garlic

Avocado Lime Cilantro Sauce

My sister posted a picture of her food the other day on the family Whatsapp group. She does this every so often just to make me jealous. According to her, it is payback for all the food pictures I post on Instagram. I think this is a fair trade-off. So anyway, she posts her plate of plantain, brisket, and a small green salad. I was really jealous. The plantain looked like Boli, a type of roasted or grilled plantain we eat in Nigeria. Boli is made on a charcoal grill. It is what many would call street food. The grilling process creates lovely charring and gives it a smoky flavor.

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honey garlic cilantro chicken in a white plate

Honey Garlic Cilantro Chicken

Seven years ago when I moved to the Boston area, I attended a program called the Startup Institute to try to break into the tech scene in Boston. I remember talking to a classmate on the last day of that program about my dreams. I envisioned one day having my own space where I could host friends and cook and have a lovely conversation. Recently, I had the pleasure of cooking this Honey Garlic Cilantro Chicken while hosting a friend at my new apartment.

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leek and corn risotto dusted with chopped chives

Leek and Corn Risotto

One of my favorite features of my apartment is my kitchen. Let me tell you…the kitchen is the thing that pushed me over the hill. Originally when I saw the listing for the apartment, I was on the fence about it. But I got a showing and I was desperate so I came reluctantly. Boy! When they say God will not let you miss what is yours…it is my kitchen. It is beautiful. It is spacious. When I made the leek and corn risotto for my friend F. the other day, I had a moment of gratitude. I looked at her sitting on the other side of the granite countertop, and I said a quick prayer of thanks to God.

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Slow Roasted Tomato

Yes, I know that Labor Day has gone by and the world seems to be abandoning summer for fall. But, now is the perfect time to make this slow-roasted tomato. At the end of summer, tomatoes reach their peak sweetness. The vines become heavy, the store shelves become full of vibrant tomatoes and the prices go down. So, now is the best time to buy a bunch of tomatoes and slow-roast them for the fall at least.

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Spaghetti in Garlic Oil in a white plate dusted with breadcrumbs and spring onion slices

Spaghetti in Garlic Oil

Food is my language. There is no doubt about that in my mind. Those that know me know that this statement to be true. My love of food is not so much about eating as it is feeding. I love feeding those that I value. I continuously find ways to delight people with food. My adventures in cooking for loved ones has led me to one conclusion. This spaghetti in garlic oil embodies my mantra.

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Chipotle Chili topped with yogurt and cilantro

Chili on a Chilly Day

The other day, it occurred to me that I have been on social media for about a third of my life. Growing up in Nigeria, I won’t exactly say that I grew up with technology. Technology and the internet was something that slowly drizzled into Nigeria. Moving the US when I was 16, opened my eyes to the internet and social networking online. Even before the days of Facebook, I spent a considerable amount of time online. One of my favorite things to do online is to learn about food. I have always been curious about the way other people eat. Food bloggers have become my demi-gods and I have become the person who falls in love with recipes. This Chipotle Chili from Gaby of What’s Gaby Cooking is one of my new loves.

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Fried Salt and Pepper Chicken WIngs in a bowl, dusted with specks of sesame seeds and spring onions. I have a half eaten wings between my fingers

Takeout Wings

Fried Salt and Pepper Chicken WIngs in a bowl, dusted with specks of sesame seeds and spring onions. I have a half eaten wings between my fingers

I don’t know much about American football. As a Nigerian-American woman, I grew up watching soccer in Lagos. I have vivid memories, from my childhood, of watching the World Cup games between the Super Eagles and other national teams. Now that I live in the land of the New England Patriots, during one of the winningest seasons, I find myself interested in the results. As has mostly been the case in the past six years I have lived in the Boston area; the Patriots are going to the Superbowl. As the fans send off the team, I am dreaming of chicken wings for Super Bowl Sunday. First up are these Salt and Pepper Chicken wings.

Second confession: I am a chicken wings connoisseur. Chicken wings always have a presence in the my freezer stash. I just find them so easy to cook. Baking wings at high heat in an oven and coating with sauce is a favorite cooking method. I can braise them quickly in a shallow pan to make a broth for instant noodles. The Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings are deep fried before being coated in an intense coat of sauce.

Fried Salt and Pepper Chicken WIngs in a bowl, dusted with specks of sesame seeds and spring onions

I knew I had to write up the recipe for these Salt and Pepper Chicken wings when I finally got my ratios right. It took a while to feel like I had the right balance of ingredients. I actually tested this recipe over three consecutive days. Each time was good until it was irresistible. There is something about cooking with ginger, garlic and soy sauce. The combination makes the space smell like good food is cooking. This trifecta add so much umami to this chicken.

It is my sincerest hope that you have an opportunity to try the recipe for Salt and Pepper chicken wings. The one thing I can tell you about making this chicken wings is that it is essential to have everything ready before you start cooking. The process goes by so quickly. The resulting wings are worth the effort.

