Archive | Bits and Bites

Zesty Garlic Flavored Avocado Yogurt Dip.

Zesty Garlic Flavored Avocado Yogurt Dip.

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As I’ve indicated in the past, I’m addicted to avocados or zabouca and/or pear as it’s also known in the Caribbean. However the variety of avocado grown in the Caribbean is much different than the ones you’d get from California, Mexico and other Central American countries. Ours are much bigger, different texture (less creamy and more cheese like) and can be stringy at times.

For this recipe I’ll be using a Hass avocado as I love the rich and creamy texture of it.. plus it’s what I have available. I’ve also included this recipe under the Gluten Free category, but do go through each ingredient to ensure it meets with your dietary guidelines if you’re following a gluten free diet.

 

You’ll Need…

1 – 1.5 cups Greek yogurt (plain – or your fav yogurt)
1 avocado (ripe)
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 lemon (juice)
pinch sea salt
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper diced finely
fresh ground black pepper
pinch sugar (or honey)

Note: While many natural dairy products are gluten free, some types of Greek yogurt may have gluten-containing additives. You’ll have to carefully read labels and perhaps even contact the manufacturers to determine which types of Greek yogurt are gluten free. Your best bet is plain, whole-milk Greek yogurt.

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Deseed and remove the outer skin off the avocado and give it a rough dice. Finely dice the scotch bonnet pepper and try your best to not include any seeds as that’s where the raw heat will be. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling such hot peppers. Give the cilantro and garlic a rough chop as well.

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Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until you have a smooth creamy consistency. The lemon juice will not only give it a lovey citrus finish it will help it maintain it’s lovely colour.  Avocado is notorious for going discolored very fast.

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Store in a glass container and cover with plastic wrap if storing in the fridge. It’s one of those dips which must be eaten asap, but can be made about 2-4 hrs in advanced before serving.

In my case I had this dip with the fried chicken wings I shared a while back. Note that the crispy chicken wing recipe in NOT gluten free as I used flour as a dusting before frying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Simplest Oven Curry Goat Recipe.

The Simplest Oven Curry Goat Recipe.

If you’re looking for a quick and tasty way to prepare curry goat with a Caribbean signature, look no further. I remember my aunt starting her curry goat on the stove top, then the last couple hours she would place it in the oven to slowly do it’s thing in the oven. Falling off the bone tender and infused with from the slow braising process of cooking the curry in the oven… pour over some steamed rice and boy I tell you. Pure niceness!

In this version we’ll marinate the goat pieces in a classic Caribbean marinade for a few hours, then everything goes into an oven-proof container in the oven for the magic to happen.

 

You’ll Need…

2 lbs goat *
4 med potatoes (1/4′s)
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 heaping tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 tablespoon Caribbean green seasoning
2 slices ginger
1 seasoning pepper (pimento pepper)
1 medium onion (diced)
5 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 scallion (chopped)
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup water
4 bird’s eye pepper (or 1/4 scotch bonnet)
1/4 teaspoon allspice

 

* I like using goat meat with bones as I find there’s more flavor, especially when doing a curry and it’s much cheaper at the butcher than boneless. Just make sure to ask the butcher to cut it for you with their electric saw. Curry traditionalists will argue that you need to cook (fry the curry) so you don’t get that raw curry taste. But the 3 hours of braising will take care of that in a delicious way.

Wash, rinse and drain the goat meat, then season with everything mentioned above except the coconut milk, water, bird’s eye pepper and potatoes. Click “Caribbean Green Seasoning” for the recipe for this wonderful base to many Caribbean dishes. Allow this seasoned goat meat to marinate in the fridge (cover with plastic wrap) for at least a couple hrs (overnight is best).

Preheat your oven at 375 F. As it comes to temperature, place the seasoned goat in an oven-proof container with a lid and add the other ingredients. Do not break the bird’s eye peppers as we want the flavor without the raw heat. Place on the middle rack in the oven (covered) and let it slowly braise for 2.5 to 3  hours.

Remember to cut the potatoes in big pieces so they won’t melt away while cooking. After 2.5 hrs, taste for salt and here’s where you can remove the bird’s eye peppers or break them if you want some wicked heat. If you find that the gravy is overly thin, you can leave it uncovered the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Top with some chopped shado beni (culantro), cilantro or parsley and some diced tomato to give it some added color.. after taking it out of the oven.

Here’s one of those classic Caribbean curry dishes where you can actually place it in the oven and go about doing other things at home and have a wicked main course for dinner. I’m sure you can do the same in a slow cooker as well, but you may just need to add more time to get it fully tender and infused with that wonderful curry goodness. If you want to make this dish stretch you can add more potatoes, carrots and diced celery (a bit more cooking liquid and salt will be required as well).

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. Oh yea! Leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated!

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The Ultimate Curry Turkey Necks Recipe.

The Ultimate Curry Turkey Necks Recipe.

One thing you’ll quickly notice about the cuisine of the Caribbean is that we ‘doh waste”. This usually means that things like necks, backs, feet.. even pigs ears, trotters and snouts are used to perfection in many of the dishes throughout the region. We never had turkey necks (or turkey as a matter of fact) when we were growing up, as it wasn’t a common poultry on the islands back in those days. How times have changed!

The boney texture of the turkey necks allows for a delicious curry and if you’re not squeamish, it will be one of the best curry dishes you ever enjoy. If you’re daring kick up the heat level as I find that a spicy curry takes on a whole new dimension.

You’ll Need…

3 lbs turkey necks

Marinade…

1 tablespoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder (for marinating the turkey)
2 scallions (green onions)
1 tomato (diced)
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper (or to your liking)
1 teaspoon ketchup

Cooking…

2 tablespoon veg oil
1 onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (diced)
1 1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
3 cups water
2 tablespoon chopped cilantro – garnish at the end.

Wash, drain and marinate the turkey necks with the ingredients mentioned in the marinade list above. Overnight in the fridge will be best, but if you’re in a rush try to get about 2 hours.

