Archive | Vegetarian

A Classic Tomato Salad With Heirloom Tomatoes (Vegetarian & Gluten Free)

A Classic Tomato Salad With Heirloom Tomatoes (Vegetarian & Gluten Free)

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Where did the taste, flavor and scent of tomatoes go? As a kid on the islands I remember helping mom and dad in the garden, which meant getting between the tomato bushes during harvest time to pick those lovely beauties off the tree (yes, I’ve had a love affair with tomatoes since as early as I can remember). The scent of the tomatoes would remain on your hands for a full day (or two), even after you’ve washed with soap and water. Back then I didn’t care much for the scent (or the itch from being between those buses in that HOT Caribbean sun), but oh how I miss that lovely aroma from the ‘pretty’ store bought tomatoes we get in North America.

With a good crop of heirloom tomatoes this past summer, I thought I’d share a quick and delicious way to enjoy a tasty tomato salad. I grew my own tomatoes (very much like the ones I grew up enjoying), but you can now go to the ‘organic’ section of your grocery store and find them there.

 

You’ll Need…

heirloom tomatoes
grape tomatoes
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
2 small white habanero peppers (optional)
1/2 small red onion
1 tablespoon parsley (mint or basil)
2 tablespoon goat cheese (crumbled)

Plus you can also add some chopped walnuts, balsamic vinegar, cucumber and avocado if you wish.

Note: I used about 4-6 cups of tomato in total (mix of both heirloom and grape).

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Wash and prep all the ingredients for the salad. Using a pairing knife, remove the stems off the tomatoes then slice in different shapes and thickness. I like cutting a cross at the bottom of the grape tomatoes (not deep) so we can get them to bleed out some of their sweetness and to get the flavors of the lemon juice, herbs and onion infused in them. By cutting the larger tomatoes in different sizes and shapes (rounds and wedges) you’ll find that the finished salad will be more ‘eye-catching’!
Slice the onion relatively  thin (in rounds), if using a hot pepper (white habanero or whatever you like or have) be sure to dice if very finely and chop the parsley.

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Basically all you have to do now is add everything (except the cheese) to a large bowl and gently mix. The tomatoes will have the tendency to break apart, so do be gentle. I would recommend serving immediately after mixing everything together or give it about 5 minutes to let the tomatoes release some of it’s wonderful natural juices. If you’re making this ahead of time, do not go in with the goat cheese, salt, lemon juice and olive oil until you’re close to serving. Remember to only top with the goat cheese (no need to mix in)

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according to wikipedia..  heirloom tomato (also called heritage tomato in the UK) is an open-pollinated (non-hybrid) heirloom cultivar of tomato

If you’re like me and know what ‘real’ tomatoes are supposed to taste like (and miss them) I recommend trying your hands at growing heirloom tomatoes in your garden (grows well in containers as well). You can get the seeds online and most plant nurseries stock the baby plants in the spring.

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Stir Fry Pak Choi That’s Vegetarian, Gluten Free And Delicious.

Stir Fry Pak Choi That’s Vegetarian, Gluten Free And Delicious.

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I’ve noticed the past few months that there’s been an incredible amount of requests for more vegetarian and gluten free type recipes. As you may or may not know, a vast majority of the food we cook in the Caribbean are naturally gluten free and with the abundance of fresh vegetables, we’ve mastered vegetarian cooking (insert smile here). Maybe this will explain the teaser I gave in my current cookbook about the upcoming volume 3.

Here’s my take on a delicious way to enjoy pak choi (bok choi) that’s fully vegetarian and appetizing to everyone asking for gluten free recipes.

 

You’ll Need…

2 lbs baby pak choi
1 tablespoon veg oil
1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil (gluten free)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon finely diced ginger
2 cloves garlic finely diced

Optional – chopped peanuts, almonds.. or toasted sesame seeds

 

It’s important that you remove each leaf of the pak choi and wash them individually as they’re notorious for having dirt wedged between them. I’m using baby pak choi, but you can use the regular pak choi if you want, simply chop into large pieces. Drain well after washing and chopping.

