Monday, 18 May 2015

Cool Down With A Refreshing Watermelon Spritzer

If you are one of those people that thinks all the talk about global warming is a load of bollocks....and you live in Lagos, Nigeria at the moment...then I have no words for you. LOL
 
It is blazing hot. Scorching hot. Its so hot that air conditioners are struggling to churn out cold air. Its muggy. Most people are uncomfortable. Its supposed to be rainy season now but I can count on one hand how many times it has rained this year.
 
Drinking - make that guzzling liters of water and other cold beverages is imperative to keep hydrated and stay in relatively good spirits - I blame a lot of snappish behavior on the heat. (:-))
 
I say make the drinking fun too. This watermelon spritzer is cool. Its refreshing. It has fruit. It is easy to put together. It gives a buzz. What's not to like?

 
 
 
 
 
To make a pitcher spritzer that will serve 2 or 1.... you will need:
 
  • 2 cups of white wine
  • 75cl of soda water/sparkling water
  • 1/2 cup grenadine
  • 2 cups diced deseeded watermelon
 



Directions:
  • In a pitcher/jug with a lid, add all the ingredients and stir to combine.
  • Refrigerate till ready to serve
  • Pour into serving glasses and enjoy......

 
 
This spritzer will make the guys and dolls happy. Make this in the morning so you can have a chilled glass of this at the end of the day.


 
 
Enjoy!!!!!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Chefrican......



I will be one of the chefs with episodes on the new EbonyLifeTv series Chefrican that starts airing on May 10th on channel 165 on DSTV. 

Please watch and send me emails with questions or comments.

Enjoy!!!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Messy Eats: Fragrant Prawns


A lot of us were told growing up not to play with our food. That was all well and good when trying to teach manners, however I know now, in my culinary journey that some of the best food experiences involve playing with one's food - using hands to eat.

Communal meals in the Middle East and a lot of Africa involve huge trays with different items of food and plates or bowls for individuals with hands used to scoop food from the trays to your mouth. There are rules of etiquette that guide this process. This practice is seen in India as well. Even in the West, messy burgers and fries require fingers to get the job done. Closer to home, popular Nigerian meals of soup and a starch (swallow) are best eaten with hands.

I wanted a full on messy but delicious food experience that involved hands and sauce and would be fun as well. I thought of crawfish in the US cooked in spicy seasoning and served on long tables with diners wearing bibs to protect their clothing from stray juices and people taking the shells off these little critters and some sucking the heads (the best part) with looks of rapture on their faces.

Inspiration came.

This dish is so easy to put together but is really finger licking good. Literally. You can have it on its own. Or with rice or potatoes or soft bread to mop up all the sauce. Regardless of what you choose to have as a side to accompany this dish, have spare plates for the shells and lots of paper napkins to clean up afterwards.

You will need:
  • 1kg plump shell on prawns
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 small red onion - cut into chunks
  • 6 cloves of garlic - peeled and cut into half
  • 1 small piece of ginger - cut into 2
  • 4 green chilies - cut into half
  • 2 large lemongrass stalks - bruised or cut into half
  • Choice of fresh herbs - one or a mix of thyme, African Basil (scent leaf), curry leaves, basil
  • Salt to taste
Directions:
  • In a large sauce pan, add all the ingredients except the prawns and bring to a gentle boil stirring constantly.
  • Taste and add salt to taste
  • Add the prawns and stir to make sure the prawns are all coated with the sauce
  • Turn the heat to low and cover pan
  • Cook for 10 minutes and stir prawns and sauce
  • Serve in individual bowls
Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Curried Lamb - Jamaican Style




Curried Lamb – Jamaican Style

I am a big fan of food from the Caribbean. I love how close the flavor profiles from that region are to those from Western Africa. It makes perfect sense considering a lot of the slaves that ended up working the sugar fields of the Caribbean came from this part of the world. Scotch bonnet peppers (ata rodo), rice and peas (we use black eyed beans), thyme, plantains… These are ingredients that are staples in our cooking.

No Caribbean menu in any restaurant in the world that offers such fare is complete without a curried goat dish. This dish can be served with any number of side dishes but the star is undoubtedly the goat meat. Juicy and succulent pieces of goat meat seasoned to perfection in a rich broth perfect for rice or even flat breads such as rotis and chapatis.

After a trip to my butcher, I could not resist buying some fresh lamb that I knew would be perfect to make Curried lamb – the same principle as curried goat, just using a different meat.

You will need:

  • I kg lamb meat - cut in to cubes – bone in pieces work well.
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 3 diced onions
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 8 cloves of minced garlic
  • 3 sprigs of fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 diced carrots
  • 2 diced bell peppers

Directions:

  • Combine the curry powder, onions, scallion, salt, pepper, chillies, ginger, thyme and half a cup of water in a blender. Add more water if necessary
  • Rub the mixture in to the meat and let marinade in the fridge overnight
  • In a saucepan, add the meat and butter to a frying pan and brown gently. Add the carrots, peppers and marinade and add enough water to cover the meat.
  • Bring to a boil, then let simmer until the meat is tender. Add the ketchup and simmer for the last 15 minutes. Serve with rice and beans and fried plantain.

Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

From Uzo's Food Labs - #Gardentotable

 
I cannot begin to explain how busy we are on this end. Its a good thing however, the blog has obviously not been updated in a bit - one of the reasons is we are working on getting www.uzosfoodlabs.com up and running which means migrating all the content on this blog to the new site as well as adding all the other sections to the new site.
 
One project that has taken off in ways I did not quite expect - the garden and produce has gone into over drive mode and we now offer straight from the ground harvests for sale. The demand for the organic produce and people using the hashtag #gardentotable on social media has been overwhelming. This means we are expanding the garden so we can offer tasting bags for pickup once a week. Here are a few of the orders we filled in the last few weeks. 
 
 




I was also very privileged to sit on a panel with some amazing women talking #redefiningfinance on April 26th. It was a wonderful experience and I dare say life changing for some women based on the feedback we received.



For more information on the garden and produce and if you just ant to say hey or ask me any questions, send an email to uzosfoodlabs@gmail.com

Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

See you on Sunday....


I haven't talked much about my life pre blogging and Cupcake Couture Lagos and Uzo's Food Labs.

I have a law degree an MBA, an advanced diploma in management for international hospitality and tourism. I worked in corporate America and corporate Nigeria in branding & strategy, management consulting and investment banking before I made the huge leap into being a foodpreneur.

This Sunday, I will be on a panel with other talented woman 'Redefining Finance'...

Its free to attend and its going to be full of learning points...

Enjoy!!!!

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Overnight Oats - My Life Saver

 
I have a huge problem with eating breakfast. I am usually nauseous in the mornings  - and considering I suffered no morning sickness when I was pregnant, the nausea is annoying. I get by with drinking sips of water or sips of cold green tea till I have my first meal of the day at about 1pm. I know all too well how important breakfast is but added to the fact that I cannot stand hot food....
 
Enter this solution - overnight oats. Every night, I pour some oatmeal, granola or muesli into a glass jar. I add milk - even though I am not lactose intolerant, I really like flavored soy milk, almond milk et al.  Cover the jar and leave in the fridge overnight. The next morning, I add fruit or nuts - in the jar pictured, I added mango chunks and toasted coconut flakes and voila. Breakfast is ready. Cold, healthy and ready. Plus I get to take the jar with me and have breakfast on the go....The variations are endless and you can add pretty much anything you like including yogurt, honey....
 
Breakfast is indeed the most important meal of the day and I admit that I can tell the difference in my productivity and energy levels through out the day since I started including this in my diet.
 
Enjoy!!!