Sunday, June 5, 2011

Day 136! Ghana (again) Grilled Tilapia and Yam Chips - Up Next, Burkina Faso

Taste of Africa Meal #2: Ghanaian Grilled Tilapia and Yam Chips~A cooking collaboration with Taste of Africa, which will help African companies connect to buyers across the U.S. in this year's Fancy Food Show in Washington, DC - July 10-12. Funded through USAID's West Africa Trade Hub and Southern Africa Global Competitiveness Hub, the Association Africa Agro-Export and other partners.

Rice is a cook, a soccer player. She's female. She's a sweet drink, too. Rice is many countries.
Zakaria Hassan, Somalian Immigrant  
(Telling Room Anthology~Portland, Maine)

Tonight's Ghanian dinner comes directly from my friend Kafui Djonou (West Africa Trade Hub, Business Development Coordinator), who patiently talked me through the recipe and preparation over Skype yesterday. How cool is it that two women living continents apart can connect through the universal language of food and wonders of technology? The only thing that would have been better would have been to be with Kafui in her kitchen in Senegal.

Officially known as The Republic of Ghana, the country's name means  "The Warrior King". Located in Western Africa, and formally known as the Gold Coast, Ghana shares borders with Cote d'Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Togo and the Gulf of Guinea. Ghana won it's independence from the UK in 1957 and was the first Sub-Saharan nation to do so. A fact many may not know is that Ghana is the second largest producer of cocoa and is home to La Volta, the world's largest man-made lake.

Cuisine in Ghana varies by region and ethnic group, but generally relies on starchy foods such as rice, fufu (pounded cassava and plantain, cocoyam or yam, and one of my favorites), and banku (cooked and fermented corn or cassava dough). Red-Red, a mixture bean stew made with palm oil and fried ripe (yellow) plantains is also very popular. Other foods and dishes include, but are not limited to: ground nut soups and stews, yams or plantain ampesi (boiled yam or plantain) served with kontomire (palva sauce made with cocoyam leaves and palm oil ),  Tilapia, smoked fish and crayfish. Onions and tomatoes are often used as ingredients and can be replaced by dishes such as kenkey and jollof rice.. Spices such as thyme, bay leaves, ginger and hot sauce made of chili peppers season and heat the food with rich flavors.

Grilled Tilapia and Yam Chips
(E. Darkey and Associates, Limited - West African Importer of frozen yams, special banky and kokonte mix, special porridge and special dry powdered pepper)

1-1/2 pounds Tilapia fillets
1 Tbsp. ground onions
1Tbsp. ground garlic
1 Tbsp. ground ginger
2 large yams or sweet potatoes, thinly sliced ( in Ghana, yams are sliced like fries or on the diagonal)
Salt and pepper to taste
Tomatoes and onions for garnish
Hot pepper sauce for dipping
Peanut oil for frying

Season Tilapia fillets with ground onions, garlic,  ginger and salt and pepper to taste, then refrigerate for a few hours to marinate before grilling.
Lightly grill Tilapia fillets on a gas, charcoal or wood grill, about 3 minutes on each side You may wish to use a grilling basket to make turning the delicate fillets easier.
Next, thinly slice yams or sweet potatoes (a sharp knife or mandolin works well).
Heat about an inch of peanut oil in a heavy skillet on medium high heat.
Fry in hot oil until edges of chips begin to curl.
Drain on paper towels or brown paper bag.
Salt lightly and place in a heavy brown paper bag in a 200 F oven for 10 minutes to crisp up.
Serve immediately with hot sauce.

 (C) 2010-2011, What's Cooking in your World/Sarah Commerford/All Rights Reserved


Karen said...

this is gorgeous - especially the yam chips, they look amazing. And Mark still wants your pit :)

sadie said...

Thanks, Karen! Our gas grill died, and except for the convenience of flipping the switch,I've gotta say that I like the pit better :)