Friday, 27 March 2015

Herby olive bread

Homemade bread making, is rather therapeutic and a perfect escapism from all stress. This is a perfect way of using up your herbs and you can tailor this recipe by using seeds, wholewheat flour and different herbs. In this instance I used thyme, chives and Greek basil. Try using rosemary, sage or tarragon if you wish. Recipes are meant to inspire, so get your creative juices flowing and crest different flavours.

Ingredients; 
500g of plain all purpose flour
2 tablespoons of dry yeast
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of extra virgin oil
125ml of warm water 
30g of chopped thyme 
30g of chopped chives
30g of chopped Greek basil
2 teaspoons of fennel seeds (optional)
1 teaspoon of nigella seeds (optional)

Method;

In a cup mix the dry yeast, sugar and warm water together. 
Leave in a warm place for about 10-15 minutes until it froths.
Sift the flour and salt into a mixer or a bowl.


Add your chopped Greek basil, Chives and thyme 
Attach the mixer bowl and bread hook to your mixer. Gently add the yeast mix, olive oil on a medium speed. Add 250ml of warm water and mix for about 7-9 minutes on a high speed. 


If you're not using a mixer, make a well in the centre of the flour, add the yeast mix and olive oil.  Add 250ml of warm water and knead the bread for about 10-12 minutes on a floured surface.

The bread dough will be very soft.  Add a little flour to the surface and roll into a ball and leave in a bowl. 
If using a mixer bowl, just leave the bread dough in it, cover with a clean, damp, warm kitchen towel and place in a warm place for about 1-2hrs till the dough has proofed. 
The dough should double up in size.
Grease a bread tin (6 x 10.5 x 21cm) with butter
Preheat your oven to 210*c
On a floured surface punch the air out of the dough and knead for a further 5 minutes.
Mould your bread dough and place it in your grease bread tin. Sprinkle both the nigella and fennel seeds over the bread (this is optional).
Cover with an oiled cling film or warm damp cloth and leave in a warm place to rise. 
Leave it to rise for about 35-50 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.


Once the dough has risen, place it in the middle of your preheated oven. 
Add about 500ml of water to your bottom tray. I prefer to bake my bread this way as it forms a perfect crust and moist bread.
Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until brown. When you tap the bread it should give a hollow sound, which indicates it's ready. 
Remove from the oven and leave to rest for about 5 minutes. Turn your bread unto a board, with a gentle tap to the bottom of the bread tin(use a glove to protect your hands). Serve with balsamic and olive oil mix or goats butter. 

All photos are by the owner of this blog 

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Harissa Paste á lá Ndudu

Harissa paste is a traditional Tunisian condiment which is used in  marinating meat, fish, vegetables and mixed with couscous. Harissa is used mostly in North African cuisine and inspired by the variations out there, I have a created an Indian spiced inspired paste. In this recipe I have combined the process of making the ever popular Ghanaian 'Shito' (black chilli, herring and shrimp sauce) with the traditional way of making Harissa. You can get most ingredients from most exotic grocers. 
You can use any dry chilies you prefer, try using smoky chipotle along with red birds eye chilli for a smoky taste. In this recipe I have used round chillies and Kashmiri chillies. Enjoy!


Ingredients; 
200g round chillies 
200g of Kashmiri Chillies
50g of cumin seeds
50g fennel seeds
50g dill seeds
50g of coriander seeds
50g of Ajwan / Carom seeds
20g of wild thyme
25g of peeled and chopped ginger 
2 tablespoons of tomato paste or 100g of sundries tomato
2 roughly chopped shallots
1 teaspoon of muscovado sugar
80ml of malt vinegar or juice of 2 large lemons.
100ml of cooking olive oil
100ml of extra olive oil
Salt to taste



Method;
Place your dry chillies in a pot,  add hot boiling water, cover with a lid and leave for at least an hour. 
This will soften the chillies, which will be easier to blend.

Place your dill, fennel, carom, cumin and coriander seeds in a saucepan on a medium heat. 

Toast your spices, making sure you stir continuously for about 4 minutes or until you could smell the spices. 


Remove immediately from the heat and tranfer to a blender.
To the blender add the shallots, ginger 
and a little water. 
Blend to a thick paste and reserve 
Place a saucepan or clay pot on a medium heat. 
Add 100 ml of cooking olive oil 
Then add your spice and ginger mix 
Cook this gently for about 10 minutes (making sure you stir the sauce to prevent it from burning)
Add your preferred tomato and cook further for another 5 minutes.

