Tastes of Ghana – Gari Foto

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (June 2017) and taken from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh.

Gari – fermented, dried and ground cassava – has no real flavour of its own apart from the sourness of fermentation. But it can take on a great deal of flavour and bulk out meagre pickings in the fridge.

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Serves : 6

Ingredients:
120ml (4 fl oz) sustainable palm oil or groundnut oil
2 onions, finely diced
1cm (1/2 – inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic), or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 fresh red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon ground hot pepper or cayenne pepper
3 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 scant tablespoon tomato puree
250g (9oz) Gari (fermented, dried and ground cassava)
6 free-range eggs
Chopped coriander, to garnish (optional)

Step One : Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onions and saute over a medium heat for about 3 minutes until translucent.

Step Two : Add the ginger, garlic and chillies, and stir well to evenly coat the onions before adding the chopped tomatoes and tomato puree. Leave the stew to cook over the medium heat for about 25 minutes.

Step Three : As soon as you’ve added the tomatoes, start preparing the gari, which is a bit like making couscous. Place it in a bowl and gradually spinkle with 120ml (4 fl oz) lightly salted warm water to evenly moisten it, mixing it through with a fork as you go. Be careful to add the water a little at a time so that you don’t overdo it, as the mixture should just be damp, not drenched!

Step Four : Cover the bowl with a plate or clean cloth and set aside for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the eggs. At this point, choose how you want to cook your eggs. If it’s the weekend and fancy a treat, you could make poached eggs, but if you feel like something more everyday, just boil or scramble them. It’s up to you.

Step Five : Before adding your choice of cooked eggs to the dish, fold the moistened gari into the stew, which should be cooked by now, and stir through gently but thoroughly – you should get a nice pink colour to the mixture. If you’ve decided to make scrambled eggs, you can also fold them into the gari now to create a sort of gari omelette, or serve them on the side.

Step Six : Remove the pan from the heat and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Serve immediately, with the seasoned poached, boiled or scrambled eggs on top, garnished with some chopped coriander.

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Tastes of Ghana – Oto / Oetorh

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (June 2017) and taken from Zoe’s Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh.

Oto is a classic Ghanaian celebratory dish made with hard-boiled eggs, mashed yam and palm oil.  Yam has a very high starch content and will help to keep you fuelled all day long, if you eat a big enough portion.

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Serves : 4-6

Ingredients:
300g (10 1/2 oz) puna yam
4-6 hard-boiled free-range eggs, shelled and quartered
120ml sustainable palm oil or carotene oil
2 red onions, 1 finely diced and 1 sliced and fried to serve as a garnish or side
1-2 tblsp dried ground prawn / shrimp powder (optional)
A little butter, if required
Chopped spring onion or coriander, to garnish
Baked or Crispy Fried Kale, to serve

Step One : Have a bowl or pan of water ready, as you’ll need to put each peeled yam piece straight into water to prevent them oxidising and turning brown. Peel the yam and cut into 2.5 – 5cm (1-2inch) cubes, then rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove the starch.

Step Two : Add the yam to a large pan of lightly salted boiling water and cook for 12-15 minutes, until fork tender. (Hard-boil your eggs in the pan at the same time to save on the washing up!) Drain and mash the yams; set the eggs aside.

Step Three : Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan, add the diced onion and saute over a medium heat for a few minutes until soft. Add the prawn / shrimp powder (if using) and stir to combine.

Step Four : Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the oil and onions to the mashed yam, mixing thoroughly, adding a little butter, if needed.

Step Five : Continue adding the oil and onions until it is a dense mash texture, but not a puree. You may not need to use all the oil, so taste and add extra oil and sea salt, if required.

Step Six : Serve in bowls with the hard-boiled egg and the fried, sliced red onion on top, with a green garnish, such as spring onion or coriander, or to really bring out the rich colour, serve with a portion of Crispy Fried Kale.

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Carrot and Poppy Seed Waffles

Recipe taken from The Good Stuff: Delicious recipes and tips for happier and healthier children by Lucinda Miller published in Psychologies Magazine February 2019.

