Friday, 26 May 2017

Zoe's Ghana Kitchen Review and Recipe

West African food is on the up in the UK. Once a relatively unknown cuisine, African food is becoming more visible in our cities, at food markets and on the TV competition programmes. With food bloggers and chefs showcasing a range of African recipes, West African food is becoming more popular than ever. Zoe Adjonyoh of Zoe's Ghana Kitchen pop up restaurants has been showcasing modern Ghanaian recipes for a number of years, her first cookbook is a celebration of the food of her heritage. Zoe's Ghana Kitchen pop up restaurants have been running for a number of years now, she has her own permanent restaurant at Pop Brixton. Most people have heard of Jollof Rice as a popular West African meal, but what about the other dishes that is eaten in this region. Step forward this cookery book which showcases around 100 recipes diverse, vibrant and exotic recipes. There are a range of diverse recipes from hearty stews, light dishes, vegetarian and a few recipes which includes more exotic ingredients, there is something for every season and every occasion. Zoe's Ghana Kitchen rrp is £25, but is at the time of writing on sale on Amazon for £11.49 which is an absolute bargain. 



I found this cookery book to be quirky and informative, Zoe's mixed heritage, her Ghanaian and Irish story really came through. This cookery book informs the reader of the spices and herbs that are key features in this cookery book. Zoe states "This book is for anyone with an interest in food and an inquisitive palate, and there should be something for everyone". There really is something for everyone.

The chapters in this book is divided into the following:

  • Yam 5 Ways & Plantain 5 Ways - recipes to try include: Golden Mashed Yam,  Yam and Plantain Peanut Curry and Tatale (Plantain Pancakes). 
  • Salads -  stand out recipes include: Avocado, Papaya and Ginger Salad,  Mango and Pineapple Salad, Plantain Salad and Scotch Bonnet Coleslaw.
  • Fish and Seafood - recipes to try include Pan-roasted Cod seasoned with Grains of Paradise, Whole Grilled Tilapia, Fried Barracuda and Fante Fried Fish with Shaved Papaya. 
  • Veggie - Stand out recipes to try include: Spinach and Agushi Curry, Ghana Dhal and Red Red Stew.
  • Meat -  recipes to try include: Lamb Cutlets with Peanut Sauce, Pork Ribs in Sticky Plantain Sauce, Jollof Fried Chicken, Jollof and Palm Soup.
  • Sides -A wonderful selection of side dishes including Baked Cassava Fries and Coconut Rice.
  • Desserts- Sand out recipes include Cubeb Spiced Shortbread, Honey & Plantain Ginger Cake and Coconut & Cassava Chips. 
  • Drinks & Snacks  - standout recipes include Black-Eyed Bean Fritters, Spiced Cassava Patties  and Mango-Lime Smoothie
  • Dips, Sauces & Salsas - Recipes to try include: Shito Mayo and Pineapple and Ginger Chutney. 
So far I've made the Kyenam (Fante Fried Fish), but I made it without the papaya and did not substitute this for mango. Despite the lack of papaya, I found the fish to be light, flavoursome and refreshing. There was a gentle heat kick to the dish and was incredibly easy to make. The Kyenam could be served with a vibrant salad or rice.



Recipe for Kyenam (Fante Fried Fish with Shaved Papaya)
4 whole fresh red snapper, small grouper or trout, scaled, gutted and washed.
Juice of 2 lemons
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
50-75ml rapeseed oil or vegetable oil

Marinade 
5cm (2-inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic)
1 teaspoon ground hot pepper or substitute cayenne pepper
1 red onion, very finely diced
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil or vegetable oil (optional)

To Garnish
1 red onion, sliced
lemon wedges
1 green or medium ripe papaya, shaved.

Method
Trim the tail of each fish so that they fit neatly into a medium sized frying pan. Using a sharp cook's knife, carefully cut 2 evenly spaced diagonal slashes into either side of the fish. Place the prepared fish in a dish.
Using a mortar and pestle, or traditional Ghanian asanka pot if you have one, grind all the marinade ingredients together to a paste. Alternatively use a blender, adding oil if necessary to achieve past consistency.
Use half the marinade to rub into the slashes and inside the cavity of each fish, and the other half to coat the fish. Squeeze over the lemon juice and sprinkle sea salt liberally all over, then season with black pepper. Cover the dish with cling film and leave the fish to marinate in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours, preferably overnight.
Heat 50ml oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the fish, in batches and adding the extra oil if necessary, and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side, trying not to move the fish around too much and only turning once, until you've got nice crispy skins.
Remove the fish from the pan and drain on kitchen paper before serving hot with sliced ken key and shito, garnished with the sliced red onion, lemon wedges and shaving of papaya. 

Disclaimer: Thank you to the publishers for my review copy. 
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Monday, 5 December 2016

Monthly Eatings

November proved to be a month of adventure, trying old favourites and trying new cuisines. From carvery to Nigerian and some peri peri in-between, here is what I ate in November.

Shabab - a lovely Indian restaurant, one which I have visited on numerous occasions. On this visit, I ordered a delicious sagwalla, the first time truing this and was scrumptious. 






Toby Carvery - Home of the British institution that is a carver. I piled my plate high and dived in.




