Saturday, 19 December 2015

Toolu Beef Angwa Mu (Salted Cured Beef Oil Rice)

Angwa Mu literally meaning Oil Rice is another favourite way of cooking rice in Ghana. It is so simple to cook yet satisfying. It can be cooked plain without the salted beef (Toolu beef) but the toolu beef takes it to another level. Toolu beef is a salted cured beef used in flavouring sauces in Ghana. When this cured beef is used in angwa mu, it adds another dimension of flavour to the rice. Try this version of boiled rice and I'm sure you will love it. 





INGREDIENTS:
  • 3 Cups Rice 
  • 2 ½ Cups of Boiling Water
  • Handful of Salted Cured Beef (Toolu Beef) 
  • 1 Small White Onion 
  • 1 Small Red Onion
  • 2 Big Bay Leaves
  • 1 Tsp White Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste

METHOD:

1. Peel and slice the white onions into half moons.


2. Peel and slice the red onions into circles.
3. Place a thick based pot on the hob and heat up. Add the olive oil and butter and heat up until hot.

4. Add the white onions and the bay leaves, stir and fry until the white onions start to look translucent.
 
5. Add the salted cured beef and stir. Fry for about 3 minutes.
   

6. Wash the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear and completely drain. 
   

7. Add the rice to the pot and stir. Scrapping the sides and bottom of the pot to deglaze the pot.
8. Add the white and black pepper, stir and let the rice fry for about 2 minutes.
   

9. Now add the boiling water and pinch of salt to taste. Stir and cover the rice with kitchen foil plus the pot cover.
   

10. Turn down the heat or transfer to a smaller burner with the heat completely turned down.
11. Cook the rice until soft and all the water is soaked up in the rice.
12. Once cooked add the red onions and stir. 


13. Serve rice with shito, fish, grilled chicken, coleslaw or anything you fancy.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Ghana Style Corned Beef Meat Pie

Ghana style meat pies are mainly loved because of its rich shortcrust pastry and filling. Actually, most times the rich pastry is more desirable than the filling. In Ghana, meat pies are usually sold as street food snacks. Every one has their favourite vendor. People do actually travel at length just to buy their favourite pie from a particular vendor. This shows how we love our meat pies and how important the meat pie needs to be good tasting and tick all the points. Getting the pie crust to be good is sometimes a challenge. If you are like me who struggles with making shortcrust pastry, then this version of my shortcrust pastry will be the thing for you. It is so easy to make. For this pie pastry, I give credit to my lovely friend, Mina. Until Mina, let me into her secret, I always struggled with getting the perfect pie pastry all the time. Since she showed me her version, I have never looked back. I have tried various versions but I always end up going back to this easy and fail proof method. The result is a crumbly rich pastry which just melts in your mouth.  This Christmas, give this recipe a try and your friends will keep coming back for more in the coming year. Enjoy. 

INGREDIENTS:

Pie Pastry:
  • 500g Plain Flour plus more for rolling
  • 500g Vegetable Fat Spread (for baking and cooking)/ Margarine
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 1 Egg for brushing

Filling:
  • 340g Corned Beef
  • 1/3 Cup Red Onion, diced
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Maggie Cube, crushed 

METHOD:

1. Prepare the pie filling first. Warm up a frying pan or pot and add the oil.


2. Once hot, add the diced onions and sauté until it’s soft. 
   

3. Add the diced tomatoes and stir. Season with the crushed Maggie cube. Fry for about a 1 minute.
   

4. Now add the corned beef and stir. Fry for another minute and remove from heat. 
   

5. Sift the flour and pinch of nutmeg into a bowl. 


6. Add the vegetable fat spread to the flour. Note, vegetable fat spread should be at room temperature.
7. Using the finger tips, incorporate the spread into the flour. When well incorporated, this will be soft and sticky dough. Fear not as this is exactly what you want.


8. On a floured surface, roll out small batches of the dough. Flour dust the rolling pin to prevent the dough from sticking on to it. The floured surface and rolling pin, makes it easier to handle the pastry dough.


