The other day I attended an ‘itara’ – it is one of those celebrations that lead up to a wedding, where the bride’s family go to see where the bride will be married i.e the groom’s parents’ home. The catering was so on point and for the first time ever I got to taste real creamed spinach. Creamed spinach is a dish many hotel claim to serve but I can guarantee you, it’s just a rip off, just ordinary cooked spinach if you ask me.
Anyway, after the wonderful experience, I got inspired to find out how to make it. As usual I searched for a recipe online and was pleased to discover that one of my favourite food bloggers Ree of The Pioneer Woman has one. Ree is such a funny writer and I always enjoy reading her recipes.
This recipe may look a bit complicated but I guarantee that it’s foolproof 🙂 I sorta halved her recipe since I was just cooking for hubby and I. If you are planning to cook for more people I suggest you follow her quantities.
For the cream sauce
Butter about 50 gms
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 small onion finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic finely minced
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
A pinch of nutmeg
For the spinach
Spinach – enough for 4 people (hard to say quantity, I bought 3 bunches for Kshs. 10 each)
2 tablespoons butter
In a sauce pan start by making the white sauce. Melt the butter, do this on low heat.
Sprinkle over the plain flour and start whisking, I don’t have a whisk so I just used my handy dandy wooden spoon.
Cook for five minutes, stirring frequently till golden brown.
Add the onions and garlic.
Stir together and cook for another minute.
Finally add the milk whilst whisking.
Cook the sauce for about five minutes, stirring occasionally. It will start to thicken
Now, saute the spinach. Here I got hubby to assist with both the sauteeing and the photography 🙂
In another sufuria, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. You may be required to add in the spinach in batches. Luckily my sufuria was large enough so it sufficed.
Add the spinach.
How deceptive the spinach is, it fills up the sufuria only to wilt and reduce in after a few minutes of cooking. Ensure not to overcook the spinach, it should still have a crunch to it.
Back to the sauce, at this point, I got a bit worried cause mine had really thicken, nothing like Ree’s , don’t fret though. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and add the pinch of nutmeg.
Now spoon over the sauteed spinach stirring it in gently.
The thickness of my sauce didn’t mess up the outcome. Such a relief.
In case you find it a bit too creamy for your liking add more sauteed spinach.
Wow!!! Someone say AMAZING!!!\
I dare you, try this creamed spinach recipe and for sure you won’t regret it.
Sometime back hubby and I had gone for dinner at my parents home and mum had prepared some boiled bananas that complemented the beef and veggies very well. I had never thought of preparing them like that, with new ideas in mind I purposed to try it out. Fast forward a few weeks later, I get a bunch of unripe bananas from my pal Judy.
This recipe is pretty simple and requires minimal ingredients 🙂 I chose to fry mine instead of boiling so as to add a nice touch to the taste.
4 medium sized onions sliced
8 unripe bananas, peeled and washed
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Serves 3 people
Tip: When peeling the bananas, to avoid the sap from sticking onto your hands, you can either wear a polythene bag as gloves then peel or apply some vegetable oil on your hands. 🙂
In a sufuria, heat the vegetable oil then add the onions.
Patience is required to ensure the onions cook down well, we want them translucent not burned, so do it on low heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Once cooked add the bananas and coat with the onions. Cover for a few minutes to let the flavour of the onions infuse the bananas.
Add some little (emphasis on little) water to get the bananas cooking. As the bananas cook down the water will also evaporate.
Cover and let the bananas cook.
You will know the bananas are done when they flake easily when pierced by a fork.
Serve with your favourite stew and veggies.
I served with chicken in coconut sauce and creamed spinach. The recipe for creamed spinach will be up on the blog tomorrow 🙂
This was one delicious meal. I have to say this, I surprised myself.
It’s getting pretty cold in Nairobi and soup is one of those things to help keep the cold away. It’s funny that I hardly make soup despite the recipe being pretty simple. So the other day my friend Rachael chats me up on gtalk asking for a recipe for butternut squash and a few days later I decide to make some.
1 medium sized butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed
3 medium sized carrots cubed
1 red apple peeled, cored and cubed
1 medium onion chopped
3 cloves garlic sliced
1 inch of ginger chopped
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups water
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
As I have said making soup is pretty easy. In a saucepan heat the vegetable oil and fry the onions, garlic and ginger. Let them cook down for a few minutes.
Throw in the butternut, carrots and apples. Stir them and cover to cook for a few minutes. You may be wondering why I added in an apple but after reading various soup recipes with apples added in so I decided to try it out 🙂
Add the liquid.
The chicken stock I used was from the water I had poached the chicken for these quesadillas and since it had seasoning I didn’t need to season my soup. Cover and let the soup simmer until the squash is tender. This will take about 30 minutes.
Once cooked pour the soup in a blender or food processor. Ensure to cover the blender since the soup is hot.
Pulse it until pureed. At this point check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Serve in a soup bowl, garnish with some fresh coriander. I didn’t have some so I sprinkled over some dried parsley.
Enjoy with some bread rolls and remember to keep warm.
According to hubby the soup was beyond awesome. I loved it, I’ll definitely make it again.
Don’t let the foreign name fool you, these babies are totally easy to make. The best thing is that you can stuff the tortillas with just about anything. Quesadillas are a mexican delight where a tortilla is filled with mostly cheese and other ingredients then folded in half and served. Before I go further, I need to decipher the foreign terms, tortillas, are closely related to what we know as chapatis. Actually they are one and the same if you ask me. One thing though, when cooking the tortilla, cook lightly on each side for a minute just to get it lightly browned.
3 flour tortillas
1 medium red onion sliced
5 slices of cheddar cheese cut into strips – if you have a block of cheese, grate it instead
dried oregano leaves
Half of an avocado, optional
For the chicken
Boneless chicken breasts
1 red onion roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
1 inch thick of ginger, roughly chopped
1 sprig of rosemary, optional
750 ml of water
salt to taste
I started by poaching the chicken breasts. In a saucepan, pour in the water then throw in the onions,garlic, ginger, rosemary and the chicken. No need to cut the chicken first.
Cover and bring it to a simmer.
As the chicken is cooking, I made the tortillas.
After about 20 minutes of boiling the chicken will be done. Remove from the stock and shred it into bit size pieces. Store the stock to use it in stews or steaming rice.
From here, get ready to assemble the quesadilla.
Take one tortilla, line one half of the tortilla with the cheese strips.
Then add the sliced onions, coriander and the chicken shreds. Sprinkle some oregano.
Then add another layer of cheese.
Gently place the tortilla with the stuffing on a hot skillet. Fold it in half, press hard. Cook both sides for about a minute or so or until the cheese melts.
Repeat the above steps for the rest of the tortillas. I added some avocado slices in one of the quesadillas.
Once all done, cut them into wedges and serve with some guacamole or kachumbari.
To say this meal was amazing would be an understatement. I shocked myself. Simple yet delicious. I dare you to try this out. I’ll definitely make more of these babies and even try different ingredients, I’ll also try and so a post on how to make tortillas.