Thursday, June 13, 2013

Ghana Food: Joloff

The next local recipe is coming today, one of the most cooked dishes in the country, Joloff. It is a rice dish that is eaten everywhere, in the street, in restaurants annd at home. There are many different ways of making it, but the look is always similar, a red, slightly sticky rice that is cooked similar to a Pilaf Rice.

I like to make my Joloff with chicken stock, but often there is other meat or even chicken pieces in the rice. For special occations one takes goat meat and cooks it slowly with the rice.

Rice is most probably the most eaten starch here in Ghana, even so there is barely a rice production, everything has to be imported, but somehow everybody eats rice. Usually one has at least two types of rice on the buffet, plain rice and Joloff, but sometimes one adds another type of rice, liek the fried rice or a saffron flavored rice. Then the plates get packed with rice, before anything else goes on the plate, that it how impotant rice is here.

1 Kg (2.2 lb) Rice
200 Ml (7 oz) Oil
100 G (3 oz) Tomato Puree
150 G (5 oz) fresh tomatoes
4 L (4 qrt) Chicken Stock
100 G (3 oz) Pepper (Jalapenos)
100 G (3 oz) Onions
30 G (1 oz) Ginger
1 glove Garlic
Curry powder
White pepper

Blend tomatoes, ginger, garlic, onions and pepper
Heat oil and prepare gravy
Add stock and allow to cook for 5 mins
Add rice and stir till water reduces
Cover and cook for 20 mins

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Grouper Fillet on Tomato and Chili Salsa

Now it is time to do something fishy, yes, a nice grouper, on potatoes and then a spicy tomato and chili salsa with it.

Grouper is a fantastic fish, the meat is nice and firm, very white and so tasty, one of the best fishes here in Ghana, at least in my humble opinion. Often the fish is very big which can make the meat a bit chewy, so make sure you get the meat from a middle sized fish. No, don't go small, I am totally against using baby fishes and very young fishes. Give nature time to replenish itself, let the fish have some fun and multiply. If we do not take care of our seas and fishes, then there won't be much left for your children

By the way, the menu is going well and the feedback is great, I am happy about it. It has to compete against the dinner buffet which is most probably one of the biggest buffets in Accra in any hotel, but it does well and everybody who eats a la carte is happy

2.2 Kg Red snapper fillet
1.2 Kg Potatoes
100 G Butter
50 G Parsley fresh
25 G Dill, fresh

200 G Tomatoes
20 G Chili red, fresh
40 G Coriander
75 Ml Olive oil

50 G Parsley fresh
15 G Salt
50 Ml Lemon juice
25 G Dill, fresh
25 Ml Cider Vinegar

Boil the whole potatoes with the skin till soft in salt water
When the potatoes are cooked, peel them and mash with a fork in a pan, add fresh parsley and dill to it
Season to taste
Fry the fish skin down in a hot pan with a little olive oil
Season with salt and pepper
Turn the fish around and add butter and thyme
Finish the fish in a hot oven at 160C for 4 to 5 minutes
Cut the tomatoes in concasse
Mix in a bowl with vinegar, oil and coriander
Season to taste

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pork Chops and Belly

Let me tell you a bit about the next dish on our menu, the pork chop and belly, it is something that is just so tasty, you will not be able to resist and will have to try it out at home.

The Belly is slow cooked, I usually take hours for it, then cooled down, cut in cubes and fried with red kidney beans and tomatoes, so like a stew. Then the pork chop gets fried in the pan, a blob of butter and some herbs at the end and then I finish it off in the oven.

As you can imagine, the pork comes from the organic pork farm in Swedru, the one I visited long time ago. Yes we do buy our pork from them and it has been a great success, the pork is tasty, one of the best I had in Ghana. If you have not read the blog about the pork, I would suggest you check it out, it was really a great experience going there.

With the pork we serve Fondant potatoes. These are potatoes which are nicely cut in thick discs and then cooked in chicken stock, then at the end they getting glazed with the reduced stock, so they are really full of flavor.

2 Kg Pork Chops
600 G Pork Belly
200 G Red kidney beans
100 G Tomatoes
40 G Whole grain mustard
200 G Butter
800 Ml Chicken stock
200 G Granny Smith
15 G Salt
5 G Pepper
25 G Parsley
1.2 G Potatoes
50 G Sugar
10 G Cinnamon

Braise the pork belly for 2 to 3 hours at 180 C in the oven
After braising the pork remove the skin of the belly
Cool down completely, then cut in cubes
In a hot pan saute the belly cubes
Add kidney beans and tomato concasse to it
After cooking it for a couple of minutes season and add freshly chopped herbs
Pan fry the pork chop in a hot pan
Add butter and fresh herbs to it and finish the cooking in the oven
Peel the potatoes, cut in cubes and cook till soft
Strain off the water and puree the potatoes
Add Butter and whole grain mustard to it, season to taste
Slice the apples thinly, season with salt, sugar and cinnamon
Pan fry till golden brown
Place on cling film and roll like a cigar

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Braised Lamb Shoulder

We are cooking again. It has been a little while since the last post, that is due to the business at the hotel, but finally I have a bit time to write again.

We are just about to change the a la carte menu, it has been overdue for a major overhaul as we have started serving a dinner menu now, so the a la carte needs to get smaller otherwise we can't cope with cooking for an extra buffet and a full a la carte. So the new a la carte menu will be smaller but with a couple of selected and really nice dishes on it.

This dish is actually from my Chef de Cuisine, Donavin. He is in charge for the main restaurant and had the task to spear head the change of the menu. We tasted the dishes, we wrote the recipes and then of course needed a cost, but then finally they will all go on the menu

So here is the recipe

2.2 Kg Lamb shoulder
200 G French beans
100 G Black olives
100 Ml Sunflower oil
300 G Potatoes
100 G Sun dried tomatoes
15 G salt
5 G pepper
200 G carrots
100 G leeks
100 G celeriac
300 G Onions
1.5 L Chicken stock
50 G Parsley
30 G Anchovies
50 G Garlic
50 G Capers
40 Ml Lemon juice
20 G Thyme

Dress the lamb shoulder and tie tightly together
Roast in hot oil on all side, season well with salt and pepper
Take the shoulder out the pan, then roast all vegetables, add tomato paste and deglaze with red wine Put the meat in a braisiere (deep pan)
Add the roasted vegetables and chicken stock
Cover the pot and braise the shoulder in the oven for about 3 hours at 150 C or till soft

In a blender mix anchovy, olives, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil together
Blend sun dried tomatoes with a little olive oil
Cut potatoes in fondant shape
Cook them in a butter and thyme flavored stock till soft
Cut the lamb shoulder in 200 g pieces and vacuum pack with the reduced braising liquid
Heat up in hot water when required
Serve with fresh French Beans, Fondant potato Tomato puree and Tapenade

This recipe serves 10 friends, have a good bottle of wine with it, something from the Rhone Valley in France or a nice Australian Shiraz
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