Heat the oil on a medium flame then add the garlic and onion… reduce the heat to low and let it cook for about 3 minutes. Just to soften up and helps with a lovely flavor base. Then toss in the curry powder (heat still on low) and cook for another 2-4 minutes. This will toast the spices in the curry powder and help them bloom… plus it will cook the curry so you don’t get a raw curry taste at the end.

The curry will go darker in color and take on a grainy texture… then start clumping together. Turn up the heat to high and start adding the seasoned turkey necks to the pot. It’s ok if the marinade gets it there and try to deglaze the pot so we get all that lovely curry goodness from the bottom of the pot. After the necks take on a bit of color (about 2-3 minutes) reduce the heat to low, place the lid on the pot and cook for about 10 minutes. It will spring it’s own natural juices.

Then remove the lid, turn up the heat and grate in the ginger. This step is to do two things, burn off all the liquid and in the process give the dish a rich color and infuse it with massive curry flavor (stir). Pour the 3 cups of water into the same container you had the necks marinating in and swish it around to pick up any remaining marinade.

With all the liquid in the pot burnt off, add in the water and bring to a boil.

You’ll need some patience now.. turn the heat down to low and let it simmer (braise) for about 2 hours. The idea is to have very tender turkey necks when it’s all done.

* If you’d like you can certainly use a pressure cooker to cut back the cooking time for this dish by at least 1.5 hrs or if you want low and slow, a slow cooker will work as well. The first few steps must be done first though (cook curry powder, add seasoned turkey and then burn off initial liquid.. this will give you that rich curry flavor we expect from a good curry).

After a couple hrs you can now test for salt and adjust accordingly, if the gravy is thin you can turn up the heat and thicken it a bit more (or burn off all if you want a more infused curry) and top with some chopped cilantro or culantro (shado  beni).

Treat this curry turkey necks as you would any curry meat dish.. goes well with rice, roti, ground provisions, flour dumplings and even bread! Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. Oh yea! Leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

 

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Quick And Tasty Curry Chicken Livers

Quick And Tasty Curry Chicken Livers

A coworker had invited me out for lunch many moons ago saying that the restaurant in the mall where we worked had the best liver with onions on special every Thursday… I still recall his enthusiasm when he spoke about how delicious they were. I also recall other coworkers having a sort of disgusting look on their faces as they heard him describe  this liver with onions. No-Lie it was the most revolting thing I had ever tasted. Still a bit bloody and that metallic taste stuck with me the rest of the day. No wonder parents in North America struggle to get their children to eat chicken liver. It’s the way YOU cook it!

If you’ve tried my other chicken liver recipe : Caribbean Inspired Stewed Livers , you’ll know it’s all about flavor so don’t be alarmed when I get all the liver haters loving livers.

 

You’ll Need…

1 lb Chicken Livers
pinch black pepper
1 tablespoon veg oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup bell pepper
2 scallions (green onions)
1 shallot (or small onion)
4 cloves garlic
2 sprigs thyme
4 bird’s eye pepper (or 1/4 scotch bonnet)
3 leaves shado beni (or cilantro)

1 tablespoon curry powder

Note: Shado Beni (Chadon beni) can be found at most West Indian stores as well as Asian and Latino markets where it may be called culantro. The best substitute is cilantro or coriander.

Prepare the ingredients (slice the shallot, bell pepper and scallion, then diced the garlic and shado beni). Please leave the bird’s eye pepper whole as we want the flavor but not the raw heat. Obviously if you want the kick, dice them. Bearing in mind that the seeds will pack a real kick if you include them.  Clean, chop the liver in equal sized pieces (so they cook evenly) and wash/ drain.

Heat the oil on a medium heat then add the shallots and garlic, lower the heat and let it cook slowly for a couple minutes. Now add the curry powder and cook (still on low) for another 2-3 minutes. The curry will go a bit darker and grainy. The goal here is to wake-up the spices which make up the curry blend.

Toss in the whole peppers (stems removed) and heat through, then add the pieces of liver to the pot and stir well to coat with that lovely curry base we created. Turn the heat up to medium/high now. Then top with everything else except the shado beni, stir well and cook for about 5 minutes.

It’s important to not cover the pot or it will release a ton of moisture and then it will mean cooking longer than necessary to burn off that liquid. The last minute of cooking, top with the finely chopped shado beni or cilantro. Taste for salt as your tolerance for salt will be different than mine.

Now here’s the kicker (after my gallivanting above about how YOU cook livers).. our girls refuse to eat liver, even with this delicious version. Liver has a bad reputation, falsely spread by people who (in most cases) have never given them a try. Yes the texture is a bit weird, but once cooked correctly, the tasty flavor will make up for that. Serve warm!

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. Oh yea! Leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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The Best Brussels Sprouts Recipe Ever – A Caribbean Twist!

The Best Brussels Sprouts Recipe Ever – A Caribbean Twist!

Brussels sprouts is one ingredient you won’t necessarily get in the Caribbean, unless it’s in a package in the frozen section of the grocery store. However, we’ve perfected the art of cooking cabbage so I thought I’d use one of the methods we employ to prepare cabbage and adapt it for brussels sprouts. The goal was to come up with a recipe which will encourage my family (and yours) to at least give brussels sprouts a try. Gone are the days of bland soggy steamed sprouts!

 

You’ll Need….

1 lb brussels sprouts
3/4 cup prepared salted fish (cod – shredded)
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 table spoon olive oil
1 pimento pepper (aka seasoning pepper)
2 birds eye pepper (or 1/4 scotch bonnet)
1/2 teaspoon curry powder

Note: I used my fav curry powder, a madras blend out of the Caribbean. If using scotch bonnet peppers, don not use any of the seeds if you’re concerned about the raw heat.

Wash the sprouts with cool water, pat dry, trim off  any stems and cut each one in half. Also dice the garlic, seasoning pepper and onion.

Heat the oil on a medium flame and add the onion and garlic. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3 minutes.

Now add the salted cod bits (remember to prepare the salted cod by boiling in water to remove excess salt and to rehydrate – watch this video: How To Prepare Salted Fish) and cook for another 3 minutes.

