Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 657

36 20 JULY 2023 Weekending BBC Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo is this week’s guest onWaitrose podcast Dish. Over cocktails and cherry and quinoa tabboulehwith goat’s cheese, she tells hosts Nick Grimshaw and Angela Hartnett about the Ghanaian comfort food of her childhood, an Italianwedding feast that still infiltrates her dreams, and being so stressed on CelebrityMasterChef that she forgot to put the cheese in her cheesecake. waitrose.com/dish COCKTAILS AND CHAT WITH CLARA ‘If you’re getting up early to watch the football, our frozen croissants and pastries bake straight from the freezer in 20 minutes’ WILL TORRENT Partner & senior brand development chef “I want to change the narrative about Sierra Leone,” saysMaria. Born and raised in Freetown, theWest African nation’s capital, the Kent-based writer says that when British people think of her homeland it’s either as “a place where freed slaves fromLondon were returned” or as “a scene of war andmisery” (the former UK colony endured a brutal civil war for 11 years duringMaria’s childhood). Maria’s first act in this mission was to set up her food business – Shwen Shwen, whichmeans ‘fancy’ in the Krio language. It o ers catering services andmail-orderWest African ingredients from the evocatively named grains of paradise to ogirie, the fermented sesame seeds that give Sierra Leonean cooking its umami oomph. ToMaria, though, the business is about more than just food. “It’s the preservation of our traditions – proof that we can do so muchmore with our ingredients and cuisine, and belief in a country that is too often looked down upon,” she says. These strands are fleshed out in her debut book. There are traditional dishes, including a section on street foods, frommorkor (green banana fritters topped with a scotch bonnet aïoli) to the spice-marinated and grilled pepe chicken. Then there are homestylemain courses such as her mother’s fish ball stew and cassada lif plasas – a green stew made with cassava leaves, it’s “our national treasure” saysMaria. “The gorgeous smell of cassada lif in coconut oil is beyond compare.” But it’s her Afro-fusion recipes that mean themost to her. “I love the traditional foods I’ve grown up eating, but I’mkeen for our food not to be stuck in its ways,” she says. “I want to take these classic ingredients and do something di erent with them – not westernise them, but definitely do something new.” So her cassava chips are dressed with white tru e oil, parmesan and sa ronmayo, while her roasted plantain is seasoned with a classicWest African pepper blend but also features Greek feta and thyme-fragranced confit cherry tomatoes. “It’s important to push boundaries,”Maria says. “I want everyone to try our ingredients so I want to showwhat can be done with them. That way, more people will take a chance on plantain, take a chance on yam, and take a chance on cassava.” Sweet Salone Book of theweek Maria Bradford The picnic season is upon us and sausage rolls are rmly on the menu. The classic combo of pork sausagemeat and buttery, aky pastry is a classic, but that doesn’t stop people experimenting. Home cooks are sharing recipes online which use Indian spices, jerk seasoning, chorizo, cheese, chilli and more. These Sweet Chilli Jam Pork Sausage Rolls (£3.50/180g or 2 FOR £5, o er ends 12 September) are part of the Waitrose summer deli range. Or you could try the recipe for rosemary and sweet onion sausage rolls at waitrose.com. Keep on rolling Photograph: Chris Blacklay, S:E Creative Studio