Yakamein Recipe

A Hearty Meal

Though every culture has its own unique traditions and cuisines, the concept of “comfort food” is universal. The following are recipes from local restaurants that evoke the traditions and comfort of a hearty meal from their own culinary corner of the globe. 

Photography by Rich Smith 

Neutral Ground

 

Chef Kenyatta Ashford at Neutral Ground

 

“Yakamein is a soulful dish and something different from what Southerners know simply as soul food. Soulful food has a deeper story to tell. I’ve traveled to Africa and explored the American coast to know the foodways, flavors, and methods of my African ancestors and Creole food culture.”
– Kenyatta Ashford, Executive Chef

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Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk with leaves, cut in half
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed 
  • 3-4 lbs. beef chuck, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. Creole spice
  • 3-4 eggs (½ egg per serving)  
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped 

Directions

Put vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy soup pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onion, celery, parsley, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.

Season the beef with salt and pepper, then add the beef, soy sauce, and Creole spice blend, along with 3 quarts (12 cups) of water, to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer until the beef is very tender, about 2-3 hours.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add the eggs, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, turn off heat and cover for 10 minutes. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Carefully drain the eggs and transfer them to the ice bath. Cook your pasta according to package directions. Peel the eggs and cut them in half lengthwise. Set aside.

When the beef is done, reduce the heat under the pot to low. Transfer the meat to a large bowl with a slotted spoon and shred it with two forks. Strain all the solids from your broth, and return the meat and broth to the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Serve with your favorite hot sauce and top with half an egg and scallions.

Note: can use meatballs (pictured) as additional protein, if desired. Can use radish as additional garnish, if desired.

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Yakamein from Neutral Ground

Yakamein

Neutral Ground
Course Main Course
Cuisine Creole
Servings 10 servings

Equipment

  • Large Dutch Oven or Heavy Soup Pot
  • Medium saucepan

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk with leaves, cut in half
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed
  • 3-4 lbs. beef chuck, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. Creole spice
  • 5 eggs (½ egg per serving)
  • 1 lb. spaghetti
  • Hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 bunch scallions, finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Put vegetable oil in a large Dutch oven or other heavy soup pot over medium heat. When it’s hot, add the onion, celery, parsley, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Season the beef with salt and pepper, then add the beef, soy sauce, and Creole spice blend, along with 3 quarts (12 cups) of water, to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and simmer until the beef is very tender, about 2-3 hours.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add the eggs, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Once the water comes to a boil, turn off heat and cover for 10 minutes. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Carefully drain the eggs and transfer them to the ice bath. Cook your pasta according to package directions. Peel the eggs and cut them in half lengthwise. Set aside.
  • When the beef is done, reduce the heat under the pot to low. Transfer the meat to a large bowl with a slotted spoon and shred it with two forks. Strain all the solids from your broth, and return the meat and broth to the pot. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • Serve with your favorite hot sauce and top with half an egg and scallions.

Notes

Note: can use meatballs (pictured) as additional protein, if desired. Can use radish as additional garnish, if desired.
Keyword comfort food, Creole, New Orleans Noodle Soup, Soup
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