You’ll now have a wonderful flavor base with the salted cod, garlic and onion. Toss in the seasoning pepper and bird’s eye pepper and cook or 1 minute to release it’s wonderful oil… then add all the other ingredients (including the brussels sprouts) and give it a good stir. With your heat still on low, cook for 12-15 minutes. You will get some golden edges on the brussels sprouts.. that’s what we want. Do NOT cover the pot or you’ll welcome moisture and it will go soggy.

You’ll notice that I didn’t add any salt to the dish as the salted cod will still have enough salt (even after we boil it), but do taste and adjust as your tolerance for salt will be different than mine. Squeeze in the lemon juice at the end to brighten up the entire dish and serve warm.

Dare I say that this will be the BEST brussels sprouts you and your family have ever tasted? I recall being invited to a friend’s home when I first move to Canada for dinner and the wet socks scent coming out of the serving dish with the brussels sprouts had me rethinking why I accepted his invitation. Moms could COOK (I later found out), but that wet socks scent stayed with me for years!

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. Oh yea! Leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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The Ultimate Pommecythere Chow (pickled ambarella).

The Ultimate Pommecythere Chow (pickled ambarella).

This Trinbago (Trinidad and Tobago) style Pommecythere Chow (pickled ambarella) is so simple to make that you really don’t need a recipe. However, for those of you not familiar with the whole concept of ‘chow’ will find this helpful. Chow in Trinidad and Tobago and many of the southern Caribbean islands is simply fruit (tart) or citrus, marinated in a spicy liquid. Green mango is certainly the fruit of choice, but you can use Pommecythere as in this or pineapple, sour cherries, cucumber, plums, apple, oranges and other citrus with great results.

You’ll Need…

5 pommecythere
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 lemon or lime
2 tablespoon finely chopped shado beni
8 birds eye pepper (or scoch bonnet)
3 cloves garlic

Notes: Green pommecythere are used for the slight tartness. pommecythere – Spondias dulcis (syn. Spondias cytherea), known commonly as ambarella, is an equatorial or tropical tree, with edible fruit containing a fibrous pit. It is known by many other names in various regions, including pomme cythere in Trinidad and Tobago, Dominica, Guadeloupe, and Martinique, June plum in Bermuda and Jamaica, juplon in Costa Rica,golden apple in Barbados, jobo indio in Venezuela, cajá-manga and cajarana in Brazil, quả cóc in Vietnam, manzana de oro in Dominican Republic.

Wash and peel the pommecythere using a pairing knife or potato peeler, then slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Watch the video below to see how I cut through them – keep in mind that there’s a spiny seed in the middle. Place in a large bowl for mixing.

Then it’s just a matter of finely chopping the peppers, garlic and shado beni. If you can’t source shado beni, you can use cilantro. Traditionally, the pepper, garlic and shado beni is crushed in a mortar and pestle, but I like the chopped small pieces – excellent when you get bits as you eat the chow.

Then it’s just a matter of placing all the ingredients in the bowl, squeeze in the lemon juice and top with salt. Mix well and allow to marinate for a bit before diving in!

Remember that if you include the seeds of the pepper it will increase the heat level and if you choose (much better in my opinion) you can use scotch bonnet pepper. This chow can also be placed in a glass jar, top with water (adjust the salt to compensate for the added water) and leave to really preserve (soak as we say) for a few days. The Pommecythere will absorb the flavors of the garlic, lemon juice and shado beni, plus the heat of the hot peppers for a more unique and traditional flavor.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. Oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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The World’s Hottest Pepper Sauce Using Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and Ghost Peppers (Bhut Jolikia).

The World’s Hottest Pepper Sauce Using Trinidad Moruga Scorpion and Ghost Peppers (Bhut Jolikia).

At the time of putting this recipe together the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion was the hottest pepper in the world and in all honesty it was indeed pure fyah! I had never tasted anything as hot and some may think I’m nuts for using them in a pepper sauce. However there’s news coming out of the US that the Carolina Reaper and the Chocolate Bhutla peppers now holds the record for the world’s hottest pepper.

Every summer I do the best with the little area of free space in our back yard and do a little gardening. This year I was fortunate to get an assortment of very hot pepper plants from a local nursery and the crop at the end of the summer was quite plentiful. Along with the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion I planted the Bhut Jolikia, Chocolate Bhut Jolikia, Chocolate Scotch Bonnet, Scotch Bonnet, Habanero and the Seven Pod pepper.

So here’s my take on the worlds hottest peppersauce…

 

You’ll Need…

25-30 HOT peppers *
1/2 cup cilantro chopped
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup vinegar
10 cloves garlic
1/2 lemon

Notes. This recipe works great with any type of hot pepper, but I used a combination of Trinidad Moruga Scorpion,  Bhut Jolikia, Chocolate Bhut Jolikia, Chocolate Scotch Bonnet, Scotch Bonnet, Habanero and the Seven Pod pepper. You may need a bit more than the 1 cup of vinegar, depending on the consistency you like your pepper sauce. Also note that this is a raw pepper sauce, but you can certainly cook it after you’ve blended it together.

I went for heat and didn’t concentrate too much on added flavor, so you’ll notice I kept things basic, with the use of garlic, cilantro (wish I had shado beni) and 1/2 of a lemon.

Basically all you have to do is give everything a rough chop to make it easier for your blender or food processor to work it into the consistency you like. Remove the seeds from the lemon and cut it into pieces, including the skin. IMPORTANT Be sure to wear gloves, open your kitchen window for ventilation and DO wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling such lethal peppers.

Place all the ingredients in the blender and pulse, then liquefy to a somewhat thick but smooth consistency.

For maximum HEAT, do include the pepper seeds.

* Liking the old school blender?

As mentioned above you may need a bit more vinegar and depending on your tolerance for salt you may need to adjust this as well. Store in a glass container (sterilize first) in your kitchen cupboard or in the fridge where it could easily last upwards of 6 months.

 

If you’re looking for some tips on handling such hot peppers, check out: Trinidad Scorpion Moruga The World’s Hottest Pepper.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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The Ultimate Pepper Roti Recipe.

