Peppersoup

It is my very firm (and non-professional) opinion that peppersoup cures all ills.

Got a cold? Have some peppersoup.

Feeling down in the dumps and need a pick me up? Have some peppersoup.

Had your heart broken? HAVE SOME PEPPERSOUP.

It is just so delicious and light and medicinal and you can have it any way you want, whether that be with meat, fish or even with just vegetables.

It’s a very popular dish in Nigeria (and other West African countries) and as such most of the ingredients will need to be purchased from an Afro-Caribbean grocery store.

I feel I have to warn you, this soup is very spicy (it says it right in the name) and is not for the faint of heart. So proceed at your own peril! 

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Ingredients used:

  • 600g Goat Meat or Beef, cut into small chunks
  • 1 Large Onion, julienne
  • 200g Closed Cup Button Mushrooms, sliced in half
  • Seasonings
    • 2 Scotch Bonnets, chopped finely
    • 2 tbsp Peppersoup seasoning
    • 2 tbsp Ground Crayfish
    • 1 handful of Dried Scent Leaves, crushed with stems removed
    • 3 seasoning cubes (Maggi/Knorr)
    • 1 Clove of Garlic, crushed
    • 1tsp Ginger Powder
    • ½ tsp Crushed Black Pepper
    • Cooking Salt, to taste

Prep time – 5 mins

Method:

  1. In a bowl, wash the meat in warm water with a dash of vinegar/lemon juice.
  2. Put the meat in a pressure pot, add the onions and season with garlic, ginger and 2 of the seasoning cubes.

Cooking time – 25 mins

Cooking:

  1. Cover the meat with water and bring the pressure cooker to the boil on medium/high heat.
  2. Once the meat starts boiling, close the cooker and cook under pressure for a further 5-7 minutes.
  3. Turn the heat off and remove the pressure by releasing the steam.
  4. Transfer the meat and stock to a saucepan and put on low heat.
  5. Add some more water to the pot to cover at least an inch above the meat.
  6. Add the mushrooms, peppersoup seasoning, ground crayfish, dried scent leaves, seasoning cube and black pepper to the pot and let simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Extra tip: Substitute the meat for catfish and have your whole life changed.

Steak Dinner

When cooking a steak, simplicity is key.

– Chef Vic, 2019.

Prior to 2017, I didn’t know how to cook a steak.

At least not one I was ever satisfied with.

It either turned out being over-seasoned, or overcooked.

But then, that year for my birthday, a dear friend of mine took me to a cooking class where we were taught the perfect way to make steaks.

And sweet heavens above, since then my steaks have turned out PERFECT each time.

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Ingredients used:

  • Rump/Sirloin Steak
  • Sweet Potatoes, sliced into thin chips
  • Broccoli, top cut into small florets
  • Seasonings
    • 2 tsp Rapeseed Oil
    • 2 tsp Sea Salt
    • 1 tsp Crushed Black Pepper
    • 2 Garlic Cloves (see below for how to make garlic paste)
    • 3 knobs of Butter, room temperature
    • 1 tbsp Mixed Herbs

Prep time – 5 mins

Method (garlic paste):

  1. Peel the skin from the garlic and place on the chopping board.
  2. Sprinkle some sea salt on the garlic cloves and using the flat part of the blade, crush the cloves and drag across the chopping board.
  3. Scrape the paste using the knife and place in a bowl with the butter and mix well.

Prep time – 5 mins

Method (sweet potato fries):

  1. In a bowl, drizzle 1 tsp of rapeseed oil on the sweet potatoes and add in the mixed herbs.
  2. Toss to ensure all of the potato is covered.
  3. Spread out on an oven tray.

Cooking time – 35 mins

Cooking (sweet potato fries & broccoli):

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (gas mark 4)
  2. Place the tray of potatoes and leave to bake for 30 minutes, turning regularly.
  3. Additionally, blanch the broccoli florets in boiling water for 4 minutes and drain well.

Cooking time – 2 to 6 mins

Cooking (steak):

  1. Season the steak with salt and pepper.
  2. Put a griddle pan on high heat on the hob.
  3. Depending on how well done you like your steak, as a general rule of thumb add 2 minutes to the cooking time for each side (e.g. 2 mins per side for rare steak, 4 mins per side for medium, 6 mins per side for well-done).
  4. A trick I learned from the class is to flip the steak every 30 seconds, to ensure even cooking throughout the steak.
  5. Once the steak is cooked, serve with the sweet potato fries, broccoli and a dollop of garlic butter.
  6. Enjoy!

Extra tip: pair with a glass (or bottle) of good red wine and honestly live your best life.