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Recipes From CBS 2 Chicago Segment for Black History Month

I just want to thank all you for watching the segment on CBS 2 Chicago. If you havent seen it yet, click on the link.It was a a pleasure to revisit food that I grew up on ,having a Ibo Nigerian father. As I get more into food I love to study the origins and evolutions of dish. What was particularly fascinating while researching this was to see see how the slaves of West Africa carried their traditions to the the Americas and how our favorite foods can trace the influence of the slaves. When you think of Creole ,Caribbean , and Southern Cooking you can see it right there. If you search the Internet you will find various ways and opinion on how to cook proper Jollof Rice. Remember it varies by regions and tastes, so put your own mark on it.

Sorrel/ Roselle Punch sweetened with Agave Nectar
Roselle (Hibiscus) can be purchased in Latino markets under the name Flor de Jamaica.
1 cup dried hibiscus
6 cups hot water
slices of fresh peeled ginger
Agave Nectar to sweeten to your tastes
1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract

Boil your water.Rinse your dried hibiscus with cold water to remove sediment. Infuse your dried hibiscus in the water and allow to steep for 10 minutes until its a rich ruby red color. Strain the infusion into a container and add Agave Nectar to sweeten to taste. Add ginger slices while warm. Allow to cool. Then refrigerate. Serve over ice with lemon or lime( optional).
Note: Hibiscus has anti hypertensive properties . African Americans suffer high incidents of Hypertension , heart disease, and diabetes. By changing this traditional recipe laden with sugar to sweeten with Agave Nectar( low glycemic index) makes this healthier.

Non Alcoholic Ginger 'Beer'

3-4 Ginger Roots
2 cups of sugar
6 cups of water
2 limes or 1 lemon
1 cinnamon stick
2 cloves
Peel and slice ginger into small pieces. ( A spoon or vegetable peeler works well).Boil water. In a blender place ginger and add some hot water to liquefy. In a large oven proof bowl or pot, add the ginger liquid and rest of water. Cover with lid and allow to sit in a warm oven or warm place for 1 hour. Strain Ginger brew through a cheesecloth lined strainer into a gallon container. Add sugar, cloves, and cinnamon stick, citrus juice and more water to make a gallon. Place back in ovenproof bowl and cover. Allow to sit for another hour. Strain again through cheesecloth and strainer. A funnel will be helpful. Allow to cool and refrigerate overnight. Serve over ice.
Note: This is more an infusion than the traditional fermented Ginger Beer.I used the Congo Cookbook as a recipe source.Ginger aides Digestion and has many healthful properties to ward off illness.

Fried Plantains
Vegetable Oil
Take ripened almost black plantains and slice on diagonal or in round circles. Heat some vegetable oil until sizzling and add slice. Cook on each side until golden brow,. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with a little salt and serve. For entertaining pierce the cooked plantains pieces on wooden skewers for individual plantain brochettes.

Coco's Jollof Rice

Note: Feel free to add other vegetables or meat of your liking. For example Okra, peas, shrimp, beef, etc.Peanut oil is traditionally used and can withstand high temps. If you have allergies check the label for trace amounts of the peanut protein. However the allergen is passed through the protein and not the oil. If you have shell fish allergies omit the shrimp powder. Shrimp powder can be found ground at Latino markets. Asian Markets also carry dried shrimp. If purchased whole, pulverize in spice grinder. Everyone has an opinion on this dish and has their own way to make it unique. Enjoy!

3 cups of Basmati Rice ( rinsed)
1 pound chicken thighs boneless and skinless
1/4 cup peanut oil or vegetable oil
2 onions chopped
1 bell pepper chopped
Optional use of hot peppers like scotch bonnet, chilies( depends on your heat tolerance)
1 small can of tomato paste
2 cubes chicken bouillon ( Can be substituted with broth as well).
water( approx 4-6 cups) possibly more
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons Thyme
3 cloves garlic chopped
1 teaspoon dried shrimp powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup chopped green beans
1 carrot peeled and sliced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
Cayenne Pepper
Cilantro for garnish
In a dutch oven or large skillet with cover( cast iron) Heat oil and add chicken which you can lightly season with salt, paprika, pepper, etc. Cook in oil until until done. Remove chicken and set aside. In the same pan with caramelized bits and oil, saute the onions, bay leaf, and chopped green peppers on a slightly lower med heat. Don't over cook , but cook until soft and golden, Add the rest of your dry seasonings, ginger, and bouillon , tomato paste. Mix and get the tomato paste to start to slightly caramelize in the pan with the spices, etc. Add the rice and vegetables. Cover with liquid( start with 4 cups). Reduce heat , stir, and cover. Occasionally lift lid and stir to make sure rice doesn't stick. You may have to do this periodically. Add more liquid as needed until rice is thoroughly cooked. May take up to 30 min.
Take chicken and slice on the diagonal. Arrange rice on platter. Surround with chicken and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Some other sources and links for Jollof Rice
Congo Cookbook
Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz

