Author Notes: While reading through the comments on Amanda’s ‘Chocolate dump it cake’ recipe on food52, some comments struck me about Grains of Paradise and cooking for Mr Latte. For the life of me, I’d forgotten ‘Alligator pepper’ as we know it in Nigeria, so called because its bumpy shell is reminiscent of the Alligator’s hide. In Nigeria, it is both a sore throat/flu remedy and an ingredient in a recipe from the East called ‘Ose-orji’. It goes into a delicious peanut butter, where its nutty, citrusy, herbal and peppery flavours jazz up pb to the highest. The resulting butter is served as a dip with ‘garden eggs’, out-of-hand (no-cooking required) cousins to the Aubergine. It is extrememly popular at weddings and other celebrations. Abroad, I’ve discovered garden eggs in Asian/Oriental shops. And on that note, my copy of cooking for Mr Latte arrived today and I kept sneaking chunks of deliciousness, smiling when I read about a trip to Giolitti in Rome, famous for its ice cream and the place where my husband had four servings of ice-cream back to back. Hmmm, on to the recipe…. —Kitchen Butterfly
Makes: 1 cup
1 cup roasted peanuts, shelled and skinned
Salt, to taste
Tasteless vegetable oil
1/2 – 1 teaspoon grains of paradise
- In a blender or food processor, grind the peanuts and salt till they are crushed. The ground nuts will stick to the sides of the mixing container, so using a spatula, loosen bits from the bottom and round the sides.
- Drizzle in the quantity of oil which yields a ‘thick cream’ consistency.
- In a mortar and pestle, crush the grains of paradise till fine, then stir in to the peanut butter, bit by bit till you get the clear spice flavours coming through.
- In Nigeria, this is always served with ‘garden eggs’ as we call the small white or yellow eggplants which don’t require cooking.
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