Remove the chillies from the water.
Place the soaked chillies into the blender and blend to a paste. 
Add the chilli paste to the sauce, adding a little bit of water to clean the blender and adding it to the sauce. 



Cook for about 10 minutes and add your vinegar or lemon juice. Cook for another 10 minutes and add your sugar. 
At this stage your sauce should have thickened into a paste (if not keep cooking till you have a paste)
Add salt to taste and cook for another minute. 
Take the sauce off the heat and add 100ml of extra virgin oil. 
Stir and leave to rest. 
Once cooled tranfer your sauce into a mason jar and refrigerate. 




This will last for 6 months but I doubt there will be any left, as you might just finish it.

Use your Harissa as a condiment, marinade or mix with your couscous, Gari etc
Harissa is best with most poultry, vegetables, fish and meat. 


All photos are by owner of this blog. Seek permission from the owner before using any of the photos on this blog. When using any photos from this blog, please make reference to this blog and author. 


Enjoy!






Saturday, 21 March 2015

GRILLED SUYA CHICKEN

Purist believe the best way to tenderise chicken is either using buttermilk or plain natural yoghurt. Personally, I think chicken breasts are best tenderised that way and the legs in lemon juice.  




For this recipe, I used the rind and juice of a lemon with the chicken, which turned out moist. This recipe gives you the option to use what's readily available to you (buttermilk, yoghurt or lemon juice). 
To achieve the best results with grilling, use a conventional or fan assisted oven. The air circulation allows the grilled food to brown evenly. Click here for Ndudu's Suya recipe. 


Ingredients 
Serves 4
4 large Chicken legs
30g of fresh or dry thyme 
15g of chopped parsley
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large diced shallot
5 tablespoons of Suya mix (reserve a tablespoon to sprinkle on the chicken later).
Salt and pepper to taste
300ml of butter milk /plain yoghurt or juice and rind of 1 large lemon. 


Method;
Using a sharp knife, cut horizontal slits in the chicken.

Place the chicken in a bowl and add the rind and juice of the lemon. 
Add a teaspoon of freshly milled black peppercorns, half the chopped parsley and 1 tablespoon olive oil to the chicken. Mix till well combined and refrigerate overnight in the marinade. 

Remove the chicken from the fridge and bring to room temperature. Transfer the chicken legs to an oven proof dish. 

Preheat your grill oven to 180*c

Place a saucepan on a medium heat and add your Suya. Warm your Suya up to release it's oils , for about 2 minutes, making sure you stir constantly. 

Add the thyme and shallots to the Suya. 
Add 4 tablespoons of Suya to the chicken
Sprinkle half a teaspoon of salt to taste  
and rub everything into the chicken till well covered . 

Evenly pour a tablespoon of olive oil over the chicken and place it in the middle of your preheated oven. 

Grill for 25 minutes making sure you turn the chicken every 10 minutes (until golden). 

Remove your chicken and leave it to rest for 5 minutes and serve with your favourite  mixed green salad, Jollof rice or tomato salad. Sprinkle your chicken with the remaining Suya before serving. Enjoy!


Serve with a chilled glass of South African Chenin Blanc. 
All photos and recipes are by the owner of this blog. 
 For a perfect pudding inspiration; Click here. Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube page




Saturday, 14 March 2015

Suya encrusted Fillet of beef

'Suya' is a special blend of African spices with a dry roasted peanut base. Suya is readily available in most African grocers and it's a must have in every foodies pantry. This recipe is for a 300g fillet with a 3 inch thickness.

Ingredients;

300 -400g of fillet beef
1 tablespoon of Suya mix
1 teaspoon of sunflower/olive  oil
1 tablespoon of butter
2 diced shallots
20g of roughly chopped parsley

Broccoli
100g of purple broccoli stalks
Salt
I tablespoon of garlic infused olive oil.
Freshly milled black peppercorns to taste



Method;
Remove your meat from the fridge for about an hour before cooking. This allows the meat to be at room temperature and warm in the middle when cooked. 
Once your meat is at room temperature, mix it with the olive oil and salt.

