Brazilian fish stew ‘Moqueca de Peixe’

Bored with your typical tomato stew??? Try this tropical fish stew fragrant with garlic and peppers, the mellow taste of palm  oil, enriched with coconut milk.

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Serve with basmati rice and fried plantain – beautiful!

DVees Recipe

Ingredients
1 kg thick, firm, white fish fillets
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 onion, sliced
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 scotch bonnet pepper chopped
1 red bell pepper, sliced
salt and pepper
1 bunch coriander, chopped
spring onions, finely sliced, to garnish
Fish stock cubes
120 ml palm oil
Juice of 1 lime
Optional: Mussels and jumbo prawns (we love seafood so we fit them in wherever we can)

Method
In a large saucepan, sauté the garlic, onion, ginger and peppers in the oil until a sauce is formed. Taste and add salt and pepper.

Add the fish, stock cubes and coconut milk simmer gently until cooked. If using a combination of fish and prawns, add the prawns later as they cook in less time.  Cook for for 15minutes.

Stir through the chopped coriander.

Place in a serving dish and squeeze over some lime juice and sprinkle the spring onions and serve.

 

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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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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

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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)

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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.

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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.

Ewa Agoyin

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??

Aint nobody got time for that

lol!!!!

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

Ewa Agoyin

Dvees Recipe

Beans Ingredients

  • 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

  1. 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
  2. You want to cook the beans until very soft
  3. Use a potato masher to mash the beans to make it smoother.
  4. Set beans aside.

Method – Agonyin Stew

  1. Blend the red chilies, sweet peppers and roughly chopped onions with a cup of water
  2. Heat the palm oil in a saucepan, add sliced onions and fry until almost burnt, do not burn.
  3. 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).
  4. Season with blended crayfish and seasoning cubes
  5. Continue to cook and stir for 15 minutes extra. (Colour of stew should have turned deep dark red)
  6. Taste for seasoning; add salt to taste
  7. Serve with on beans

Tip

  1. 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).
  2. You can cook beans in a slower cooker overnight or better still use a pressure cooker if you have one (saves time)

 

 

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

How to make Yam Pottage aka Asaro

Yam Pottage (asaro) is a rich, slow-cooked one pot dish of yams cooked in a palm oil pepper sauce; yams are the backbone of this deceptively humble dish which should be soft and should have absorbed the aromas and savors of the other ingredients.

We must warn you that this is not a traditional recipe as we make this warming dish rich by adding sweet potatoes, smoked turkey, prawns and spinach. Try our recipe and let us know what you think or tell us how you make yours 🙂

 

Yam Pottage (Rich, slow-cooked one pot dish of yams cooked in a palm oil pepper sauce)
Yam Pottage (Rich, slow-cooked one pot dish of yams cooked in a palm oil pepper sauce)

 

Ingredients

  • 400g canned tomato plums
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 red onions
  • 1-2 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 5 slices of yam (cubed)
  • 5 slices of sweet potato (cubed)
  • 6 pieces of smoked turkey
  • 300g Prawns (cooked and peeled)
  • 2 Tbsp of crayfish
  • 1 cup of spinach
  • 1 cup of water
  • Salt to taste
  • Maggi crayfish seasoning cube
  • 2-3 Tbsp of palm oil

Method

  1. Blend onions, peppers and tomatoes
  2. Heat palm oil in a pot and add blended mix; fry for 10mins
  3. Season with salt and stock cubes
  4. Add crayfish, smoked turkey, yams, sweet potatoes and a cup of water; boil for 15mins or until yam chunks become soft.
  5. Use a fork to gently mash the yam leaving some yam chunks
  6. Add prawns and spinach and simmer for 5 mins

Serve and enjoy

 “The most indispensable ingredient of all good home cooking: love, for those you are cooking for” – Sophia Loren