Fried Salt and Pepper Chicken WIngs in a bowl, dusted with specks of sesame seeds and spring onions

Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings

Sinmi
The Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings is a homage to Chinese takeout menu. I wanted a taste that might not be authentic but reminds me of my favorite Chinese buffet experience. The wings do exactly that.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer, Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Chicken Wings Party Style
  • 12 Sprigs Spring Onions
  • 8 cloves Garlic use less if you prefer
  • 2 tbsp Grated Fresh Ginger
  • 4 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 2 tbsp Chili Flakes
  • 3 tbsp Freshly Milled Black Pepper
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • Gomasio or Everything But Bagel Seasoning optional
  • 3 Cups Vegetable Oil
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Pat the chicken wings completely dry before salting the skin generously.
  • Chop the garlic cloves into fine bits. Slice the spring onions, separating the greens from the white ends.
  • A saucepan, with deep side, heat up the vegetable oil on medium heat. Test out the temperature of the oil by testing with a thermometer to see if it is 375F. Or sprinkle some flour and see if it sizzles.
  • Once the oil is hot, start frying the chicken wings. Do not crowd the pot. Frying the chicken takes about 10-15 minutes. I like to turn my wings a couple of times to get a deep golden brown color on them. 
  • When pulling wings out of the oil, don’t place on paper towel. Gently place on a plate.
  • While the last batch of chicken fries, start making the sauce to coat wings in another saucepan. Add in the sesame oil first. Follow with the garlic and ginger after a couple of minutes. Once garlic and ginger become fragrant, add in the white part of the spring onions. 
  • A minute after the spring onions are added in, pour in the soy sauce. Let it reduce and become sticky. Add in the chili flakes and black pepper. Stir everything together and wait for the last batch of chicken to finish frying.
  • Once all the chicken wings are adequately fried, add them into the sauce with the heat still on. Stir it all together to get as much sauce on each chicken wings as possible. Once the sauce coats the chicken wings well, add in the green bits of the spring onions. Toss around for a moment.
  • Transfer the Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings to a plate. I like to sprinkle mine with either gomasio or everything but bagel seasoning. It adds some more texture and umami with the sesame seed and other spices.
Keyword appetizers, chicken, chicken wings, chili flakes, crystallized ginger, garlic, green onions, soy sauce, wings
Carrot Curry Soup with Biscuit and Pesto

A Soup to Soothe the Cold

Carrot Curry Soup with Biscuit and Pesto

My darling Boston has been experiencing a warmer than expected winter, so far. The lack of cold has meant that I have developed a robust appetite for soups as I usually do. This week, we had a bit of a cold snap when the temperature dropped into the teens from the mid-30s. It was a wonderful opportunity to make this carrot curry soup.

The truth is that I don’t know if I really like carrots. I am a bit of a picky eater. There are certain foods I only tolerate in specific preparations. Carrots are one of those. I can only seem to eat my carrots in soup form. Any other preparation and I am not likely going to be a fan. Although, there are a few salad options I have tried and liked.

Carrot Curry Soup with Biscuit and Pesto

I, overwhelmingly, prefer to taste the full range of flavors on my vegetables. One of the things that draws me to this Carrot Curry Soup is how insanely robust and flavorful it is. There is no hiding from the carrot in this soup. The roasting of the carrot to get that caramelization completely changes the way it presents itself in the soup. The carrot suddenly has both a sweet and salty taste on the tongue. This is one of my favorite things about this soup

As the name Carrot Curry Soup suggests, the curry paste is an important part of this production. Finding a good red curry paste makes a difference in this soup. I usually buy a popular brand that I have used and liked for years. Toasting the curry paste a bit before cooking is something I learned from reading South East Asian recipes. It gives the curry a chance to develop a heavenly fragrance while waking up dormant oils.

There is a bit of a choose your adventure to making soup. You can make it as thick or as thin as you desire. I personally prefer this carrot curry soup so thick it feels like a mousse. The feel of air on the tongue is one that makes quite a difference when eating this.

I have served this carrot curry soup with an insanely flavorful Walnut Cilantro pesto sauce that is still in testing. Hopefully, I can get that recipe out to you soon.

Please try the recipe and let me know what you think.

Carrot Curry soup in a white bowl

Carrot Curry Soup

Sinmi
Delightful use of carrot and red curry paste to create a warming winter soup.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound Carrot peeled and quartered
  • 4 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 3 Tbsp Red Curry Paste
  • 13.5 oz Full Fat Coconut Milk this basically one can of coconut milk
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 inches ginger chopped
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • The first step is roasting the carrots. Put the carrots on a baking sheet, add in two tablespoons of coconut oil and some salt. Mix it so that everything is well coated. Place in an oven that has been preheated to 400F. Roast for 25 minutes or until carrots is well browned.
  • In a medium-sized pot, heat up the leftover coconut oil. Add in the chopped garlic and ginger. Sauteed at medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the red pepper paste. Keep stirring and heating until the paste mixture is fragrant.
  • Pour the coconut milk as well as 2-3 cups of water. Stir until the paste is well dissolved into the liquid. Add in the roasted carrots. Let it boil at medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.
  • Let soup cool down a bit before attempting to blend, for safety reasons. Once it is cool enough to handle, blend soup until smooth. This can easily be done in a food processor or blender. 

Notes

*I like to blend the soup for a long time to whisk some air into it. This gives it a mousse like texture when you are eating it. 
*Also, I serve mine with a tangy walnut cilantro paste sometimes. This adds a serious depth of flavor to the bowl. The recipe for that is here.
Keyword carrot, coconut, coconut milk, coconut oil, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, red curry paste, roasted carrot