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Finely dice the garlic and ginger and get ready to cook. I used my medium sized wok, but you can use any wide sauce pan. Heat the oil on medium heat (feel free to use peanut oil if you wish) and add the garlic and ginger. Turn the heat down to low and cook for 1 minute – do NOT burn the garlic. Now go in with the pak choi and give it a good stir. It will wilt down, if you’re thinking your pan is too small.

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Raise the heat back up to medium and add the other ingredients and stir well.

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The goal here is to cook this at a high enough temperature to wilt the greens, but not to totally destroy them by overcooking. So all it took was about 5 minutes and they were perfect (for me).

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You’ll notice that I didn’t add any salt as the soy sauce will have enough to season things nicely.. but you can taste near the end and adjust accordingly. For a bit more texture and added protein you can finish up with some chopped peanuts or almonds. Toasted sesame seeds are wonderful won this as well.

If you’re looking for a quick way to enjoy a tasty gluten free vegetarian dish, give this pak choi stir fry recipe a try.

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Cooking Collard Greens The Caribbean Way.

Cooking Collard Greens The Caribbean Way.

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Collard Green or collards is not native to the Caribbean, so it’s not something we would refer to as being traditional. However, with our love for dasheen bush, spinach, Jamaican callaloo (chorai), Bok Choi and just about every other green there is, it’s natural that collards will find a loving home in my kitchen. If I can somehow incorporate greens as part of my daily menu, I’d go for it.. my love for it is that strong.

Rather than going with some sort of smoked meat or salted fish as we would normally add extra flavor to such dishes, I thought I’d keep this collard green recipe fully vegetarian and it just so happens to be gluten free as well.

Disclaimer – please go through the entire list of ingredients to ensure they meet with your gluten free dietary restrictions.

 

You’ll Need…

1 bunch collard greens (about 2 lbs)
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tomato
2 birds eye pepper

To learn how to prepare collard greens, please watch this video: How To Prepare Collard Green for Cooking.

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The collard leaves can have dirt between the leaves, so do wash them individually to ensure you get them fully cleaned. Remove the center spine (discard) and roll a few leaves together as if making a cigar. Now slice to form 2/4 inch ribbons.

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Dice the onion and garlic, then heat the oil in a pan over medium fame. Go in with the onion and garlic, turn the heat down to low and cook gently for about 4-6 minutes. Also add the whole (do NOT break or cut these unless you want raw heat) peppers.

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The goal is to get the flavor of the peppers, but not necessarily the heat (unless you want it spicy). Now raise the heat to medium and add the prepared collard greens to the pot, top with the salt and black pepper… stir well.

Add the coconut milk and diced tomato and bring to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Place a lid on the pot and gently cook for about 40 minutes.

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Now remove the lid and go in with the freshly squeezed lemon juice. The citrus will brighten up this collard greens dish and give it a sort of freshness. Cook with the lid off for another 5 minutes or so. Couple points.. taste for salt and adjust accordingly and please modify the cooking time to achieve the consistency and texture you like your collard greens to have. Some people cook it longer and others for a shorter time.

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Now I know my friends from the Southern US will be saying.. no smoked turkey, no ham hocks, not even some bacon? All wonderful flavor ingredients to add, but I assure you this vegetarian version of cooking collard greens will rock your taste buds.

 

 

 

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Vegetarian Cauliflower With Chickpeas Curry Recipe.

Vegetarian Cauliflower With Chickpeas Curry Recipe.

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If you’re looking for a way to add a wicked punch of flavor to boring cauliflower, look no further. Along with the wonderful flavors of a good Caribbean style curry, this recipe is also vegetarian and can be done gluten  free (check your curry powder to ensure there’s no gluten-flour additive in it). Based on the technique of cooking curry in Trinidad and Tobago, we’ll toast curry to build a lovely base of flavors to give this curry dish the “wicked” factor I speak about.

