What I probably enjoy most about cooking is the process. To me, there is nothing more exciting than going to the market to search for items and ingredients. One thing about my cooking which people find really hard to believe is, I don’t use stock cubes. I try as much as possible to avoid Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) in my food. I instead focus on using different natural spices and herbs and it works way better than using cubes. My reasons for avoiding MSG is a story for another day.Imagine my surprise after what seemed like months of searching for quail, I finally found a place buy.
For those who don’t know, a quail is a small flightless bird.
I was so excited that I initially asked to be delivered to me alive. The aim was to do the needful myself. I soon realized that I wouldn’t be man enough to do it. Luckily for me, the suppliers can also prepare the birds.
I was like a child expecting a Christmas toy as I impatiently waited for my quails to arrive. It did eventually arrive and I remember showing it to everyone who was interested in it at the office. I told them how I was gonna prepare ‘the babies’ and I remember a few of my colleagues asking to be invited to my house. I didn’t invite anyone of them by the way.
What was I going to do to these bad boys? Well, I wanted them to taste as gamy as possible. So I brought out our off-set smoker and smoked the quail overnight.
I think I should step back a little at this point. I wasn’t just going to have quail just like that. I had to make it more magical. I decided to prepare a 3-course meal and whenever I prepare a 3-course meal, I always invite one or two people to join in the feast. My evil aim is to feed them till they can move no more. I have never failed to achieve this.
I invited a very annoying friend of mine. She is regularly mean and cold to me but I love her all the same. I made this 3-course meal to suit just her. For the starter, I got myself these massive croaker fish. I wanted to have fillets but I don’t know how to prepare fish fillets. It requires delicate hands, something I don’t have. I do know someone who does, my sister. I had to bribe her but she got the job done.
Seeing as I was in a smoking mood, I decided to also smoke the fish. I marinaded the fish in salt, black pepper and lime juice then smoked it with the quails overnight. The result was a well cooked smoked fish that tasted heavenly. I didn’t stop there. I fried the fish in shallow olive oil with garlic, ginger and more black pepper. I decided to serve this with salad. It was basically pawpaw, cabbage, cucumber and basil soaked in lime juice and honey. I made an apple and grape juice to go with the meal.
The quail at this point had been smoked enough. It was smoked with just salt as the seasoning; I wanted to give it more flavor. So I grilled it with my garlic and ginger infused oil. I served this with one of my friend’s favorites; mashed potatoes. I do have to admit that the mashed potatoes had some lumps in it but it was a good meal nonetheless.
What is a 3-course meal without the dessert. Here, the dessert was gingerbread donuts. This was actually my second try at it. I wasn’t pleased with the first one because it didn’t have enough ginger and I didn’t like the texture. The second time was the charm.
I sadly don’t have donut tins because as usual, I can’t afford one. So I used cupcakes tins instead. It was spectacular all the same.
It had the exact texture I was looking for, after tweaking the recipe a little. I even went as far as making lemon frosting. It is just lemon juice and icing sugar.
I also made this awesome milkshake using mostly whipped cream and melted chocolates. I made a thicker version of this to use as another topping for the gingerbread donuts.
By the way, these spectacular pictures you see here weren’t taken by me but by my guest; Omobola Ilerioluwa Adelaja (Yeah, its a mouthful). Don’t you think she needs a career change?