With a passion for cooking, Mrs. Abimbola Oduola, who owns Centaury Cuisine Venture, shares with RUKAYAT ODEWALE the recipe for a delicious vegetable soup and a tasty way to improve and enjoy pancakes.
As a child,what did mealtimes mean to you?
Mealtime was a time we came together as a family to eat. We usually ate breakfast and supper together. Mealtime was also a time to bond with my mum because I loved spending time in the kitchen with her while she cooked.
What’s your fondest memory of your mum’s cooking?
It was the way she prepared food. Her meals were always quite different from the normal way it is prepared. Even food as simple as sandwich was uniquely prepared.
What inspired you to go into catering? My mum was a caterer and I love the way she prepared food. This sparked off the passion at a young age and it grew in me.
Have you created a recipe of late?
Yes, stuffed pancake. The ingredients needed for pancake are flour, egg, margarine, sugar, milk, water, salt, nutmeg and vegetable oil. Break egg in bowl, add melted margarine and sugar. Mix thoroughly. Add salt, milk and grated nutmeg and stir. Gradually add sifted flour and keep whisking. Add water till you have a smooth and runny batter. Heat little oil in a non-stick pan, spread with a brush to grease the entire surface of the pan. Using a ladle, scoop pancake batter and fry on both sides till golden brown. The pancake is ready.
After preparing pancake, sauté sliced carrots, cabbage and fish in a little oil for three minutes. Then stuff the mix in the middle of pancake, roll it and use a toothpick to hold it together. It’s a great meal for breakfast.
Can you recall the most challenging situation you have had to deal with as a caterer?
It was during one of my sisters’ husband’s birthday. She gave me the catering job because she trusted me. Having made plans and delegated duties, I had to leave for another engagement. It turned out that my head cook had an accident and couldn’t report to cook for the birthday party. We barely beat the deadline but managed to prepare all the dishes except moin moin. It was challenging having made plans that got disorganised at the last minute.
What are the things you put in mind when catering for clients?
I don’t cook what suits me but what is acceptable by my clients. I usually take into consideration the peculiar needs of my clients.
Do you feel comfortable eating other people’s food?
I do but it depends on the look of the food and the way it is served.
What food do you prepare when you want to give yourself a treat?
Can you share the recipe?
The ingredients needed are tomato, red bell pepper (tatase), onions, fish, African flute pumpkin (ugwu), salt, seasoning, crayfish and palm oil.
To prepare, blend tomato, tatase and onion together. Clean and boil fish. Heat palm oil and add blended pepper, crayfish, salt and seasoning to taste. Sprinkle the washed and sliced ugwu in it. Stir and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
What is it best served with?
It is good for eating rice. The soup is also good for those suffering from ulcers.