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.

 wpid-img-20150121-wa0039.jpg

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)

 wpid-img-20150121-wa0039.jpg

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

wpid-img-20150121-wa0040.jpg wpid-img-20150121-wa0025.jpg

Roasted Sea Bass with Roasted Plantain and Mixed Peppers Sauce

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

 wpid-img-20150118-wa0005.jpg

Ingredient

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

Roasted Plantain

  • 2 Plantains
  • Seasoning (Salt, Pepper, smoked paprika)

wpid-img-20150118-wa0012.jpg wpid-img-20150118-wa0013.jpg wpid-img-20150118-wa0010.jpg wpid-img-20150118-wa0008.jpg

Steps

  1. Chop your mixed bell peppers, scotch bonnet pepper and onions into a clean bowl
  2. Descale, gut and clean the fish if fish has not been cleaned and gutted.
  3. Make 2 – 3 diagonal slices on each side of the fish
  4. Season the fish (inside and outside) generously using fish spice, thyme, basil, Maggi and chilli powder. Use chilli powder according to heat tolerance.
  5. 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.
  6. Place the fish in a roasting oven dish, pour in the rest of the chopped bell peppers, scotch bonnet pepper and onions.
  7. Pour the rest of the seasoned oil all over the fish and mixed peppers.
  8. Sprinkle paprika, parsley and chilli powder on the top
  9. Place in the oven and grill for 50 – 55 mins
  10. 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.

wpid-20150117_203437.jpg wpid-20150117_203359.jpg

Plantain

  1. Peel the plantains
  2. Make 2-3 diagonal slices on the side of each plantain
  3. Season lightly with salt, chilli powder and smoked paprika
  4. Place in the oven and grill for 45 – 50 mins
  5. 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.

Plantain Pancakes with Summer Berries

Madeleines & Macaroons are to France as Speculoos & Praline Cookies are to Belgium

Chocolate & Apfelküchlein are to Switzerland as Amaretti & Tiramisu, Gelato are to Italy

Spotted dick & Bread and butter pudding are to England as ____________are to Nigeria

Do Nigerians do desserts??? Of course we do, it might not be customary but we do desserts!!!! We have had this conversation so many times trying to convince people which is why we relished the challenge to come up with a dessert recipe for Afrolems Christmas Countdown… also helps that we love food, we love ethnic cuisine with a twist and we love Afrolems…. 🙂

We pondered for a bit on what we could make and then we thought Plantains!!!!!! Ripe Plantains are a starchy and sweet vegetable which can be used in savoury or sweet dishes so we thought it was the perfect main ingredient.

Plantain Pancakes served with summer berries Recipe
Ingredients
1 ripe plantain – mashed up
1 Cup of Plain Flour
2 egg
1 cup of milk
1.5  tsp of baking powder
2 Tbsp of Brown Sugar
A pinch of sea salt
Butter or oil for frying

Method
Mash plantains in a bowl with a potato masher until puree
Add remaining ingredients and stir until fully combined
Heat skillet over medium-high heat, add oil.
Pour batter into the frying pan until your pancake is the desired size.
Cook for 2-3 minutes until each side is golden brown
Continue with remaining batter, adding oil to your pan as needed.
Serve with berries and cream or maple syrup or strawberry sauce or chocolate sauce or whatever you fancy really

image

image

image