The Ultimate Pepper Roti Recipe.

Pepper roti is one of those delightful dishes which became popular after I left the islands for North American shores. I was only introduced to this a few years back when my cousin hosted us for dinner during one of our Carnival visits and I immediately fell in love with it. What a treat! Stuffed with freshly grated vegetables and creamy from the addition of New Zealand cheddar, the layers of roti is really something you must try at least once. With moms help.. let’s go through the steps in making classic Trinbagonian pepper roti!

You’ll Need…

Roti

2 cups all purpose flour
pinch salt
2 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon butter
1 – 1 1/4 cups water
1 teaspoon veg oil

Stuffing

1 scotch bonnet pepper finely diced (no seeds)
1/2 cup grated carrot
1 cup grated potato
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar aged)
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
1/2 cup sweet pepper (bell pepper) grated

Note: for the filling you can always add ingredients you like.. even more scotch bonnet if you want it even more lethal!

First we need to make the dough for the roti (basically the same as we did with buss up shut or paratha roti) . In a large bowl place the flour, salt and baking powder and give it a good mix. Then start adding some of the water and start kneading… add more water as necessary to form a smooth and somewhat soft/firm dough.

 

Cover the dough with a tea towel or plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes. Then divide into two dough balls, dust your work surface with flour and with a rolling pin, roll out to a circle. With the aid of the pictures below and by watching the video directly below the post, you can follow along. In a small bowl place the butter and oil and mix well.. the butter should be soft. You’ll need a small brush (pastry brush).

After rolling out one of the dough balls flat (about 12-14 inches wide and 1/4 inch thick… the size of your tawa), make a cut from the center out. Then brush on some of the oil/butter combination over the surface. Now, roll to form a sort of cone.

Then tuck in both ends to seal. This will give the roti the layers that paratha or buss up shut roti normally have when cooked. Tap town to sort of flatten, cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rest for about 10 minutes.

Prepare the filling in the meanwhile (grate, chop etc).

Then place it all in bowl and mix it evenly so when we spread it on the roti we’ll have a uniform blend.

It’s now time to get back to the dough. On a flour dusted surface, roll out one of the dough balls the size of your tawa (tawa is the baking stone (iron) we’ll be using to cook this on the stove top). With your tawa on a low flame, brush on some of the oil/butter mixture onto the tawa, then place the rolled out dough onto it. The oil will prevent it from sticking, help develop color and give it a sort of fried exterior when fully cooked. Now top with the filling as evenly as you can, but leave about 1/4 inch off the side bare. This way we can seal the roti when we add the other layer.

Roll out the other dough ball the same shape and size as the previous one, then gently place on the one on the tawa. It can be a bit tricky! Then using a fork, press down on the edges to help seal the pepper roti.

By this time the underside will start developing some colour and firm up a bit. Brush some of the oil/butter combo on the top layer we just added, then try to flip the roti so the raw side is now sitting on the tawa. Turn the heat up a bit, so we can cook the inside of the roti with it’s stuffing. I’ve seen some people blanch the grated carrot and potato, but since we grated it finely.. you should be fine. After 3-4 minutes, brush a little more oil/butter on top and flip back so the original side is on the tawa again. Give it a minute or tow and you’re dun!

You’re looking for a golden crust, with a lovey creamy filling as the cheese melts and the other ingredients cook. Give it a minute or two to cool before slicing so you don’t end up with a mess! You can multiply the recipe if you want to make enough for  large crowd.  I guess this is a Caribbean version of  quesadilla?  Serve warm and do tell your guests to expect the kick from the finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper.

Side note: You can use a griddle or non stick frying pan (with low sides) to cook this pepper roti if you don’t have a traditional baking stone or tawa.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Spreading The Culinary Culture Of The Caribbean – COCO Magazine.

Spreading The Culinary Culture Of The Caribbean – COCO Magazine.

It’s been an amazing journey with COCO magazine this past year and as they celebrate their one year anniversary I thought there’s no better time to place the spotlight on the amazing things being done over at COCO.

Over the years I’ve tried my best to feature websites, publications and authors who are helping to spread the culinary culture of the Caribbean to a global audience. And though they have an entire section dedicated to “Eats”, where you can find many delicious offerings courtesy of CaribbeanPot.com and many other talented chefs, it’s important to note that COCO is much more than food.

Get To Know COCO…

COCO is a weekly online publication that launched on December 14, 2012, catering to the quintessential Caribbean Woman. Although we’ve only been around for a year, we have made significant strides in keeping with the mandate of our Magazine. It is our goal to unearth persons who have a firsthand knowledge of the Caribbean and who we think can help to contribute to building the knowledge base of our readers. Our team is comprised of persons living in the Caribbean as well as the UK, the USA and other parts of the world. Our mission is and always has been to embody the beauty and spirit of our readers by giving them a place where they can read, write and learn about themselves.

COCO’s take on the culinary culture of the Caribbean…

Food is an extremely important part of our Caribbean identity. It represents our the diverse aspects of our unique cultures, fusing together to create one flavorful dish that is the sum of our respective islands. Food nourishes us. It sustains us. It shows us that despite our differences, at our very core, we are one Caribbean People. COCO finds it extremely important to place an emphasis on the different foods that are inherent to our islands, our people and our culture. Chris De La Rosa (and Caribbean Pot.com) embodies this. Sharing our love for food translates to the preservation of our culture as one Caribbean People. We at COCO Magazine use food to connect with the Diaspora in hopes of passing on our culture, our vibes and our history.

 

I invite you to head over to COCO Magazine, check out their Facebook Fan Page, connect with them on Twitter and if you do the Pinterest thing, you can certainly check out their pins. Please support their efforts and don’t forget to say happy birthday!

 

 

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Traditional Coconut Chutney.

Traditional Coconut Chutney.

With mom and dad visiting this past summer I had the help I needed to put together one of the most requested recipes, coconut chutney. A spicy condiment which is an excellent topping for many of the street foods you’d find being sold in Trinidad and Tobago, especially ‘doubles’. Traditionally a mortar and pestle or ‘seal’ (a flat stone with a rounded one for grinding) would be used in making coconut chutney. With this in mind you’ll notice that we did encounter some problems getting the right texture, but we found a good medium in using the box grater along with a food blender.

