Friday, 26 May 2017

Zoe's Ghana Kitchen Review and Recipe

West African food is on the up in the UK. Once a relatively unknown cuisine, African food is becoming more visible in our cities, at food markets and on the TV competition programmes. With food bloggers and chefs showcasing a range of African recipes, West African food is becoming more popular than ever. Zoe Adjonyoh of Zoe's Ghana Kitchen pop up restaurants has been showcasing modern Ghanaian recipes for a number of years, her first cookbook is a celebration of the food of her heritage. Zoe's Ghana Kitchen pop up restaurants have been running for a number of years now, she has her own permanent restaurant at Pop Brixton. Most people have heard of Jollof Rice as a popular West African meal, but what about the other dishes that is eaten in this region. Step forward this cookery book which showcases around 100 recipes diverse, vibrant and exotic recipes. There are a range of diverse recipes from hearty stews, light dishes, vegetarian and a few recipes which includes more exotic ingredients, there is something for every season and every occasion. Zoe's Ghana Kitchen rrp is £25, but is at the time of writing on sale on Amazon for £11.49 which is an absolute bargain. 



I found this cookery book to be quirky and informative, Zoe's mixed heritage, her Ghanaian and Irish story really came through. This cookery book informs the reader of the spices and herbs that are key features in this cookery book. Zoe states "This book is for anyone with an interest in food and an inquisitive palate, and there should be something for everyone". There really is something for everyone.

The chapters in this book is divided into the following:

  • Yam 5 Ways & Plantain 5 Ways - recipes to try include: Golden Mashed Yam,  Yam and Plantain Peanut Curry and Tatale (Plantain Pancakes). 
  • Salads -  stand out recipes include: Avocado, Papaya and Ginger Salad,  Mango and Pineapple Salad, Plantain Salad and Scotch Bonnet Coleslaw.
  • Fish and Seafood - recipes to try include Pan-roasted Cod seasoned with Grains of Paradise, Whole Grilled Tilapia, Fried Barracuda and Fante Fried Fish with Shaved Papaya. 
  • Veggie - Stand out recipes to try include: Spinach and Agushi Curry, Ghana Dhal and Red Red Stew.
  • Meat -  recipes to try include: Lamb Cutlets with Peanut Sauce, Pork Ribs in Sticky Plantain Sauce, Jollof Fried Chicken, Jollof and Palm Soup.
  • Sides -A wonderful selection of side dishes including Baked Cassava Fries and Coconut Rice.
  • Desserts- Sand out recipes include Cubeb Spiced Shortbread, Honey & Plantain Ginger Cake and Coconut & Cassava Chips. 
  • Drinks & Snacks  - standout recipes include Black-Eyed Bean Fritters, Spiced Cassava Patties  and Mango-Lime Smoothie
  • Dips, Sauces & Salsas - Recipes to try include: Shito Mayo and Pineapple and Ginger Chutney. 
So far I've made the Kyenam (Fante Fried Fish), but I made it without the papaya and did not substitute this for mango. Despite the lack of papaya, I found the fish to be light, flavoursome and refreshing. There was a gentle heat kick to the dish and was incredibly easy to make. The Kyenam could be served with a vibrant salad or rice.



Recipe for Kyenam (Fante Fried Fish with Shaved Papaya)
4 whole fresh red snapper, small grouper or trout, scaled, gutted and washed.
Juice of 2 lemons
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
50-75ml rapeseed oil or vegetable oil

Marinade 
5cm (2-inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic)
1 teaspoon ground hot pepper or substitute cayenne pepper
1 red onion, very finely diced
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil or vegetable oil (optional)

To Garnish
1 red onion, sliced
lemon wedges
1 green or medium ripe papaya, shaved.

Method
Trim the tail of each fish so that they fit neatly into a medium sized frying pan. Using a sharp cook's knife, carefully cut 2 evenly spaced diagonal slashes into either side of the fish. Place the prepared fish in a dish.
Using a mortar and pestle, or traditional Ghanian asanka pot if you have one, grind all the marinade ingredients together to a paste. Alternatively use a blender, adding oil if necessary to achieve past consistency.
Use half the marinade to rub into the slashes and inside the cavity of each fish, and the other half to coat the fish. Squeeze over the lemon juice and sprinkle sea salt liberally all over, then season with black pepper. Cover the dish with cling film and leave the fish to marinate in the fridge for at least 1-2 hours, preferably overnight.
Heat 50ml oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the fish, in batches and adding the extra oil if necessary, and fry for 4-5 minutes on each side, trying not to move the fish around too much and only turning once, until you've got nice crispy skins.
Remove the fish from the pan and drain on kitchen paper before serving hot with sliced ken key and shito, garnished with the sliced red onion, lemon wedges and shaving of papaya. 

Disclaimer: Thank you to the publishers for my review copy. 
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1 comment

  1. Aw I work right opposite where Zoe has her latest pop-up! SO happy to hear she has a book out now, and the flavours of the dish you tried sound amazing. I'll def have to check it out xx

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