Option 3 – Bread based. E.g – ‘Tuna and Crab Bruschetta‘ or ‘ Tomato and eggs Crostini‘ or Club Sandwich. Bruschetta’s and Crostini’s are antipasti’s (english for ‘before the meal’ i.e. starters) eaten in Italy. Both are just fancy Italian words for toasted bread rubbed with garlic and olive oil with a variety of toppings. You can make everyday meals party standard, it all depends on presentation. You can get creatively Nigerian and add your own toppings. Place on a platter for guests to pick up. The idea of a bread not sitting well with you, okay ‘Giz-dodo‘.
For guests who arrive pretty early (there are always some), just serve them dips with chin chin, plantain chips, crackers to get out of your hair while you cook. Examples of homemade dips are my homemade ‘Ube and Corn Guacamole‘, ‘Ata din din‘ and ‘Mayonnaise‘. Make them days before, and refrigerate. Zobo or lemonade for the kids and Zobotini for adults.
Main Course – If you can’t have a party without Jollof rice. Okay, okay. How about Native Jollof rice made with Palm oil called ‘Iwuk Edesi‘. I call this Jollof Rice 2.0. Deeelicious and rememberable.
Native Soup – I will usually advice one soup, but if you feel you have to serve two types, ensure one is a creamy soup and the other is vegetable based. Why? Creamy soups usually “cook themselves”, while you focus your attention on the vegetable based one. Examples of special/festive Creamy soups are ‘Banga Soup‘, ‘Groundnut Soup‘, ‘Owo Soup‘, ‘Miyan Taushe’, ‘Ofe Nsala‘, ‘Egusi Ijebu‘, ‘Ewedu served with Buka Stew or Alapa stew‘.
Examples of Vegetable based soups that haven’t be served ad nauseum at parties are: ‘Edikang Ikong’, ‘Ukwogho Etidot’ (bitter leaf version of afang soup), ‘Black Soup’, ‘Otong Soup’ and ‘Oha Soup’. I’m sure there are lots of examples, if you dig deep into your culture.
Wild card could be a Chinese dish – Smoked Turkey Stir Fry Noodles or Shredded beef and green pepper sauce.
Dessert – if your guests still have the stomach for it, serve a simple dessert that will wow them. Cake and Ice cream has been served so many times. Even if you bake it yourself, it’s still Cake and Ice cream. Feeling adventurous? Try my very Nigerian Pudding. Pap and Pineapple Brûlée. Think Créme Brûlée but with Pap instead of double/heavy cream. No one is going to see this coming. Make it fun by choosing your choice of sweet fruits. okay, okay you still want Cake and Ice Cream. Try making a simple Melted Butter Banana cake and serve with Ice Cream. This recipe is so simple, a child can make it. No need for a mixer at all, just melt the butter in the microwave, add the other ingredients,mix with a wooden spoon and throw in the oven. Serve with chocolate chip ice cream. Or you want to throw in something completely unexpected – Zobo and Pineapple Ice cream
…………….and that’s a winning Party Menu