Thursday, January 26, 2012

Out of Africa with the Four J's

When we came out of Africa with our kids, Janna, Jessi, Jared and Jacob, we came with lives that had been made so rich by people, experiences and the culture. We were different in so many ways. We were better people for having lived there. My husband taught at a small Christian college in Ukpom, Abak, Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria, West Africa. Altogether we lived there 5 years. There were some great adventures during those years and we found many things to love.
One of the things we took out of Africa was our taste and longing for African foods - oh my, there were some really, really good-eats!  We love pounded yam, moi-moi, suya, fufu or garri and okra soup and we love stew, beans, rice and fried plantain. (one of my very favorites was ekpang nkwukwo ... I'd love to sit down to a plateful!)

Here in Honduras I can't get ingredients I need for a lot of our favorite international foods but I try. I made Nigerian stew, beans, rice and fried plantain for our lunch today - a little taste of Africa in Honduras - pure yummy-ness!
you need oil, stew beef, tomatoes, onions, tomato paste, beans, rice and ripe plantain
I like to use fresh peppers - here is a little one that was in our yard
I typically use my rice cooker - love it!
rice, beans and topped with stew ... plantains are a must!
Nigerian Stew
1 lb. stew beef cut into bite size pieces
2-3 chopped tomatoes
1 med. onion sliced 
1 small can tomato sauce
hot fresh pepper to your taste
salt and black pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons palm oil

Heat palm oil until it is 'burned off' (til smoking stops), add meat and cook until nicely browned, add  other ingredients, plus 1 1/2 cup water. Simmer until tomatoes and onions are tender.
**Cook rice your usual way - we usually cook 2 1/2 cups of white rice. 
**Cook your beans as you would normally as well. Here in Honduras I use their local red bean but in Nigeria it'd be more likely to be like our black-eyed peas - so, whichever you prefer.
**Fried plantain ... choose firm, ripe plantain -- even if it's dark and spotted like mine it's still good --
cut off ends, then in half, and slice into strips about 1/4 inch, fry quickly in hot oil just until nicely brown on each side. 

There you have it ... a good African meal ... Enjoy!!
P.S. Talked with our oldest daughter a little while ago and she sure did want to join us for lunch. She made me promise next time we're stateside we'll get all we need to cook up some good Nigerian food! 
Today I am sharing with D her gang on the Shady Porch and enjoying my time with Miss Jenny at her AlphabeThursday.


  1. Hi Robin! Your lunch sounds yummy to me! However, some of my family believes rice is a breakfast food only. :( It does limit my menu planning at times! I love reading about your time in Africa. What wonderfully rich life experiences you have! I'm sure there is sacrifice to go with it too, however. Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. I've practically worn out my rice cooker. I love it! I have only had plantains once, last fall just after we moved to Florida. I think it's an acquired taste!

  3. Thanks for the epicurean "tour", so to speak. That stew sounds y.u.m.m.y.!!

  4. Great stew!

    Visiting from Mrs Matlock’s and looking forward to *seeing* you again,


  5. Still tasted great by the time I got home for dinner. Wish there would have been some leftover so I could bring it to work today but Jake finished it off. Thanks for being a great cook. - Your husband!

  6. What an interesting experience for all of you!


  7. Wonderful to have had the opportunity to live in Africa for a while. I can see how you would miss it!

  8. Yummy recipe, and this makes me want to watch Out of of my all time old favorites...

  9. Wow, that's so cool sounding. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you do try my tutorial.

  10. I don't think I've eaten an African cruisine before! Thanks for the recipe! {:-Deb

  11. Wow, what just amazing. Thanks for stopping by my blog and the nice words. Stop by anytime!


  12. Most of these are new foods to me but I like to try different things and plantain is one of them. Thanks for sharing your dishes from Africa.

  13. Hi Robin - thank you for visiting Pondside today. Your blog intrigues me. We love stew in any form and I know I can get plantains here, so I'm going to give this recipe a try. Thank you!

  14. Hi Robin,
    Wow, that nigerian food sounds wonderful. We love cuban food and Mexican food, so we are used to fried plaintains, they are so good.
    cuban food uses black beans and yellow rice, and Mexican red beans or
    refried beans and rice.
    Your food looks and sounds delicious, I can see why your daughter would want to eat with you, other than the fact she probably misses
    you!! lol

    We have a young friend that lives in Honduras, she is a misssionary too, but can't remember right off the top of my head, who she is with, cause I had never heard of them before I knew her, which hasn't been a long time. It would be something if yall happened to be with the same organization.

    Thanks for emailing me today, it was so nice to hear from you hon,
    and so glad my comments were an encouragement to you. I sure hope you are feeling better by now. Come by and see me soon,
    Blessings for a nice weekend, Nellie

  15. what a fascinating experience for you all! and the food sounds yummy!

  16. Your stew recipe sounds very tasty. It makes me think of beef stew. Yum!

  17. My Mom started the J theme with my sister and I and then lost interest on girl number three and four! ha!

    I am always intriqued by your so perfectly capture the flavors and exotic experience for us all to enjoy!

    I really want to come to dinner at your house!

    Thanks for linking up.

    You are a jewel.