9. Using a round cookie cutter or a shaped cutter of your choice, cut the pastry dough into required shapes.
   

10. Add spoonfuls of the filling to the centre of each shape. Fold it over and use a fork or finger to crimp the edges. Use the fork to create holes on top of the pie, use any design you prefer. The holes allow steam to emanate from the filling during baking.
   
   

11. Grease and flour a baking tray. 


12. Whisk the egg and set aside to be used as an egg wash.


13. Place the pies on the baking tray and brush the surface with the egg wash. 


14. Heat up the oven to 200oC.
15. Bake the pie until it has a golden brown colour on the surface. This will take about 20 – 30 minutes.


16. Remove the pie and let it cool down.
17. Serve the pie warm or cold with your preferred beverage or drink or basically enjoy it as a snack.






Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Corned Beef Yam Balls

In Ghana yams are an everyday staple food. Majority of the time, it is boiled and served with some yummy earthy sauce like palava sauce, garden eggs abom, agushie stew or any of our well loved soups. If not boiled, it is fried and served with shito or meko and some fried fish or meat. There is however another way that it's enjoyed but this is usually reserved for occasions such as Christmas, birthday's, dinner parties etc. It is seen as a posh way of serving yams during such occasions. Yam balls is the name, yes even the name makes it feel posh. Yam balls are basically boiled yams which are mashed, spiced up, rolled into balls and fried. Some like it plain without any protein mix but I love it with corned beef. I have come across yam balls which weren't coated in breadcrumbs and they tasted great. But n I love the crunch that the fresh breadcrumbs brings to it. You don't have to use fresh breadcrumbs, dried breadcrumbs are equally good. The recipe I have provided is very basic, once you get the grip of making yam balls, be as inventive and creative with it. Try out different types of meat and vegetable mix and make it your own. Give this recipe a try and let's have your feedback.

INGREDIENTS:
  • 560g Puna Yam (Boiled)
  • 30g Butter
  • 100g Corned Beef 
  • ½ Tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 Tsp White Pepper
  • 1 Tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup Spring Onions finely chopped
  • ¼ Cup Red onions finely diced
  • 1 Egg Yolk
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Fresh Breadcrumbs (made from 6 slices of fresh bread)
  • 1 Egg plus 1 Egg White
  • Oil for deep frying

METHOD:

1. Peel the yam and cut up into slices as shown in the photo. Wash the yams.
    

2. Place the yams in a pot, add enough water to cover it and add a pinch of salt.

3. Place on the hob on high heat, cover the pot and let it boil until soft. When a fork can go through the yam with less resistance, the yams are ready. Don’t over boil. 

4. Once cooked, drain the water from the yam. Mash the yams whilst still very hot.


5. Add the butter and using a potato masher, mash the yams until nice and smooth.


6. Add the corned beef, nutmeg, white pepper, black pepper, salt to taste, red onion and spring onions. Mix well with your hands or a wooden spoon.
    

7. Now add the egg yolk and mix well.

8. Form bites size balls using your palms.

9. In a separate bowl whisk the egg, include the white from the other egg. For ease of coating the yam ball, you can put the whisked eggs in a sandwich bag.
10. Using your food processor or mill, blend the fresh bread into fine crumbs. Place the crumbs in a bowl or a sandwich bag.
11. Roll each yam balls first in the eggs and then in the breadcrumbs. Ensure that each ball is well coated.


12. Place the balls on a tray and cover with cling film to prevent them from drying out. 


13. Fill a pot with the oil, about two thirds high, enough to cover the balls and heat it up until very hot. I always use a sacrificial yam ball to test the hotness of the oil. Once this sacrificial ball has browned, the oil is ready for use.
   

14. Fry the yam balls in batches ensuring that there is enough room for each ball. If the heat is too high, lower it just a little bit. Fry the balls until golden brown all round.

15. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen towels.
16. Serve the yam balls warm as a side dish, canapés with dips or a main dished paired with salad and roasted chicken or fish.