The Pretend Chef

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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Pizza Muffin Pizza cup

Simple and Easy pizza muffin

Pizza muffin (pizza cup) is a portable deep dish Pizza, an ideal on-the-go snacks or meal. Hardly anyone hates pizza, there are so many ways to make it and a huge number of ingredients to choose from that I believe there must be a pizza suited to each person, just find your correct mix.

I made this pizza in muffin tins and it was born out of

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Steak and kidney pie

Golden delicious steak and kidney pie

Desserts/ finger food, Meat, World food | September 25, 2017 | By

Steak and kidney pie is traditionally a British pie with filling that is slow cooked for a long time to yield a rich gravy with very tender, juicy meat. It is comfort food that truly comforts, in fact, if you are into comfort eating, stay away from steak and kidney pie, seriously it is addictive.

Although it takes a while to cook, it is worth every effort put into making it. Steak and kidney pie is

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Catfish pepper soup (Point and kill)

Best hot and spicy catfish pepper soup (Point and kill)

Recipes, Seafood, Soups/ light soups | September 14, 2017 | By

When the weather is cold, you are home warm and cosy, then your tummy starts rumbling, demanding food, what usually springs to mind? hot chocolate, steaming plate of spicy jollof rice, a large bowl of pepper soup, fresh fish pepper soup…? So I made this steaming hot pot of catfish pepper soup because it was raining and cold outside but warm and toasty indoors and we were hungry. I served it with white rice. My Rennaisance man, son no. 3 and I ate and were contented.

Catfish pepper soup is always high in demand by guests at Nigerian parties and is about the most common pepper soup cooked in Nigeria. It is served to a nursing mother during Omugwo (see Yam pepper soup (Ji mmiri oku). Catfish pepper soup is called point-and-kill in drinking parlours for a reason

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How to kill and process Catfish

processed catfish

How-tos, Seafood, Tips, Tips/How-tos | September 11, 2017 | By

Catfish is a freshwater fish and is so called because of the whiskers on its head which are called Barbels. It doesn’t have scales, it has a firm flesh and is good for most cooking methods and recipes. Catfish is excellent for frying, boiling, roasting and drying, it can be used in stews, soups, chowders etc. It is delicious any way you cook or process it. This post will take your catfish from the river to the cooking pot.

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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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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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