG free seasonings so I favour Adobo Seasoning. 

Add a little water (when my meat is fresh I mostly don’t add water except it is necessary, when it is frozen I add water to help it thaw faster) 

Cook your meats till tender and strain the stock from the meat.


Procedure

–  Wash Rice with clean water until the water is clear and set aside.

–    In a clean pot, heat up vegetable oil, chop one onion and fry with bay leaf till the onions are slightly tender and add the pepper mix , tomato paste, stock, curry, thyme, taste after adding stock before you add the bouillon cubes, and salt, so as not to over season or salt it.

–    Allow the pepper to fry  a little then add 750 ml of water and pour in the rice

Curry powder, dried thyme, garlic, tomato stock with bay leaf.

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–    Cook till the rice is tender. If the rice seems to be slightly hard and most of the water has evaporated, turn down the heat, and cover the rice with a *plastic  bag* moinmoin leaves or banana leaves, and cover with pot lid, this would trap the heat and cook the rice  through without leaving you with soggy rice.

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There is a potential health risk to using a plastic bag to cover your cooking rice. Heat interferes with the chemical components in the plastic bag to cause a reaction with your food. Please use leaves instead.
It is safer and healthier to use leaves to trap the steam in your rice instead of using plastic.


* Jollof rice may burn whilst cooking , it is perfectly okay, I know people who live for the burnt bits. 

* You have to use a wooden spoon or ladle to stir the rice in thoroughly so the colouration can be even 

–     Slice onions and plum tomatoes (i used cherry tomatoes) and stir into cooked rice when it is done. 

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I used plum tomatoes when I made this.

–    If you are adding chopped  vegetables stir it in now.

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Jollof rice is not complete without fried  plantain. At most Nigerian parties,  it is served along  with fried rice and moinmoin.

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