On May 6 & 7, we hosted our first Liberian Chow with Chef Carmenia Morgan Tyrus.
Fried Ripe Plantain with Corn Beef Hash Gravy A slice of ripe plantain, fried golden brown and topped with stewed corned beef gravy, sour cream, and bell peppers. It’s no surprise that this party in your mouth is a popular appetizer at weddings. Gluten Free. Vegan: Fried plantain w/ guacamole
Homemade Ginger Beer Growing up in Liberia, Ginger Beer was always the major festival drink prepared for holidays and special family occasions. Chef Carmenia bottles her own juices, including her ginger beer made from fresh grated ginger root, pineapple skin, sugar, whole cloves and lemon juice. It is light and refreshing, perfect to be enjoyed either hot or cold.
Plantain Fufu and Pepper Soup Colloquially known as ”peppah soup,” this bright, savory dish has a little (or a lot) of kick. It’s served at most holiday gatherings and is often referred to as cold medicine. It can be made with almost any meat, but Chef Carmenia makes hers with chicken and smoked turkey. In the soup, you’ll find a hearty portion of plantain fufu. Fufu is a dried starch (cassava, yam or plantain) that is cooked, pounded and rolled into oval dough like discs. It is swallowed instead of chewed. It is popularly eaten with a spicy soup. Gluten Free. Vegan option: vegan pepper soup.
Sweet Potato Greens with Smoke Meats and White Rice One of the dishes Chef Carmenia remembers from her childhood is one of the most popular dishes in Liberia — Matembele, or Sweet Potato Leaves Stew. Don’t let the name fool you, this dish is chock-full of protein — smoked turkey, herring, chicken, and beef. Cooked with onions, garlic, peppers, and of course, sweet potato greens, this dish has a complex and smokey flavor. Served over white rice. Gluten Free. Vegan option: Vegan Matembele
Attiéké with Grilled Chicken and Fry Pepper Sauce An Ivorian dish, now popular in Liberia, Attiéké is fermented, grated cassava. It’s similar in consistency to couscous and has a slightly sour taste (a result of the fermentation). Attiéké is usually served with meat (in our case, grilled chicken kebabs) and a salad of diced onions, tomatoes, sweet bell peppers, spices and vinegar. We’ll also have a side of cabbage and sautéed peppers. Not spicy enough? Add some of Chef Carmenia’s fry pepper sauce! It can be added to any dish to give it an extra kick. But be warned… it’s spicy! Gluten-free. Vegan option: Attiéké with a veggie kebab
Liberian Rice Bread A favorite snack, Liberian Rice Bread is similar to American banana bread. Instead this is made from over ripe plantains or bananas, cream of rice, fresh ginger, nutmeg, eggs, vegetable oil, baking soda, salt, and milk. Gluten-Free.
Coconut Candy This candy is super delicious and makes a great snack for sweet lovers. Coconut candy is one of the most popular candies in the Liberian community. It is made from fresh shredded coconut, caramelized sugar, and grated ginger. Shredded coconut and ginger are added to caramelized sugar. After the mixture is cooked, the candy is formed and left to harden. Gluten-Free and Vegan.