Place a frying pan on a high heat till it's smoking hot. 
Add your meat to the frying pan and keep turning every 25 seconds. Repeat this process for about 3 minutes, till the meat is seared (a crusty look on the outside) and add your butter. 
Keep turning the steak in the butter for another minute. Turn the heat off and sprinkle the meat with your Suya spice, making sure the meat is coated thoroughly in the spice. 
Remove your meat from your pan and leave to rest for about 5 minutes. 

Using the same frying pan, add your onions and fry for about 2 minutes (making sure you toss it in the spice left in the pan). Turn the heat off, add the parsley and salt to taste. 

For the purple broccoli stalks remove any hard tips and dry leaves and wash well. 


Add water and salt to a sauce pan and place on a high heat and bring to a boil. 
Place a steamer on the saucepan and add your broccoli. Cover with it's lid and 
cook for about 3 minutes (making sure the broccoli still holds a little crunch when you taste)

Toss your broccoli with garlic infused olive oil, sprinkle,freshly milled black peppercorns to taste and serve immediately. 

To serve

The above recipe is for a medium rare steak, however you can cook it for another 2 minutes for a medium to well done steak. 

In a plate, add your steamed broccoli and your sautéed shallots. Slice your fillet of beef into 1 inch thickness.  Place the beef on top of the broccoli and add any juice left in the plate. Sprinkle a with a little Suya and serve. 
Best served with a nice glass of French or Argentinian Malbec wine,  

St Clement's Cocktail

My mother-in-law introduced me to this non- alcoholic cocktail, years ago, on a family trip to Wales. My mum and I enjoyed this rather refreshing drink and it quickly became my Mum's favourite drink. 
In paying homage to all amazing mothers, here is a quick and easy to follow recipe. 


Ingredients 
Serves 4
1 litre of freshly squeezed Orange / Blood orange juice 
800 ml of cold Lemonade 
200ml of Tonic water
4 strips of lemon peel to serve


Method

Depending on what's readily available to you, choose either an orange or blood orange juice.
Add your preferred juice to a jug, add the lemon peel, tonic water and lemonade.
Mix well and serve with ice in a tall glass or a wine glass (I prefer to drink from a wine glass).

A perfect drink to accompany any brunch or lunch. 
All photos are by the owner of this blog. 



Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Baked Egg with Avocado butter

Do you need inspiration for making Mother's Day special? Why not try this easy to follow recipe and impress your Mum with breakfast in bed. 


Ingredients 
Serves 4
16 spears of Asparagus 
4 large washed portobello mushrooms 
4 free range eggs
4 slices of multi seeded bread or Rye bread
2 large skinned and de-seeded Avocados 
1 small shallot diced finely
Half a teaspoon of lemon juice
1 green chilli, de seeded and finely diced
1 teaspoon of olive oil
8 rashers of smoked bacon 

Dressing
2 tablespoons of malt vinegar 
4 tablespoons of garlic infused olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste. 


Method;
Preheat your oven to 180*c
Place the bacon rashers in an oven proof dish/tray and bake for about 10-15 minutes (depending on how crunchy you like your bacon)

Once the bacon is cooked, remove from the oven and place aside in a bowl.
Using the same oven proof tray (saving on washing) de hull each mushroom and place in the oven proof dish/tray


Crack each individual egg (one at a time) in a bowl. Using a small ladle carefully scoop the egg yolk and place in the mushroom. 

Carefully add the egg white making sure it doesn't spill. Repeat this process till you've filled each mushroom. 


Place the mushroom in the oven and bake for about 6-8minutes.
In a saucepan add water and bring to a boil. Add the Asparagus and cook for 3 minutes. Strain the water using a colander and set aside. 

In a bowl, mash the Avocados using the back of a ladle.
Add the olive oil, chilli, shallots and mix well. Add the lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. 
Toast a slice of your Mum's favourite bread 

To serve
Spread the Avocado butter on your bread and place on a plate.
Add your baked mushroom, bacon and Asparagus. 
Using a potato peeler , slice slithers of Parmesan cheese and add to the plate.
Drizzle your dressing over and serve.


Best served with St Clement's cocktail 

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Koko or Jorgbon ( Corn meal porridge)

Jorgbon, (porridge made from fermented milled corn) is a favourite breakfast staple in Ghana. There are variations of porridge,  which includes corn grits, porridge without the chaff discarded, roasted corn porridge, a silky smooth porridge made from Millet and spices (to mention but a few)
My personal favourite is the 'Ayigbe Kooko' or 'Jorgbon', a silky smooth porridge. Here is a simple recipe to enjoy.