 

You’ll Need…

1 dried coconut
3 cloves garlic
1 scotch bonnet pepper
teaspoon salt
4 leaves of Chadon Beni (culantro)

 

Notes. If you can’t source shado beni, you can also use twice the amount of cilantro. If you wondering why I needed help in making something so simple.. I hate grating, so I got dad to jump in with the box grater. Grated my fingers as a kid and the memory is still fresh.

When buying a dried coconut be aware of the following. Give it a shake and ensure you can hear liquid moving around inside. The dried coconut may be wrapped in a plastic wrap (especially in North America), this helps to keep them fresh and quite normal.

Using the back (NOT THE BLADE) of a cleaver or a large chef’s knife (a hammer works well also) , tap on the hard shell, to crack open. Do this over your sink so the water inside will pour out without having a mess on your counter. It will take a few hard taps to crack open. With care, use a pairing or butter knife (whatever you feel comfortable using), separate the white flesh from the hard shell. Basically putting the blade between the shell and flesh with a prying motion.

Discard the hard shell part and place the flesh (no need to remove the sort of brown skin on the exterior) on an open flame. I used my grill, but you can use your stove top (it will make a mess) or place on a foil lined tray in a high oven. Let it roast on the open flame, flip often and try to get it a bit charred. Will take a few minutes. It will take much longer if you’re using an oven.

It will go charred.. doh fret! This is exactly what we’re looking for. Allow it to cool a bit so you can safely handle it. Now scrape of any excessively charred bits and give it a good rinse with cool water. It’s now time to grate or you can cut into small pieces and place directly into a blender or food processor. Only after grating did we notice that the texture was not as traditional coconut chutney. So we then placed the grated coconut in a blender, along with the salt, shado beni, scotch bonnet pepper (add more or less according to how spicy you like it) and garlic. Blend!

If using a blender as we did, you’ll need to add a little water to allow it to work. Adding water is not traditional but it didn’t affect the taste at all. You’re looking for a somewhat smooth paste, but with a texture close to grains of sand.

This coconut chutney is meant to be very spicy, but you can control the heat by how much scotch bonnet pepper you add. Do remember that if you’re concerned about raw heat, don’t use any of the seeds of the pepper and do wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling such lethal peppers. Store in the fridge for a few days, but it’s best when used fresh.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Bodi Stewed In Coconut Milk And Salted Cod.

Bodi Stewed In Coconut Milk And Salted Cod.

As a young fella on the islands I fondly remember helping our mom pick (harvest) the mature bodi (bora, long-podded cowpea, asparagus bean, pea bean, snake bean, or Chinese long bean) which grew on the bamboo branches our dad would place next to the plants for the vine to spread. Something about the long beans cascading down like lengthened streams of water falling from the heavens attracted my attention. Especially when we had a good crop and the beans were the length of long shoe laces. However you had to be careful when picking the bodi when there were still flowers on the vine, as they attracted bees who did their thing pollinating so we could have a continuous crop.

If you can’t source bodi (bora in Guyana) french beans, string beans or any of your favorite green beans will work for this recipe. The one thing you will have to note though is the cooking time for the beans you select. Bodi is a bit tough so it takes about 5-10 minutes longer to cook than other beans.

You’ll Need…

1 bundle bodi (about 1lb)
3 cloves garlic (diced)
2 tablespoon olive oil (veg oil works great as well)
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 medium onion (sliced)
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper (any spicy pepper)
dash black pepper
1 cup shredded salted cod
8 cherry tomatoes

* Prep salted fish – soak – boil – drain and shred – please use boned salted fish for less work. Click here >> How To Prepare Salted Fish <<<  to learn how to prepare saltfish for use.

Heat the oil on a medium heat, then add the salted fish and cook on low for about 3 minutes to create a lovely base of flavour. Then add the garlic and onion and cook for another 3 minutes on low heat. Stir well.

While this cook wash the bodi, then trim off about 1/4 inch off both ends and discard. Now cut them into 1 – 1.5 inch pieces.

Turn the heat up to medium/high, add the trimmed bodi as well as the other ingredients (except the tomatoes) and bring to a simmer.

Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover the pot and let it cook for about 20 minutes. After-which remove the lid, taste for salt (adjust accordingly to your taste) and turn the heat up to burn off all excess liquid.Should not have any liquid when done.

You will notice that the bodi will not have the brilliant green color you started off with (normal) and you can personalize this by cooking to the consistency you like as I know many people who like their beans with a little crunch to them. Add the tomato (toss), turn the heat off and cover the pot. The residual heat will gently cook the tomato.

If you want to make this fully vegetarian you can leave out the salted fish and start by gently cooking the onion and garlic and proceed from there (for extra flavor you can add a vegetable stock cube). And remember if you can’t source bodi, you can use your favorite green bean with great results. To stretch this dish for more people you can add some cubed potato, but do remember to adjust the amount of salt you add.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Roasted Tomato And Rice Soup, Memories of Tomato Choka.

Roasted Tomato And Rice Soup, Memories of Tomato Choka.

About 10 years ago I had my first culinary encounter with tomato and rice soup while visiting Caron’s grandparents and though I wasn’t (so I thought..silly me) a fan of tomato soup, the plump grains of rice in it got my attention. I could not believe I was asking for seconds even though my bowl was only half the way through. I had always reflected back to that dish, but for some reason I never ventured to ask Heddi (ma-mere) for the recipe. Somehow I’m glad I didn’t as when it came time to prepare it it this past summer when we had an abundance of vine ripe tomatoes in our garden, I decided to put my own twist on this tomato and rice soup I first fell in love with a decade ago.

Tomato choka is one of my favorite ways to enjoy ripe tomatoes, so I thought I’d mimic the same technique in making this rice and tomato soup for those rich roasted and spicy flavors. Basically, here’s my take on tomato choka soup.

