Sep. 25, 2016

Welcome back!

I hope it’s been a good weekend so far despite the rain?

Last weekend, my son Kofi and I went to the 3rd Annual Accra Food Festival (the 2016 Edition) inside the grand setting of the Accra Polo Heights and what a grand affair it was! 

What is the Accra Food Festival About? The Accra Food Festival has been celebrated in Accra for the last two years and this was its third edition in the capital.   The aim of the festival is to yearly celebrate the food diversity in the capital, with major exhibitors from Ghana as well as from different countries and backgrounds all meeting here in Accra to celebrate the diversity of food!  The large expanse of the Accra Polo ground was a great setting for food lovers from all walks of life to converge and feast their eyes on the latest food presentations. Food enthusiasts were able to sample the latest trends in African foods as well as international foods.  It was also a great opportunity for people to see and taste the various exhibits from the major hotels and eateries which most people do not get to see under normal circumstances.

It was a perfect occasion for food and drink lovers to see and taste first hand some of the latest innovations and trends in the Ghanaian culinary circles.  Of course, a party of food and drink is incomplete without music and the festival did not disappoint in this either as there was a live band playing to sustain the enjoyment of the festival.   

Who Exhibited?  The who is who of culinary Ghana were all there - from famous eateries and hotels to individuals trying to make their own mark on the food industry! It was truly an international affair. The event was as much a celebration of top chefs and their culinary talents as it was for food enthusiasts searching for or presenting their best dishes or food at the Polo Heights grounds.

Exhibitors Included:

The Royal Senchi Hotel (food and beverage)

The African Regent Hotel

The Gold Coast Hotel – Restaurant and Cocktail Bar

The Peduase Valley Resort

Pizza Hut

Burger & Relish – An American Diner specialising in Burgers and Cocktails

The Noble House -Chinese Restaurant

Zaina Lodge in Northern Ghana, a Safari Lodge, near Mole National Park were represented too

The Urbanbox - a home delivery service for local fresh food

Yes Natural Organic Vegetables

What Were my Expectations?  My aim has always been to see a huge uptake in African foods all over the world as our foods have a lot to offer nutritionally and aesthetically.   And was I disappointed?  Not one bit! 

Highlight for Us?  We loved the strong presentations in all the stalls we visited and we were simply blown away by the innovative displays of the top hotels and eateries and how much Ghana is now ready to do business with the foods that we have.  But by far my favourite stand was that of the Peduase Valley Resort – a newly built 38 Bed hospitality Resort in the Aburi mountains, just outside the capital.  The Chef’s imaginative representations of our yams, plantains and even the creative bamboo and gourds as food containers blew me away! It was showy, sophisticated, practical and stunning.  No holding back, just perfect!  I had a lot of fun there and loved the taste of their displayed fusion foods!  Go here to learn more about Peduase Valley Resort on Facebook and make a booking today! Tell them you saw it on the africaonyourplate website. Visit Africa On Your Plate (AOYP) on Facebook here. Don't forget to tell your family and friends about us!

My Verdict?  Personally, I think this festival will go from strength to strength and the huge numbers of participants from all over the world send a positive message that Africa has good food of international standards.  Even some small and medium scale food entrepreneurs were offering healthy, fresh and wholesome foods and superfoods such as Moringa (a superfood green powder that helps in the fight against diabetes and cancer) at the festival.

My Conclusions?  This food festival was very successful.  It was a catwalk affair of showcasing, stall after stall, the cutting edge and the very best food and drink in Ghana at the moment.  The participation of the big wig hotels like the African Regent, the Gold Coast and the Royal Senchi, and of course the inclusion of the small and medium private enterprises are undisputable signals that food wise, Ghana has arrived and is ready for local and international business!

Sep. 11, 2016

Welcome back!

I hope your weekend is going well and you are looking forward to the Bank Holiday Monday?  Eid Mubarak to all who read this from Ghana and the UAE, and indeed, other parts of the world.  May Allah fulfil all your wishes!!!

Today, I want to share a salad recipe I created with you.  It's my representation of my dear country in culinary form.  I love it and hope it brings a smile to your mouth too!🙂

Red, Gold, Green Salad

This is a cheerfully vibrant and extremely filling salad using three colourful main ingredients which also happen to be the colours of the Ghana flag – red, gold and green and of course the kidney beans represent the Black Star!  It uses simple fresh ingredients of red tomatoes and /or red apples, yellow peppers and /or shredded carrots and green lettuce and /or green grapes. The eggs and onions are optional!  To make this salad, this is what you have to do:

Difficulty and servings

Easy, Serves 6

Preparation and Cooking times

Preparation time: 30 minutes, No cooking involved

You will need

1 large bunch of fresh and crispy Lettuce, washed and torn into bite-size pieces

2 large red Tomatoes cut into bite-size cubes

1 large red Apple, cored and cut into bite-size cubes and steeped in lemon juice

2 fresh yellow Bell peppers (Sweet peppers) cut into bite size pieces.