Kids will love this healthy and tasty alternative to bland shop-bought waffles. Fussy eaters won’t spot the carrot and the poppy seeds boost calcium, iron and zinc levels.

carrot and poppy seed waffles

Ingredients:
200g porridge oats
1 tblsp Coconut sugar or light muscovado sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tblsp black or white poppy seeds
Pinch of fine sea salt
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
200ml whole milk
120ml plain Greek yogurt
3 free-range eggs
Coconut or olive oil, for greasing the waffle maker

Makes : 5-6 waffles

Step One : Preheat the oven to 180oC (160oC fan), gas mark 4 and lightly grease the waffle maker with a little coconut or olive oil, using a piece of kitchen paper.

Step Two : Measure the oats into a food processor and blitz for about 1 minute, or until they reach a flour-like consistency.

Step Three : Transfer the oats to a large bowl and stir in the coconut, or muscovado sugar, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt, before adding the grated carrot, along with the milk and yogurt.

Step Four : Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition until all the ingredients are combined.

Step Five : Turn your waffle maker to the highest setting and pour a ladleful of the mixture into the lower plate. Be careful not to overfill it or the mixture will pour out of the sides. Close the lid and let the waffle cook until it is golden brown on both sides – about 2 minutes.

Step Six : Remove from the waffle maker and place on a baking tray. At this stage, the waffle will be quite soft, so pop it into the oven for 5 minutes to crisp up. Repeat until you have 5-6 waffles.

Banana Praline Pavlova

Courtesy of Prima Magazine

A spectacular but simple-to-prepare dessert that is sure to impress your guests.

Banana Praline Pavlova.jpgIngredients

Pavlova:
3oz (75g)soft light brown sugar
3oz (75g) caster sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 tsp (2.5ml) ground cinnamon

Topping:
1pt (568ml) double cream
1 lemon
3 bananas
6oz (175g) caster sugar
1oz (25g) flaked almonds

Step One : Draw a 9in (23cm) circle on a piece of baking parchment and place upside down on a baking sheet. Preheat the oven to Mark 1/2 (250oF / 130oC).

Step Two : Sieve brown sugar to remove any lumps and mix with caster sugar. Place egg whites in a clean, dry bowl and whisk until stiff but not dry. Begin adding half the sugar 1oz (25g) at a time, whisking well between each addition. Fold in remainder with the cinnamon using a large metal spoon. Spoon into the circle leaving the surface quite rough. Bake for 1 1/2 – 2 hours or until crisp and dry. Cool.

Step Three : Whisk cream with grated lemon rind and 1 tblsp (15ml) juice until it forms soft peaks. Place in fridge until needed. Roughly chop bananas and place in the remaining lemon juice.

Step Four : Pile cream on the meringue. Drain bananas and place on cream. Refrigerate for up to 20 minutes while preparing the praline.

Step Five : Place sugar and almonds in a heavy-based saucepan. Heat very gently until sugar melts and turns a golden caramel. Do not stir but shake the pan as sugar melts. Spoon praline over bananas. Refrigerate for up to 20 minutes before serving.

Tip: You can prepare the praline in advance, then pour it on to an oiled baking sheet and cool. When ready to serve, break into chunks and scatter over meringue.

Recipes for other Meringue ideas can be found here …

British Spanish Omelette

A recipe by Gary Rhodes.

Spanish omelettes are just potatoes and onions blanched in oil, mixed with egg and cooked like a flat omelette – the texture is wonderful. This recipe is similar but gives you almost unlimited options.

Gary used a simple combination of cooked new potatoes (you could also use cold roast ones), onion, eggs and Cheddar. But this basic recipe can become a potato pizza using peppers, mushrooms, olives or whatever you like. The most important thing is to use a good omelette or frying pan.

Serves: 1 – 4

Ingredients:
5 or 6 new potatoes, cooked
1 onion, butter for frying
3 large sized eggs
1 level tsp freshly chopped parsley, optional
Salt and pepper
2-3oz (50-75g) cheddar cheese, grated

Step One : Cut the potatoes into ¼ in (5mm) thick slices. Slice the onion.  Heat 6 in (15cm) omelette or frying pan, add a small knob of butter and allow it to melt.  Add the sliced onion and sauté for a few mins until golden brown.

