Thursday, 24 June 2010

Pepper crust pork with yam balls



Lordy! What one has to do to find a nice bit of pork in this town! My mission to track down the elusive pork belly has taken with well out of my comfort zone and into unexplored territories (well, the supermarket as it goes!) I looked through Peckham, I traisped around Brixton, and I even considered buying my pork from the dodgy corner shop at the end of my road! But my senses got the better of me, and alas, I got the pork belly, with delicious layers of rind, fat and meat - perfect for the latest recipe; not bad for £4.00!
 This recipe hails from the Greater Accra region and is called Domedo (Doh-meh-doh), and it's a firm favourite amongst the Ga folk. The yam balls are so versatile and go with anything. Now, roll your sleeves up and get stuck in!

Ingredients

For the pork

A 400-500g slab of pork belly
1 tbsp of dried, red chili peppers
1 large garlic clove
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sslt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp Maggi sauce
A squeeze of lemon juice (optional)
1 pork stock cube

For the yams

A large yam (African yams are ideal, but settle for European if you can't find African ones)
A slice of wholemeal bread, blended into crumbs
1 egg yolk
1 tsp of mixed herbs
150 ml milk.
1/2 tsp salt
200ml olive oil

Start by washing the pork belly and placing on a small, foil covered tray. With a pestle and mortle, crush the red chili's into a rough paste and add the rest of the ingredients for the pork, minus the stock. Cover the entire surface of the top of the pork with the mixture, smoothing around the sides of the paste runs over. Place into a pre-heated oven on  a high heat for 1/2 hour, checking sporadically. After 1/2 hour, remove from oven and turn heat down. Prepare the stock by crumbling the stock cube into 150 ml of hot water and pour over the pork, then put back into the oven for a further 45 minutes; the top of the pork should be nice and crisp!
Peel and chop yam into small pieces and add to a large pan of boiling water, add salt and turn down a little and cook until very soft and then take off heat. Add the egg, herbs and milk and mash until smooth and creamy. Blend the bread and place in a bowl. Form the yams into smallish balls with your hands and roll in the bread crumbs, repeat until finished. Next, fire up a pan and heat oil until very hot. Drop yams into the pan and fry until crisp (this only takes around 1 minute of so and you should fry about 4 balls at a time) and place in a bowl. So, what do you think - delectable or delectable?

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

World Cup 2010: Ghana football facts

The World Cup is off to a cracking start already; so far we've seen England draw with U.S.A and Ghana win their match with Serbia; I'm sure they'll be more drama's and the usual theatrical diving, along with the prerequisite penalty shoot out. Good grief - football can be a farcical sport! Well, for some respite from all the goings-on, I've compiled a little fact file about the Black Stars - Ghana's football squad. If you know any more tidbits about the team, let me know!

The Ghana Black Stars were founded in 1957, shortly after Ghana gained her independence.

The Black Stars were the only African nation to reach the second round of the 2006 World Cup.

Stephen Appiah is the team captain, while Abedi Pele is the top goal scorer.

Each member of the team received a $20,000 bonus from the President for reaching the final of the African Cup of Nations.

Michael Essien, who plays for Chelsea, is perhaps Ghana's most famous football export.