I was looking forward to my multi cultural dish. When #fitfam started this week, I made a list of dishes I was going to cook every day. By yesterday morning, I was itching to go home and try this. Then I read the News and it all kind of changed. I drove home listening to the radio on auto pilot. Suddenly my multi cultural dish didn’t feel so fantastic. In my head any way. Any time I think of grilled meat, I think of Paris. The best steak I have ever had and nothing has topped it yet was in Paris. I don’t know what it is about that city, but I have a bond with it that I can’t explain. I have been back to Paris more times than I have been to every other place. The pull for that place is strong. You need to see me the minute I step out from the plane at Charles De Gualle or the train at Gare du Nord. I am like a child at Christmas. I have been to other parts of France, but my heart always goes back to Paris. Yesterday it felt like someone desecrated one of my favourite places. Like when I heard about the Bill Cosby allegations or when Robin Williams killed himself.
As a creative, I just felt out of sorts. This is not a political post or taking sides with anyone, or justifying or trying to understand, or whatever. This is just empathising with people who went to work and never got to go back home. My dish celebrates multiculturalism. How we can take the best parts of different cultures and harmonise it. I remember when the Woolwich incident happened. My then flatmate who we had got on very well, suddenly became very hostile to me. I was very happy to see the back of him when he left to be honest, because my Nigerianess suddenly became a problem. Multiculturalism gets a lot of flack, heck an entire political party in the UK is gaining grounds to take it down, and I just wonder why we can’t all just get along. You may think I am probably being too sensitive, but I am just that, very sensitive and yesterday’s events hit a nerve. Taking a stand in solidarity with the people of Paris today. #JeSuisCharlie. If this offends anybody, well tough.
I still managed to make this dish yesterday, but the normal excitement I feel when I try out a dish I have had in my head and it works wasn’t there but my taste buds still celebrated its awesomeness. We can’t let them win, or change us. #wearenotafraid. This lamb is very very good, like very. I dropped the knife and fork and dug in with my hands. Who knew Rosemary and Uziza seeds could work like a match made in heaven. Rosemary goes well with lamb, and usually when lamb is seasoned, black pepper and salt are the other two ingredients, so I simply replaced black peppercorns with Uziza seeds. The result was outstanding. I have tried using Uziza to season Steak before (recipe HERE), so I knew it would be brilliant, but the addition of Rosemary just took it from 8/10 to 15/10. As for the Ukwa mash, I want to ease off from the carbs this week, so making Yam Mash (after mashed potatoes) recipe HERE, wasn’t on the cards at all. All that butter and milk, plus the yam. Mbanu (no way)!!!! Ukwa suddenly occurred to me, and I thought ooooooh, the buttery nuttiness would just be perfect with the lamb. The idea locked in my head.
Ukwa takes an annoying amount of time to cook. The cheat option is to use a pressure cooker, but when you are only cooking two handfuls, that would be a waste of your pressure cooker. Even after going out for an hour, albeit leaving it on very low heat, this thing still didn’t cook. I was a champion of #hungergames last night, but it was worth the wait. I left my sofa watching Revenge and sat down on the floor, with my hands on the lamb chops scraping every delicious meat off the bone. That Ukwa mash will have you dipping your fork in and going back for more and more. Paired with a simple Mediterranean Salad and it is a bonafide #fitfam dish.
I have been getting complaints about using Big Oven. I emailed the CEO last night, yes I am famzing like that and the problem has been fixed. Especially for Iphone users. Apparently there was a glitch with mobile safari and they looked into it. You know when Nigerians enter the building, they take us seriously. My apologies for the problem, you can go ahead now and save recipes from your phone. Also, people have told me they can’t find my recipes in Big Oven. You won’t find them because you have to Save a recipe first on the blog, before it will show up in Big Oven. I am going to put up an instruction video, hopefully tomorrow to answer all your questions. Let’s Cook
- Lamb Chops - you can also use steak/fish/chicken
- A sprig of Rosemary - you can also use dried rosemary, about a teaspoon
- 1 tablespoon of Uziza seeds - you can also use black peppercorns
- Ukwa - you can also use white skinned beans, chickpeas or Garbanzo beans
- Leftover stew
- Vegetable oil - optional
- Rinse your Ukwa and add to a pot
- Add enough water to cook it, in fact add more because this takes a while to cook. A cheat option is to use a pressure cooker, or add a little Potash.
- Give life to your leftover stew by adding it to the Ukwa. Re-season and let it cook.
- When the Ukwa has cooked completely, it looks like Beans Pottage
- Blend the Rosemary and Uziza seeds in a dry mill till you get a fine powder
- This spice mix forms your dry rub, with the addition of satt, rub all over the lamb chops
- Fire up your grill or grill pan, add a little oil, if you just to coat the pan. I have a device called Flavor Chef which doesn't need oil for grilling. Yaaaaaaay Team #fitfam. When the grill is hot, place the lamb chops on and sear each side for 1 minute, and keep turning over until browned
- While the Lamb is cooking, using a hand blender, puree the Ukwa. You can either puree it to be smooth or Chunky. You can also puree in a food processor or blender. Don't add any water.
- When your Lamb has grilled to perfection, add a little water, to the juices left behind in the pan, give it a minute or so, and that forms your gravy. We are #fitfaming so no alcohol or white flour or butter is allowed for gravy.
- Pile on the Ukwa mash unto a plate, add the grilled lamb, drizzle on some gravy and serve with a side salad.
This will work either as a healthy dinner or a Main dish. Remember, if you can’t source Ukwa, use what we call White beans