African Cassava Leaf Stew With Rice

11:45 PM

I just recently returned from a week long trip to Chicago. I was there to photograph the Chicago Fashion Week debut of children's fashion designer, Alexandria Olivia and I had booked a few headshot and editorial sessions.

While it was mostly work, I was there to also enjoy some good food.

Being in Mississippi, there are limitations as to what we can experience. I know, I know...but yes, it is true. The designer I was commissioned to work for is of African descent. While there in Chicago, I was so thankful to experience authentic African food that literally made me say, "yesssssss".

One of the foods  I tried was called Cassava Leaf Stew with rice. 

Oh my. It was so good.

Full of all kinds of meats and  earthy ground leaves, it had me wanting to bring it on back to Mississippi.

And I did just that, I brought back some cassava leaves and palm oil -- determined, I made this delicous meal at home for my family.

I used beef neckbones, chicken, mussels and shrimp but the meat possibilities are endless. This is a hearty African comfort food that is perfect for these impending cool winter nights.

It was a hit and even my mom with her picky palate went back for seconds.

Here is a recipe I followed that you can try. Of course, cassava leaves and palm oil are not readily available in all areas. Check your local ethnic markets or online. It is so worth it.

*I served mine with parboiled rice. My mom, being the ultimate southerner and despite boiling the meat with a habenero, added hot sauce*

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