I’m proud to collaborate with more than 30 Black recipe developers as we celebrate Black History Month 2022. This Virtual Potluck explores Black food through the lens of Afrofuturism. Our collaboration of recipes explores the intersection of the Black diaspora via culture, future, geopolitics, imagination, liberation, culture, and technology. Cook and share the inspiring recipes by checking out the list of participants below. Follow each participant and continue the discussion with us on social media using the hashtag #BHMVP2022!
Happy Black History Month!
It’s that time of the year again to celebrate everything Blackity Black. I am so excited to be kicking off this month sharing another delicious recipe that embodies black food culture, alongside amazing black food creators.
When it comes to the Black food experience there’s no one size fits all, as you can find Black people and Black culture across the diasporas. Due to this, Black culture through time has embraced many other foodways while preserving some traditions and practices from its African roots. From Creole Gumbo to Dominican Republic Mangú, you’ll see how Black food has evolved by adopting the practices of the residing region, while also keeping its connection to Africa.
As a person with a West-African background, one of my reasons for cooking is showcasing bold African flavors and native dishes; with a twist using various cooking techniques, flavors & ingredients. This is why you’ll find a lot of Afro-Fusion recipes on this blog. My contribution this year is a recipe with European origins but reimagined using African ingredients and flavors. Yam Gnocchi served with Oxtail pepper soup is definitely one recipe you have to include in your cookbook arsenal. Whether you are looking to impress your family & friends with something new and delicious, looking to flex your culinary skills for that special someone😉, or you simply are looking for another recipe to include in your fall/winter collection; this recipe is the right comfort food that’ll make your tastebuds jump and belly dance.
Yams widely known across western countries as African/Negro yams are often misrepresented in western grocery stores as sweet orange potatoes. True yams are NOT sweet potatoes but are long brown tubers with a rough exterior and a white or yellow interior. Yams can be enjoyed by pounding, boiling, mashing, frying, roasting, or chipping.
Native to West African, Asian, and Caribbean countries. It is a staple food in West Africa and one of the oldest crops cultivated. “According to the FAO, the world produced over 72 million tons of yams in 2018, where Africa’s contribution alone makes up 92% of global production” (Sousa et al.,2020). It is no surprise, as I have many childhood memories of going to the farm with my grandmother and other women in the community to harvest yams. It is a very tedious process but my favorite part was spending our break roasting some yams with firewood and enjoying it with a sauce made with palm oil, ground dry chili, and salt.
Research shows that the usage of Yams across the diaspora has been devalued over the years and this has led to a reduction in production (Sousa et al.,2020). I find that disappointing, as yams have been a primary food rooted in African traditions. Yams are favored for their ability towards hunger sustainment as it’s an easy crop to grow, versatility, rich in essential nutrients, and the best part, they can be cultivated all year round (Sousa et al.,2020). I hope to see more consumption of yams across the diasporas, as well as the inclusion of yams in other foodways. As research shows, yams have the potential ability to play a role in global food security and income generation, specifically for rural poor areas. (Sousa et al.,2020).
Gnocchi is a type of Italian dumpling. They are cut into small lumps of dough and primarily made with potatoes, semolina, flour, eggs, etc. For my recipe, I’ll be using yam as my base. Just as regular gnocchi, yam gnocchi is bland in taste but takes on the flavors of the sauces or soups it is cooked in or paired with. It’s light, creamy, and with a melt-in-your-mouth feel, which is what I love the most about Gnocchi.
Tips for making Yam Gnocchi
- Unlike potato based gnocchi which requires a very small amount of egg yolk, yam gnocchi requires a little more moisture. Yam is dense in texture and requires more moisture for you to be able to mold it into a dough you can work with. I used the whole egg for my recipe as opposed to the yolks in a typical gnocchi recipe. I saw this on recipes from Italy blog.
- You have to mash boiled yam while still hot or very warm using a potato ricer for an easy, smooth blend.
- Never add additional flour, use what is required in the recipe. You want a result that has a slight taste of the yam and not the taste and flavour of flour. Excess flour will result in a hard doughy gnocchi.
- As opposed to regular gnocchi, sadly this recipe can not be frozen. I noticed a difference in result when it was frozen; I find that the gnocchi came out softer, soggy and very yammy in taste. Although, my friends feel the opposite in regards to the frozen gnocchi, personally I prefer it made fresh, as it was more authentic for gnocchi. I’ll keep working and tweaking this recipe, until then do not freeze; good thing you only need about 45mins to an hour to make.
After cooking the Gnocchi, I pan-seared with olive oil, butter & salt for a beautiful brown finish. I served the gnocchi in the most mouth-watering Oxtail Peppersoup *Chef’s kiss*. This recipe is my re-imagination of the native Nigerian dish Yam Peppersoup.
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2022 Black History Month Virtual Potluck Menu
Fonio Bundt Cake with Hibiscus Glaze by A Classic Twist
Collard Green Hand Pies by A Girl Called Adri
Sweet Potato Wedges with Peanut Dipping Sauce by Big Delicious Life
Sweet Potato Biscuits by Black Girls Who Brunch
Chicken Plantains and Vegetables by Black Peoples Recipes
Bobo de Camarao (Brazilian Shrimp Stew) by Brazilian Kitchen Abroad
Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart with Candied Peanuts by Britney Breaks Bread
Vegan Coconut Cake with Lime Glaze by Chenée Today
Fried Green Tomato BLT by Coined Cuisine
Shrimp Po’ Boy Salad by Collards Are The Old Kale
Warm Brewed Zobo Drink by Dash of Jazz
Sorrel Martini Popsicles by Dish It With Tisha
Fish Patties with Pontchartrain Sauce by Dude That Cookz
Spicy Berbere Lentil Chili by Flights and Foods
Sankofa Bowl w/ Suya Duck Breast by Food Fidelity
Brown Stew Pineapple Chicken with Roasted Groundnuts by Geo’s Table
Champurrado Custard by Global Kitchen Travels
Caribbean Fish and Chips with Tamarind Sauce by Heal Me Delicious
Curry crab stuffed dumplings by Home Made Zagat
Nigerian Chapman Cocktail by Immaculate Ruému
Dragon Fruit Pineapple Rum Punch by Jamieson Diaries
Smothered Okra & Tomatoes by Kenneth Temple
Brown Butter Sombi – Coconut Rice Puddng Brulee by Meiko And The Dish
Coffee and Bourbon Braised Short Ribs by My Pretty Brown Fit + Eats
Fig Cake with Tamarind Glaze by My Sweet Precision
Coconut-Lime Cornmeal Tres Leches Cake by Savor and Sage
Salmorejo (Stewed Crab) over Garlic Grits by Sense & Edibility®
Mango Cake and Coconut Cream by Sims Home Kitchen
Sous Vide Ox Tail with Coconut Rice by Sweet Tea + Thyme
Brown Butter Brulé Bean Pie by The Queen of Yum
Black Eyed Pea And Cornbread by The Vgn Way
References: Emily C. Sousa., Manish N. Raizada. (2020). Contributions of African Crops to American Culture and Beyond: The Slave Trade and Other Journeys of Resilient Peoples and Crops. doi.org/10.3389/fsufs.2020.586340