 

You’ll Need…

3 large tomatoes
1 medium onion
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 cups chicken stock (or veg)
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
1 cup parboiled brown rice
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)
1/2 teaspoon  brown sugar
pinch ground coriander

* If you don’t have access to a grill as I did, toss the tomatoes in about 2 tablespoon of olive oil (not mentioned in the ingredient list) and roast them in your oven at 400 F for about 30 minutes or so. You will notice that I used chicken stock, but the recipe is posted in the vegetarian section. For vegetarians, please use vegetable stock and it will be a complete one-pot vegetarian meal.

As with making traditional tomato choka I placed the ripe tomatoes on my grill, along with a whole green scotch bonnet pepper to cook. The pepper will take about 2-3 minutes (remove), but give the tomatoes about 20-30 minutes, flipping them so they char evenly. Yes, it’s normal for them to look burnt on the outside.

Remove the tomatoes off the grill and place in a bowl to cool. They will release a lot of liquid as they cool, thus the reason for having them in a bowl so you can save this lovely liquid to add to the pot later. When they’re cool enough to handle, remove the charred skin and give them a rough chop.

Heat the olive oil on a med/low flame in your soup pot and gently cook the diced onion, thyme and garlic for about 4 minutes. Then add the tomato paste and cook for another 2-3 minutes. By adding the tomato paste at this point the sort of frying will increase the natural sugars in the paste and give the dish a lovely sweetness.

Now turn up the heat and add all the other ingredients except the rice. Bring to a boil.

Wash the rice to remove any grit and extra starch. Do so by placing the rice in a strainer and run cool water over it while moving it around until the water runs clear. Or you can place the rice in a deep bowl, top with water, then massage the grains of rice. The water will get cloudy. Drain, repeat until the water runs clear. As the pot comes to a boil add the rice, then turn the heat down so you have an active simmer going.

Let it cook for 20-25 minutes or until the rice grains are plump and fully cooked.

Skim off any sort of reside off the top of the pot as it cooks and discard. Remember to taste for salt and adjust accordingly. If you used a whole scotch bonnet pepper as I did, you now have 2 options. Remove it so you don’t have that ‘kick’ or burst it open to reveal that Caribbean sunshine. WARNING! It will be live!

Top with some chopped parsley and get ready to serve with a thick slice of coconut bake or bread. This is not your typical Caribbean soup which is usually thick with ground provisions and salted meats (for the most part), but I assure you that this absolutely delicious, quite filling and a great twist on traditional tomato soup and rice soup.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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How To Cook Curry Goat In A Pressure Cooker.

How To Cook Curry Goat In A Pressure Cooker.

Curry goat or goat curry as it’s called in Guyana is one of those dishes you immediately think about when you envision Caribbean cuisine and rightly so, as it’s something you’ll find being prepared on just about every island in the Caribbean. Though the recipe may differ from island to island one thing is common – it must be tender. This usually means cooking it slowly for at least a couple hours to the point where the meat falls off the bones. And though you now get boneless curry goat at the many Caribbean take-out restaurants, the pieces with bone is still the traditional cut of goat meat to use. It can be argued that there’s much more flavor in the bones.

You’ll Need…

3 lbs goat
1 teaspoon salt
dash black pepper
1 medium onion sliced
4 cloves garlic crushed or sliced thin
3 sprigs thyme
1 tomato sliced
5 red birds eye pepper (or 1/2 scotch bonnet)
1 scallion
1 teaspoon curry powder for seasoning the meat
2 tablespoon curry powder for cooking
1/2 teaspoon amchar masala (optional but goes well with this dish)
1 tablespoon Caribbean green seasoning
2 leaves shado beni (bhandhanya)
1 teaspoon ketchup
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups water

Notes: I like using goat with the bones, but if you prefer (and can afford it) you can certainly used boneless goat.

Season the washed goat with the salt, black pepper, Caribbean green seasoning, amchar masala (roasted ground cumin will work as well), ketchup (adds a nice acidic layer), teaspoon of curry, the chopped tomato and the chopped scallions. Mix well and allow to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight may give even better results.

Heat the vegetable oil in the pressure cooker (same steps if you’re not using a pressure cooker) on med/high heat and toss in the diced onion and garlic. Turn the heat down to low and let it cook slowly for 3-5 minutes. With the heat still on low, now toss in the curry powder (2 tablespoon – I use a madras blend made in the Caribbean) and stir well. Let that go for another 3 minutes or so on low heat to cook off the raw curry taste. Add the peppers, cook for a minute and then add the seasoned goat.

Turn the heat up as you want to sear the meat and allow it to pick up some of that lovely curry colour and flavor from the bottom of the pot.

After 10-15 minutes on high heat, top with the other ingredients and secure the lid on the pressure cooker. Cook for 30-35 minutes as per your pressure cooker instructions.

Ensure the pressure cooker is cool before opening (release air and run cool water over it if in a rush). You should now have tender curry goat, but the gravy may be runny for your liking. With the lid off, put the open pressure cooker back on the flame (high) and burn off the liquid until you have a gravy the consistency you like.

TIP. Goat can be notoriously fatty, so what I usually do is after it’s done pressure cooking I allow it to cool completely (before thickening the gravy) and in doing so you’ll see a thin layer of fat at the top form (very thick). Spoon that out and discard. Now turn up the heat to get the gravy right.

By cooking this curry goat in the pressure cooker we cut the cooking time by about 2/3′s, so if you’re ever pressed for time, this pressure cooker curry goat recipe will come in handy. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you’ll have to bring the pot to a boil after adding all the ingredients, then reduce to a gentle simmer for about 2 to 2.5 hours (lid on). Remember to stir and do check to see if there’s enough liquid as it cooks slowly.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Chunky Garlic Pepper Sauce.

Chunky Garlic Pepper Sauce.

No condiment is more loved in the Caribbean than pepper sauce, the secrets of which are guarded by those who perfect the art of balancing the right heat level with flavor. The key to a good pepper sauce is not so much how hot it is, but the impact it makes when combined with whatever dish you’re having… something which ‘opens’ the appetite and encourages you to EAT!