And for more interesting tidbits visit my fellow blogger and food historian Louise at Month of Edible Celebrations,

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Peter M said...

Courtney, congrats on a well-executed TV segment. I know you have cooking chops and this rounds out your talents.

Onward & upward...

Bellini Valli said...

I have a rice jolloff dish on the back burner for a while now. Your success is the push I need:D

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great recipes! This Jolllof Rice looks really interesting and tasty!



Judy@nofearentertaining said...

What a great job you did Courtney!!! I think I may have to try the Jollof Ruce!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Courtney, You did a fantastic job!! You looked natural, and not at all nervous. Your presentation looked beautiful, as well as you!
The skys the limit now!!
xox, Marie

~~louise~~ said...

You were GREAT Courtney! So professional, so demure and knowledgeable.

You should become a regular. Your dishes were a show stopper!

Mush success & FUN!!!

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

WOW, Courtney! I am beyond impressed - you were so calm cool and collected on there. I love the hibiscus tea and the rice sounds amazing!

Susan said...

So cool! You looked very relaxed. What a great segment and terrific eats!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful job on t.v. Your menu was very appetizing and healthy. I can't wait to be able to make my own drinks to eat with my favorites -- jollof rice and plantains. Yum!

Thanks for the link here!


Black and (a)Broad said...

Hello Glamah.
you were wonderful! I was so excited to finally see a face behind the scrumptious-looking recipes and photos on the website. Very well done!

The Caked Crusader said...

Wow - you looked great on tv! I'm loving the necklace - so glam but understated.

Hendersonville Epicurean said...

GREAT segment, Courtney!! You looked poised and relaxed as if you've done this a million times before. Congratulations!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Courtney, it was SO much fun to watch you! And I'm so excited about the recipes - everything looked SO good!!! (No surprise there, given the chef ;)

we are never full said...

ohhhh, homemade ginger beer. this one is definitely going into the books. i LOVE ginger beer and would love to try to make my own.

Anne said...

Courtney - this is awesome! The link, the food - YOU. I agree with Peter - onward and upward!

toni said...

Courtney, congratulations! I just watched the segment via your link - This is my kind of dish.

I hope you're working on a book about this. It's such a terrific subject, and your recipe makes it more accessible. I love stories of how food has migrated from one place to another. I'm just curious about the shrimp paste. How did that come into this picture? I'm not connecting the dots here...

glamah16 said...

Toni- In a lot of recipes along W. Africa you will see the addition of shrimp powder in soups, etc. Remember the countries are coastal. I grew up eating soups with dried dried fish( like salt cod or the shrimp) in it. Perhaps fish was salted or preserved and maybe this was influence from the Porteguse slave traders as well?

Darius T. Williams said...

Just saw the video - loved it! Alright for your debut!

We soooo still need to hang out - seeing as though we're just about neighbors.

Bren said...

just saw the vid! great work. ur voice is so soothing! so we make that hibiscus tea, too. we call it Agua de it! and i'm glad you spoke on the history of African food. Of course you know Cuban food is montage of African, Spanish and French!

Jeanne said...

I'm so proud of you!! You looked as if you'd been doing this all your life. Surely your own cooking show can't be far off?? Love the hibuscus drink - I've had it as flor de Jamaica - so refreshing, and so clever to make it less sugary.

Cynthia said...

OMG, you looked so gorgeous and it was an excellent presentation. I liked your pacing and explaining of the ingredients and the dishes.

I have bookmarked the rice dish to try. Well, you know me - I am a rice junkie!

Congratulations my friend.

Ivy said...

Courtney you must have a show of your own. You were great in the video, so calm and relaxed as if you have been doing this for years. All your recipes were delicious and I must try the Jollof Rice.

Deborah said...

Congrats! You did such a great job!

Maggie said...

I love sorrel punch, I'll have to give your recipe a try. Off to view the video...