Silverspoon - My first time trying Nigerian food in a restaurant setting. I went very traditional with an egusi. Delicious, but very peppery.



Nandos - This month, I visited a lot of chain restaurants including this one which I have previously snubbed. The chicken platter went down well.

Harvester - another family favourite, pub grub at it's best.




xxx
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Sunday, 30 October 2016

Monthly Eatings

A bumper double month of my September and October restaurants. I forgot to do a round up of my September's restaurants as I was on holiday, but I had a fabulous time eating around Wolverhampton, Birmingham and Beyond.

First up in September was the home of the carvery, Toby Carvery



Turtle Bay - The Caribbean food chain offering traditional and invented recipes.






Banks Bistro - offering a seasonal British menu.






Patisserie Valerie



Arabica Bar & Kitchen







Shamrock restaurant




Miller and Carter







xxx



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Sunday, 14 June 2015

New Vlog Post How To Fry Plantain

As many of my loyal followers know, I LOVE fried plantain. It's so easy, quick, moreish and delicious and the perfect accompaniment to many of the meals that I make. Instead of banging on how fabulous this ingredient is, I thought I would share via a vlog (my first vlog post :-) post how to fry this wonderful side dish featured throughout Caribbean, South American and African cuisine. I hope you enjoy  :-) 



I'm sharing my little morsels of plantains with the Credit Crunch Munch blogging challenge, guest hosted by Jen's Food  and the brain child of the wonderful Helen from Fuss Free Flavours and Camilla at Fab Food For All . As you can purchase 3 plantains for a pound, this dish certainly qualifies :-) x




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Sunday, 27 April 2014

Fried fish, truffle mustard infused Jollof rice, with fried plantains

As many of my loyal blog/Facebook/Twitter followers, I love Caribbean food, it's the food I grew up on as a child and continue to regularly eat this cuisine as an adult. As I grew into my teen years I realised that a large amount of the Caribbean dishes that I eat are actually of an African origin. This is likely due to the slaves who were transported from Africa to the Caribbean who brought along dishes from their native country. Take fried fish and fried plantains for example, these are two dishes which are regularly eaten in West Africa and throughout the Caribbean. Jollof rice, on the other hand, to my knowledge is a West African dish which I discovered a few years back and will be sharing my take on this classic dish later on in my blog post.
Fish is eaten traditionally on Easter and my fried fish with truffle mustard infused jollof rice & fried plantains is what I ate on Good Friday. The fish, lightly seasoned with all-purpose seasoning, fried and a tomato, pepper, onion mixture added to the fish, otherwise known as "cook up fish"is one of my favourite ways of eating fish. The jollof rice, was delicious, a different way of eating basmati rice and the addition of Maile truffle mustard allowed me to ditch the traditional use of chilli in this dish and replace with a creamy and luxurious taste of this mustard. The fried plantains, my ultimate Jamaican snack needs no introduction, the addictive nature of these fried treats says it all.

Here is how my fried fish, truffle mustard infused jollof rice and fried plantains turned out:
Fried fish, jollof rice, plantains.


Fish frying.

Mustard added to the jollof rice mixture.


Sauce for jollof rice.



Jollof rice cooking.


Fried plantains.

Recipe for fried fish Serves 4
8 thick slices of hake fish
1.5 tbsp all purpose seasoning
oil for frying.

Recipe for truffle mustard infused jollof rice serves 4
 1 cup of rice
1 3/4 of water
1 tbsp truffle mustard
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp all purpose seasoning
1 red pepper
1tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 onions
2 tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt

1 red pepper
green pepper
1 scotch bonnet pepper (seeds removed)
3 tomatoes


For fried plantain - serves 4
2 plantains
oil for frying

Method for the fried hake
Wash the fish and pat dry with kitchen towel. Sprinkle over a large pinch of all purpose seasoning on each hake piece, leave this to marinade for a minimum of 10 minutes.  Heat a large amount of oil (enough to shallow fry) and ensure the pan is red hot. Add 4 pieces of fish at a time over a high heat for around 7 minutes on each side, or until each side is lightly browned. Repeat with the remaining 4 fishes. Whilst the fish are frying, slice the tomatoes into quarters, slice the peppers into strips and the scotch bonnet pepper, ensuring the seeds are removed. When the fish is cooked scrape any remaining of the fish that has stuck to the pan and add around 2tbsp oil. Add the tomatoes and the frying pan for around 10 minutes (to ensure the peppers are cooked properly) and add the fish to the pan to cook with the tomato pepper mixture for around 5 minutes.

For the Jollof rice.
Slice the red pepper, onions and  tomatoes, scotch bonnet pepper and place into a bowl. Add a good dollop of Maille truffle mustard, all purpose seasoning to the mixture and stir. Place the mixture in a food processor and blend until all the mixture is liquidised. Meanwhile, wash the rice and place the rice in a pan, add the water, salt and the tomato mixture. Cook the jollof rice for 20 minutes.

For the fried plantains
Whilst the rice is  cooking, get on with the plantains. Slice the plantains  and heat enough oil in the frying pan to shallow fry.

Disclaimer: I was sent two Maile Products to review including the truffle mustard.

xxx



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