Sunday, June 8, 2008

Joloff Rice with Fresh Pepper

I always say my mom's cooking is my favorite. I can only hope that I will be able to have half of her skills someday. My favorite meal ever is joloff rice with chicken or fish and every time I go home, I eat the same thing for three days straight...literally. Joloff is similar to a Spanish rice, but with slightly different seasonings. It is a great one pot meal. Today I went to go celebrate Gay Pride with my boys, but by the end of the parade, I was starving and was in no mood to consume a ten dollar slice of pizza. I came home and made this with my mom's recipe for fresh pepper. In Ghanian cooking we have something called "shitoh" which is a super spicy cooked condiment. I have never known the recipe for that, but once in a while I get a craving for fresh pepper and fish. Fresh pepper is like a spicy, less chunky salsa. It is actually really good with chips.

Joloff Rice

1 14oz can diced tomatoes in sauce
1 c white rice
one white onion, thinly sliced
1 chicken bullion cube
about 1 tsp cumin
about 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
canola oil

Pulse diced tomatoes in a blender until almost smooth. In a large pot, saute onions until soft but not browned. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about a minute and then add tomatoes. Add bullion, cayenne, cumin, salt and pepper. Simmer until sauce has thickened then add the rice. Add about 3/4 c of water and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes until rice is fully cooked, stirring occasionally.

Ghanian Fresh Pepper

1 beefsteak tomato
1/4 onion
1/2 habenero pepper*
salt

Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until almost smooth.

*I love super spicy food so 1/2 a habenero with the seeds was perfect for me, but if you like a weaker spice replace the habenero with a red chili or a pinch of red chili flakes.

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