Pull it off well....Bon Appetit!!

The effort put in to preparing a meal can sometimes be unappreciated, especially when its all being splattered on a plate. looking at the days before now, meals were served in fine dishes, it could be ceramic or wooden ones, but the essential thought towards such an action is to give a perfect presentation (or some peeps would say to keep the food warm...whichever one..lol). Having put so much effort into being creative in the kitchen and coming up with something delicious, it is necessary  to present your food in an attractive way. 

Imagine a plate of rice served with  stew made with a range of fresh red peppers, seasoned with the finest of herb ingredients with juice made out of marinated chicken stock, fried in hot sunflower seed oil or vegetable oil, with shredded beef, little bits of eja gbigbe (dry fish), fresh ring onions and a bit of locust bean,oh booy! the aroma is perfect!.........ok back to presentation!  yea,.. served on top, with plantain on the side, well stewed soaked, yummy,tasty, fried chicken (2 pieces) just across the food, accompanied with a malt drink or a chilled fizzy pop (Coke) to step it down...then that's a perfect presentation.

Presentation is key and knowing what accompanies the meal you want to cook is important, for the lovers of Okro, AMALA is key *shinning teeth*....me i love amala sowee...*covering face* and to get the best of your Okro you need to be creative. 
Before now i used to believe that making Okro cooked with potash (potassium / kauon) and served with stew (omiobe...the name sef is annoying..lol) was the best....but no....it aint! .."ILA ASEPO"  is the very best!....not just any kind of okro combo oooh, but with fresh well seasoned and boiled Titus fish shredded into the Okro (fresh fish is the best to use as the taste of dried fish is just too predictable). Use the fish stock to deliver greatness in to the Okro, with boiled shrimps, bits of pomo (cow leg), few spoons of palm oil and more than a couple of Atarodo (chilli pepper). While eating, your amala would go down instantly, u know that swallowing sound now..Tukum! and  the best drink to step it down  with is ice water, not cold oh..ice! In Nigeria pure water would have been the best, especially with the squeeze of the wrapper...only God knows what that thing does to people....the feeling is just great...however, you can take a glass of juice later if you wish..*wink*

                                                     ILA ASEPO (Okro Soup)

Now in serving this....some peeps spread the Amala on a plate and pour the Okro soup inside, personally i don't like it, in my opinion it's a very, very, very, poor presentation,.....but alas! the method actually works perfectly. Since the type of soup  is drawing, its better to have it all in one place....it makes life easy and your appetite gets the best quench till the very last morsel of Amala..... however, serve neatly in a bowl  and not on a plate especially not a flat one. Trying to use a fork and knife cannot pay you!.....truth!!.. using your hands makes it all worth it.*smiles*

 N.B Okro shouldn't be too watery, it should  have a considerable amount of thickness, not the type that would stream down your elbow line..like "pade mi ni igunpa kind of soup", NO...so be very careful when preparing....

Then dessert..... for my lovers of carrot cakes, you don't need too much, just pour the amount of creamy milk or custard you like on the cake (from Tesco or sainbury's  c'est tres bien!) and dessert is served. Any cake can do this magic but i don't advice you use muffins. Sponge cakes are mostly perfect!....and cheese cakes?????..not so keen on them....but everything has a first time so you can 

Here is a video clip to see how so much attention and creativity is put into food presentation in some places.

Being Creative.(please ignore the giggles and watch the chef)
 sorry about the video quality when i have my own camera crew it would be perfect.lol

                                                      Now Plating up.

Some basic tips you should know!
  • Always serve grains with stew on top, meat across and every other additions on the side. 
  • Pasta is best eaten  made in sauce, not on top or by the side and when boiling pasta add a bit of oil, to stop it from sticking together. You can slice onions into the boiling pasta if you wish. 
  • Whilst boiling pepper its not wise to cover the pot as the bubbles from the pepper would spill on the cooker and in most cases the bubbles could be watery enough to put out the light from the cooker. This might leave your gas licking. For safety reasons if you must cover, add a couple of spoons of vegetable oil, stir and cover. If its burning reduce the heat.
  • To avoid boiling your pepper for hours and hours, simply blend pepper in little amount of water, at this rate the water from the pepper drys faster and cooks quicker.
  • For drawing soups like okro, ogbona, ewedu,etc...they go best served with grounded flour meals...Poundo yam is an exception, don't use coz its meant to be pounded not in grounded flour form.
  • For your eggs, poached egg is best when running away from loads of calories. With scrambled eggs, if you avoid using milk and butter, you would save some calories too, water and seasoning would do just fine. For an omelette,  you can either deep fry to get a well done egg that would be easy for you to flip, or you fry in less oil, and grill the top of your egg in an oven to get it well done.
Other tips would follow in consequent post....so be a regular visitor..


Mini Gallery (Food show)

Following the previous post on Ofoodi.....this is just a little something something of the varieties to expect.....many more to come.... stick around!!

(ici c'est une explication  les differents types de piments et il ya des noms)

This can be referred to as a Bell, Tatase(Native Name), Sweet pepper and the small one is called Chilli, Rodo (Native Name), Poblano , Cherry etc. It is as hot and spicy as Jalapenos, Chilaca, Ancho peppers, Cascabel, Hungarian wax, Hebanero pepper, Scotch bonnet, Serrano chilis, cubanelle and many more..All sha nah chilli!!.

                                                             (Les Oignons)

The one right in the middle of the Bell is called Onions!, alubosa (Native Name) It has varieties as well....(Baby onions,Brown Onions, Cipollini,Cocktail Onion,Spring and Summer Onions,Green Onions,Leeks,Maui Onion,Pickling Onion,Purple Onion,Red Onion, Sliverskin Onion, Super sweet Onion and many more...Phewwww!!!


 The green leaves are called Spinach and can be cooked by steaming, boiling; sometimes you can stir fry with  palm oil and pepper sauce and it can also be eaten raw. You can use this for your sandwiches as well, and mixed leaves salad. There are other ones like the Cress leaf (which is very common for an Egg Mayo sandwich which many vegetarians mostly like) Rockets, lettuce many more.....

                      This is how the BOKOTO (cow leg) over here boils...ooooOOps!

Over here(jand) we have to differentiate between a hard chicken and a soft one which we also refer to as an African or  European chicken *winks*...anyways this one is soft....very good for  grilling..could be quiet bloody though, so rinse thoroughly in warm water.

 This is some marinating stunts...would be elaborating later....but the key ingredient in here is Gizzard and Minced meat...

                                                           (Still cooking)
Ok...so this is one of the Traditional dishes in West Africa from the Yoruba tribe and Western Region  of Nigeria. This is a combination of peppers, palm oil, vegetables, meat, fish and lots more..(would be elaborating more on this in consequent posts....so stick around)

        Almighty AYAMASE......this is every womans catch for a man these days.....lol...
 A very scary process to make sometimes...Frying the oil for this meal requires confidence....dont mean to scare you...but i have burnt my fingers trying to get the most perfect oil texture and aroma.......This could be eaten with fried yam, boiled or fried plantain, mash potatoes and off course rice....The best kind of rice to use is OFADA (locally cultivated and hand picked from Nigeria)

                                                          Cooked (Efo riro )
This is an example of the stir fry Spinach in pepper sauce......most Europeans refer to this as                        "chunky stew".

Remember the soft chicken????.....this is how it ended... in a sweet pepper, chilli and tomato sauce....Yummmy!!!