At some point last year I stumbled across this blog called Afrolems.com. I loved the name and how this girl who lived in Canada was presenting Nigerian food in such a great way. I think it was after looking through lohiscreations.com I saw the link to the site and read all about her and her journey.
With many thanks to social media a few discussions here and there but we officially met each other over Christmas last year. However, yesterday we finally got a chance to let ourselves go in the kitchen. Afrolems is a catering company in Canada and a Food blog that is poised to bring Nigerian food more to the limelight not just across the world but even closer to us who live here already. Her name is Atim Ukoh. Atim is such a humble person and we had such a great time cooking and styling the shoot.
The inspiration for our cooking was goat meat. We wanted to bridge our styles. She being afrocentric and my own “oyibo” approach to things. So after a quick chat on the phone we concluded to jump off the idea of goat meat. Honestly this whole goat meat thing was a little inception on my part. I had been craving asun through out the week and whilst buying some puff puff inspiration came.
Atim arrives my house with a truck load of things. She was inspired to do something northern. So she had her Tiger Nuts a.k.a Aya to make some delicious Kunuaya and her traditional masa pot(I jumped for excitement when I saw that because that took me to my service days in Kaduna) some rice and spices.
What We Cooked
Atim wanted to make a curry goat aka goat curry to serve with some tuwo rice. Then she made the masa and served it as a dessert with maple syrup and chocolate sprinkles which was every kind of delicious! However, those recipes are going to be on her own site afrolems.com. On here today are the recipes for the asun I made and the appetizer I turned it into and the Kunuaya.
ASUN PAR CHEF FREGZ
As much as I love asun I had never ventured to make it. After spending too much money at The Place I decided to put my spin on it. For me the best part was the onions that went in at the end and barley cooked that way the onion contributed a seasoning without being too harsh!
I bought two laps of the female goat (used that because it gets softer on time than the male goat) I had it cut up for me at the market, I split it into half, cut up on half into tiny pieces for the asun and placed it to boil with chunks of onions, 2 bashed cloves of garlic, a few sprigs of fresh thyme and knorr seasoning cubes. You can use whatever seasoning cube or powder you have/prefer. The other half got the same treatment and Atim used some of that for her curry.
When my asun chunks had gone through a good 40 minutes to an hour of simmering it was soft and ready to be tossed in hot fat and pepper. I just recently acquired a Wok so I had the perfect vessel to make it. So take note invest in a wok. They’re useful for more than just Asian recipes.
About 2 tablespoon of vegetable oil went in the wok. When the oil got smoky i swirled it around because you need all sides of the wok to be hot, that how you cook with it, moving everything around. The chopped pepper and onions went in with another bashed clove of garlic. (At this point you may need to where a mask and open all the windows or set your extractor to the highest. basically the pepper can get really hot and cause heavy coughing and sneezing so be careful.) Stir-fry the pepper for about 30 seconds then add the goat pieces and stir fry for 1-2 minutes then add some of the stock that was leftover simmering it. I don’t know if this is the traditional method but I figured it needed maximum flavour so why not? I went slightly overboard with the pepper so I dropped a tablespoon of chopped tomatoes to temper the heat because you really want to enjoy a tingling heat sensation not a party from hell in your mouth!
At the end check for seasoning. I added some more seasoning cube at the end as well as roughly chopped onions at the very end. and Voila it was ready!
Now you can serve this straight away but I think I have something better. Remember my puff puff earlier on? Well this is it below.
Cut the ends of the puff puff and cut in half to reveal two pieces. Lay each piece down and place a crisp lettuce leaf using gloves or a cocktail stick place a chuck of asun on the top securing with a nice cocktail stick, finish off by adding a small dollop of mayonnaise and voila! We have our canapé of asun open sandwiches. This plate you’re seeing was empty after the pictures were taken and I take full responsibility. Two of my favourite things in my mouth!
So please at your next party feel free to attempt this for your friends and family. It is for sure going the Chef Fregz Canape list!
This refreshing drink is quite easy to make. As the name implies Milk of Aya. (Milk of Tiger Nuts) They are also called earth almonds. All you need to do this get quite a lot of Tiger Nuts say 500 grams and soak in water for a few hours then blend with a fresh batch of water and pass through a sieve to extract the “milk” mix with coconut milk to give a touch more creaminess and sweetness. Chill in the fridge and you’re good to go! You could add some pineapple like we (Atim and I) agreed yesterday when we ate the garnish alongside drinking the Kunuaya we realised it kinda flowed. It may not be the exact traditional thing to do but hey! it works. You may add regular sugar to it or whatever you fancy should sweeten your drink. But honestly it didn’t really need sugar it was delicious all by itself.
I hope you are going to try this or even sometime more imaginative and creative with goat meat. Please I am advocating for this drink incase you haven’t tried it. its not that difficult to make and more importantly enjoy!
You can check out the rest of what Atim did on www.afrolems.com
Have an amazing weekend ahead!
Chef Fregz loves to cook! He is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu Paris Culinary Arts School in France and hosts monthly “Chef Fregz Specials” where he whips up a yummy menu with a different theme each time then everyone enjoys a taste.He also caters special events and private dinners. To find out more, www.cheffregz.com