Over the years I’ve shared various recipes for all sorts of pepper sauces and other spicy condiments with you, so it being summertime and many of you are probably reaping peppers in your home garden.. there’s no better time to share a new recipe! This is my take on the chunky hot sauce served at Thai and Vietnamese restaurants.

 

You’ll Need…

18-25 bird peppers (birds eye)
5 scotch bonnet peppers
6 cloves garlic
2 tablespoon chopped parsely
1 scallion
1 cup vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white sugar
2 leaves shado beni (or 3 tablespoon chopped clantro)
1 lemon (or lime)
1 shallot

* Remember to wear gloves when handling such hot peppers and do remember to wash your hands immediately after with soap and water.

Basically all you have to do is give the required ingredients a rough chop, then place everything in a food processor or blender and “pulse”. Do not puree as it will change the overall texture and you will not get the sort of chunky character we’re hoping to achieve.

The vinegar and lime juice will act as a preservative for this pepper sauce, so it’s ok to store it in a clean glass jar on your kitchen counter. But for a longer shelf-life, you can store it in the fridge. As I’ve mentioned before, storing in the fridge (not sure why) takes away some of the heat of the sauce the longer it stays in there.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Breakfast on The Grill.

Breakfast on The Grill.

As we work our way through July’s month of grilling I thought I’d share a lovely breakfast done on the grill, but one which can easily be done in your kitchen oven as well. Yes I do read your emails, so this one is especially for those of you without a grill or bbq. Kieana, Tehya and myself had a grand time with this breakfast, so I know you’ll enjoy this one as much as your guests. This is not your typical Caribbean breakfast, but with the fresh herbs and slight kick from the scotch bonnet peppers… traditionalists will fall in love with this dish.

 

You’ll Need…

4 eggs
2 large potatoes ( I like Yukon gold)
1 tablespoon chives
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
pinch of black pepper
pinch sea salt
2 tablespoon olive oil (see note)
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon parsley
1 teaspoon thyme
1 medium tomato
3/4 cup cheese (see note)
4 strips crispy bacon

* Near the end of cooking I had some grated cheddar which I used to top the dish  (Optional)

Note: I used some of the bacon fat instead on the olive oil. Use  any cheese you like… I used feta. You can use sweet potato or Caribbean yam instead of the everyday potato which I used if you really want to make this Caribbean.

 

Peel, wash and boil your potatoes until tender but without falling apart. Slice the tomato and onion thinly, then chop the parsley, chives and scotch bonnet pepper. Do not include any seeds from the pepper and remember to wear gloves and wash your hands with soap and water after handling scotch bonnet peppers. Also give the bacon a rough chop or if it’s fried crisp, you can easily crumble it in your hands.

It’s now time to layer everything into your cast iron pan or heat proof pan if you’re doing it in the oven. Brush on the oil (or as in my case the bacon fat) to cover the entire pan, then add the sliced onion, followed by the potato (cut 1/4 inch thick). The onion will caramelize when cooked and give it a wonderful sweet flavor.

Now add the feta cheese (spread evenly) and top it with the chives, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme and bacon bits.

Crack in the eggs (spread them apart evenly) and put the tomato slices between them, then top with the parsley, black pepper and salt. It’s now time to head out to the grill to get cooking. There are 3 burners on my grill so the the 2 burners directly under the pan were set on low and the one on the far right was on high. You’re looking for a moderate temperature and do remember to keep the lid on the grill closed.

After 20-25 minutes the eggs should be set and this is where you’ll personalize the dish a bit. Depending on how firm you like your eggs you’ll have to determine how much longer you want to cook this. I went for a further 5 minutes, but at this point I topped everything with some grated cheddar and allowed it to melt and bring the entire dish together.

Do remember that it will continue cooking after you remove it from the grill, so keep that in mind when determining how you want your eggs cooked.

The potatoes were boiled in slightly salted water, feta is usually a salty cheese and the bacon (and fat) will also have some salt, so do keep this in mind when salting the dish as you prep it. If you’re doing this in your oven I would go with a 375 F heat for 20-25 minutes, then under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to melt everything together and give it a little color.

This is a 4 person dish and can be sliced in quarters the shape you would slice pizza so everyone gets and egg. You can certainly top it with more eggs if you want.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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How To Make Haitian Pikliz (Picklese).

How To Make Haitian Pikliz (Picklese).

The Caribbean is flooded with pepper sauces and condiments of all kinds as it’s simply part of our culinary culture. The textures, heat level, ingredients, ways of preserving and overall vibrancy of them all are unique to the maker and individual island. In Trinidad and Tobago you’ll find a lot of chutneys and amchars, while in Barbados you’ll hear the locals boast about their peppersauce. As someone who consider myself an aficionado of anything hot and spicy, it must be said that Haitian Pikliz is at the top of my list when it comes to spicy condiments.

The slight crunch of the vegetables, the heat from the thinly sliced scotch bonnet peppers and the flavors the vinegar (takes on) which is use to bring it all together is just outstanding (after marinating for about a week or so).

This recipe is dedicated to the beautiful people of Haiti.

You’ll Need…

2 cups shredded cabbage
1 large carrot
1 cup bell pepper (green, orange, red)
1 onion
2 scallions
6 scotch bonnet peppers
4 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
12-14 peppercorns
2 cups vinegar (see note)
1/2 lime juice

* 4 cloves (traditionally used)

Note: Add enough vinegar to cover the ingredients in the storage container. Allow to marinate for about 5 days before use. I was out of cloves, but it’s a traditional ingredient used in making this lovely pickle, so I would recommend using.

 

This is a very simple recipe to put together as it involves a couple steps and some patience (to marinate). Start off by slicing the cabbage very thinly, same for the all the other ingredients. You may be tempted to use a food processor, but I would suggest you don’t. The food processor may overwork the vegetables and you won’t get that unique size/shape pikliz is supposed to have. Grate the carrot and diced the garlic very fine.

Place all the sliced ingredient sin a large bowl .. large enough so you can easily mix everything easily without spilling all over the place. Also mix in the salt, pepper corns and cloves.

