Nigerian Yam Bake with Cheese & Bacon

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.

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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)

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Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°, generously butter a baking dish.
  2. Slice the yams, peel the skin, cut into cubes and wash thoroughly.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. Combine ingredients in large baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top.
  7. Bake, uncovered, until the cheese is melted, bubbling and starting to brown a little, probably 10-15 minutes.
  8. 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

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DVees take on Jamie Oliver’s Jollof Rice recipe

We are taking a different approach to the #jollofgate scandal….. by trying Jamie’s recipe step by step.

 Jollof Rice - Jaime Oliver Recipe

To be honest we can’t believe the uproar over the Jollof Rice recipe– it is clear that it is Jamie Oliver’s twist on West African Jollof Rice, he didn’t call it authentic jollof rice… don’t even think anyone really has the authentic Jollof rice recipe as with all recipes it has evolved and has passed down from generation to generation. Traditional Jollof uses palm oil and crayfish, the Senegalese add all sorts of meats and vegetables. Long grain rice is typically used but nowadays people use basmati for their jollof. At Dvees sometimes we cook ‘typical’ jollof which is long grain rice cooked in a tomato pepper base, sometimes we add coconut cream or add chargrilled roasted vegetables, with garlic prawns and smoked chicken.

We love contemporary Nigerian cuisine; our signature is ethnic cuisine with a twist. For example, our afrotea is the classic English afternoon tea with a West African twist, perhaps we should expect a backlash and lots of abominable comments from the English for daring to go there.

Jollof Rice - Jamie Oliver

West African food is the least experienced in the world so if Jamie Oliver decides to put a twist on Jollof rice and publish his recipe…we are still perplexed as to why this is sacrilege but first let’s critically assess Jamie’s Jollof Rice recipe:

 Imposter ingredients:

  1. 1 tsp ground coriander – [DVees: acceptable as just used to season the chicken]
  2. 1 tsp ground white pepper – [DVees: acceptable as just used to season chicken]
  3. 600g cherry tomatoes, on the vine – [DVees: not typical but used to garnish rice]
  4. A bunch of flat leaf parsley, leaves chopped, stalks finely chopped – [DVees: not typical. Parsley is a herb that is widely used as a garnish or used to flavor stews, vegetable, chicken, fish and meats dishes in Mediterranean and Middle eastern cuisine]
  5. 1 lemon, cut into wedges, to serve – [DVees: not typical at all. “Lemon wedges on the side for squeezing over”, for garnishing maybe, not sure we would be squeezing lemon juice over our beloved Jollof, possibly on the chicken :)]

 Ingredients proportion:

  1. Garlic – we would typically use 1 clove or no garlic at all compared to the 6 cloves that is used in Jamie’s recipe.
  2. Onions – we would typically probably use 2 onions compared to the 4 onions that is used in Jamie’s recipe.
  3. Peppers – we would use double the amount of scotch bonnet peppers that Jamie uses and add a red bell pepper (tatashe).

 Cooking process:

  • A key deviation is that he does not blend the vine-ripe tomatoes with the scotch bonnet chilli and onions which means that the rice is not cooked in a tomato pepper base and resembles Spanish tomato rice instead.
  • Also Jollof rice is typically seasoned with salt, bay leaves, thyme and curry. And lots of stock cubes, we personally think West Africans need to wean themselves off stock cubes loaded with MSG however this is a story for another day.

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Taste: The rice has a wonderful rich flavor. This is amazing considering that salt, ‘maggi’ or ‘Knorr’ stock cubes are not used to season the rice. The beautiful aroma and flavor are as a result of the lashings of garlic, onions, parsley stalks sautéed before the tomatoes and rice are added to be cooked in the saucepan. Cooking juices from the chicken and parsley leaves also add deep flavor.

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Verdict: In essence there are two ingredients that are real imposters: parsley and lemon. The proportions of tomato, onions and garlic are atypical and the rice is not cooked in a tomato pepper base however it is an excellent twist to Jollof rice. It does not taste like typical Jollof, but it is what it is, a twist to West African jollof: a delightful version that tastes like fresh Garlic & Herb Tomato Rice & Chicken. West African food is rich, captivating, bursting with spice and flavor and alien to the rest of the world, Jamie’s recipe has triggered conversation…. so lets live and let live.

Our love affair with food has always been partial to contemporary Nigerian food hence our tag line ‘Shakara Cuisine’, which is probably why we are camp #indefenceofjamieoliver.

 *Shakara Cuisine [sha-ka-ra] 

  1. Elaborate and skilfully prepared ethnic cuisine with a modern twist.

We look forward to more food conversations with other Africans and the rest of the world.

DVees

DVees Yam Salad – don’t knock it until you try it.

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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

Method
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.

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DVees on stylist!!!

Hello,

First of all we are still in shock that we are doing this. However, we are uber EXCITED!!!

DVees entered a competition by Stylist in association with Triumph and got through to the voting stage. We come up as “African Cuisine by Dvees” See the link below.

http://www.stylist.co.uk/home/microsite2/triumph?page=competition

Please vote for us and spread the word!!!!!!

Thanks for your love, encouragement and support. We are thrilled!

Lots of love,
DVees
xxx

DVees on Stylist

DVees – www.dvees.com

Our love affair with food knows no bound. One of us loves savoury, another is a sweet tooth, the other two love them both. While we love being together and enjoy each others cooking and company, we want to share our love, fun times and good cooking with our friends, families and the world!

Our dream is finally coming together and we bring to you, DVees… Being lovers of french cooking and patisseries, we loved Haute Cuisine which is basically high class french cooking. Adapting our love for food to our heritage, we bring you…

Shakara Cuisine (n): elaborate and skillfully prepared ethnic cooking with a modern twist.

http://www.dvees.com

We hope you like it!

Lots of love,
DVees
xoxo