Step Two : Beat the eggs together, adding the freshly chopped parsley, if using.  Add the onions to the egg mixture and stir.  Season with salt and pepper.

Step Three : Reheat the omelette or frying pan, adding another small knob of butter and allowing it to melt.  Lay the sliced potatoes in the frying pan, so that they cover the base. Gently fry the potatoes on one side only, until they are a nice golden brown.

Step Four : Pour the onion and egg mixture on top of the potatoes and continue to cook on a medium heat.  You will notice the egg beginning to set. After a few minutes, remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the grated Cheddar cheese evenly over the omelette. Place the pan under a preheated grill until the cheese has melted and turned golden brown, which should take only about 1 or 2 mins.

Variation : Before grilling the omelette, thinly sliced tomatoes can be placed over the cheese.  Arrange tomatoes so that they overlap and completely cover the top.  The omelette can then be grilled until the tomatoes are cooked.

Step Five : Transfer the omelette to a serving plate and dish up immediately. This omelette can be for 1 or 4 people, depending on everyone’s appetite.

Some other Autumn / Winter recipes can be found in Gary’s book here

Fresh Tuna Nicoise

 

Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (Spring 2018 edition).  Recipe taken from the Feasting book.  See link below.

This more sophisticated version of your average tuna salad is a great dish for entertaining.  The rest of the salad can be assembled a few hours ahead, but leave the tuna and poached eggs until last to make it restaurant quality.

Serves:  8-10

Ingredients:

250g green beans, trimmed
300g kipfler (finger) potatoes
60ml olive oil, plus extra for the tuna
80ml vinegar
4 eggs
600g yellowfin tuna fillets
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
12 baby cos lettuce leaves
200g vine-ripened cherry tomatoes, halved
Squeeze of lemon
Dill sprigs, to garnish
Edible flowers, to garnish (optional)

Black Olive Tapenade Dressing

80g black Kalamata olives, pitted and diced
1 tbsp capers in brine, drained and diced
20g flat-leaf parsley, finely shredded
1/4 red chilli, seeded and finely diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil

Tuna Mayonnaise

500g mayonnaise
200g tinned tuna, drained
1 tbsp capers in brine, drained
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 anchovy fillets

Tuna Spice Mix

1 tsp fennel seeds, freshly ground
1 tsp coriander seeds, freshly ground

Step One: Fill a saucepan with 2 litres of water and bring to the boil.  Blanch the beans for 90 seconds, then drain and refresh in cold water.  Drain again, then transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.  Put the potatoes in a saucepan and cover with cold water.  Add a pinch of salt, then bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, until cooked.  Drain the potatoes, then peel and cut into slices while warm.

Step Two: Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat.  Fry the potatoes in batches, adding more oil as needed, until brown and crispy on both sides.  Drain on paper towels.

Step Three: Cut the tuna fillet into three pieces and rub with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper.  Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat and sear the tuna for about 20 seconds on each side.  Set aside to cool.

Step Four: Make the tapenade dressing by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl.  For the tuna mayo, blend the ingredients in a food processor until smooth.

Step Five: Brush the tuna pieces with the mustard and roll in a bowl with the combined spice mix.  Slice into 1.5cm pieces.  Bring a saucepan of water to the boil, then add the vinegar.  Reduce the heat to simmer, give the water a swirl and crack in the eggs one at a time.  Cook for 3 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon.  Rest on paper towels.

Step Six:  To assemble, arrange some cos leaves on a plate and top with one third of the sliced tuna, beans, potatoes, tomatoes and tapenade.  Repeat with two more layers, finishing with spoonfuls of tapenade, lemon juice and the dill sprigs.  Top with eggs and edible flowers if using.  Serve with the tuna mayonnaise.

 

 

 

Poached eggs, spinach and smoked salmon

A delicious breakfast for Christmas Day morning.