1 large yellow Tomatoes, cut into bite size cubes (optional)

1 fresh Carrot, shredded into thin slices or matchsticks, (julienned)

 1 large Onion cut into thin rings or 1 Spring onion, cut into 1 inch lengths (optional)

50g fresh baby Spinach, washed and torn into bite-size pieces (optional)

2 cloves Garlic, finely chopped

100g seedless green Grapes

½ can of cooked red Kidney beans, drained

A sprinkle of Salt to taste (if needed)

For the dressing, you will need

2tbs Balsamic vinegar

2tbs Soya sauce

1 Stock cube, mixed with a little boiling water, stirred and cooled

1 tsp Fish sauce (optional)

2tbs Apple juice

3 tbsp Olive oil (any choice of oil will do)

Method:

  1. Mix all the salad dressing ingredients in a small bowl, cover and keep in the fridge
  2. Arrange all the ingredients for the salad in a large glass bowl, making sure that same colour ingredients are grouped together.  Keep in the fridge until needed.
  3. Just before serving, put the dressing in a clean spray bottle and spray on the salad or simply sprinkle the dressing.
  4. Adjust seasoning if necessary and serve.

Monica’s Tips:

This is a simple but elegant vegetarian salad that can be served to meat eaters as well.  Serve on its own, with buttered bread slices or bread rolls or as part of a meal.  You may also serve with a can of Tuna chunks in oil as an alternative for meat eaters.  Replace yellow tomatoes with diced yellow bell peppers (sweet peppers) if necessary.  Leave out the eggs, tuna and fish sauce if making for vegetarians.

As ever, I would like to know how you got on with this Red, Gold, Green Salad.  Kindly send photos of your recipe, if possible, when you and your friends are doing an African themed party or a Ghanaian evening or wedding!!! Please send to africaonyourplate.simplesite.com

Whatever you are doing this weekend,

Happy Entertaining!

 

Aug. 30, 2016

Stir-fried Gingered Prawns

Aug. 30, 2016

Welcome back!

This week I am in the Brong–Ahafo region of Ghana attending a funeral.  Afterwards, I would like to delve a little bit into the Cashew industry which is quite vibrant in this region.  Hopefully, I should be able to give you a few ideas of what you can do with cashews in your cooking when you have family and friends around so watch this space.  In the meantime, I want to share with you a simple recipe of Stir-fried Gingered Prawns which is amazingly delicious and versatile for entertaining!  Enjoy!

To make this dish, Stir-fried Gingered  Prawns  this is what you have to do:

Difficulty and servings

Easy, serves 6

Preparation and Cooking times

Preparation time:  10 minutes: Cooking time:  10 minutes (+ 20 mins marinating time)

You will need:

       1/2 kg of Prawns peeled and deveined

       1 thumb of Ginger, peeled

        3 cloves of Garlic, crushed

        3 fresh peppers, chopped or 1 tsp chili powder if preferred

       1 medium sized  Onion, peeled and chopped

  • 2tbs Greek yoghurt (optional)

    1/2tsp Curry powder (optional)

    Salt and/or Stock cube, crumbled to taste

    2 tbs Oil

Method:

  1. In a large bowl, blend ginger, garlic, peppers, onion, yogurt, curry powder and stock cube. 

  2. Add peeled prawns and mix well. Cover and leave in the fridge to marinate for 20 minutes.

  3. Shallow fry them in a frying pan, well-spaced out.

  4. Fry each side for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.   Serve directly on a platter or on a bed of salad of your choice.

Monica's Tips

The ginger in this recipe really picks up the mildness of the prawns and creates a wonderful dish. You can use ready cooked prawns in this recipe but you get a much nicer texture with fresh, uncooked prawns. When the prawns are marinated, they can be skewered and cooked on barbecues as well.  You can also use King Prawns to make this recipe.  Serve with Kenkey or  boiled rice or any accompaniment of choice! 

As always, I would love to hear from you and see your photos of the dishes on this site if you make them.  Kindly send to africaonyourplate.simplesite.com.

Happy Entertaining!