You’ll Need…
1 Cauliflower (about 1.5 lbs)
1 can chick peas (drained \ rinsed)
1 heaping tablespoon curry powder
3 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon veg oil
1/2 teaspoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Garam Massala
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tomato (seeded and diced)

Note: As mentioned above, do ensure that the curry powder and massala you’re using is indeed gluten free and please go through the list of ingredients to also verify that it meets with your gluten free diet restrictions.

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Drain and rinse the canned chickpeas, dice the garlic, scotch bonnet and onion. Remember to wear gloves when handling such hot peppers and wash your hands with soap and water immediately after.

Heat the oil on a medium flame then go in with the diced onion and garlic. Reduce the heat to low and cook gently for about 3-4 minutes as we normally do when making curry dishes. With the heat still on low, add the curry powder (your fav)  and Garam Massala and toast for 3-4 minutes. This will awaken the spices of which makes up the blends. It will go darker and grainy – that’s normal. Cut the cauliflower into 1/2 – 1 inch pieces (wash and drain).

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Turn the heat up to med high and go in with the cauliflower and mix well, then top with the chickpeas, salt, diced scotch bonnet, Caribbean Green Seasoning and black pepper. Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook through with the lid on.

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Here’s where you get to personalize the dish a bit. Check for salt and adjust accordingly. I cooked this for 12 minutes, removing the lid off the pot the last 4 minutes so any liquid would burn off, but it’s up to you to cook longer or less depending on how you like the texture of your cauliflower. After turning off the heat I added the diced tomato and cilantro.. cover the pot and let the residual heat do it’s thing with the tomato and cilantro.

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I do hope you give this recipe a try and not be fooled with the vegetarian and gluten free tags I associated with this recipe. It’s very tasty and a lovely way to add flavor to boring cauliflower.

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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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Vegetarian Stir Fry Bodi (yard beans) With Cashews.

Vegetarian Stir Fry Bodi (yard beans) With Cashews.

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As a young fella on the islands, my brother and I usually helped mom with the kitchen garden after school and on the weekends. I enjoyed seeing plants go from seeds to actually bearing fruit and harvest time was usually my favorite. Picking bodi (yard beans) off the bush (grows on a vine-like bush) was like a treasure hunt and it didn’t hurt that I LOVE beans of all shape and form. So the meals which would follow the time spent harvesting, was a glorious time for me. Traditionally mom did this one of two ways, in a curry or stewed with some sort of leftover meat or bits of salted cod. But in this recipe I’ll show you another take on cooking bodi (or any green bean).

 

You’ll Need…

1 lb Bodi (aka yard beans)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tomato diced
1/2 onion diced
2 cloves garlic (finely diced)
1/4 teaspoon ginger (grated)
1/2 cup cashews (raw)
1 tablespoon veg oil
1/4 cup water
Fresh ground black pepper
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
1 teaspoon oyster sauce

* Taste for salt near the end and adjust as the soy and oyster sauce may have enough salt to season this dish. I used oyster sauce in this recipe, so please visit your local Chinese grocers for a vegetarian option if you want to make this 100% vegetarian. If you cannot get bodi, feel free to use string beans or french beans, but note that they may cook faster than bodi.

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Prep the yard beans by trimming off the ends, then cut into 1-1.5 inch pieces. Wash and drain. Dice the onion, garlic and scotch bonnet pepper – remember to wash your hands after handling the scotch bonnet, don’t use any seeds and only use as much as you can handle. The recipe works fine without it as well. (I grated the ginger)

Heat the oil on a medium flame, then toss in the garlic, onion and ginger… lower the heat to low and let this gently cook for about 3 minutes.

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Raise the heat to medium and then go in with the trimmed bodi pieces, stir well, then add all the other ingredients (except the tomato) and add the water. Bring to a boil and cook on a medium heat for about 10-12 minutes, then go in with the cashews. Stir well.