Poached egg breakfastIngredients:

300ml (9 ½ fl oz) crème fraiche
2 tsp cornflour
Yolks of three eggs
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Juice ½ lemon
50g (1 ¾ oz) butter, diced
4 eggs
2 English muffins, halved
200g (6 ½ oz) spinach, steamed
4 slices smoked salmon

Serves:  2-4     Prep time:  20 mins     Cook time:  5 mins

Cals per serving:  644     Fat:  54g

Step One:  To make the sauce, whisk the crème fraiche, cornflour, egg yolks, white wine vinegar and lemon juice over a medium heat until simmering.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.  Season to taste.  Add extra lemon juice, if needed.  Keep warm, whisking occasionally.

Step Two:  Poach the eggs for 3 mins in simmering water.  Toast and butter the muffins.  Divide the steamed spinach between the muffins.   Top with smoked salmon and an egg.  Season and pour over the sauce.

Tip: The spinach can be cooked ahead of time and then reheated in a microwave, if desired.  The eggs can also be poached ahead of time and set aside for 30 mins – reheat them in simmering water just before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

 

Meringue Yule log

The log is made from a spongy Pavlova-like meringue, rather than the usual sponge.  This allows you to make the log the day before, if desired.  Use leaf-shape or star cutters for the decoration.  You can also add soft fruit like raspberries (thawed, if frozen) or chopped marrons glacés to the filling.

White chocolate Yule logIngredients:

4 large free-range egg whites
120g (4oz) caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 tsp white vinegar
½ tsp vanilla extract
600ml (20 fl oz) double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
4 tbsp lemon curd
200g (6 ½ oz) white chocolate, chopped

Serves:  8     Prep time:  30 mins, plus time to cool and decorate     Cook time:  30 mins
Cals per serving:  626     Fat:  48.5g

Step One:  Heat the oven to 150oC (gas mark 2).  Line a Swiss roll tin with non-stick baking paper.  Whisk the egg whites in a mixer until they form stiff peaks, then gradually add the caster sugar, beating until the mixture is stiff and glossy.  Beat in the cornflour, white vinegar and vanilla extract.  Transfer the meringue to the tin, spreading it evenly with a flat-bladed knife.

Step Two:  Bake for about 30 minutes, it should feel dry and springy when ready.

Step Three:  Remove from the oven and set aside for 1 minute only before turning out onto a sheet of baking or greaseproof paper lightly sprinkled with icing sugar.  Allow to cool.

Step Four:  Whip the cream and icing sugar until it forms soft peaks.  Spread the lemon curd thinly over the meringue and then spread with about half of the cream.  Use the greaseproof paper to roll the meringue up (from the short edge) into a log.  Place the log seam side down on a platter.  Spread the remaining cream over the outside of the log and refrigerate until ready to decorate.

Step Five:  Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of very hot water (the bowl shouldn’t touch the water), stirring occasionally until smooth.

Step Six:  Spread the chocolate over a sheet of baking paper to a thickness of about 3mm (1/8 in).  Place on a tray and refrigerate until set.  Use a leaf or star cutter to cut shapes from the set white chocolate (you may have to return it to the fridge occasionally) and decorate the top of the log.  Dust lightly with icing sugar before serving.

Tip:  If making the meringue a day before, cover with cling film overnight.

Recipe courtesy of Easy Living Magazine

Bacon and Potato Omelette

Serves : 2   :    Cals per portion: 430

  • In a medium sized frying pan, dry fry four rashers of streaky bacon for 2-3 mins until just cooked. Remove with a slotted spoon and cut each rasher in half, then set aside.
  • Beat five eggs with 45ml (3 tblsp) milk and season. Add a large knob of butter to the pan and when it’s foaming pour in the eggs. Cook for 2-3 mins until just beginning to set.
  • Cut two plum tomatoes into wedges and add to the pan with the bacon strips and 225g (8oz) cooked and sliced new potatoes. Place the pan under a preheated grill for a further 3-4 mins until just set and golden brown.
  • Serve straight from the pan sprinkled with ground black pepper and fresh chopped chives, if liked.