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Happy New Month people!

This month of May promises to be a month of possibilities, don’t ask me why I just know it, lol. Like I mentioned on Wednesday we will try out different seasonings and spices for meat which consists of chicken and beef mainly. I get complaints of bland meats in stews and soup a lot, I’m hoping to be of help with this months meaty delicious recipes 🙂 .

In our part of the planet we love to use basic popular spices when cooking meat for stews, soups, meat stock for gravies and jollof/fried rice which starts and ends with thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, ginger and garlic. Abi I lie? Sometimes we add curry powder but that’s about it. Nothing wrong with these spices I tell you even though according to my Mum curry, thyme, rosemary, ginger and garlic shouldn’t be used when cooking meat for soups especially local ones and I agree.

That leaves us with only dry pepper, Maggi/Knorr and salt for seasoning soup meats but thank God for Cameroon pepper which adds flavour to meat that can be used in an inter-continental dish as well as local Ofe onugbu (bitter leaf soup).

I will be preaching the gospel of marinating meats alot this month but will also show us a great way to crash cook delicious meat in 30 minutes or less without marinating; this becomes necessary when you have to remove your head from the clouds and prepare a sharp sharp meal for an impromptu very important guest lol! So why today’s post? Just to show us most of the spices we will be using this month, well the ones I have in my pantry for now.

So let go…

Normal meat spices

Normal meat spices

Ginger and garlic while very versatile because of their many uses are also Chinese spices that almost always feature in Chinese cuisine, so you see, if you’ve been using only ginger and garlic in your dishes, you are doing well already.

Kosher salt, regular table salt and seasoning cubes

L-R Kosher salt, regular table salt and seasoning cubes

You probably noticed I don’t have any chicken stock cubes, that’s because I prefer to use fresh chicken stock, somehow most chicken cubes seem to have curry like something in them and while I love curry, I don’t want it in every dish including chicken dishes. So with cubes that don’t dramatically change the taste of a dish and the help of other spices, I create my own flavours.

Now let’s go a little further.

These spices are especially Indian

These spices are especially Indian

The above spices are your number one when it comes to Indian chicken curry, but they can also be used in other dishes and in different combinations to achieve different flavours.

Different peppers

Different peppers

The above peppers can be used with different results. Paprika adds redness to stews, meat and whatever dish you use it in. Cayenne is hot and spicy alot like the dry long chillies in the picture, as for black pepper I think I appreciate it more in Chai tea lol! Just kidding, it’s best when added directly on the meat going straight to the grill like beef steak and barbecued chicken, freshly ground is best. The dry chillies are our local lot, the large brown one is our dry Cameroon pepper. Most of these dry chillies including paprika can be found in large quantities up north, I get mine from Oyingbo with the exception of paprika.

Excellent in chicken

Excellent in chicken

Especially if the chicken broth will be needed in gravy, fried rice or curry.

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These go well in any meat, the first time I used Worcestershire sauce was with turkey wings and it was awesome! It’s also good in meatballs while soy sauce is pretty much good in anything Asian – chicken, vegetable stirfry etc.

 

All these spices have their benefits when added to dishes, some warm the body increasing metabolism, others clear the nasal and respiratory tracts and we know peppers/ chillies are high in anti-oxidants.

Residents of Lagos and Abuja can get these spices from Shoprite and other big supermarkets.  If you feel the ground spices might be mixed with other stuff, you will find small packs of whole dry seeds like coriander especially in Spar/Park n Shop.

I’ll share more meat spices and seasonings with us again.  Until Monday when we see our very first meaty dish, do have a great weekend!

Azu 🙂 .