Sunday, March 15, 2009

Red Red

I've made this a few times now, and everytime I make it the boys have LOVED it. If I go too long without making Red-Red, I start getting requests for it. Tonight I made it and the boys each ate 3 helpings!! I'm not sure how they manage to pack that much away, though...I think its pretty heavy and I get full after 1!!

This is a Ghanaian dish that is pretty mild in flavor, is filling, and still has that distinct African taste.

I've modified this recipe a bit from one that I saw on another blog and quickly borrowed for my own use (was it Emily who posted it first??)

Red Red
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup Red Palm oil
red pepper flakes (to taste)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 can diced or stewed tomatoes
2 cans black eyed peas, rinsed
2 shrimp maggi cubes

In large skillet, saute the onions in the red palm oil until translucent. While onions are cooking, add garlic and red pepper flakes. When onions are cooked, add the tomatoes and shrimp maggi cubes. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the black-eyed peas and continue simmering for 10-15 minutes (on medium-low heat).

Serve over rice. I also serve Fried Plantains with our Red Red.

This time, I added fish to our Red Red. When I was at the grocery store this week, I noticed that frozen Tilapia fillets were on sale, so I grabbed a bag of them thinking they might be a good addition to the Red Red. While the mixture was simmering, I added 3 thawed Tilapia fillets. After about 10 minutes they were cooked through and when I stirred the mixture, they just flaked apart. I have to admit this addition was a GREAT one - we all really enjoyed the added fish this time.

Fried Plantains
2 very ripe Plantains (like almost black)
Oil for cooking
Salt to taste

I know that to be authentic Ghanaian fried plantains I would have to pan fry them in Red Palm Oil. But...I have tried this a few times and always have trouble with it. In order to get the oil hot enough to fry the plantains, it starts smoking in the kitchen and then the smoke detectors start going off. Every time. And then the whole house smells like burning red palm oil for a few days. While I like the flavor, it just isn't worth it to I use a different method.

I peel the plantains, and cut them diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces. Pan fry them in vegetable oil until brown, turning over to fry the other side after a couple minutes. At this point, I remove them from the oil, sprinkle with salt, take a fork and squish them flat. Then quickly fry them again for a couple minutes. This makes them extra crispy and yummy!


Amy said...

That sounds great and I've wanted to try it, but I can't find red palm oil anywhere in my area. Any suggestion I what I could possibly use as a substitute?


Bingaling said...

Hmm...I can't really think of a good substitute - it really is a pretty distinct flavor. But...maybe I can send you some?!?! We have an international grocery store here, so I can get it pretty easily.

Amy said...

Oh I wouldn't want to put you out like that! But you are so sweet to offer Chanda. :) You know, I should enlist the help of my sister-in-law in Seattle. I'll bet that she could find some for us. I really would like to make it sometime and now I have a "tested by Ghanaians" recipe thanks to you. :)