The Pretend Chef

whole roasted chicken butterflied

Meat, Recipes | December 25, 2016 | By

Whole roasted chicken never fails to impress and is loved by everyone. In Nigeria, we love our meat, beef, goat meat, ram, various bush meat, chicken, especially whole roasted chicken. This recipe for whole roasted chicken butterflied is easy and straightforward, you will get a juicy, flavourful meat with crispy skin.

Growing up, during church bazaar sales, the different women groups will have basins filled with fried whole chicken which they will give as gifts to church members, usually


Fried barbecued turkey wing

Meat, Recipes | December 24, 2016 | By

Take your usual fried turkey wings a notch higher…strike that, several notches higher slathering it with this simple but awesome homemade barbecue sauce. Be it at the dinner table, Christmas party, on game night, time out with friends, everyone will thank you for this fried barbecued turkey wing. They are spicy, tender, sweet and sticky, everything you want in a barbecue. 

The turkey wings can be fried or grilled. This simple barbecue sauce with


Nigerian Peppered Snail

spicy nigerian peppered snail-

Desserts/ finger food, Meat | December 21, 2016 | By

Guests at Nigerian parties crave well cooked Nigerian peppered snail, it is loved in homes and patrons shell out large sums for it in pubs/drinking parlours and restaurants. It is an elite among Nigerian small chops (hor ‘d oeuvres, appetisers). The snail used is the ginormous African Giant snail, sometimes called Congo meat, this recipe is simple yet very tasty. It will be ideal for serving your guests for Christmas.

As a child, I always wondered why



simple, tasty Nigerian coleslaw

Salads, vegetarian | December 21, 2016 | By

Coleslaw is basically a cabbage salad, with a sprinkling of carrot for maybe colour or whatever. In different parts of the world, there are variations of coleslaw but the Nigerian coleslaw is very basic. It is cabbage with a good proportion of carrots and a moderate amount of mayonnaise.

It is an alternative to the wholesome Nigerian vegetable salad and can be served


Nigerian Peppered Gizzard

spicy and yummy nigerian peppered gizzard-

Desserts/ finger food, Meat | December 19, 2016 | By

Nigerian Peppered gizzard is gizzard in a spicy hot sauce. A Nigerian party food that is highly coveted and stands close to Nigerian peppered snail, it is served as small chop (hor d’oeuvre, appetizer), and is also popular in pubs and restaurants where it pairs well with drinks.

The mixture of the sauce ingredients is finger-licking good and is stirred to penetrate every crevice of the gizzard for maximum satisfaction. Christmas is


Chocolate cake

Moist, fluffy, moist and chocolaty chocolate cake

Desserts/ finger food | December 18, 2016 | By

“Chocolate symbolizes, as does no other food, Luxury, Comfort, Sensuality, gratification and Love”….Karl Petzke. This chocolate cake is moist, rich, decadent and very comforting. A real “mood” food. 

Whenever chocolate is mentioned, there is an excitement that goes through the body and the mind. Chocolate might be the most loved flavour in the whole world, by both kids and grown ups. It represents romance, it brings euphoria, it calms raw nerves, it douses anger, and on, and on. It is an excellent Christmas dinner centrepiece.

Chocolate cake is always a crowd pleaser, and this chocolate cake recipe is simple and easy, it is made with cocoa powder. Using cocoa powder instead of chocolate makes a difference


How to make ginger tea

Ingredients for How to make ginger tea

Drinks, How-tos, Tips/How-tos | December 17, 2016 | By

Knowing how to make Ginger tea is simple and no rocket science, but it worked wonders on me in my time of need. The year was 2012  I came down with the flu, the weather was cold and wet. I was miserable. I cried out on facebook, and my friend Uzo gave me this home remedy. It worked wonders, it soothed my sore throat, cleared my sinuses and just made me feel a whole lot better. 


Moist Fruit cake

moist fruit cake made in a loaf tin and sliced

Desserts/ finger food, Recipes | December 17, 2016 | By

This moist fruit cake is dark, dense, spicy, fruity, and indulgent. The recipe is a moderate and modern take on the traditional fruit cake. It is lighter and easier on the palate but will hit all the right notes expected of a traditional fruit cake. It is mostly used for weddings and as the Christmas Cake in Nigeria. 

The traditional fruit cake was my dear mother’s specialty. She made it for special occasions like Christmas, birthdays and church confirmations. They were made months ahead, and


How to blanch vegetables

blanched sliced onions in how to blanch vegetables

How-tos, Tips/How-tos | December 16, 2016 | By

Blanching is a cooking method where food is immersed in boiling water for a short time, then immersed into iced water to stop the cooking. It is used on vegetables, meat, bones for stock, fruits etc. Here I have explained how to blanch vegetables, starting with onions. I will include other food ingredients soon.



Nigerian vegetable salad

Fresh and nutritious Nigerian vegetable salad

Recipes, Salads, vegetarian | December 16, 2016 | By

When a Nigerian says they want to make Nigerian vegetable salad, prepare yourself for one of the heartiest, well-loaded vegetable salads you have eaten. There are as many vegetable salad recipes as one can combine vegetables, but the Nigerian vegetable salad is unique, just like you have Israeli salad, Greek salad, etc.

Much hasn’t changed in the way it is made, our mothers made it this way. When I visit my older sons


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