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Here’s where it’s up to you to personalize the dish a bit… taste for salt and determine how tender you like your beans. If you like it really tender you may need to add a bit more water and cook for an extra 5 minutes or so.  As you turn off the heat toss in the diced tomato to brighten up the overall stir-fry. The residual heat from the pan will be enough to cook the tomato enough (so it’s not melted away).

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If you didn’t already know, Chinese immigrants (as contract laborers)  came to the Caribbean over a century ago (between 1853 and 1879), so you’ll find many of our dishes are heavily influenced by their delicious contributions.

I do hope you give this bodi stirfry with cashews a try as the flavors and texture is simply stunning.

 

 

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Applewood Smoked Pineapple Chow.

Applewood Smoked Pineapple Chow.

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Let’s get the disclaimer out of the way to prevent the traditionalists from becoming active with the hate comments. Yes, this not a traditional Trinbago chow recipe, however your taste-buds will be gratified from the different levels of flavor both the grilling and the apple-wood smoke adds to this classic Caribbean salad. Chow is cross between a salad and pickle, usually made using a tart fruit (like green mangoes  | mango chow) and is popular in the Southern Caribbean.

 

You’ll Need…

1 ripe pineapple
1/2 medium red onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
2 tablespoon shado beni (or cilantro)
1/2 lime (or lemon)
Pinch fresh black pepper

Apple wood chips for that smokiness goodness.

To learn how to peel and trim a fresh pineapple, watch this video: How to peel, trim and core a pineapple.

 

Before we get to the recipe, I’d like to say thanks to Chef Marc from http://www.menufortheweek.com for sharing his personal touch in making pineapple chow. In the coming months we’ll have some exciting news to share with you, as Marc and I explore a new dimension to Caribbean cooking.

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In this recipe we’re using a propane grill, but you can use a charcoal bbq or an indoor grill if you like. If you don’t have access to a grill, you can place the pineapple slices on a lined baking sheet and broil for a couple minutes on each side. You won’t get the rich flavor of the apple wood smoke, but you will enjoy the caramelized flavor of the cooked pineapple.

Create a pouch with a piece of sturdy tin foil with the applewood chips, wrap and poke some holes with a fork. Place it on the side of the grill area (or directly on the hot coals or flame) and cover the lid. Allow the smoke to develop before you begin grilling. There’s no need to soak the wood chips in water as we’ve done in the past as we want immediate smoke.

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Peel and slice the pineapple into 1/2 inch slices. Marc didn’t core the pineapple and to be quite honest.. I much liked the texture of the core when grilled.

With your grill on a medium heat (you can oil the grates so the pineapple pieces don’t stick), place the pineapple slices over a medium heat and cover the grill immediately (you don’t want to loose that lovey smoke you created). Grill for 2 minutes, then flip to the other side and grill for another 2 minutes. The goal is to NOT over-cook the pineapple pieces, but to get grill marks, warm for the natural sweetness to come through and to infuse it with that smoke. Also grill the scotch bonnet pepper for a minute or two for a totally different flavor than using raw scotch bonnet.

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Slice the onions very thin, crush or dice the garlic (very small) and chop the shado beni (chadon beni or culantro). If you cannot get shado beni double up on cilantro. Remove the roasted scotch bonnet off the grill, deseed and chop finely. The grilled pineapple should be cut into bite sized pieces (like little pizza slices).

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It’s now time to assemble everything. Place everything (except the lime juice) into a large bowl and give it a good mix, now top with the lime (or lemon) juice and give it a final spin – taste for salt and adjust.  Try to use fresh ground black pepper!

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You can serve this up immediately, but Marc recommends that you have it chill in the fridge for about an hour or so to allow the flavors to develop and marry together. I quite agree as I had it the next day with by eggs at breakfast and it was stunning!

I do hope you give this recipe a try and for you traditionalists, be prepared for a whole new take on the beloved Trini chow.

Again..special thanks to Chef Marc for his wicked Applewood Smoked Pineapple Chow recipe.

