Sunday Night Meals
Let me take this time to be frank with you all. There is this unwritten rule that as a Nigerian wife (or any type of wife that's not American), you must be able to cook day in and day out. Not only must you cook every single day of your life until you die, you must be able to cook for the Gods! In the first year of being a wife, I put so much pressure and unnecessary stress on myself to be able to cook Nigerian food to my husbands standards, that I at times shyed away from cooking Nigerian food. After talking to a few friends, I realized that I am not the only one that lacked confidence in cooking Nigerian food.
Sometime in my marriage, the fear of cooking Nigerian food diminished and my skill in cooking increased immensely (according to my husband). So how did I get past the challenge of cooking good Nigerian food? Well...
1. I first came to the understanding that a lot of Nigerian women (especially women who grew up in the US) actually do not know how to cook tasty Nigerian food and those that do, had a lot of practice. Trust me, most women that act like they have been able to cook since birth have either gotten a lot of practice in or are just plain bulls******g you.
2. The only way to impress your hubby or boyfriend with your food is to practice. So instead of avoiding opportunities to cook Nigerian food, create non-stressful opportunities to learn to cook different meals. It is not the wisest idea to use the day before your mother-in-law comes into town or when your husband village men are come to your home to start learning how to cook egusi soup. Make a girls date to try out a recipe at a girlfriends kitchen.
With that being said, I encourage you all to try my Jellof sphaghetti recipe (below). It's a semi quick meal (1-2 hrs including prepping) to make when you don't have a lot of time or energy to spend in the kitchen. I use my husband and his brother to gauge how well my food is and my husband has been going crazy over this meal since I made it a few days ago.
Recipe: Jellof Spaghetti
Ingredients: crayfish, 1/2 onion, 4 tomatoes, 3 red bell peppers, 1 habanero, spaghetti, ground beef or turkey, tomato paste
Cut up all the onions (1/2), red bell peppers (3), tomatoes (4), and habanero (1). Use a blender to blend all the contents and boil on the stove until all the liquid is removed.
Cook thawed ground beef in skillet and season meat with the seasonings mentioned above.
Use any type of meat to create your broth. I used chicken gizzard because it's what I had in my freezer. If I could choose, chicken breast is probably best. Be sure to use enough water for your broth and almost over season the broth. This is key to adding wonderful flavor to your spaghetti.
Parboil the spaghetti with little salt. Be sure not to fully cook the spaghetti so that once you finish, the spaghetti won't be super soft and overcooked. It is probably best to parboil two packs of spaghetti, but I was lazy so I just cooked one pack.
Now that prepping is done, it's time to cook! Get a large pot to heat your oil. I am terrified of getting burned with hot oil so when heating my oil, I always heat it on low.
Once the oil is hot, add in a lot of crayfish. Be very generous with the cray fish. The more the merrier!
Add tomato paste and mix it until fried.
Soooo, when I got to this stage, I forgot to take pictures of what I was doing and went straight into cooking mode. Basically, after frying the tomato paste, add the dried tomato and the ground beef. Add some of the stock (not a lot) and the spaghetti and mix. Add more stock but don't make it too watery. Cover the pot and allow the stock to dry (which finishes cooking the spaghetti).
What are some quick meals you like to make for yourself and family? I love trying out new recipes! Until next time, kisses!!