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Give your Ghanaian friends a treat

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Pots & Pans With Hajiya Ramatu Usman Dorayi

You do not have to travel to Ghana to savour some of that country's delicacies, like Nsonlo sutulu, or Kotokyim, they are simple recipes of fish, garden eggs, shrimps and jalapeno.

Nsonlo sutulu (Stewed fish)

" 4 Medium perch fillet
" 1/2 Teaspoon salt
" 1 Tablespoon flour
" 3 Tablespoons olive oil
" 1 Small onion -- chopped
" 1 Can tomatoes -- chopped
" 1 Can tomato paste
" 1/2 Teaspoon crushed red pepper
" 2 Cups chicken broth
" 1/4 Cup mint -- chopped   
Mix salt with flour and rub onto the fish. Saute fish in oil until lightly browned. Remove and set aside. Saute onion in same pan for 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and saute for 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, red pepper and broth. Bring to simmer and cook for 25 minutes. Return fish to the sauce and bring back to a serving temperature. Serve fish topped with sauce, sprinkled with mint.

Sesew Froe (Shrimp and eggplant)

" 1 Medium eggplant -- peeled and cubed
" 1 Cup boiling water
" 1 Teaspoon salt
" 1 Can tomatoes -- chopped
" 1 Bunch green onion -- chopped
" 2 Medium Jalapeno -- chopped
" 1 Pound shrimp
" Salt -- to taste
" 1/2 Teaspoon ginger
" 1 Can tomato paste
" 1/4 Cup parsley -- chopped
" 2 Tablespoons olive oil    Directions:    
Place eggplant in water with salt. Simmer for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Saute onions and peppers in oil for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Sprinkle shrimp with salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add shrimp and 1 cup water to the pot. Simmer until shrimp are done. Add ginger and tomato paste. Stir well, add eggplant and simmer for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with rice.

Kotokyim (Crab stew)

" 1 Medium onion -- chopped
" 3 Medium jalapeno -- chopped
" 2 Tablespoons olive oil
" 1 Can tomatoes -- chopped
" 1 Pound crab meat -- cooked
" 1/2 Teaspoon pepper
" 1/2 Teaspoon salt
" 1 Cup tomato juice
" 1/4 Cup parsley -- chopped         Directions:    
Saute onions and peppers in oil for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add crab, salt, pepper and tomato juice. Simmer for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve over rice.

Cooking tips

-When boiling corn on the cob, add a tablespoon of sugar to help bring out the corn's natural sweetness.
-To prevent egg shells from cracking, add a pinch of salt to the water when hard-boiling.
-Potatoes will take food stains off of your fingers. Just slice and rub the raw potato on your skin and rinse with water. Just the same, if you're peeling shrimp or cleaning fresh fish and you don't want the smell to remain on your hands all day, squish a few fresh strawberries between your fingers for a minute or two, and then rinse with soap and water.
" When marinating food keep these guidelines in mind: Certain foods like vegetables or chicken soak up marinades quicker than red meat. For chicken, shrimp, fish or vegetables, 3-4 hours is usually good in the refrigerator. With red meat, 6 hours works nicely, overnight works the best.
" When chopping or cutting up onions, breathe through your mouth instead of your nose to keep from tearing more. The smell and the chemicals inside of the onions is what makes your eyes burn.
" Frozen spinach - after thawing spinach squeeze the water out of it to prevent the water coming out during the cooking process. This may adversely affect your recipes with the amount of liquid that is released. You can squeeze it by hand, or you can press it against the side of a colander. Lay the spinach onto paper towels afterwards, to soak up any excess moisture.
" Fresh mushrooms naturally contain water, so stir them constantly while sauteing to cook off excess moisture. Excess liquid results in weaker flavour.
" When grating cheese, spray the surface of the grater with cooking spray to prevent the cheese from sticking. Or you can use vegetable oil lightly.

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