Get a fairly large glass bottle and pack in everything, then all you have to do is top with the vinegar, cover and set aside to marinate. You can certainly begin using right away, but if you give it about five days to marinate and really take on the flavors of everything you’ll be rewarded with the best pikliz you’ve ever had.

Since we used vinegar as the base, it will act as a preservative so you don’t have to worry about it going bad if you don’t store it in the fridge. However, if you do store it in the fridge it can last months. But be aware that some the heat will be lost the longer it stays in the fridge. Now if only I had some Griot to accompany this Pikliz!

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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Jamaican Festivals – The Ultimate Fried Dumplings!

Jamaican Festivals – The Ultimate Fried Dumplings!

My first true encounter with ‘good’ Jamaican festivals was breakfast at our friend Dino’s home in Portmore Jamaica several years ago. Imagine waking up to a full spread of festivals, ackee and saltfish, boiled green bananas and to top it all off, a piping hot cup of rich and creamy Milo! Moms (Dino’s mom) had us set for the day! When the day came for us to continue our trek through Jamaica (Ocho Rios > Montego Bay then Negril) it was painful to know that we won’t be waking up to such a wonderful home-cooked breakfast anymore.

My inquisitive self had to investigate this wonderful Jamaican Festivals recipe in more detail, so with some arm-twisting I got mom to leave me with some hints. Here we go…

 

You’ll Need…

1 1/2 cups flour
3 tablespoons cornmeal
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

* About 3 cups of veg oil for frying.

 

In a large bowl sift in the flour and baking powder, then add the cornmeal, sugar and salt. Give that a quick whisk to mix the ingredients, before we start adding water.

It’s now time to start adding the liquids, so pour in the vanilla and start adding the water a little at a time as you whisk everything around. As it stars to take the shape of dough, you will need to get your hands in there and start kneading. If you find that the 1/2 cup of water was not enough, do drizzle in some more. The idea is to work it for 5-7 minutes, until you have a well formed dough ball that’s firm dough and slightly sticky. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow the dough to rest for about 1/2 hr.

After it’s rested, dust your work surface with four and divide the dough ball into 8 equal (as best you can) parts. Then using your hands form each piece into a cigar shape. Try to make them about 6-8 inches long and not overly thick. They will increase in size as they fry.

It’s now time to fry these until they are golden brown and get ready to enjoy some of the best fried dumplings you’ve ever had. Heat the vegetable oil on med, then gently add the shaped festivals dough into the pan. Allow to cook for about 2-3 minutes before you flip them over. In total you’ll probably need between 5-6 minutes for each to be fully cooked and take on that lovely golden color we’re looking for. Have paper towels ready to drain off the excess oil after they’re cooked.

These Jamaican festivals are just amazing and you’ll love the crunchy exterior and the fluffy interior will have a lovely texture followed by the flavored sweetness of the vanilla and sugar.

Do try to serve warm and if you want to get a  bit creative you can certainly dust them with some icing sugar if you want to make them more like a snack for the kids.

WINNER WANTED!

As I promised on Facebook a few days back, we’ve got a lovely 7 piece Tomodachi knife set to give out to one lucky winner. There was a lot of excitement when I posted that note, so I do expect to see a lot of entries for this giveaway. All you have to do is watch the following video and in the comment section directly below, let me know if the tutorial was helpful (basically what you like about it).

Your name will be automatically entered to win this beautiful knife set which I’m sure you’ll enjoy using. One lucky winner will then be chosen (randomly) and we’ll mail out the prize to you as we normally do.

Here are the rules pertaining to winning this knife set.

- contest is open to everyone globally (even if you won something here before)

- 1 winner will be chosen at random

- contest is open from May 30 – to midnight June 30.

- winner will be announced within 1 week of the official close date.

- the winner will have 1 week to contact us with their mailing address

- we will cover all shipping expenses (standard mail)

I hope you take a moment to enter your name as I’d really like to mail this wonderful collection of knives out to you. It’s simple, free and fun!

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French Caribbean Creole Sauce For Fish And Grilled Meats.

French Caribbean Creole Sauce For Fish And Grilled Meats.

This Creole sauce is turning out to be one of the most controversial recipes I’ve shared to date. After posting the recipe video on the  Cooking Channel, there’s been a lot of comments about it not being authentic. Here’s the thing about cooking and recipes, it’s usually how you’ve learned to make the dish or how you like it. So when you see me add an ingredient like tomato paste to the sauce, rest assured that’s the way I like it. I use the traditional way (in most cases) of doing a dish as the base and try to add my own little touch. That said, there are some recipes where I will not alter the traditional format of preparing it as I don’t want to disrespect centuries of tradition.

You’ll Need…

1 medium Onion
3/4 cup celery
3/4 cup green pepper
3 cloves garlic
1 large tomato
1.5 cups chicken stock
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
2 scallion
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs thyme
tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped parsley.
2 tablespoon olive oil

Start off by chopping/dicing the scallions, green pepper, onion, tomato, garlic (finely), celery, parsley and scotch bonnet pepper. Then heat the olive oil on a medium heat and add the diced celery, onion and green pepper. Turn the heat down to low and let that gently cook for about 8-10 minutes.

Everything will be soft and tender now and you’ll have a wonderful base for this delicious creole sauce. Turn up the heat to med/high and add all the other ingredients, except the chopped parsley.

Stir well, bring to a boil, then turn the heat down so you have a gentle simmer going. Cook for about 25 minutes, with the lid ajar on the sauce pan.

Now remove the lid and let it cook on medium heat to thicken up a bit. Remember to fish out the bay leaf and if you did as I did.. remove the thyme stems and discard. It should only take a few minutes to thicken up. Finish off with the chopped parsley.

This creole sauce is excellent on fish (fried, baked, poached, grilled) and other grilled meats. You can certainly make this in advance and keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for at least a week. Just heat and serve when you’re ready to add a classic French Caribbean flavor to your dishes.

Before you go, don’t forget to check out the latest cooking videos, connect with me on twitter and join our community on facebook. Oh yea! leave me a comment below – it’s appreciated.

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