Thursday, 1 December 2016

Supper Club Ghanaian Style with Patti Sloley

I first heard Patti Sloley on the Nick Coffer radio show on BBC Three Counties radio and she and Nick were talking about the cooking lessons she was involved in, in conjunction with Chef Jean-Christophe Novelli's cookery school.  Let me explain that Patti is from Ghana and was talking about food that I had never heard of but sounded really intriguing.

Following on from this I 'met' Patti on Facebook and we became Facebook friends however every time we tried to meet something would come up and it was after nearly four years of 'online friendship' that we finally got to meet in person a few weeks ago!
Patti invited me to attend one of her Ghanaian supper club dinners she hosts at the Hitchin (Hertfordshire) deli called Halsey's.  I was so excited to actually me her and to have my first ever experience of Ghanaian food.
Patti was so colourful in real life, much more than her on-line persona and hugs and squeals were in abundance at that meeting.

I brought my vegetarian blogger friend Nayna with me as her daughter had recently returned from Ghana telling Nayna all about the fantastic food she had there. Click here if you want to read Nayna's account of the evening too.

First of all we had a warming soup which was very apt for the weather that evening's cold and wet weather.  The soup, a rich chowder, was made with coco yam, yam, sweetcorn and bacon and was rich and creamy (a vegetarian version without the bacon was also available) and everyone loved it.
The next course Patti demonstrated in front of us and made the vegetarian version which she would serve to Nayna although the rest of us would have a meaty version.
It was a simple stew which was thickened with ground melon seeds called Egusi. Egusi is a tomato based stew typical of Ghanaian cuisine thickened with ground melon seeds. The non-veggie version was served with a turmeric rice with a fish Egusi on one side and a lamb Egusi on the other with sauteed plantain chips to garnish.
A mid course of fresh fruit salad in a syrup of ginger and lemongrass was a perfectly refreshing palate cleanser.
We were really full by this time and really appreciated the light pudding that followed.  Patti has perfected her version of a Plantain Pudding that is made without sugar, butter or eggs and yet remains full of flavour and very moist.  It was served with a vanilla marscapone cream dolloped on top.  This cake would be a perfect Christmas cake when a light and moist cake is needed after seasonal indulgences!
We finished our meal with a warm drink called Hissap - a hibiscus drink infused with spices, sort of like a non-alcoholic mulled wine!

I am eager to get together with Patti and see what we can cook up together and don't worry I will keep you informed.

Thanks to Patti's Menu for inviting me and Nayna.  I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions and photos are my own and cannot be copied or reproduced without my permission.

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