Announcing the Jollof Quiz Giveaway Winners

We want to say a big thank you to all who participated in our Jollof Quiz Giveaway and helped make it a success.

Congratulations to Yvonne Orianwo and Befi Lee, the winners of the 2 litres Jollof Rice in our February 28th 2018 Giveaway.

2 random selections were made from the valid entries sent through. This give-away was based on entries made by completing a Jollof Quiz. A research we coined out to understand the many Jollof preferences. Analysing the results was quiet interesting. We look forward to sharing some of these with you. 🙂

Kind Regards,

Chef Bellefull

Plantain Rings

Plantains

Plantains are very delicious and can be eaten in so many ways- boiled, fried, grilled or baked. They are referred to as cooking bananas/ banana cultivars, and are very popular in Africa, Caribbean Island, South America. They are either green (unripe) or Yellow(ripe), just like the regular bananas(Cavendish bananas)

About a year ago, I decided to get a bit more creative, playing with reshaping my plantains and making them look more interesting and appealing. Plantain Boat, diced plantains, plantain chips, and most recently, the rings are just a few of the ways you can enjoy plantains. Cutting them into rings, just like the very famous onion rings, has been a shape I have found quiet interesting. I see this working quiet well for kids, and also as a garnish.

I have literally used a cutter to core the plantains (do not throw the core away, it should be eaten as well) and fried, then served with one of Nigerians sweetheart……..Nkwobi. Enjoy!!  🙂

Quick & Easy Scotch Egg Recipe

Scotch Egg Recipe

Scotch eggs are delicious egg snacks covered in sausage meat and then deep fired or baked till nice and golden brown. They can be served at parties with some salad or just eaten as a snack. The eggs are either hard boiled or if preferred runny, boiled to suit.

If you are not a fan of pork sausages, you could try beef, chicken or turkey sausage or even a mix of preferred.

For my recipe, you will need the following:

Ingredients

4 Large Eggs ( plus 2 extra for coating)

6-8 Sausage meat

1 Cup Bread crumbs

1 Cup Flour

Spices – Bit of blended onions, garlic, ginger, salt, nutmeg, pepper, rosemary, sage ( or choice of herb & spice).

How To

Step 1 : To boiling salt water, add the eggs (hard boiled egg =7mins- 9mins, soft =about 4mins or less). After which the eggs should be emerged in cold water

Step 2 : Skin the sausages, and spice as desired

Step 3 : Dry the eggs with a paper towel, and dust with flour

Step 4: Divide the sausage mix into 4 balls, get a cling film or plastic bag(cut into a square) put each ball in between the cling film then flatten evenly, open one end of the cling film and seat the egg in the middle. Manipulate the sausage so it covered the egg, take cling film out and cover any bits not covered. Repeat with each egg till covered . Dipping your fingers in water helps to cover the eggs

Step 5: Coat all the encased eggs with flour, then shake off excess. If they are not shaped round enough, now is the time to do so.

Step 6 : Beat 2 eggs, deep encased eggs in

Step 7 : Then cover in bread crumps and prepare to fry or bake. Otherwise, chill it in the fridge till needed.

Tips :Heat oil to about 300 degrees, and fry till golden brown (4mins-5mins), let sit for about 4mins, then serve with preferred sauce or salad. I served mine with hot sauce and mayonnaise.

If Baking, preheat oven to 185 degrees, then bake till golden brown. Enjoy!!

 

Beans and Fried Plantain Boat

Beans and Plantain is a popular Nigerian dish, a dish that brings back memories from my boarding school days. Wednesdays dinner menu was very popular, and a very special day for a good friend of mine. He will literally spend his lunch break at school doing a trade by batter agreement with his friends, in preparation for dinnertime at the dormitory. Some people preferred just beans, so they will trade plantains for beans. Some people had Garri (made from cassava – poured over beans, or soaked in a separate plate with milk and sugar and eaten together with the beans), which is also a lovely combo with beans, and which was also contraband in my boarding school days.

