Quick Chef.

Merry Christmas to everyone and a Happy New Year in Advance.


For the culinary inclined, today will be a day of boiling, frying, chopping, slicing and dicing. So here’s a kitchen warrior tale to help the day along.

Let me categorically state here before we move on that I don’t enjoy cooking even though I can. Pretty much like someone who knows math but doesn’t necessarily enjoy the subject. I realise this comes across as ironic or even at odds with the fact that I can. But there it is. I am an epicure though. This means that I particularly enjoy good food and I’m often quite critical. But the process of actually cooking is one I’d rather avoid or shorten. It is necessary for me to establish this so you’ll know why I’m somewhat excited.

Since today is the day for slicing and dicing, my mum went out yesterday and bought everything we needed to stuff any hapless person that will come over to visit. And this morning was Stew cooking morning. Of course, being myself, I decide that this special stew that will be tasted by everyone who comes to visit, not just the family, will be a good first experiment for swapping the tried-and-true steps for making stew in the house for a new method. This new method promises that I’ll spend less time, use less heat (therefore sweat less) and generally have more me time. It’s a win-win right. So here’s my new process outlined below.

  • Prep the tomatoes, onions and other stuff as you would normally do and blend.
  • Spread a sieve cloth (which can be bought from those selling school uniform materials in the market. About N300 per yard. I bought one yard and it served well.) over a bowl and carefully pour the ground mix into it. Be careful to make sure it sits in the middle of the cloth.
  • Gather the edges in one hand and raise slightly to allow the excess fluid drain out into the bowl. After about twenty minutes, much of it would have drained off and the ground mix begins to look like a puree. (These last two steps actually sound more messy than they are. I promise)
  • Set a pot or pan on the fire and let all drops of liquid dry off. Add oil and when it’s hot,put in sliced onions, curry, thyme and any other spices you may like.
  • With a spoon, remove the strained mix and put it in the hot oil to fry. Since it’s dry now, you can easily fold off the clumps of tomato mix that get stuck on the cloth into the spoon. It doesn’t take long to fry till it’s dry (believe me, this is possible) after this.
  • For cleaning the cloth, just add a little washing up liqiud (not much because the material is extremely light and there’ll be more foam than you can deal with) into some water, swish the cloth lightly around in it (it cleans easily), rinse thoroughly and spread to dry.


You should end up with something like this.

The big plus is that with this, I spent about an hour making the stew where I usually spent almost two with the first hour for boiling the tomatoes and generating a lot of heat. It actually turned out well and my mum was so proud. 🙂

So here’s to a new year spent with shorter times in the kitchen. 😀


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