Kitchen – A gatherin place for friends and family. A place where memories are homemade and seasoned with love.
A couple of weekends ago, I gathered some friends and work colleagues for an evening of good food vibes and good food. It was a great time to bring friends together, plat a very competitive game of Articulate and enjoy a feast. I combined two of my favourite flavours, Afro-Caribbean hosted a Afrisian feast. On the menu was fried coconut rice, jollof rice, honey bbq chicken, gochujang honey glazed prawn skewers, vegetable jalfrezi, White chocolate chunk brownies, jerk chicken, plantain, caramel chocolate tart and pineapple tropical fruit punch. It’s safe to say that my guests really enjoyed the feast, so much so that all the food was demolished (including the chicken bones) and no leftovers were seen in sight.
I wanted to share some of the recipes with you so that you can recreate your very own Afrisian feast for friends and family.
1. Jollof Rice
Jollof rice is a go-to Nigerian staple at festive gatherings.
- 1kg of easy cook long grain rice
- 4 tomatoes or 1 can of chopped tomatoes
- 1-2 scotch bonnet peppers
- 2 red onions
- 1 can of chopped tin tomatoes or 4 red vine tomatoes
- 2 red bell peppers
- 1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning
- 150g tomato puree
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- salt, knorr cubes and all-purpose seasoning, to taste
- To make the tomato pepper sauce, add 1 can of chopped tomatoes, red bell peppers, scotch bonnet pepper and 1 onion to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside for later. Note: To help with the blending process, you can add a little bit of water, if needed.
- Dice another onion into really small pieces.
- Heat oil in a pot. When the oil is hot enough, add the onions and fry on medium heat for about 3 minutes, or until they appear translucent.
- Add tomato puree to the pot and fry with the onions on medium heat for 5 minutes. Tip: Stir frequently to prevent the paste from burning.
- Add the tomato pepper sauce and stir well.
- Season the sauce by adding bay leaves, dried thyme, knorr chicken stock cubes, all-purpose seasoning and salt, to taste. Stir very well, cover and leave to boil on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Note: For reference, I used 2 knorr cubes and 1.5 tbsp of all-purpose seasoning.
- Parboil the rice by washing the rice with cold water to remove some of the starch and place in a pot.
- Add some water, about twice the level of the rice and boil the rice to a stage where the rice is not completely cooked but also not hard either.
- Note when the water starts boiling and leave to cook for more than 5 minutes.
- Pour the contents of the pot into a sieve.
- Back to the pot, after about 15 minutes the sauce is ready, you’ll see it would have thickened slightly. This is also the time to taste just in case you need to adjust the seasoning at all before adding in the rice.
- Next, add in the washed rice and stir well to ensure the rice is properly mixed in.
- After this, add in just enough water to cover the rice, so the water should be just above the level of the rice.
- Cover and leave the Jollof rice to cook on very low heat. Stir the jollof rice every 20 minutes and cover it again until it is cooked.
- So after 40 minutes check the rice and stir again from the bottom up. Cover and continue to leave to steam.
- After steaming on low heat for a total of approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, the jollof rice should be ready.
2. Jerk Chicken
This was definitely my favourite dish I made that day, it’s not authentic jerk chicken per se but it was near good enough and very delicious. The jerk chicken was inspired by fellow food blogger, Malaika’s easy oven jerk chicken recipe.
3. Honey BBQ Chicken
Something sweet, easy and quick to make.
- 1kg chicken legs/thighs
- 1 tsp garlic
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 cup bbq sauce
- 3 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp hot sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180º C.
- Wash, dry, and season the chicken legs with the salt, garlic, pepper, cayenne and paprika.
- Place chicken legs on a baking tray and cook in the oven for about 35-40 minutes, turning once halfway through the time.
- While they are baking, make the bbq sauce by mixing the remaining ingredients together.
- Use a brush to generously coat both sides of drumsticks with the sauce and place them back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
4. Fried Plantain
You can’t have jollof rice, without some fried plantain!
- 2 Ripe plantains
- vegetable oil
- sea salt
- Slice the plantains at a diagonal angle, ensuring each piece is cut evenly.
- Heat oil on medium heat. Put enough oil in the frying pan to coat the bottom of the pan.
- When the oil gets hot, add plantains and fry on both sides until dark golden colour.
- Then remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel.
- Continue frying in batches until all the plantains are fried.
- Sprinkle lightly with sea salt.
5. Vegetable Jalfrezi
This was made by my lovely work friend who followed the recipe below. Loved the spicy kick to this dish. You can find the recipe below.
Source: Indian Vegetarian Recipes
6. White Chocolate Chunk Brownies
Extra chocolatey, gooey, soft but chewy brownies for my sweet tooth friends. Who doesn’t love brownies?
- 120 g unsalted butter
- 200 g dark chocolate
- 100g White chocolate, cut into small pieces
- 50g Milk chocolate, cut into small pieces
- 165 g plain flour
- 30 g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 280 g caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- Break up the dark chocolate. To save time, put dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl and warm in the microwave to melt. At 30 second intervals, stir the chocolate and microwave again until completely melted.
- In another bowl, whisk butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then add the vanilla essence.
- Spoon the cooled melted chocolate onto the mixture then mix in thoroughly. Sift the flour and cocoa powder onto the mixture and gently stir in.
- Using a knife, chop the white and milk chocolate into chunks and pour into the brownie mixture.
- When completely combined, spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread evenly.
- Bake in the heated oven for about 25 mins until the chocolate brownies are firm but still slightly soft and fudgy inside.
- Serve warm, with the ice cream of choice.
7. Chocolate Caramel Tart
This chocolate tart with caramel filling is a real crowd pleaser! I’ve made this a couple of times for events and it does not disappoint! You can find the written recipe here.
I hope this post has given you some inspiration for what to cook for your next social gathering.
What’s your favourite dish to cook for your family and friends?