This rich and creamy yam bake is perfect for the winter as it is so comforting with warm melty cheese and full of flavour from the smoked bacon, chicken and sautéed onions, garlic and pepper coated in cream. The star of the dish is obviously the humble Nigerian Yam.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 medium tuber of yam
200g diced pancetta or smoked bacon lardons or chorizos
2 smoked chicken breasts (can substitute with plain cooked chicken breasts)
1 medium shallot, coarsely chopped (can substitute with a medium white onion)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 or 2 scotch bonnet peppers, sliced
2 tsps sweet paprika
1 tbsp olive oil
150ml double cream
50g grated Gruyère cheese
1 tsp of old bay seasoning (can use all purpose seasoning or 1 stock cube)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley (for garnishing)
1 spring onion, thinly sliced (for garnishing)
- Preheat oven to 180°, generously butter a baking dish.
- Slice the yams, peel the skin, cut into cubes and wash thoroughly.
- Place the yams in a saucepan, add enough water to cover the yams and boil for about 7 minutes, take off the heat and drain the excess water.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and pan fry the pancetta or bacon for about 5 minutes until starting to crisp. Put aside
- Add garlic, shallots and pepper to the same pan, cook for 3 minutes, season with paprika and old bay seasoning, add cream, cook for an additional 3 minutes and then set aside.
- Combine ingredients in large baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
- Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is melted, bubbling and starting to brown a little, probably 10-15 minutes.
- Remove the yam bake from the oven and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Top with spring onion and parsley, and then serve
So I had a weird craving for 805’s Monika fish – I say weird because I have actually never had it. All I’ve heard is that it’s really nice and very spicy. Later on, I remembered this really nice sea bass meal I had in a pub while on a project in Gloucester and then all I could think about was fish! I met up with V2 and we end up in front of the fresh fish counter in Waitrose. The sea bass was beautiful, fresh and looked very clean but it was £5 for 1. If you are being economical, look away. However, I couldn’t resist the fish and I left the counter with 2 – so did V2. I bought a few other things and left the shop elated. I was finally going to make my own Monika, though I had nothing to compare it to. Lol
Roasted Sea bass
- 2 Sea bass, gutted, scaled and cleaned
- 3 Bell peppers
- Sliced Onions
- Chopped scotch bonnet peppers
- Seasoning (Fish Spice, Thyme, Basil, Maggi – I prefer Knorr but I only had Maggi)
- Hot chilli pepper powder
- Sunflower Oil
- 2 Plantains
- Seasoning (Salt, Pepper, smoked paprika)
- Chop your mixed bell peppers, scotch bonnet pepper and onions into a clean bowl
- Descale, gut and clean the fish if fish has not been cleaned and gutted.
- Make 2 – 3 diagonal slices on each side of the fish
- Season the fish (inside and outside) generously using fish spice, thyme, basil, Maggi and chilli powder. Use chilli powder according to heat tolerance.
- Place oil in a small bowl and season with Maggi, fish spice and chilli. Take a small portion of the chopped mixed pepper, dip in the seasoned oil and place inside the fish and in the slits on the side of the fish.
- Place the fish in a roasting oven dish, pour in the rest of the chopped bell peppers, scotch bonnet pepper and onions.
- Pour the rest of the seasoned oil all over the fish and mixed peppers.
- Sprinkle paprika, parsley and chilli powder on the top
- Place in the oven and grill for 50 – 55 mins
- Check regularly, flip the fish to ensure both sides are evenly roasted
The mixed peppers in the roasting dish can serve as a pepper sauce once ready.
- Peel the plantains
- Make 2-3 diagonal slices on the side of each plantain
- Season lightly with salt, chilli powder and smoked paprika
- Place in the oven and grill for 45 – 50 mins
- Check regularly to see that it is roasted to desired level
Once ready, serve
H3 loved it and we were completely knocked out after eating. It definitely solved my craving as it had the right amount of pepper to seasoning ratio. Later on, we were talking about the price of products in Waitrose and remembered the “6 for £1, £1 fish guy” lol. I must say, that really put the Waitrose price into perspective.
Ewa Agoyin really deserves the hype that it receives. Popularly sold by hawkers in Nigeria in black pots carried on their heads. They serve the beans in aluminium bowls; press the middle of the beans so that they can put the agoyin stew in the middle.
We managed to take pictures before this food went down in DVeesville, quite a feat if we are honest…. we really love food; like that wasn’t obvious already, however this means that most times we are more interested in cooking, plating and eating. Pictures??
But it is a new year… so here is to more food pictures and more posting. Thank you for reading our blog. We love and appreciate you all. Happy New Year.Xx
- 4 cups of honey brown beans
- 4 cups of water
- 1 tsp of salt
Agonyin stew ingredients
- 15 Red Whole chilli
- 3 red mini sweet Pepper (can substitute with 1 red bell pepper)
- 4 white medium onions (roughly chopped)
- 2 white medium onions (sliced)
- 1 cup of Palm oil
- 1 Tsp of crayfish
- 4 seasoning cubes
- salt to taste
Method – Beans
- Put beans and water in a saucepan and cook on medium heat for about 3 hours; add water intermittently so it doesn’t dry out
- You want to cook the beans until very soft
- Use a potato masher to mash the beans to make it smoother.
