Kelewele and Sweet Pea Guacamole

Ahh, it's nice to finally be able to go outside and take a breath of fresh air without having to worry about freezing the insides of our lungs, isn't it? Not only can we bike all around the lovely rivers and canals of Ottawa but there is an explosion of outdoor events in the city.

I love that the Ottawa Wine & Food Festival has an outdoor spring event. It's going to be more casual and more playful than its sister event in the fall. BBQ Battle?! Whaaaa???

Events like these remind me of PICNICS! OUTDOOR PARTIES! SEEING FRIENDS AGAIN! It's always so funny to me to go outside once it warms up and a) see people smiling again and b) actually run into people! Spring truly awakens us Canadians and I hope the recipe below inspires some of your party planning..

What's your favourite patio or picnic drink?

What's your favourite patio or picnic drink?

I decided to share two recipes I had on my YouTube show Eva Bee's Jamboree with international award winning performance poet Ian Keteku. He's a gem. For real. And just wait till you see our conversation with his mom when we ask for instructions on how to make this Ghanaian street food dish of fried plantains. 

Check out the video and recipe below and I'll see you at the Wine and Food Festival this upcoming May 13th and 14th 2016 at 110 Laurier Ave.

Kelewele (Ghanaian Fried Plantains)

4 plantains, ripe, peeled and cut into bite-sized cubes
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (we like it spicy!)
1" teaspoon peeled grated fresh gingerroot
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water
vegetable oil (for frying) (approx 1L)

Directions (original recipe here)

1. In a mortar and pestle (or food processor), mash together grated ginger root, pepper, and salt, then mix with water.
2. In a glass bowl toss together the plantain cubes and spice mixture.
3. In a deep skillet, heat oil (just deep enough to allow plantains to float) to 350 degrees F. Fry plantains, turning once, until golden brown on both sides. (Don't try to fry them all at once; they should not touch each other while frying.).
4. Drain on absorbent paper, keep in warmed oven until all the plantains are fried. Serve kelewele immediately.

Sweet Pea Guacamole
By Darina Allen from the Ballymaloe Cookery School Cookbook

1 lb fresh or frozen peas
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
½ fresh chili (such as jalapeno), seeds removed and finely chopped
¼ teaspoons freshly ground cumin
Approximately ½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground coriander
Crème Fraiche, Greek yogurt or sour cream, for garnish (or mix it in 'The Jamoree' way!)

1. Cook the peas in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again.
2. In a blender or food processor, puree the olive oil, lime juice, and chili for a minute. Add the peas, cumin, cilantro, coriander and salt and blend until almost smooth.
3. Taste, correct seasoning and put in a serving bowl. Cover until needed. Serve with warm flour tortilla wedges, garnished with crème fraiche.