Posted in Salads, VegetarianComments (2)

Caribbean Orange Pineapple Salad.

Caribbean Orange Pineapple Salad.

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If you’re familiar with what we call ‘chow’ in the southern Caribbean, you’ll see the same basic principles used in this recipe. “Chow’ is basically a sort of spicy pickle, usually made from a tart fruit like mango, plum, pineapple and when these fruits are not in season cucumber can also be used. It’s supposed to have herbal, garlic and hot pepper elements to really appeal to the taste buds.

In this recipe we’ll focus on two main ingredient.. sliced oranges and diced pineapple chunks!

 

You’ll Need…

4 oranges
1 cup cubed pineapple
pinch sea salt
pinch black pepper
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper

* If you’re using canned pineapple, fell free to toss in about 2 tablespoon of the juice it’s packed in. The more this marinates, the stronger the flavors will be.

 

Peel the oranges and slice them into 1/4 inch slices… I used seedless oranges so be mindful of the seeds if your oranges contain seeds. You can use any of your favorite citrus if you want to be a bit creative.

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In my case I used fresh pineapple as I try to keep away from canned foods as much as I can. The sodium and preservatives that’s usually added is something I know my body just does not need.. plus fresh pineapples are readily available and relatively cheap.  Peel, remove the core and dice into small pieces- see my note above about using canned pineapple.

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Crush the garlic, and finely chop the cilantro (in the Caribbean we’d use shado beni aka Culantro) and scotch bonnet pepper.

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It’s now time to assemble everything.. place in a deep bowl and combine all the ingredients. Remember to wear gloves when handling scotch bonnet peppers, wash your hands immediately after with soap and water and do not use any of the seeds if you’re concerned about the raw heat. I like using fresh ground black pepper and sea salt, but use what you have.. no need to go out and buy sea salt.

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Allow everything to marinate in the fridge for an hour or so for best results.. you can also add some diced cucumber and drizzle on a little honey to balance off the heat if it’s a concern of yours. Do I need a dressing for this? Nah.. this is a wicked salad all on it’s own.

 

 

 

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Caribbean Style Coleslaw Recipe.

Caribbean Style Coleslaw Recipe.

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If you’re concerned about the supposed heat or spiciness of Caribbean food, know that you can always adjust the amount of pepper and spices you use to your personal liking. Additionally, as we see with classic Jamaican jerk, you can always go with a pairing which compliment the dish and bring in that sort of cooling effect. This Caribbean style coleslaw is just that. A slight kick from the minced scotch bonnet and mustard powder, but the creaminess from the mayo-combo and the fruity flavors of the mango and pineapple will give you a delightful finish.

 

You’ll Need…

4-5 cups shredded cabbage
3/4 cup purple cabbage
1 cup shredded carrot
3/4 cup diced pineapple
1 cup mango (sliced thin)
3 tablespoon diced red onion
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper diced finely (no seeds)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Dressing…

1 cup miracle whip (or mayo)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
3 tablespoon pineapple juice (or vinegar)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 lemon (juice)

 

Note: Please remember to wear gloves and wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling scotch bonnet peppers. I used Miracle Whip instead of traditional Mayo as I enjoy the tangy flavor of the whip, but you can use your fav mayo. IMPORTANT – this recipe is posted under vegetarian, so do keep in mind that you’ll need to use a vegetarian substitute for the mayo.

 

There are two steps to the recipe. Step 1 is to prepare the fruits and vegetables and Step 2 is basically making the dressing and mixing everything together.

For a bit of texture I grate 1/2 the amount of cabbage, then using my chefs knife I shred the rest of it. It’s also important to finely dice the onion so you never get a large piece of onion while dining.. can be a bit overpowering.

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Mix all the ingredients mentioned above for the dressing in a bowl (I like using a whisk for this step) and set aside. Then in a large bowl, place the shredded cabbage.. you’ll notice that I used a bit of purple cabbage as well. Don’t add too much of the purple cabbage as it will discolor the entire coleslaw as you mix everything together. Add all the other ingredients, top with the salt and mix in the dressing we made. Give everything a good mix and set in the fridge to chill a bit before serving.

