First of all, I would like to apologise for the lack of new posts per say on the blog. As you guys may know, I run Cupcake Couture Lagos and with the holidays here, the bakery is in over drive and there really isn't a moment to think, let alone blog. However, it will back to the frantic pace of the blog in the new year..
In the interim, my new video on the YouTube channel shows how to make an Ofada rice salad that is a wonderful and delicious alternative to traditional side dishes on Christmas Day.
This week's episode on the YouTube channel is all about making sweet candy popcorn.
With the holiday season in over drive, there will be lots of guests popping around, family time watching movies or playing games. This recipe is perfect for serving as a snack. You can make a lot of this and bag in portions and store in the fridge - ready to be popped out when anyone is peckish.
My green thumb project is going so very well. Look what I harvested from my little garden....
Peppers. 2 kinds of peppers. Long green chilies and scotch bonnet peppers. The scotch bonnet peppers are at different stages of the ripening process and this means different flavor and heat profiles. After picking this bowl full, I knew I wanted to blend some and add to some ginger and garlic for a condiment blend for the freezer.
I also wanted to try my hand at making my own hot sauce. Back in the day, hot sauce was red or green and vinegary. Usually found in the US with the most popular brands being Tabasco and Franks. People use hot sauce to add extra oomph to their meals or to coat chicken wings to make buffalo wings et al. While I like heat, I am not a big fan of this overly vinegary hot sauce.
Over the last few years though, an evolution of hot sauce has happened. There are now full of flavor varieties with fruit, or sweet versions or with varying levels of heat using 'handle with gloves only' peppers like the ghost pepper and active hot head movements. There are artisan companies making excellent products and selling at farmers markets or specialty stores giving the bigger companies a run for their money.
I decided to use some of my precious stash in my own recipe - after reading countless recipes online, I took some elements for a starter recipe that I hope will result in me making different kinds using produce from my garden.
In a pot, I rough chopped 1 onion, added 5 green scotch bonnet peppers, 2 red scotch bonnet peppers, 3 yellow scotch bonnet peppers, 10 long green chilies, a tablespoon of blended garlic and 2 cups of water and set on high heat for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, everything should be getting nice and soft. I added 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Stirred everything together and boiled for another 10 minutes.
I turned the heat off and let everything cool down. Once cool, I added the veggies to a blender and just a bit of the liquid leftover from the boiling process and blitz till smooth. I added a little bit more of the liquid to thin out the mix. Then I transferred to a handy squeeze bottle to be used over everything. Can I just say how delicious this hot sauce is. Its hot but not overwhelmingly so since its the red peppers that pack the most heat and I didn't use a lot of them. The yellow peppers and the long green chilies have a smoky flavor and the addition of the vinegar and sugar balance the flavors out and add a subtle sweetness to the sauce. Delicious.
Using the sauce on grilled chicken and meats - amazing. Even added to some salad dressing for a super salad - fab. I took it a step further by using on something that has been haunting me for months. A friend asked me what else avocados could be used for and I had a few ideas but with the holidays coming and the bakery in overdrive, deadlines looming et al, this blog and recipe testing have suffered. Last Sunday after a visit to my neighborhood farmer's market, I had a ripe avocado to use.
Cut avocado in half and remove center stone. Place both halves in an oven proof dish. Season the avocado generously with salt. Carefully crack an egg into each cavity of the avocado. Its like God created the avocados for this purpose. Perfect fit. Place in an oven set at 350 degrees and bake till egg gets to your preferred level of doneness. Mine - well gone (10-12 minutes in the oven). Hubby's - jiggly and runny (about 7 minutes in the oven).
Once ready, I drizzled that delicious hot sauce all over the avocado egg cups. Holy moly. We went from oh nice to amazeballs.
Absolutely delicious and a lovely start to a lazy Sunday.
With the holidays just round the corner, there are bound to be tons of guests and I like having different mixed drinks in the fridge to serve - better than store bought soda. This week I show how to make a not too sweet mixed drink with an unexpected ingredient to make your taste buds sing.