Liberian Pepper Soup

4:46 PM

About a year ago, I traveled to Chicago on business. My client is Liberian and upon learning that, I was inquiring about authentic Liberian food. She told me of Pepper Soup and decided that I had to try it. When I first tasted it, I knew I had to learn this recipe. She was nice enough to not only share the recipe with me, but called her sister over to show me step by step.

Although a year later, I finally made it myself.  It is a hearty soup, with a base of okra and eggplant. It is full of different types of meats. When my client made it for me, she included snail meat and  fish. I can do without the fish and did not have time to clean snails, so I left those out of the soup I made.

It is not the easiest to photograph and looks like a hodgepodge of things but if you are like me and love to try different foods, this is definitely an easy one to make and so good!

You will need:

3-4 smoked neckbones
1 smoked turkey wing or leg
1 bag of mussels (cleaned, steamed and deshelled)
2 cups of cooked shrimp
3 medium crabs or crab legs
1 large eggplant (sliced into chunks)
2 1/2 cups of frozen or fresh okra
3 tbsp of Knorr Chicken bouillon

Fish (rainbow trout, cod)
Snail meat
Habanero pepper

Fufu or rice

Fill large pot with water and add in your chicken bouillon. Add in your smoked turkey and neckbone and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 20 minutes or more, until meat is tender. Add in your okra and eggplant and cook for about 20 more minutes until they are tender. Remove the meat and sit aside. Remove the okra and eggplant and you can blend in food blender/processor until  smooth and blended. Pour okra and eggplant back into the soup stock. Pull the meat from the turkey and place back in the pot, discarding the bones.

On low heat, add in your shrimp and mussels. Cook for an hour on low. Serve with a squeeze of lime, habanero for spice and fufu or rice.  Find an easy recipe for fufu here if you are unable to get fufu mix.


Tried It & Loved It: Banh Mi

9:49 PM

Here in my wee little town, variety in foods is not something we have a ton of. We have your typical and 'expected' family style franchised spots and then we have a handful of ethnic spots. One Japanese, one Thai, and one Greek. That is it. When it comes to trying something new, I pretty much have to do it myself.

I saw this sandwich on Guy's Grocery Games and had to try it. I went for the grilled pork meatballs, seasoned with fish sauce, soy sauce and a bit of sugar. The grill gave it an amazing smokey taste.

My mom, who is very picky when it comes to stepping outside of traditional southern foods, loved it. I would was a hit.

I used this recipe found at Rasa Malaysia.  I used ground pork instead of the pork butt.


Chicken Fajitas with Pineapple and Jalapenos

12:39 AM

My mom grew up in Texas and she reminds us all the time. Albeit she left that great state when she was 17 and has only visited since then, she often speaks small words in Spanish and says her favorite food is spanish.

She love Spanish food. Every chance she gets, she wants it. Of course for Cinco De Mayo, she made chicken fajitas, refried beans and rice. I of course needed a bit extra added to said fajitas and took to the grill to grill some fresh cut pineapple and jalapenos.

for 2-4 fajitas:

1 chicken breast (thinly sliced and rinsed)
2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
1/2 tbsp of chopped chipotles
3-4 small sweet bell peppers
1 sliced jalapeno (with seeds if you like heat)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 slices of pineapple
Flour tortillas

In a skillet, pour your olive oil. Crank the heat to medium and add in your chicken breast slices. add in seasoning and chipotles. Once chicken is white, add in peppers. Cook for about 15 more minutes, stirring so it does not burn. Reduce heat to low, add your diced pineapple and cook for about 5 more minutes.

Warm your flour tortillas for about 5 seconds in the microwave. Add a dollop of sour cream and spread on the tortilla. Add your meat mixture and then enjoy.

Seriously. How easy and tasty is that? Serve with a slice of lime and avocado slices. YUM.

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