Monday, 30 September 2013

Abacha


Abacha is a very common dish in the Eastern part of Nigeria. It can be served as a meal or a snack and it is usually served with fried fish. There are different ways to make this dish. The traditional way I learned to make it is inside a mortar. Also, due to health reasons, I usually cut out potash from the recipe. You can make this dish without the potash and still get the same nice tasting abacha. However, I will add the potash to the recipe this time for blogging purposes.

Ingredients:
Abacha
2 spoons potash (akaun)
Palm Oil
2 handfuls Crayfish
Pomo/Canda (chopped into small pieces - optional)
Dry Pepper
Ugba/Ukpaka (oil bean seeds)
Knorr
Salt
Onions
Garden eggs
Garden egg leaves
Fried Fish

Directions: Fry the dry pepper (without oil) in a pan till it blackens a little then grind with a dry mill. Do the same for the crayfish and set them aside. This frying releases their flavors but is optional if you don't have a dry mill. Just buy the crayfish and dry pepper already ground.

Soak the abacha in water for like 3minutes. Drain into a strainer and set aside.

Grind the potash and add a cup of water to it. Stir well and strain into the pot you'll be making the abacha in. Put the pot on the stove and heat. Add the palm oil to the pot and stir well for like 5minutes then turn off the heat.

Add the abacha, ugba, pomo, crayfish and knorr. Add the pepper one spoon at a time and taste so that you don't put too much. Mix everything together and taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary.

Dish into a plate and garnish with onion slices, chopped garden eggs and cut garden egg leaves. Finish off with fried fish and ENJOY!!!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Chef of the Week


Woohoo it is Sunday again which means we get to unveil the next Chef Of The Week. Without further ado, ladies and gentlemen...meet the next chef of the week:

Full name: Hadassah Agbaps
Date of birth: April 15th
Occupation: Microbiologist
Hobbies: Writing/Blogging, making natural hair care products, cooking something new...
Favorite food: Abacha!
Likes: Animal print, fushia and teal colored anything.... and of course hair!
Dislikes: Arrogance
Word of advice for chichi's cuisine: Keep on growing, boo! Don't stop!

Hadassah is a natural hair consultant and the famous CEO of NappilyNigerianGirl. She also handles relaxed hair so holla at her if you have any questions too.
Chichi's Cuisine is thankful to Hadassah for taking time out of her busy life to make these yummy looking corn dogs! Rock on guurrrl!!!
Get the original recipe here


P.S: If you want to be featured on the blog, please send your picture and a picture of the food you prepared to chichiscuisine@gmail.com


805946163016588

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Ofada Stew



Ingredients:
Assorted Meat (goat meat, pomo, tripe etc cut into small pieces)
4 Green Bell Peppers
2 Red Peppers (or tatase)
8 Habanero Peppers (Or more if you like it hot)
1 Onion Bulb
1 Locust Bean (Dawadawa/Iru/Okpei/Ogili)
1 Handful of crayfish
1 Knorr
2 Cups of palm oil




Directions:
Season the assorted meat and cook as if you’re cooking soup (don’t put curry or any fancy seasoning. Just knorr, salt and onions would do). Strain the meat from the stock and set aside.


Remove the green and red pepper seeds and wash. Break into small pieces and put in a blender. Add the habaneros and onion to the blender too. Blend well.

Add the blended peppers to a pot and cook till all its water has dried.


You will notice the quantity of pepper in the pot has shrunk (look at the sides of the pot).


Add the palm oil to a pot and blanch. It will definitely get very smoky in the kitchen so open all the windows and get a fan running…or better still, do it outside in open air.  Mine took me about 10 minutes to bleach.


If you've blanched the oil well, you should be able to see the bottom of the pot through the oil.

Use a dry mill to grind the locust bean and crayfish.

Add the bleached oil to the dried pepper and fry till it’s very dry (you’ll know it’s dry when oil starts to settle on top). Add the ground crayfish and locust beans and fry some more. Season with knorr.

Add the cooked meat and allow simmer for like 5-10 minutes.



