Nigerian Style Salad

 

salad

This Salad is packed full with flavors from different vegetables and salad dressing or mayonnaise.This is a compulsory item(unofficially) on every party menu.It is usually eaten on the side accompanied with some sort of rice(jollof,fried,white). When I was about 13 or so,I used to think that this was the way all salads where made.So I was a bit surprised when I went to a camp in New York and saw a bowl of lettuce and tomatoes and it was called salad,I stood transfixed and someone must have noticed my confusion because she asked if salad was a strange word for me,don’t we have salads in Nigeria? Lets just say it was the beginning of a “food learning experience” for me,now,I want to know how everything is made,I even collect regional cookbooks(mostly pastry and dessert books) just to learn all the exciting things in the world of food.

 

There is no specific way to make this,the idea is to just make it pretty and delicious. But this is how I usually make mine.

You’ll need;

1 small cabbage or 1/2 of a large cabbage (shredded)

Lettuce (I could not find good,fresh lettuce so I omitted it,but in the picture above,lettuce was included) cut into 1/2 inch pieces

3 Large carrots,2 grated,1 diced

1 can of sweet corn or you can use frozen

1 can or frozen Green Peas

1 can Baked beans

3 firm tomatoes (2 sliced thinly,1 diced)

4 Hard boiled Eggs,sliced

1 Cucumber,half sliced,half diced

1 Potato,diced

1 red onion,sliced,smaller parts diced (optional)

Mayonnaise,as needed

 

 Prepare everything you need.

If using fresh corn,peas,potatoes and carrots,boil them in salted water until tender but still firm.Sieve and rinse in cold water to stop cooking process.

Salad preparation if you are using canned peas and sweet corn,just drain,no need to boil.

Combine all the diced elements in a bowl and the eggs that did not come out perfectly.

 You can put anything you want in.I had some left over chicken so I added it to the mixture.

Add some Mayonnaise to bind it all together and give it a good mix.

 

Assembling

On a tray,spread 1/2 of the shredded cabbage to cover the bottom.

followed by 1/2 the carrots

Spread the veggie mix on

and cover with the remaining cabbage

Now arrange the slices of vegetables as shown

or you can arrange it this way too…

 

wrap tightly in cling film and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve with more mayonnaise or salad cream.

salad

Advertisements

Meat Pie — The Nigerian way

Meat pie

 This half moon-shaped pastry is one of the most common pastries in Nigeria,loved by all (I am yet to meet anyone who does not like it).It’s even a big hit among my Hungarian friends too so there has got to be something right about it.right?I can’t say it originates from Nigeria,to be honest,I have no idea where it originates from but different countries have something that makes it different.The buttery crust with meat and vegetable fillings is a palate pleaser.It’s pretty simple to make but there are lots of steps involved.

Recipe

For the Meat and Veggie filling

500g of Minced Meat

1 teaspoon dried chili

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 bullion or stock cube

1 bay leaf

pinch of salt (to taste)

1 small onion

2 medium size carrots

1 medium potato

1 tablespoon vegetable oil(optional,I just like to add it for flavour)

1 tablespoon flour

Bell pepper (optional)

Green peas(optional)

For the Dough

600g Flour

300g Butter

1 tablespoon Baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

Pinch of salt

Cold water (as needed)

1 Egg (for brushing)

How to

makes about 24 pieces

The dough

  • In a big bowl,combine the flour,baking powder,salt,sugar and mix.
  • Cut the butter into little cubes and add to the mixture

  • Rub in the butter till it looks like breadcrumbs

  • Then add water cold water,a little at a time and mix until it forms a soft but firm dough.Cover and let it rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.this gives the gluten in the flour some time to develop

The filling

  • Cut the carrots and potatoes into little pieces

  • Dice the onions too.
  • In a pot,crumble the minced meat in,add the onions and stir,it would begin to change colour as it cooks.add the salt,black pepper,chili,stock cube and keep stirring
  • Add the vegetables and cook for about 2-3mins
  • When it’s done,add the oil,mix,then add the flour.The flour helps to bind all the delicious goodness coming out of the meat

In my opinion,the less the veggies,the more delicious the meat pie is (but then again,it’s just my opinion)

  • Set aside to cool.
  • Roll out the dough,as thin as you want it but not to thin (we don’t want the dough tearing).
  • Get a round cutter or anything round that you can use to cut (I used the container that my daisy cookie cutters came in).

If yours looks like mine,just run a small knife through the cuts.

  • Put about a tablespoon of filling on one half of the cut dough,moisten the edges with a little bit of water (just dip your finger in water and run it around the edges.

  • Fold over and use the tines of a fork to seal the edges.

  • Transfer to a baking sheet
  • Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius
  • Brush a beaten egg on the dough (this gives it a nice brown finish)
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes

Enjoy!