Farewell 2017

2017 has been wonderful, for a lack of a better world really. Every year since I started food blogging, I have challenged myself to know more about the food that makes up this great country. In my quest, I have discovered a myriad of information. Hands down Ugandan food is the definition of comfort food and we still have the greatest high quality local produce. Produce that retains flavor and does not need a whole range of seasoning to taste sublime. It is with this produce that I have based most, if not all,  of my creations and dishes on.  Because we need to know the treasure we have within before someone else gets to it, if they haven’t already. 
One day, I was shopping in Nakasero market and decided to buy some ginger. I was shocked a month later to realize that the ginger was still in good shape, not even withered at all.  It shocked and scared me and I  wonder how these imported goods that we have so much regard for are grown? 

I listen to the BBC food chain podcast and in one episode, they were talking about African cuisine and why it isn’t popular and in the mainstream food media, as compared to say Asian,  Latin American, and French  food etc.  And as I continued to listen, there are plenty of factors involved like, the power dynamics,  propaganda and the world’s perspective of Africa as a whole.  If you notice,  the more popular countries on the continent get to have their food popularized as a result. I could go on and on about this but what I know that we can do as a nation is to take matters into our own hands and rave about how great out food is. Because it is! Leverage social media and blogging to talk about the national treasure we have that is food.  That is the only way we can let everyone out there and within know and hopefully come see for themselves just like how we put the Rolex on the world food map. 

I feel like, with A Kitchen in Uganda, I have just scratched only the surface. There are so many more dishes that I have not gotten a chance to taste from the east, north and west of Uganda. It is my dream to fully explore this dynamic food culture and I hope you too make it a priority. I am grateful that you took your time to read the posts and look at the photographs that have graced this blog for over 4 years now. I can only hope for a grand 2018. 

 I am taking a 4-week break from the blog to unplug, evaluate 2017 and generate great ideas for the coming year.

Happy Holidays. 


PS: Tell me in the comments below how you plan on spending your holiday? 

Advertisements

Spicy Pan Seared Lemongrass Chicken Thighs

​For most of us Ugandans, lemongrass is associated with tea (hot beverages) because we love our Chai! I was unaware that this backyard leafy plant is versatile until I tasted lemongrass chicken about 6-7 years ago. I was mind blown,  to put it lightly. This is  me recreating this epic chicken.  The result is fragrant  spicy flavored chicken that will become addictive. I am using Yo Kuku chicken thighs which are great for this recipe because they cook very fast so you do not have to worry about half cooked chicken. 

What you will need:

3 Yo Kuku chicken thighs (500gm)

A bunch of fresh lemongrass

1 Tsp.  Lemongrass root, grated

3 garlic cloves, grated

1/2 tsp.  Black pepper

   1/2 tsp. Chili, ground  

1/2 tsp. Paprika

 1/2 tsp.   chili oil

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

Juice of 1 orange 

Orange zest

Salt 


Observations:

  1. Lemongrass is a common backyard plant but if you cannot access it,  you can buy it from local food markets 
  2. The lemongrass root was obtained by uprooting the plant. 
  3. It is important to use minimal oil since the chicken releases oil while cooking.

    Method:

    In a bowl,  combine the grated lemongrass root, garlic, black pepper, ground chili, paprika, chili oil, orange juice,  soy sauce and salt.  Mix well. Add the chicken and mix well.  Let the chicken marinate overnight or for at least 2-3 hours if you are in a hurry. 

    Remove the chicken from the  marinade. Place a nonstick pan on high heat. Add half a teaspoon of oil.  Add the chicken and lemongrass. Cover the pan and let the chicken pieces fry while taking in the fragrance of the lemongrass.  Do not discard the marinade. 

    Once the chicken has browned well on both sides, pour in the marinade and reduce the fire. Let the chicken slowly cook in its juices till fully cooked. This will take about 30 minutes. Leave the lemongrass  in the pan till the chicken is fully cooked. Add the orange zest a few minutes before removing the chicken from fire.  

    Serve hot.  


    Make this dish for the holidays and it will be  a crowd pleaser with all the surprising flavors. 
    Follow the link below to visit the Yo Kuku facebook page:

    https://www.facebook.com/YokukuUganda/

    ​Mixed Sweet and Salty Chocolate Snack Bars

    One of the best parts of blogging is having to experiment with different kinds of food,  flavors and textures.  For the longest time, I have wondered how combining our favorite snacks and chocolate would taste like.  I finally got to do it before the year ends. So today I introduce you to this crazy fun but absolutely tasty snack bar.  It has all the best snacks and a rich mix of chocolate. How it’s made, you ask? Very simple.

    As simple as getting roasted groundnuts, plantain chips, fried soya,  daddies,  soft hard corns, simsim, a binder  and chocolate. Et voila!

    What you will need

    1 C. Groundnuts, roasted and salted

    1 C.  Soya,  fried and salted 

    1/2 C.  Plantain chips, crushed 

    1/2 C.  Daddies crushed 

    1/2 C.  Hard corns, salted

    1/2 C.  Simsim, roasted and salted

    1/2 C.  Icing sugar

    1/3 C.  Water

    1/4 C.  Water 

    500 grams Chocolate, chopped

    1/2 Tsp.  Orange zest

    Nonstick baking paper 

    Observations:

    1. Make sure you use low fire so that the chocolate doesn’t burn while melting. 
    2. Use really soft hard corns, soya and daddies. 
    3. Make sure the soya, simsim,  hard corns, groundnuts are salted. The salt balances out the sweetness of the chocolate. 

      Method:

      Place a clean pan on low fire. Add 1/3 cup of water and the icing sugar. Stir till all the sugar has desolved. Let it boil till it clears and starts to thicken. Add the chopped chocolate and slowly stir till it fully melts.  Add the 1/4 cup of water to reduce the thickness of the chocolate. Stir well till the melted chocolate is smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients in the melted chocolate and stir well.  Line a mold (any well shaped pan or container) with parchment paper/nonstick baking paper. Pour the hot chocolate mixture in the mold. Gently tap the mold to let the chocolate set well. Cover and place it in the refrigerator.  If you don’t have a refrigerator, place the chocolate in a cool place and let it harden for about 12 hours. Once fully hardened use a serrated knife to cut out bars.  

      Serve. 

      Best part is that you can gift these to loved ones for the holidays.