You guys must think i have given up on blogging by now. I am so sorry for the long absence. I’m entering a new phase for Dooney’s Kitchen, and I’ve had to let the blog suffer for a bit, to be able to focus all energies on getting Yajichurri off the ground and it has truly lifted and soared to heights I couldn’t even have imagined. Can you believe that as we speak, Yajichurri is making its way to someone in Brazil. Yes, you read that correctly, Brazil!!!!!!!! Four years ago, when my colleagues and I couldn’t get tickets to London 2012, we talked about planning a holiday to Brazil in 2016 for the Olympics. 2016, felt like a really far away date, and can you believe, that even though i may not get to go for the Olympics, a part of me is in Brazil in 2016. Funny how your thoughts work eh, when you spend your time minding your own business. Hehehehehe.
I couldn’t blog because I was barely cooking for myself. I have ordered so much takeaway in the last few weeks, that they can now recognise my voice and know what i want to order. The day it hit me, I felt really sad, like how did i become this person who has to order food almost every day, but Tribe, I have been so tired a lot lately, all the standing required to make yajichurri, the multiple trips to the depot, multiple trips to the airport, I couldn’t even gather my thoughts together, not to talk of write, but this week, I slowed everything down, like all the way down, and I was able to make this delicious Okro dish from telling myself i wasn’t going to order Chinese today.
I had planned to make myself some delicious Okro soup, with oatmeal only to realise that i forgot to bring out the meats from the freezer. usually that’s how I spiral into reaching for the phone and ordering takeaway, but instead, i decided to make Okro soup but in another way. I was going to deconstruct it. I rushed to my local supermarket, bought some diced beef, came back home, chopped the ingredients, and with Yajichurri, i had a wholesome, healthy home cooked meal in 19 minutes. It was so good, i didn’t serve it with anything. I wolfed it down, every single bite, and wanted to lick the plate. Yajichurri upgrades any dish, and with Okro, it took it to the next level. I enjoyed eating it so much, I made it again the next day with leftover ingredients, but this time I used Chicken and Prawns. Double, yum yum. Yajichurri is perfect with Chicken and Seafood.
If you still haven’t ordered this fairy godsauce, you are slacking o, I mean people in America, Canada, Brazil, Dubai, India, Holland, Uk, France, Germany, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Nigeria and Ghana all can’t be wrong now can they. Join the family and prepare this quick and easy dish that the whole family will enjoy.
- A handful of Okra
- 1 red onion
- 1 long piece of Romano pepper
- Ata rodo
- Leafy green vegetables - Ugu or Spinach
- 1 - 2 tablespoons of Palm Oil
- Iru (optional)
- Yajichurri - for that extra oomph of seasoning
- Diced raw Chicken
- Smoked Mackerel - you can use softened stockfish or smoked catfish
- Fresh prawns - or smoked prawns (if you are using smoked prawns, give them a soak in hot water to soften)
- Diced raw beef (optional)
- Iru - Optional
- This is supposed to be a quick recipe, so gather all the ingredients you need together before you start
- You may be looking at this recipe and be apprehensive about the slime from the Okro, don't worry, i've got two tips for you to minimise the sticky nature of cooked okro. The first tip is, slice the Okro in rings. Not too thick, otherwise it wouldn't cook quick enough, not too thin, or the skin will break down and add slime to your stir fry. Also, slice the peppers, onions and leafy green veg
- Season your diced chicken or beef. In this case, I used 1 heaped tablespoon of my all purpose fairy godsauce, Yajichurri I didn't have the time to marinate the chicken, because they were teeny tiny strips of chciken breast which wold cook fast anyway.
- Heat up 2 tablespoons of palm oil in a pan. You may be looking at the picture below and thinking, Dunni, that's too much oil. Actually it isn't. You see, this picture was from the second time I made this stir fry, and the day before, I used less oil, and my stir fry was a little too pale. I added one more tablespoon of palm oil, which gave it that shiny orange colour, plus the stir fry wasn't dry. Once the oil is hot, add the seasoned chicken breast and allow it to sear and cook for about two minutes. You don't want to cook the chicken breast for too long, because it is still going to continue cooking when you add the rest of the ingredients, and you end up with over cooked dry chicken. Ugh!!!
- Add the sliced peppers and onions first, then add the fresh prawns if you are using them. Stir and allow the heat to dissipate through the pan, softening the veggies. Like the chicken, you also don't want them to overcook. This is a stir fry after all, and the crunchier and firmer the better
- Add the Okro and the sliced leafy green veg. I am adding both at once, to allow them cook at roughly the same time. Now, this is where my second tip comes in. You see, the day before when i first made this, I was stirring and stirring, like you would with any stir fry, hey it is called a stir fry for a reason. What i ended up with was a slimy stir fry that although tasted delicious, it gave me more of the okro soup feeling, than a stir fry.
- So, when i tried the recipe again, I did two things. One, I stirred from start to finish probably 3 times, and i did it gently, because the more you stir and bruise the okro, the more it breaks down releasing slime, so don't over stir. I also did something you are told to never do when you cook Okro soup. You guessed it, I covered the pan. This allowed steam to be trapped in the pot, and enclosed steam is the enemy of okro slime. .
- minutes later, I took off the lid, tore in the smoked mackerel, if you are usingsmoked fish, this is the point to add it. I gave it another gentle stir, like twice, sprinkled on a little salt, and I left it for another minute or so, and then I served. The slime was so negligible, and the okro was whole, yum and crunchy.
In the spirit of treating my body better, I am cutting down my intake of rice drastically, and substituting with bulgur wheat. Something I thought I would never do in a million years. Thanks to my friend Feyi, I have now found a brand that not just tastes great, it smells great and best of all it gives me that crunchy chewy rice feeling that makes me love rice so much. What’s the best brand of Bulgur Wheat to buy if you live in the UK, in my opinion, its Tesco’s own brand. Trust me, if you’ve hated bulgur wheat in the past like, try Tesco’s bulgur wheat and be pleasantly surprised