Ingredients
Serves 2 
200g of fermented corn dough (this is achieved by using dry corn, soak it in water for 3-4 days, rinse well and mill to a smooth dough)
1 grain of selim
Half a teaspoon of sugar (depending on your personal taste)
700 ml of water
50ml evaporated milk


Method;
Mix the water with the corn dough till smooth

Pass the corn mix through a muslin cloth or fine colander to separate the chaff from the juice. 


If you're using a colander, repeat the process thrice, making sure you discard the chaff each time and washing the colander with water.



Pour the juice into a saucepan and add the grain of selim. 


Cook on a medium heat, making sure you consistently stir the mixture. 
Stir till the juice thickens to a double cream consistency, (this should take about 8-10 minutes)

Turn the heat off, add the sugar and milk and stir till well mixed. 


Discard the grain of selim


Sprinkle the porridge with your preferred roasted nut and serve hot. 

Best with tea bread , Sugar bread or butter bread. 
All photos are by the owner of this blog. 






Saturday, 7 March 2015

Béchamel sauce

Béchamel sauce or White sauce is the base for most Italian and French dishes. I love the versatility of Béchamel sauce, where you can enhance or change the flavour by using herbs and spices. The Béchamel sauce is the base for my next recipe, cheese and pistachio soufflé. This is a fool proof recipe, enjoy. 



Ingredients 

1 tablespoon of plain flour 
1 tablespoon of olive oil / butter
400ml of milk
2 bay leaves
A pinch of grated nutmeg
Freshly milled white peppercorn (optional)

Method;

Place a saucepan on a medium heat and melt the butter


In a separate saucepan add the bay leaves to the milk and warm the milk for about 3 minutes

Add the flour to the melted butter and using a wooden spatula/ plastic whisk mix everything together into a roux. 



Mix for about 3 minutes , add 100ml of the warmed milk and stir till well combined 

Keep adding 100ml of milk each time and whisk the mixture continuously (this is to prevent any lumps forming) 



Keep stirring till you have a double cream and smooth sauce.
This should take about 8 minutes




Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg.

Reserve the mixture till you're ready to use it.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Sugar Bread (Ghana)

Growing up next to a baker in Ghana, was one that fills me with nostalgia; especially at dawn, when the smell of fresh bread permeated the air. My close family and friends are aware of my obsession with nice smells, especially from food. The smell of fresh coffee and bread first thing in the morning evokes great memories. In Ghana we have Sugar bread, Tea bread and Butter bread and I'm paying homage to our Sugar bread. 


Ingredients
Serves 8 
450g of bread flour
16g of dry yeast
145ml of lukewarm water
4 tablespoons of Sugar
Half a teaspoon of salt
40g of butter
Half a teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg 


Method;

Add the yeast, sugar and salt to the lukewarm water in a cup.
Stir till well mixed and leave in a warm place for about 10-15minutes or until you see froth forming.
Sieve your flour into a mixing bowl and add the nutmeg and mix well.
Add the cubes of butter and mix till you have a breadcrumb consistency with your electric mixer. (If you don't have a mixer use your cleaned washed hands).
Gently add  the yeast mixture till well combined. 
If you're using your hand, knead the dough on a floured surface till you have a silky smooth and elastic texture. This should take about 15 minutes of using your hand or 7 minutes of using an electric mixer with its hook. 
Using your hands form a ball with the dough and place in a bowl. 
Soak a tea cloth in warm water and cover the dough.
Leave in a warm dry place for about 2 hrs or until it has doubled in size or more. 


Once the dough has risen, knead it again for about 4 minutes. 
Divide the dough into 8 equal parts. Shape them into round balls and place them in an oiled bread tin of 8 inches or use your clay pot. 
Cover with the warm damp cloth and place it in a warm and dry area. 
Leave the dough to rise for another 45 minutes and pre-heat your oven to 200*c. 





Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until  well risen, golden and sounds hollow when tapped. 




Serve this with a nice mug of hot chocolate, sit back and enjoy your hardwork. 





Don't forget to leave a review about the recipe. 




A simple smear of goats butter or your preferred butter will be perfect. 
All photos are by the owner of this blog.