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Remember to store in a cool place (cooler with ice) if you’re taking this to a picnic this summer as the dressing can go bad with excessive heat. If you have it in the fridge for a few hours you will need to give it a good mix before serving as you’ll find what looks like water on the surface (that’s normal).

With the brilliant flavors of the diced mango and pineapple you’ll find that this is not your basic coleslaw and I encourage you to use other fruits you like… apple, peach.. be creative.

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A Refreshing Mango Strawberry Salad.

A Refreshing Mango Strawberry Salad.

I was doing a chef’s table a few months back and I wanted to include a tropical salad in the mix, so Caron suggested I do a take on ‘mango chow’ and hinted that I should add a “Canadian’ element by using some sliced strawberries in the mix. It was such a hit with the 30 + people in attendance that I’ve now made it several times.

This is an excellent salad when you’re looking for something light and refreshing… but with a slight kick from the bird’s eye pepper and fresh garlic.

 

You’ll Need…

2 mangoes (ripe but firm)
2 cups strawberry
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 birds eye pepper (deseed and chop fine)
black pepper (optional)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (any salt you like)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 medium red onion

 

Note: If you don’t have bird’s eye pepper you can use a 1/4 of a scotch bonnet or habanero pepper and a few drops of pepper sauce (hot sauce)  is also a excellent alternative. If you’re concerned about the heat you can omit the ‘pepper’ from the recipe.

Prep the fruit. Wash, peel and cube the mango. Trim (remove the stems) off the strawberries, wash, pat dry and slice into 1/4 inch pieces. Deseed the bird’s eye pepper and chop finely and remember to wash your hands with soap and water immediately handling the peppers. Then it’s just a matter slicing the red onion very thin and dicing the garlic.

All you have to do now now is assemble everything thing in a large bowl and top with the salt, black pepper, lemon (or lime) juice and toss in the chopped cilantro.

You can serve this immediately, but I find that if you leave it to marinate for about 30 minutes in the fridge (cover with plastic wrap) the flavors are more pronounced. Do remember to give it a final toss before serving. You can add your favorite (firm) fruit to the mix and cubed cucumber or pineapple works great in this salad as well.

My Trinbagonian friends will be looking at this recipe and say “lawd.. Chris fooling people with chow”. True That! But to a global audience this is a great introduction to our beloved chow (a very spicy fruit pickle which blends sour or tart flavors with herbs, citrus and heat from scotch bonnet peppers).

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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Baby Pak Choi With Salted Cod The Caribbean Way.

Baby Pak Choi With Salted Cod The Caribbean Way.

One of my favorite dishes growing up on the islands was when mom would make pak choi with leftover stewed pork. The slight crunch from the pak choi (not over-cooked) combined with the flavors brought to the game by the tender pieces of stewed pork with hints of ginger.. I may have to get that one done very soon as I now have a craving. Back to the pak choi with salted fish recipe… This version is just as tasty, as I find that the bits of salted cod brings it’s own unique flavor to the finished dish.

You’ll notice that I added this recipe to the vegetarian section as the salted fish can easily be omitted with great results. I would just double up on the onion and garlic for added flavor.

You’ll Need…

2 lb baby pak choi
1 cup prepared salted cod
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 scotch bonnet pepper
1 large onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (diced)
2 tablespoon olive oil

Optional – Cashews and/or sliced almonds

Double wash the pak choi as there’s usually sand/dirt between the stems and drain, then chop into 1/4 inch pieces (cut across into ribbons).  You’ll need to boil the salted fish (cod) then rinse and shred. The boiling will remove most of the salt it was cured in and help hydrate it a bit. If you don’t boil the salted fish in water before using it will be too salty for use. Watch this video if you’re unfamiliar with working with salted fish (click link) : How To Prepare Salted Fish. Try to purchase boned salted fish to avoid having to pick out the tiny bones.. but still keep an eye out for any bones which may still be present in boned saltfish.

