Anatomy of a feast

Banquet tables filled with various dishes and meats and all sorts of things to eat and drink come to mind when you think of a feast, and that is not too far from the truth. But I make bold to state that it is not enough for the table to be laden with assorted platters; each dish in itself ought to be well prepared and beautifully presented so as to ensure a memorable gastronomic experience.

In my quest to create a gastronomic experience for Femi’s birthday get-together this past Saturday, I planned to make 8 dishes and I was very excited about the prospect; until the heat (literally) was on – but I am getting ahead of myself. So I decided to make a “mediterrasian” spread; I knew that mixing Mediterranean and asian menus would appeal to the Nigerian palette as well as offer something interesting as far as regular “party food” in Nigeria goes. So I pulled up some of Femi’s favourite dishes and threw in a few new ones and the menu was set! I decided to make chicken curry and steamed rice, Thai Style Spicy Jollof Rice, Chicken Piglets, Spaghetti and Meat Balls (with pesto on the side), Braciole, Summer “Floral” Salad, Beef Chowmein, Plantain Batonettes and Potato Casserole.

The Feast

With my menu in hand, I set about purchasing the ingredients I would need for my feast; for the Braciole and Beef Chowmein, I headed to our neighbourhood Spar Super market where Stephen the Butcher gave me the nicest cuts of Sirloin and Rump steakΒ  (a handy tip; it helps to talk to your butcher about the cuts of meat you need, he could help you tenderize, slice and dice them to your requirements too!). Between Shoprite and Spar, I was able to buy most of what I needed – bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, bacon, chicken thighs and drummettes, spring onions, cucumbers, carrots, basil, parsely, lemons, egg noodles, basmati rice, Coconut milk and parmesan cheese. The local open market provided items like Plaintains, red onions, ginger etc.

The night before the feast, I decided to make the chicken curry so that the flavours would have settled and be well infused by the next day. I also marinated the chicken for the Chicken Piglets and the Casserole.

Prepping the chicken piglets

Braciole in the Making

Given the amount of food I intended to roll out I had to order my activities like an assembly line to ensure that everything turned out well. It got very hot in the kitchen with all the burners and the oven going and at some point I was convinced that I had over reached myself but I pressed on and in the end, with the help my ever supportive hubby and my friends Joke, Morenike and Debola who were so gracious and helped with setting the table and washing up, the feast was set up!

The feast also consisted of delish cup cakes by Cup Cake Couture (run by Uzo Orimalade) and Hans & Rene (run by Tayo Bolodeoku). If you noticed that there was no pesto in the spread pictured above and below, your observation would be accurate πŸ™‚ ; I decided to leave it out….The chicken curry is also not easly discernable in the pictures because it was served in the white coverd dishes (I promise it was πŸ™‚ )

There you have it; a veritabel feast!

Braciole (stuffed beef sirloin)

Summer "Floral" Salad

Beef Chowmein

Thai Style Spicy Jollof Rice

Chicken Piglets

Plantain Batonettes with sweet chili dip

Cup cake Tower

All Spread out

Feasting

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34 thoughts on “Anatomy of a feast

  1. Nice. Very Nice. Hand work of a virtuous woman.

    So when are you opening NK’s Kitchen or Kemi’s Diner or Kemi Land for us to be part of your offerings? I will be your 1st customer trust me.

  2. I can only dream of food such as this, gracing my palette in the near future. To console myself … atleast I’ve eaten ur “chicken piglets”YUMMY!!

    • Thanks Andi! He is content indeed. About the Digicam suggestion; your suggestion is duly noted. With a full house of guests it was really akaward to be taking pictures of the table. LOL

  3. I don’t know why am always still wowified wiv ur creations nkem!! to call this a feast is an understatment. u go gurl!! keeping churning out the goodies

  4. Well, what I will say is that I was there. I was there when the beautiful looking spread was laid out before my eyes. What I will also say is that I really enjoyed the foods that I ate. What I will not say however, is that I sampled all the dishes! Why? Because, we, the men, being perfect gentlemen, stood back to let the ladies serve themselves first and by the time they were done, well, there isn’t always much left in a field locusts have visited is there? I guess it attests to the deliciousness of the spread. I have since learnt not to be deceived by women’s diminutive sizes. Looking at the pictures on this post, I find I do not recognise the plantain frifriwetinwetin, the Thai Jolloff rice, the chowmein; they were completely decimated by the time we got to the table. The piglets were gorgeous and the meatballs? They instantly took me back to Sweden. The sauce was divine, and with the spaghetti they simply slipped down my throat. The meatballs (not done with them yet) were large, moist, had great clingy texture and had that outdoor wholesome taste that is so synonymous with organic bred meat. Thank you Nkem for a wonderful feast but you’ll have to forgive me for pushing ahead of the queue next time.

    • Oh my word! Kalu!!!! Well I have to say that this is easily the lengthiest and one of the most brutally honest comments I have ever received on this blog. Thanks love. Hugs

  5. Hey ma bebe, real lovely. So so proud of u! How on earth could I have missed all of this? We will have to re-create Man’s birthday scene real soon, and it better be better than this, (for just three though):-). Well done my dear, can’t wait for the dream to become a reality. Big, warm, Mimi-squeezes.

    • Mama Mojojo! Thanks darl! All our dreams will come true! Mimi squeezes duly accepted with accompanying pain killers! πŸ˜€

  6. This is simply WOW!!! Well done Aunty! And happy belated birthday to your husband. More grace to you both!

  7. Yum yum!!!!!!!! I’m hungry!
    I need to be involved in the next feast….
    In fact I’m ready to battle!

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