Salut my BN Cuisine people…
Believe it or not I am still in this Paris frame of mind and it seems we are going to be experiencing it for a while. However, before I go on I have a small rant in my spirit.
Why would anyone still say I cook with ingredients that are not available in Nigeria?! Maybe if you live outside Lagos then I can understand but rather than ask for an alternative or something it’s straight to how I’m doing the impossible. Everything I put on here is from a market or a very easily accessible supermarket. I have done a whole post on where I get my ingredients but no… no one read it and took it seriously.
Last week I made a Croque Monsieur; apart from Mz Socially Awkward who asked for a more healthy Fit Fam kind of meal (which I am going to do baby girl) I just saw how I was cooking with difficult to find ingredients!
I was like ‘huh???’ Cheese, milk, bread, bread Pepper?? And ham!? All these things full ground for Nigeria now!
So please let’s not come and pull down unnecessarily if you don’t know something please don’t say it’s unavailable. If you’re not sure where to get them from please just ask where to source it from.
In my intermediary stage at Le Cordon Bleu, for my exam I had to do lamb loin with tomato concasseè and some vegetables…. Guess who overlooked their lamb and burnt their sauce and almost failed that stage?
Ding ding ding!!! You are correct.
Since that day I vowed never to destroy such a beautiful cut of meat in my life again! For this post I feel like I am redeeming myself but more importantly sharing some of my french food ideas.
With respect to the plea for a healthy option I actually changed the very creamy rich buttery potato mash for a more forgiving sweet potato purée instead. I prefer the taste of the purple or orange skin variety. Sometimes when I have that extra money,I even buy the orange fleshed ones from Delis supermarket on Akin Adesola in Victoria Island Lagos.
I know I am using rather expensive broccoli and cauliflower today but please life is meant for you to enjoy and not endure. Invest in your iron and protein dietary needs!
The lamb from this post I found for such an amazing price at a new supermarket called 9 to 7 at the end of Idejo in VIctoria Island here in Lagos. It’s locally raised lamb so even though it’s really small the price is a giveaway compared to the Spanish one I usually get. It’s also pretty good taste wise so it’s a win win for me! For about 2500 I got to racks of lamb enough to feed 3 extra hungry people. The rack was also perfect to be used as finger food.
Anyways here’s what I did… I am recreating my failed exam in a slightly healthier way and for cheap too!!So ladies and gentlemen here it is… My Spicy Lamb with Sweet Potato Purée and Spicy Red Wine Jus (pronounced juu )
Here’s what you’ll need (Serves 2)
1 rack of baby lamb cut into chops
1 teaspoon coarse leg ground black pepper
3 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
1 big garlic clove minced
1/2 teasppon Cameroon pepper or cayenne or Suya pepper
Touch Knorr classic (beef)
Salt to taste
For the Sweet Potato Purée
300-500g Purple Skin Sweet Potato (use the white skin variety if you do not find)
2 tablespoons good margarine like I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter or Blueband
2 cups semi-skimmed milk
Salt to taste
1 garlic clove crushed open
Pinch cinnamon powder
Carrots cut into small pieces
Small head of cauliflower cut into small pieces
Small head broccoli cut into small pieces ( I got a mixed pack from shop rite way cheaper that way)
Salt and black pepper to taste
Knorr chicken cube to taste
1/3 cup water or low fat chicken stock (or stock that has all the fat skimmed from the top when it cold)
Red Wine Gravy
2 glasses red wine
Knorr classic 1 single cube
1 small onion roughly chopped
1 crushed open garlic clove
1 clove or star anise
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 Ata-rodo split open (scotch bonnet pepper)
Start by boiling the sweet potatoes with the garlic till there are really soft. Remove the garlic clove and place the potatoes in a good blender or a food processor and start by pulsing it till it breaks down into a way smaller pieces. Place on a semi high speed and pour the milk slowly through the open tube you can also add some of the cooking water in case it gets too dry. Sweet potatoes soak up a lot of liquid. Add the margarine and process till it’s silly smooth and seasoning is right. Set aside to keep warm.
While the sweet potatoes are having a boil, marinade the lamb chops (ask your butcher to cut it up for you) with the seasonings on both sides of the chop. With a touch of olive oil an s set aside for 20 minutes minimum. You could marinade a day in advance.
After that place the cut up vegetables (broccoli carrots and cauliflower) in a pan with the olive oil and stir fry for a few seconds. Then add the stock or water and cover to steam. Season with the Knorr and salt and pepper. Cook till it’s just cooked and still crunchy or really soft if you like your vegetables that way.
Cooking the lamb… and making the gravy
Sear the lamb on both sides for 60 seconds on a high heat and remove from the pan. Drain the excess oil, then add the onions and open garlic cloves, Knorr seasoning , ginger powder and ata rodo. Leave it to bubble down a bit. When it has reduced by almost half, stir in the tiny block of cold butter to give it a shine and thicken it slightly. Season and strain it through a sieve to catch the garlic and ata rodo and any seeds that may have gone into the sauce.
At this point you can add the lamb to the sauce and gently heat turn the heat up. Do not allow it boil, just a slow simmer. This way, the lamb would cook to a beautiful rosé pink color. That’s how lamb chops should be. No over cooking allowed here!
Plate up and served with a good Pinot Noir, or one of these nice Spanish Tempranilos. If you don’t drink alcohol go for pomegranate juice on the rocks.
This is a forgiving way to enjoy carbs and red meat. Little of everything and using a healthier alternative like sweet potato.
Before I sign off, it has been a really challenging week. Some ‘hayruhz’ sent their agents to block all my photographers from being able to come, then my camera chargers to stopped working. Finally, my laptop crashed! But God is faithful. God bless uncle Steve for that iPhone 4S thing with HDR and natural light and the help of my assistant Ore, we managed to pull off these pictures. So please forgive the not-so-high def pictures but just so you can get the idea.
Remember if you jazz this recipe up and. Send me a picture and I’ll post it on Instagram it for you. I’ll give you a gift as well…
So let’s get cooking!!!
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 visit www.cheffregz.com. Chef Fregz provides premium private catering services. For bookings and orders email [email protected] – @Chef_Fregz on Instagram and Twitter. You can check out the Chef Fregz Page on Facebook as well.