Now heat the oil on a medium flame in a wide pan and add the diced garlic and onion. Reduce the heat to low and slowly cook for 3-5 minutes. Then toss in the bits of salted cod (any dry salted fish) as well as the black pepper and with the heat still on low cook for another 2-3 minutes The goal here is to get a ton of flavor created before adding the chopped pak choi.

Raise the heat to medium and start adding the chopped pak choi to the pot. It will wilt as it cooks so don’t get alarmed when you get the feeling it won’t all fit in your pan. Top with the scotch bonnet pepper and stir well. Do not cover the pot or you’ll risk having too much moisture/liquid form.

Cook with the pan uncovered for 5-7 minutes or until you get the desired texture you like with your pak choi. I like it with a slight crunch. You’ll notice that I didn’t add any salt to the dish as the remaining salt from the salted cod will be enough to season this properly.. but do taste and adjust accordingly.

If you want to add some cashews or sliced almonds, you can do so the final 2 minutes of cooking. This will add a lot of texture to the dish (and protein). Remember when working with scotch bonnet (or any hot pepper) to wear gloves if your skin is sensitive and do wash your hands with soap and water immediately after. Also note that the scotch bonnet is optional and do not include the pepper’s seeds if you’re concerned about the raw heat. The seeds and white membrane surrounding the seeds is where the majority of heat will be.

This is a wonderful dish to have with steamed or boiled rice, works well with roti and other flat breads and if all fails.. make a sandwich with it. Superb!  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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Festive Vegetarian Pineapple Fried Rice.

Festive Vegetarian Pineapple Fried Rice.

This Caribbean inspired vegetarian pineapple fried rice is a wonderful way to use leftover rice you may have in the fridge and it must be noted that it is not a traditional Caribbean dish. However with use of wonderful Caribbean flavors you’ll find that you’ll purposely make extra rice just so you can have this dish on the regular.

You’ll need…

4 cups cooked rice (day old)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 bird’s eye pepper (or 1/4 scotch bonnet)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 large onion (diced)
1 bell pepper (1/2 yellow + 1/2 red)
1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
1 scallion
1/2 carrot (diced finely)
1 stalk celery (diced finely)
1.5 cups pineapple (1/4 inch pieces)
1 tablespoon veg oil
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon curry powder

optional – toasted coconut flakes – topping.

Notes: If you’re using freshly cooked rice (or leftover), may I suggest that you allow it to cool in the fridge for a few hours. This will give you a lovely grainy finish to the rich dish. I used parboiled brown rice, but you’re free to use any rice you like.

Start by prepping all your vegetables as this is a very quick dish to put together. Next heat the vegetable oil on a medium heat  in a deep pot (I used a non stick pot to cut back on the amount of oil I use) and add the diced onion and garlic. Reduce the heat to low and let that cook for a couple minutes. Then add the diced celery, carrot and bell peppers and allow it to cook for 3 minutes (low heat).

Toss in the bird’s eye pepper (whole), grate in the ginger, add the black pepper, salt and curry.. raise the heat to medium and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes to toast the curry powder to bring out all the flavors of the spices in the curry powder. Then add the diced pineapple (you can use drained canned pineapple if you want) along with the soy sauce, sesame oil and hoisin sauce. Stir well.

Raise your heat to med/high and toss in the rice (note – if the rice was in the fridge as I suggested, take it out about 15 minutes before you start this dish) and mix well. The idea here is to warm the rice through and help it take on that wonderful flavor base we created. Let it cook for about 4-6 minutes, then top with the chopped scallion and turn off the heat. Serve!

You’ll notice that I didn’t use much salt as my rice was already cooked in salt and the soy sauce will contain much salt. Also notice that I didn’t cut or break the birds eye pepper as I wanted the flavor without the raw heat. But you can certainly cut them finely for that added kick.  This is best served warm so your guests will really appreciate the combination of flavors we created with this tasty Caribbean inspired Vegetarian pineapple fried rice. A great way to add extra flavors and texture is to top the finished rice with some toasted shredded coconut.

