I’m that girl who orders the same thing over and over again at restaurants. I know – not what you’d expect from someone cooking the world. But I can’t help it. I like knowing what to expect. Plus, there’s nothing worse than wasting hard-earned money on a dish that I could possibly end up hating. After all, it’s not like I can send the food back just because I don’t like it.
Now, to be fair, I’m a completely different person at home. Without the burden of outrageous restaurant bills, I’m a free spirit. I play with food. Experiment. Get all MacGyver on it. If things begin to head south, I’m quick on my feet. A dash of this and a squirt of that will usually bring the meal back into edible form. I rarely make the same thing, the same way, twice.
Well, today we’re revisiting Jollof – a dish we made a few months ago with such success that I thought I’d make another popular variation for Liberia, a country that loves Jollof as much as any other West African country. The last version was vegan, so this time we’re going with ham and eggs and using a different combination of veggies. You could find this Jollof in roadside stands as well as in someone’s home.
A little familiar mixed with a little MacGyver.
Works for me.
P.S. leftovers make outrageously good fried rice.
2 cups green beans, sliced in 1 inch pieces
1/2- 1 lb smoked ham steak, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tsp ginger (fresh grated or ground)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne
15 oz can tomato sauce or puree
2 cups white rice
1 quart water or stock
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Hard-boiled egg per person, sliced
First, put on your smile, hard-boil as many eggs as you’d like, and refrigerate until meal time.
Meanwhile, chop up a mini mountain of green beans …
Next, add the tomato sauce and reduce until thick and pasty. You’ll know when it’s ready when a wooden spoon drawn through the mixture leaves a distinct line.
And when it tastes like caramelized tomato goodness.
Next, pour on the beautiful rice, green beans, ham and stock. Give the mixture a stir and season with salt and pepper as desired. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook about 20 minutes, or until the rice is done.
Meanwhile, take a walk on a Liberian beach, lay down, and listen to the ocean’s dreams.
Serve one egg per person.
And a little eggy. And a little hammy.
It’s like the chef salad of rice dishes.
Without any salad.
I know, I know.
Welcome to my mind.
Happy Sunday, friends.
Have a fantastic evening.