Monday, October 15, 2012

Cuisine With Chef Fregz: Holding On to the Apron Strings of Iya Fregz

By Fregene Gbubemi

Hi guys! How are you all doing? I hope you had a great week.
Remember we talked about staying within the shores of Nigeria this month as part of our independence celebrations.
I can never over state the awesomeness of Nigerian cuisine and one of my first experiences with Nigerian food was with my mother. Iya Fregz is one of the inspirations of my life. She’s also one of the most amazing cooks ever. I’m honestly not tooting my own horn but I have the most amazing mother on earth! You know how they say “Seeing Is Believing”? Well, I have decided to show you guys what my mother made. We had this idea to work together and basically exchange ideas. Not wanting so much of a cliche’d post,  I just wanted to tell me some tips for basic Nigerian meals. We ended up having such a fabulous time in the kitchen. She did most of the cooking and I was there to guzzle it all down.
She made her signature Jollof rice and some good “Pottage/Porrage/Ebe/Asaro”.

Then she made her amazing efo riro with less palm oil for those of us watching the waistline.

Recipe Serves 2-4 persons
5 large tomatoes
1 large onion
2-3 scotch-bonnet chillies (ata rodo)
A small bunch of Shoko leaves (Shred and soak in hot water for 2 mins, then drain out the water)
Lean cut Beef, (Or Chicken/Fish) According to your preference. Remember to boil with onions and a little salt.
2 tablespoons palm oil
100g dried fish or as little or much as you like
1 tablespoon ground “iru” aka locust beans
Seasoning cubes
How to
Blend your tomatoes, onions and chillies to a semi smooth consistency or just chop them up. Heat your oil till smoky and add the blended ingredients to the oil and stir round. Add the dried fish, iru and whatever protein you’ve decided to use along with the stock and cover and allow to simmer for about 10 mins. After the simmer, add the squeezed leaves and mix through.
Iya Fregz Tip: Hold back on adding salt till the end because the stock and seasoning cube could be quite salty already so check before you add any extra salt.
You can add some crayfish and less oil still so you don’t miss out on flavour. Don’t “over soak” the leaves you still want a crunch from the leaves.

Enjoy it with some wheat or Amala or if you must do rice add more protein to your plate and less carbs
That’s it guys! We made a video of this session but it wasn’t ready at the time of publication but I will try and upload it to this post later so you can check back for the video. In the mean time, I hope you learn a secret or two.
Please share the kitchen tips you learnt from your own mothers in the comment box below.
God bless our mothers and God Bless Nigeria!
Remember to have a flavour-filled weekend!

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