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.

Posted in Bits and Bites, Salads, VegetarianComments (2)

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.

Posted in Bits and Bites, VegetarianComments (4)

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.

Posted in Bits and Bites, VegetarianComments (14)

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.

Posted in Bits and Bites, VegetarianComments (3)

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.

Posted in Bits and Bites, VegetarianComments (3)

Pak Choi With Smoked Bacon A Twist On A Caribbean Fave!

Pak Choi With Smoked Bacon A Twist On A Caribbean Fave!

This is a take on traditional Caribbean technique of cooking “bhagi” or greens especially in Trinidad and Tobago. You’ll notice that I also placed this within the vegetarian section of the website, so before the flood of emails… I wanted to point out that you can leave out the bacon and start with olive or coconut oil for additional flavor. So by simply leaving out the bacon you could have a delicious vegetarian dish.

Traditionally our mom would prepare this dish when she had leftover stewed pork (Stewed Pork With Pak Choi)  from the night before and it’s one of those dishes everyone of my siblings quite enjoyed with hot sada roti. Oh the joy when mom got us all to eat the same thing.

 

You’ll Need…

6 – 8  cups chopped pak choi (about 2lbs)
1/4 lb smoked bacon (I used smoked pork belly)
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
2 birds eye pepper (bird pepper)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 scallion
4-6 cherry tomatoes (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt

* IMPORTANT: If you don’t eat pork or prefer to have this vegetarian, leave out the bacon and start with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. If you don’t have bird’s eye pepper, you can use scotch bonnet or habanero (very small piece).

 

Cut the bacon into small pieces and place in a dry pan on medium heat. The idea is to cook until crispy and to render off the fat. Reserve about 1 teaspoon of the fat.  Once crispy, drain on paper towels and set aside.

Remove each leaf/stem of pak choi and wash under running water individually as you’ll find dirt between each leaf (natural as it grows), Rinse well and drain – now get ready to chop. I usually cut each leaf lengthwise first (about 1/4 inch, then make into a bundle and cut in the other direction the same thickness. Besides trimming off the very bottom of the white stems (discard), do use the rest of the pak choi (white and green).

Also chop/dice the onion, garlic, tomato and scallions (green onion) and set aside.

In the same pan you rendered the bacon (don’t wash) heat about 1 teaspoon of the bacon fat on a low flame, then add the onion, garlic and scallion pieces. Let it cook on low for about 3 minutes to basically soften up and create a flavor base.

Toss in the birds eye peppers (don’t cut open) then start adding the chopped pak choi to the pot and finish off with the salt and black pepper. It may seem like a lot at first, but it will wilt down (have your heat at med/high at this point). Give it a good mix.

The rest of this dish takes some personalization. I like my greens (still green) and not over cooked. So I let it go for about 5 minutes, then I topped it with the pieces of bacon and stirred well. The pak choi will release a bit of liquid so at this point you’ll need to raise the heat to high and burn off the excess liquid (took another 3-5 minutes).

The last 2 minutes of cooking you can toss in the tomatoes so they too are brilliant in colour, retains it’s shape and give the dish a brightness. Remember to taste for salt and if you wanted, you can certainly cook this a bit longer if you’re not like me and like a little texture to the pak choi. You’ll note that at no time did I cover the pot as it will only help to create liquid you really don’t need.

This is excellent on steamed (or boiled) rice, with roti and when all fails, I make sandwiches with this… lovely! If you break the peppers while cooking it will release the raw heat (though mild since they are bird’s eye) so if you like playing with “the Heat”.. break them open! BTW if you don’t dine with the swine, you can use some prepared saltfish (salted cod) instead of the bacon for additional 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.

Posted in Pork, VegetarianComments (4)


 

 
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