My dearest friend loved his beans and plantain so much, his friends teased him on this special day, wonder if he still does, or if he has moved on to more interesting combinations. Whichever, I think he will be delighted knowing that I have found a different way to serve this very delicious Nigerian dish.

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Half ripe, half unripe ( best of both worlds ) are my favourites, boiling, grilling, frying. For my plantain boats, the best of both worlds, or even unripe work better, as the plantain holds its shape in this form better than the over ripe plantains.

This Plantain boats are quiet versatile, and can take rice , couscous and various other dishes on board…..Delicious!!

Steamed Chickpeas

Steamed Chickpeas

Ludovico Einaudi’s – Una Mattina playing in background, amongst other deep thoughts, invention mode switched on. Thinking, black-eyed beans, chickpeas, legume plants, fabaceae family…hmm!!. Steamed chickpeas, healthy right?

Moi Moi is a very popular beans dish in Nigeria, eaten as a side or main dish. This dish comprises of washed,de-shelled and pureed black eyed beens blended together with red bell peppers, or cayenne pepper, crayfish or prawn powder (optional), onions, scotch bonnet, and stock cubes, and steamed for 30mins – 45mins, or till cooked. Moi Moi is also known to come with little surprises like sliced boiled eggs, corned beef, or fish, all optional.

From my research, chickpeas and black-eyed beans (goat pea) both belong to the legume family, little wonder they smell, feel and almost taste alike. I’ve never really worked with chickpeas, I am really amazed at how this dish tastes in this form. My steamed chickpeas has been inspired by the very popular Nigerian moi moi dish. I wondered if it would hold its shape when steamed in a mould, and it did. I am pleasantly surprised, and happy with the outcome. I raise my glass to …….( I want to say Moi moi redefined), but, I think I’ll stick to steamed chickpeas I suppose.

The Many Faces of Egg White-The Egg White Cubes

Egg white cubes

How would you like your eggs, Miss, scrambled, sunny side up, omelette, boiled or poached? These are the stereotypical questions I’m asked every time I go out for breakfast or brunch.

Eggs are produced by the female species of various animals, the fish, reptiles, mammals, and so on. For the sake of this article, I will be referring to poultry eggs, from chickens to be precise. Eggs are considered a worldwide culinary necessity, as they are used in the preparation of various dishes in the starters, main course, and the desserts category. They are a major source of protein, which are classed as one of the three macronutrients along with carbohydrates and fats. An egg consists of the yolk and the egg white.

As tasty and high in protein as eggs may be, for some, the yolk which has got high cholesterol content poses a huge health concern. The rising need to watch one’s cholesterol levels, starts with limiting the consumptions of foods containing egg yolk. The egg white is said to contain less fats and carbohydrates than the yolk, therefore is a better option for people who are health conscious. There are many recipes that call for either the yolk or the egg white, separately. The question arises, “How can we enjoy meals containing eggs after separating the white from the yolk?”

Well, I have experimented with some ideas, and discovered a new and versatile way to enjoy the egg whites, removing any bother about the fat or carbohydrate content. The egg white cubes contains 100% egg white, of which is said to contain about 90% water and just over 50% of protein, and no cholestorol. The texture of the egg cubes allows it to work perfectly with liquid and solid textured dishes as well as garnishes for foods.

Egg white cubes and moi-moi

Egg white cubes with moi-moi (steamed black eyed beans) & pan seared salmon.

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Egg white cubes in some lentil soup

This new way of enjoying eggs, works well for people on a low cholesterol diet, or people just looking to enjoy eggs in a different way. Egg white is tasteless, so this allows the addition of herbs and spices to enhance the taste prior to steaming.

Spicy Scent Leaf Chicken Wings

Change is constant. Creativity, innovation aligned with applied knowledge bring about change. What you now call your “favourite meal” had it’s genesis in the mind of the recipe creator, first as an idea, then it was brought to life, put on a plate, and named.