Serve over ofada rice or any other rice. I had a hard time finding the ofada rice so I just used the rice I had at home. Also, this dish is served on a leaf….that, I didn’t have either but I served it on my leaf plate so I guess that counts. *wink* ;)

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Anniversary Game: Name that...

Here's a little game I have for everyone. The first three people to get the most correct answers will win a prize from ChiChi's Cuisine.

Please kindly comment with a real name so that I'll know who is who. An "anonymous" comment won't get rewarded 'cos I won't know who it is.

Only ONE entry permitted per person please.
Any answer with two options will be disqualified.

Now let's see who knows their groceries well.

The winners are:
Hadassah - 1st place (CEO NappilyNigerianGirl)
Nwando - 2nd place
KachU - 3rd place
Other participants will get consolation prizes.

)
Nectarine

Brussel sprouts

Pomegranate

Quail

Eggplant

Soursop

Zucchini

Dragon Fruit

Watercress

Vanilla beans


Happy One Month, ChiChi's Cuisine!

The question I always ask myself is: Why didn't I start this blog earlier?

Cooking has always been a passion for me. I started cooking at a very early age. I remember the first pot of soup I made. I wanted to surprise my mom then because I'd watched her cook soup several times. That very day, she'd gone to market and bought the soup ingredients...as usual, she'd ask me to cook the meat, wash the veggies and cut etc so that all she'll have to do when she returns is cook the soup. So after prepping the things for her, I thought to myself..."I'll surprise her and make the soup." That was the very 1st pot of egusi soup I made. Since then, I have been the chef at home.

Flash forward to several (cooking) years later. I gained admission to Michigan State University (MSU) to study Medical Technology. At MSU I got a job as a research assistant with the History Department. I earned $15/hr on the job and that was a lot for a student but I felt I needed to do something I was passionate about. Luckily for me, I had extra time on my hands so I decided to get another job. I got a job with the University Culinary Services to work at The Gallery in Snyder-Phillips Hall. To my disappointment, I wasn't allowed to even prepare food let alone cook it. You know America and their plenty plenty protocols. I needed to be licensed to do that. It was so bad that not everyone could even load the knives in the dishwasher. Only the cooks could do that. My job was just to serve the food which was really boring to me. However, it did not stop me from learning a thing or two in the kitchen. I made friends with some of the cooks and I always asked questions. I kept my eyes open and stole a few easy recipes. I stored those recipes in my brain waiting for when I'll put them to the test.

Several years later, I returned to Nigeria for National Youth Service Corp (NYSC). The first thing I noticed was the rave about good food. My brother went on and on about the famous shawarma. "ChiChi you have to try this mehn" and you'll be glad you did. When I finally tried the shawarma, I was like "what's the excitement about this na" and then promised him to make him a better shawarma. After I made him my own homemade shawarma, he confessed it's the best he's had ever. And so was his confession about my pizza, spring rolls and a lot more dishes. That was when I started reproducing a lot of dishes I learned from MSU.

Often times I'd have something called "choppage" and my friends would come to my house to eat. When I upload pictures of food I made to my blackberry display picture, people would always ask me for recipe. I was sending out recipes on bbm till some of my friends suggested I start a food blog. I was reluctant at first but after a while I bought into the idea. On August 24th, 2013, ChiChi's Cuisine was born . I am very happy about the responses I've had so far. I am eternally grateful to God for blessing the works of my hands. Very soon I will leave for Medical School but I promise to keep the page up and running. Yes, there will be fewer recipes per month but this page will not die by the Special Grace of God, AMEN!!!

Thank You Lord for giving me this opportunity...Thank you friends, family and followers (F.F.F ---> FGGC Abuloma inside joke) for your love and support. May God meet you all at your points of need. Amen!!!

HAPPY ONE MONTH ANNIVERSARY TO CHICHI'S CUISINE!!!

