The Pretend Chef

Simple Sofrito recipe

Delectable Simple Sofrito

Simple Sofrito was inspired by the Puerto Rican Sofrito. It is a versatile blend of aromatic ingredients used to add flavour to food. I came across this condiment when I was trying to find a minced beef empanada filling different from my usual delicious Minced beef empanada filling. I needed something bold and suited to the very discerning Nigerian palate, something my guests will eat and say this is different but it tastes so gloriously awesome.

Sofrito is so easy to make and it is so, so flavoursome. Many Puerto Rican recipes rest on this condiment and it is what makes my Minced Meat Herb Empanada filling extra special.

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Minced Beef Herb Empanada Filling

Awesome Minced beef Herb Empanada filling

Minced beef Herb empanada filling is one of my favourite empanada fillings. It is rich, filling and delectable. What makes it exceptional? It is the Simple Sofrito in it. It totally enriches the taste and makes the filling suitable for so many other uses.

The simple sofrito, a staple in Puerto Rican cuisine, is a blend of vegetables and herbs and is easy to make at home. It is a condiment that enhances the flavour of so many dishes. You should actually make it and store in the freezer for use when ever you need it.

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Nigerian Refried Beans

tasty Nigerian Refried beans

Beans, Porridge/Pudding, vegetarian | August 27, 2017 | By

Refried beans is a staple Mexican dish where it is called Frijoles refritos meaning well-fried beans though it is usually literally translated Refried beans that is beans fried twice. Refried beans is not new to the Nigerian cuisine and though it is not called refried beans in Nigeria, we fry our beans from time to time.

It reminds me so much of aganyin beans, maybe somebody copied the other who knows? Mexicans use lard while Nigerians use palm oil.

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Ripe Plantain Empanada

Sweet and salty ripe plantain empanada

Beans, Potato/Plantain, Recipes | August 26, 2017 | By

Ripe Plantain empanada is one of the most delicious things you will ever eat. The sweet taste of the plantain contrasts perfectly with the salty taste of the filling. It has a caramelised crust with a soft delicate inside. It is indeed amazing.

Plantain empanada can be used as a complete meal or as a snack depending on the filling and what it is served with and is surely worth every effort you put into making it.

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Egg and Sardine Empanada Filling

Egg and Sardine empanada filling

The Egg and sardine Empanada filling is almost a non-cook, easy to make filling, almost because you will need to boil the egg. It uses ingredients that will normally be in your kitchen already. If you have empanada dough in your freezer that needs to be used up but you don’t want to put in the effort of making more complicated dough filling, this is the filling for you. It is simply delicious and effortless.

You can substitute canned sardines with

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Empanada

Flaky baked empanada

Empanada is a type of stuffed pastry (hand pie) common in Latin American countries, Spain and some parts of the far east. It can be fried, baked, grilled or even cooked on a griddle. You can make it big or small, sweet or savoury and of different shapes.

Different countries have their peculiar way of making empanada. Some use

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Nigerian Fish Stew (Imoyo)

Rich and spicy Nigerian fish stew (Imoyo), Obe eja tutu

Seafood, Stews/ Sauces/ dips | August 21, 2017 | By

If food were music, Obe imoyo will be my Love song and eja (fish) will be the lyrics, fresh fish to be precise. I love Nigerian fish stew especially served with boiled yam, Iyoh or ipoko yam from Abakiliki in Eastern Nigeria. This Imoyo is not the same Imoyo from the Caribbean.

There are different types of Imoyo depending on

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Minced Beef Empanada Filling

Minced beef Empanada filling

Meat, Stews/ Sauces/ dips | August 18, 2017 | By

Minced beef empanada filling is a juicy, delicious, hearty pie filling, similar to the Jamaican beef patty. It is very easy and straightforward to make and is the filling I use the most.

This filling can be made even more substantial when you include 

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Gizdodo, Gizzard and fried Plantain

Sweet and salty gizdodo, gizzard and plantain

Gizdodo, gizzard + dodo = gizdodo (dodo is fried plantain). The name is simple enough for one to guess the 2 main ingredients, gizzard and plantain. The dish is also simple enough to prepare and cook but when it comes to the taste, you realise where the originator of this dish channelled their creative energy. Gizdodo is fried gizzard and plantain coated in tomato sauce.

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