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Lots of provision around at the markets, sweet potatoes, yams, dasheen, eddoes, cassava.
Each one carries a different texture and taste, but they are all delicious, nutritious as they are loaded with fibre and minerals, and very versatile.
They all require different preparation methods, if you buy fresh cassava or dasheen, you will need to peel them right away, and if not cooking at the same time, freeze them.
Eddoes and sweet potatoes can stay for up to two weeks in your kitchen, no need to refrigerate them, same goes for yam.
Provisions are loaded with flavour and can easily be enjoyed plain boiled with a hint of olive oil, you can make oven baked sweet potato wedges, or even crush them in the same manner you would do mashed potatoes.
But if you are feeling truly creative in the kitchen try one of the following recipes!
1 lb ground beef
2 tbs fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs vegetable oil
1 tsp paprika
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
8 ozs tinned tomatoes
1 tsp dried oregano
10 green olives, chopped
Season beef with thyme, salt and pepper
Heat oil in a sauté pan, add paprika and cook until oil is coloured, add onion, garlic, and pepper sauté for a few minutes more, add beef and stir well, cook for a few minutes, add tomatoes and oregano, simmer for about 15 minutes stirring occasionally, taste and adjust seasonings, add olives and turn off heat.
For the cassava
1 lb cassava
6 tbs butter
2 tbs cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt to taste
12 banana leaf squares 11 X 11 inches, softened
Boil the cassava in lots of water until very soft, drain, remove inner core and crush with a potato masher, do not use a processor.
Add butter and combine add eggs and mix well in between additions; you can use a hand mixer here.
Add cornstarch, baking powder and cheese, salt to taste.
Place about 2 tbs cassava onto an oiled banana leaf, gently spread with a spoon, now place abut 1 tbs filling onto the cassava, fold the leaf over and press, fold the banana leaf like a package, tie either end with a piece of string, like a piece of candy.
Heat water in a large pot, place steamer insert into pot and place tamales on top, cover and steam for 20 to 30 minutes.
ROASTED GARLIC AND SWEET POTATO CROQUETTES
1 head garlic
2 lbs sweet potatoes
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
salt to taste
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup flour
vegetable oil for frying
Preheat oven to 400F
Slice the top off of the garlic head, place on a roasting pan and wrap in foil, drizzle with a little olive oil.
Roast for one hour, cool.
Then squeeze garlic from the bottom and the pulp should come right out, set aside.
Boil sweet potatoes until very soft, about 40 minutes, depending on the size.
Peel and crush well, add butter, milk, one beaten egg, and roasted garlic cloves, stir to combine, season with salt.
Roll potato into 11/2 inch balls, dredge in flour, then in the other beaten egg, then in crumbs, fry until golden.
Makes about 8 to 12.
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