Monday, 23 September 2013

Isi-Ewu


Ingredients: 
1 whole goat head 
1 Ehuru/Ehu/Erulu/African nutmeg (whatever it's called in your dialect) 
1 Teaspoon Uziza seeds 
6 utazi leaves 
2 hot peppers/habanero 
1 Knorr Cube 
4 Tablespoons palm oil 
Onion rings (JUST for garnishing)

Uziza seeds, Knorr, Pepper, Ehuru


The MAIN work in cooking isiewu is cleaning the head. So once you have that accomplished, you've pretty much done the bulk of the work. So first and foremost, I'll go over how to properly clean your goat head:
DON'T cut the goat head up in the market so that you can clean it THOROUGHLY. Just ask the butcher to remove the teeth and horns and then make a deep cut bilaterally that will crack the skull open but not separate it. Goat head needs to be cleaned whole for best results. Put the goat head in a big basin, boil hot water and pour on the head making sure the whole head (or at least most of it) is submerged in the HOT water. Allow the head soak there for a minute or two then remove from water and start work. Using a knife, scrape the ears WELL. There's usually black stuff in the ears, you want all of that out. Then scrape the tongue with the knife. You'll see whitish stuff peeling off easily. Scrape the whole mouth well. Then use an iron sponge to scrub the outer part very well. There's always soot on the skin from burning the fur off. You don't want to cook the goat head with all that black soot. Inspect the goat meat and make sure it's VERY clean...now you can start cooking.

Directions: 
Put the clean goat head in a pot big enough to contain it whole and cook the goat with a pinch of salt. Goat takes a while to cook so if you have a pressure pot, you'd wanna whip it out now and use to save yourself time and gas/electricity.

When the goat head is done, take it out from the water and allow it to cool down. When it's cool enough for you to handle, cut the flesh out from the bones. If your meat is well done, it should separate easily from the bones. I personally don't like fighting with bones when I eat isiewu and some commercial ones have toooo much bones. That is because they cut the head up in the market (which means it's probably not properly cleaned).
Left: Meat (for my tommy)...Right: Bones (for my dog)


After you've skinned the head, the skull should be able to be pulled apart easily too. If it's not opening, break it open with something strong like a pestle or rolling pin. Remove the brain and put in a separate bowl. Set aside.
Goat Brain


Put the pepper, ehuru, uziza seeds, 2 utazi leaves and knorr in a mortar and pound well. 
Ehuru and uziza seeds have been pounded...then pepper and utazi leaves

This is what it would look like after like 2minutes of pounding.
Ehuru, Uziza, Utazi, Pepper and Knorr pounded

Add the the brain, pound and mix very well. 
Goat brain added

Now add the palm oil and mix everything well.
Palm oil added


By now, the meat you cut out of the bones would be cold. Return it to the pot and add about 3 cooking spoons of the goat stock and heat up very well.

Strain the meat from the water and add to the sauce in the mortar. Mix everything well and dish into a smaller mortar. 
Meat added

Garnish with onion rings and the remaining utazi leaves (sliced finely)...Traditionally, isiewu is served in a small mortar which I don't have so I served mine in a plate.
Yummy, who wants to join???

ENJOY with a bottle of beer (my dad says isiewu isn't complete without beer.lol) or cold "mineral" haha!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Chef of the week

It is that time of the week again...APPRECIATION DAY. This is the part of my blog that gets me really JOYous because it shows I've not been wasting my time uploading recipes. I am pleased to introduce the next chef of the week:

Full Name: Joy Chinaza Enyinnaya
Date of Birth: February 17th
Occupation: Business Person
Hobbies: Singing, Cooking and Shopping.
Likes: Roasted fish with fried irish potatoes
Dislikes: Arrogance and being taken for granted.
Favorite food: Beans and Plantain with sweet potatoes.
Word of advice for chichi's cuisine: Keep it up dear, I look forward to watching you on TV.

