Tuesday 17 April 2012

Kitchen Tip

I am paranoid about germs and smells especially in the kitchen and i am always on the lookout for products to zap all imaginary germs and foul smells.

I discovered this tip by error. After squeezing tons of lemons for use for baking, i had all these squished lemons. My eyes caught my dishwashing liquid which is always lemon scented and i know that because of the acidic nature of lemons - they can be pretty harsh and strip oils from most surfaces. So i took the squished lemons and ran a whole bunch of them around my kitchen sink and left overnight. The next morning, the sink smelt so lemony fresh and once i rinsed off the lemony residue, the kitchen sink felt brand new - no slick oily aftermath of all the washing up and it was sooooo shiny.

This has become a ritual now in my kitchen and i usually will do this 2 -3 times a week. I have also discovered that 1 lemon cut in 2 halves will more than suffice.

Do not be tempted to try this tip on your aluminium or non-stick cookware - the lemons will corrode the surfaces and if you are like me and spend a pretty penny on quality cookware - there will be tears.

Happy experimenting!

Thursday 12 April 2012

Jamaican Jerk Marinade

Jerk marinade is a staple in the Carribean especially in Jamaica and ready-made versions can be found in specialty stores and African stores in the Western world. I have never seen ready made jerk marinade here in Lagos but when its so easy to make - i dont miss it at all.

I have come up with my own jerk marinade that is very very similar to the jamaican version - its based on a recipe i got from a very friendly lady at a resort in Jamaica many years ago.

This recipe will give you about 3 cups of marinade that can be used for meat of all kinds, poultry and seafood and can keep in the freezer for up to 2 months with constant power supply.

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 5 cloves of garlic (use more or less to suit your palate)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (i have also used mixed citrus juice in some instances)
  • 1 large red onion or 2 small red onions
  • 6 spring onions - including green parts
  • 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce (dark works best)
  • 5 scotch bonnet peppers (atarodo) - this makes marinade heat medium. Add more or less to suit your palate
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (light or dark works fine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (i use freshly ground)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

1.    Roughly chop onions, spring onions and scotch bonnet peppers and place in food processor or blender.

2.   Add all other ingredients and blend till smooth.

3.  Eyeball quantity of marinade to use based on amount of protein to be cooked. I suggest starting in half cup increments.

4.  Place protein in marinade ensuring full coverage and leave to marinade for at least 2 hours before cooking. For best results, marinade overnight in refridgerator. Flavours get more intense the longer marinade is left on protein

5. When ready to cook - preheat oven to 350 degrees or gas mark 4. Transfer marinaded protein to an ovenproof baking dish and bake till done.

*I suggest setting aside between 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup of marinade for baking process. Turn protein every 10 - 15 mins and baste with marinade till done.

This is such an easy delicious recipe perfect for home cooking but also for potluck when you need tons of protein to take to an event.


Friday 6 April 2012

Following Recipes

Unlike baking which is a science (any wrong measurement affects the outcome of the end product), cooking is like dancing - we all have our rythmns and moves. A bit of this or a bit of that - adding or taking away ingredients by instinct or based on preference to make a dish uniquely yours.

However, i recommend following any new recipe EXACTLY the first time. That way, you can determineif it works for you as is or if you would like to tweak any elements to suit your palate.