Scent leaves are herbs, popularly known in Nigeria as “Nchawu”, by the Igbo tribe, and “Efirin”, by the Yoruba tribe. It is generally used to prepare pepper soup dishes of varying kinds, and a host of other dishes which require herbs and spices in their preparation. They have a distinctive smell and taste that’s evocative to Basil leaf.

On a medicinal front, it has gained popularity for its healing and antibacterial attributes. It is used traditionally to help cure illnesses like malaria, bronchial ailments, diabetes and so on. My grandma made it a point to add this herb in her native dishes served with rice, beans and yams. She loved how multifunctional this herb was, and it was her number one go-to detox formula for any medical complaints my siblings and I had (hilarious tales for another day).

In creating this dish, I have infused some scent leaves, together with some secret spices (you ask, and I’ll tell), marinating the chicken wings, putting them in the oven grill, and  finally lacing with some bell pepper sauce. If you have a dual love for Nigerian pepper soup and  chicken wings, then this dish is the one. It fuses them together in the most amazing way. I have tried this with chicken, beef and fish, it always comes out beautiful.

The red onions, garlic, ginger, curry, stock cubes together with “my secret ingredients” and the added scent leaves, intertwine majestically, like a well choreographed dance move, executed to perfection. Words fall short in describing this unique blend and how it tastes, nor can they truly express the sheer ecstasy felt in its invention as a dish.

Let’s all welcome the newest addition to my Nigerian Starter list – Spicy Scent Leaf Chicken Wings

Diary of a Foodie

Ever been in a situation where you headed off to the grocery store, to buy Spinach / Ugwu (Greens )- generally healthy-type food, and something else screams your name ever so loudly. You’re inside the store, and all you seem to hear are all these nice looking desserts calling out to you, literally trying to have a conversation with you.

Forget about using your “willpower” here, this is all about a one-on-one conversation between you and the cakes, the creamy desserts, the chocolates….(um yum yum). If the cheesecakes aren’t saying “Hi!”, then it’s the Eaton’s mess looking you straight in the eye asking you “Whats up?” , or the lemon tart enquiring  “Where have you been?”. This always tries to happen whenever you’re just trying to mind your own healthy eating business. Life, huh!

But guess what? If and when you you do give in, never mind, and don’t beat yourself up too much for being unable to resist, especially during the festive period. Without making excuses for you, you are quite simply human, and there are days when you crave something really sweet, and you naturally give in. I personally, chalk it up as a cheat day – a day to be food naughty and have what I normally wouldn’t  eat on a daily. Don’t make this cravings a habit though, rather select a certain day of the week, when it’ll be fine to ‘cheat’ (erm……with food, I mean). I suppose it’s similar to falling and getting back on your feet, it only becomes an issue  when you fall and choose to comfortably lay on the same spot.

I often sit and wonder what things would have been like in reverse. If vegetables were very fattening and unhealthy , and desserts (cakes, ice cream, sweets etc) were the healthy food options. Hmmm! wishful thinking, eh? I know exactly what I would be eating this minute( Hummingbird – Red Velvet Cake….Lawd!!)

Right, I’m off to burn these desserts off.

Bellefull’s Bole & Fish Balls

There are many ways to paradise. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or feel like eating cardboard paper. Eating healthy, and enjoying it, should be symbiotic.

In Nigeria, we have many food options, a lot of creative variations, which I am trying to recreate, to turn healthy eating into an awesome experience

Growing up, eating dishes made from unripe/green plantains, would not have been an enjoyable meal choice for me, as I thought it was boring and traditional, like I thought elderly people were…..wrong thinking

I have recreated the Nigerian Bole and Fish recipe, retaining all its original goodness, but heightening its flavours and nutritional health benefits. This dish can be served as a healthy starter or main course, because it contains : Unripe plantains , Fish ( Mackerel and Tuna) , Kale ( or Spinach or Ugwu), Bell pepper sauce, Semolina, Coconut oil. The fusion of all of these ingredients, together with additional spices, will arouse your taste senses, leaving a lasting unforgettable taste in your mouth. Bon Appetit!