- Set beans aside.
Method – Agonyin Stew
- Blend the red chilies, sweet peppers and roughly chopped onions with a cup of water
- Heat the palm oil in a saucepan, add sliced onions and fry until almost burnt, do not burn.
- Add blended peppers and fry for 1 hour; stirring with a wooden spoon frequently. (if you go and watch ‘Game of Thrones’ while cooking, your stew will burn).
- Season with blended crayfish and seasoning cubes
- Continue to cook and stir for 15 minutes extra. (Colour of stew should have turned deep dark red)
- Taste for seasoning; add salt to taste
- Serve with on beans
- You may need to add more palm oil (circa 2 tablespoons) when frying the stew (this is one oil laden pepper sauce but it is worth it, you can add rapeseed oil like I did instead, I told myself it was healthier plus I had run out of palm oil).
- You can cook beans in a slower cooker overnight or better still use a pressure cooker if you have one (saves time)
This Crème of Peppersoup soup gets served in shot glasses for fun and aesthetics (serious shakara).
Nigerian peppersoup is an aromatic, intensely flavoured soup made with a blend of native African spices which is good for the body and soul; warming and comforting. It is better than any cold/flu medicine, no joke!
People say it is not really peppersoup if the hot delightful soup doesn’t make you cry and sweat at the same time, this may be true but you know there are also different expressions of food…… So today we bring you beautifully presented peppersoup which won’t make you cry but would definitely have you marvelling at the flavours and wanting for more. So make the soup on a cold night which is every night these days and you will be better for it or serve it at your next dinner party – perfect entrée for that 5 course meal you have been planning to make for your loved ones J
4 cups of water
2 teaspoons of pepper soup spices*
2 crayfish/chicken/beef/vegetable stock cubes
1 teaspoon of dry pepper (hot chilli) – more or less according to taste
Sea salt to taste
Chopped chives to garnish
- Pour water in a soup pot, add pepper soup spices, stock cubes, dry pepper and the lemon grass stalks if using. Allow to simmer on low heat till it comes to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low, stir well to combine and gently simmer to allow the flavors develop.
- Taste-test the soup for salt and spice, add more salt to taste or more pepper as desired. If too spicy for your taste, add some chicken/vegetable/beef stock.
- Strain the soup using a strainer, add 2-3 dollops of crème fraîche and stir really quickly
- Divide soup among small cups or shot glasses and garnish with freshly chopped chives
* You can make your own pepper soup spice blend if you have access to the native spices or you can buy pepper soup spices from any African shop or from www.dvees.com/shop or better still Kitchen Butterfly has a suggested mix for non-Nigerians and Nigerians who don’t have access to the traditional spice mix.
Non-traditional peppersoup spice blend
60g aniseed pepper
50g coriander seeds
50g cumin seeds
50g fennel seeds
30g whole black peppercorns
50g dried ginger
25g ground cinnamon
Smoked salmon plantains – beautiful moreish little morsels of a Nigerian inspired canapé – easy, impressive and perfect for post Christmas Entertaining
Steps to assembling your smoked salmon plantain canapé
- Serve the fried plantains on a warm plates
- Add a tablespoon of cream cheese or creme fraiche
- Top with slices of smoked salmon
- Garnish with chopped chives
I had the best feeling last Friday when I needed dinner inspiration; we were all riced out and I really wanted a home cooked dinner that I could rustle up really quickly. I googled dinner inspiration and while I was browsing I remembered the DVees Meal Planner https://dvees.wordpress.com/2013/02/09/dvees-weekly-meal-planner/ – checked it out and the suggestion for Friday dinner was Yam Salad.
Inspiration by our meal planner was trés exciting and I was also delighted that I had the ingredients for the dish especially my already diced onions http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Cooks-Ingredients-Diced-Onion-Waitrose/35379011 , some call this laziness, I call it the life of a busy twenty something year old woman that loves to cook but also doesn’t want to spend her life in the kitchen, nothing wrong with short cuts if they make life easier without compromising the taste.
30 minutes later dinner was served; V3 was humming, H2 was smiling and Mother was very impressed*- mission accomplished!!!
*Yes Mama DVees is in town… she has already informed us that we need to learn how to make Ukodo with unripe plantain…. So look out for our DVees Green Plantain Peppersoup post in the Mama DVees series coming soon. 🙂
DVees Yam Salad Recipe (Serves 2)
You will need:
Yam (6 slices of yam) – cubed
16 cooked & peeled King Prawns
1 onions –diced
1 scotch bonnet pepper – finely sliced. Use more or less depending on how much you can handle
1 green bell peppers – finely sliced
1 red bell peppers – finely sliced
I clove of garlic – crushed
2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
1 teaspoon of all-purpose seasoning
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
Boil yams in a pot with a pinch of salt and a cup of water for 20mins
Heat oil in a pan, add all the ingredients and fry for 10mins
Strain the cooked yams and add to a mixing bowl, add prawn & vegetable mixture, add mayonnaise and mix.
Serve and enjoy.
Interesting fact about yams: Although the tuber is grown throughout Africa, Nigeria is the world’s largest producer and exporter of yam, accounting for over 70 percent of the world total output.