I've known Joy since high school and one thing I remember vividly about her is that she's a wonderful singer. Amongst her other talents is her being a wonderful cook too. Thank you so much for making this delicious Rice and Kidney sauce.
Get original recipe from here


P.S: If you want to be featured on the blog, please send your picture and a picture of the food you prepared to chichiscuisine@gmail.com


Friday, 20 September 2013

Juicy Beef Burgers

Ingredients:
1 lb minced beef
1 small onion bulb (minced)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
¼ cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon dry pepper
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon curry
1 knorr cube
1 egg (lightly beaten)
Mayo and ketchup
Tomato and Onion round slices
Lettuce
Cheddar cheese slices
6 hamburger buns

Directions:
Combine the first 9 ingredients in a bowl and divide into 6 equal parts. Roll each portion into a ball and flatten to form the patties.
Knorr, parsley flakes, egg, dry pepper, bread crumbs, curry.

Refrigerate the patties for 30mins to allow the meat absorb the seasonings. This will also hold d meat together while grilling.

Heat a grill or non-stick pan and brush with some vegetable oil. Add the beef patties and grill for 3minutes on each side or until patties are well browned.

Add the cheese slices on top of each patty and turn off the heat. Transfer to a plate and allow the patties cool down a little before serving. This locks in the juices of the meat.

To serve, cut the buns in half and spread each half with ketchup and mayo. To the bottom half, add the lettuce, onions, tomatoes and then top off with the beef patty. Finish off with the other bun half.


ENJOY with fries (or without)!!!

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Chef of the week

So I decided to feature my supporters on the blog. Every Sunday, I will update the blog with a chef of the week. This is my little way of showing appreciation to those who are actually cooking from this blog. Makes me really happy when I get pictures of recipes lifted from ChiChi’s Cuisine. Thank you so much everyone for your support. Welcome our pioneer chef of the week:

Full Name: Adaora Iyayi
Date of Birth: June 16th
Occupation: Engineer
Likes: Spicy chicken wings
Dislikes: Untidiness and nosy people
Hobbies: Reading books and magazines, watching movies, cleaning.
Favorite food: Rice and Stew
Advice for Chichi’s Cuisine: You're good at what you do... Keep hitting us with your amazing recipes.

Thank you Adaora for following my blog and cooking this delicious plate of fried rice :)

ChiChi's cuisine is also thankful to Adaora for making this delicious plate of Rice and Pepper Steak.


...And this delicious bowl of native soup. Yummmmm!!!

Then there's this coconut rice...kai, i need to come and camp out at your place oh!!!


P.S: If you want to be featured on the blog, please send your picture and a picture of the food you prepared to chichiscuisine@gmail.com

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Dinner Rolls

Ingredients:
3 ¼ Cups all purpose flour
2 ¼ Spoons Yeast
1 Teaspoon white sugar
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1 Teaspoon salt
1 ¼ Cups warm water

Directions:
Add ¼ Cup of warm water and white sugar to a small round bowl. Add the yeast and let activate for 5-10mins.

Sift the flour into a big bowl. Add the brown sugar and salt. Then add the remaining cup of warm water, add the activated yeast and mix.

Knead the dough for 10mins till it's smooth. Form into a ball and put in a well oiled bowl. Rub the dough around the oiled bowl to get oil round the dough. Cover with cling film and let rise for 1 hour or until doubled.

Cut dough into 12 pieces and roll into 12 balls. Arrange balls in a buttered or oil sprayed dish. Cover with film, allow rise for another 20mins and then bake till the rolls are brown.

ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Beef Shawarma



Ingredients:
Beef
Carrot (Grated)
Cabbage (Chopped)
Green Pepper (Chopped)
Sausages (Cooked)
Mayonnaise
Ketchup
Ground pepper
Pita bread (aka shawarma bread, Lebanese bread).

Directions:
Season the beef and cook till it’s tender. Strain the beef from the stock and allow to cool and then cut up into bite-sized chunks.

Fry the cut up beef to brown a little.


In a bowl, combine the vegetables, beef chunks, pepper and mayo/ketchup mix (how much mayo/ketchup mix you put depends on you but just make sure the filling isn't dry). Mix well.

Carefully separate the bread and spread the mayo/ketchup mixture on the inside part of each bread half.

Spoon a generous amount of the mix into your pita bread and top off with a sausage or two.

Roll the bread and place on a hot grill for like 5mins. If you don’t have a grill, you can do it on a hot skillet with the seam side down.

Wrap in a foil after grilling.


ENJOY!!!