The Pretend Chef

Nigerian Smoked fish with greens

Healthy, flavourful and fresh smoked fish with greens

Smoked Fish with greens is a flavourful and fresh way to use greens. By greens, I mean green amaranth which is simply called Green in Nigeria. It is a quick and simple dish to make, convenient for a quick dinner on a weeknight because it comes together very fast with little effort.

This dish is really healthy, with just a little carbohydrate like rice or potatoes, you will feel

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Healthy mixed green vegetable dip

Super healthy mixed green vegetable dip

Stews/ Sauces/ dips, vegetarian | December 6, 2017 | By

Green vegetable dip is an age-old dip from the hinterlands of Eastern Nigeria. It was quite a staple when people ate whatever they could get from their farms. Sometimes, quick meals were a necessity in the daytime for the farmers pending the main meal of the day which is a supper of

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12 Nigerian dishes everyone should know how to cook

okro soup 12 Nigerian dishes everyone should know how to cook

Nigeria is blessed with so much food, fresh organic produce with a lot of variety, due to its climate range. Nigerian climate changes from the north (Sokoto) to the south (Calabar), from Savannah to forest which is reflected in the vegetation and food found in each region. They are varied both in type and abundance. The variation also shows up in the way the ingredients are used in each region e.g in the south with an abundance of rainfall, vegetables are used fresh while in the far north with much less rain but an abundance of sunlight, dehydrated vegetables are mostly used which are stored and used all year round.

The sheer variety of dishes found in Nigeria is mind-boggling. Nigerians are also known to adapt imported cuisine to their taste and make it their own e.g

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Jamaican Jerk Marinade (sauce)

Spicy, aromatic and mildly sweet Jamaican Jerk Marinade

Jerk marinade (sauce) is hot, spicy, aromatic and mildly sweet. Any time Jamaican food is mentioned, we instantly think Jerk! Jerk seasoning has been developed over centuries by the Jamaicans with locally available ingredients and others added due to different influences.

It reminds me so much of the versatile Nigerian suya spice. It can make or break your barbecue, it can also be incorporated into so many dishes and everyone is trying to get the perfect recipe. This recipe is far better than any you can get in a jar. Really, there are two key ingredients in the Jamaican Jerk marinade

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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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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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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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