How To Cook Curry Pigeon Peas (from frozen).

As a kid growing up on the islands you never really understand/appreciate what you have, especially when it comes to our local produce. I remember giving mom a difficult time during 'peas season' (usually from Dec to mid-June), as it would make it's way on the dinner table too often for my liking. We had a kitchen garden so many of the meals prepared came directly from that small plot of land behind our home. Today I'm stuck using the stuff from the can and the occasional time I can find it in the frozen section of the supermarket. Being based in Canada, the options are slim.. rare is the time you'd get fresh pigeon peas.

How To Cook Curry Pigeon Peas (from frozen). How To Cook Curry Pigeon Peas (from frozen).

Salted Pigtail Callaloo Recipe.

While I've shared several versions of Callaloo, the classic soup-like dish prepared in the Southern Caribbean, this is one of those versions mom would make when she didn't have access to fresh ocean crab. I still remember mom would have to hide the fact that there were piece of salted pig tails in the Callaloo or my sisters wouldn't ever touch it.. but my brother, dad and I were quite excited to get those tender pieces of pork on our plate on a Sunday.

Salted Pigtail Callaloo Recipe. Salted Pigtail Callaloo Recipe.

Classic Caribbean Beef Pelau.

During those cold and nasty winter days in January and February I always try to add a little Caribbean sunshine in our home/kitchen in Canada, with a big pot of bubbling Pelau. A delicious one pot dish packed with ingredients and flavors of the Caribbean which immediately takes me back to my childhood on the islands. However back then it was the dish of choice (usually the Chicken version) for those days at the beach.

Classic Caribbean Beef Pelau. Classic Caribbean Beef Pelau.
Shrimp Wontons Recipe.

Shrimp Wontons Recipe.

23 February 2016

Shrimp Wontons or Wantons is one of those snacks I grew up eating at the many Chinese restaurants and food trucks in San Fernando Trinidad as a young fella. Fresh from the fryer and dipped in a basic sauce of soy sauce and pepeprsauce, it was the ideal thing to eat after dad, my younger brother and I would go watch Kung Fu movies on a Saturday afternoon. It was usually the appetizer for an amazing full-on Chinese meal, as you could ONLY get in Trinidad and Tobago. Ask any Trinbagonian and they will swear that 'our' Chinee (Chinese) food is unlike any you'd find elsewhere.

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Roasted Tomato Coconut Soup (vegetarian).

Roasted Tomato Coconut Soup (vegetarian).

16 February 2016

Doh try that! I can hear my Caribbean people screaming "that is not we kinda soup"! As we've discussed in the past, soups on the islands are tick, heavy and generally full of body (like what most non-Caribbean consider to be hearty stews). But let me assume you that this soup is quite filling and very comforting. You'll notice that the ingredients are what we use daily throughout the Caribbean and yuh know we love ah coconut milk! Tip: If you roast the vegetables on a grill or open fire, you'll get a lovely overall flavor.

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Fried Channa (spicy chickpeas snack).

Fried Channa (spicy chickpeas snack).

09 February 2016

A while back I did a more traditional recipe of this "fried" channa (chickpeas), except it was not fried but done in the oven for a more healthy twist. And I know many of you who are familiar with this crunchy snack will certainly find it strange that I'm topping it with grated Parmesan, but I assure you that the addition of the cheese compliments the overall flavor of it. During my primary school days this was sold by street vendors outside the school compound in paper cone shaped parcels and one of the 'choice' snacks for me at recess and lunch.

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The Ultimate Jerk Chicken Dip.

The Ultimate Jerk Chicken Dip.

02 February 2016

Though we don't have a traditional 'dip' culture when it comes to food, that's quickly changing as we start experimenting with local ingredients, flavors and influenced by cuisines from distant shores. With the Super Bowl just days away, this Jerk Chicken Dip is one of the most requested recipes since I announced I'll be doing a Super Bowl Series (see Coconut Chicken Tenders and Chicken Chili - other recipes in the series).

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Coconut Chicken Tenders Recipe [gluten free].

Coconut Chicken Tenders Recipe [gluten free].

28 January 2016

One of the most popular recipes I've shared to date is a version of the chicken strips mom would make for us as kids, but I was asked recently via FaceBook if there was a gluten free version I had, that I'd be willing to share. With the Super Bowl just days away, I though it would be a great time to share this recipe as it's a great party food idea. This coconut chicken tenders recipe is not only gluten free, super simple to make and quite tasty, it works well for people who are not fans of shrimp (similar to coconut shrimp).

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Curry Pork With String Beans.

Curry Pork With String Beans.

27 January 2016

I may have mentioned before that while growing up on the islands mom never made any sort of curry dishes with pork, so I credit my aunt Victoria (I speak about her in my book) for passing the basics of this recipe on to me, when I lived with her during my early years in Canada. Her version included a bit more cooking (I like my beans with a slight crunch) and a little heavier on the curry, so this version of curry pork with green beans is personalized to my liking.

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Simple Tamarind Chutney Recipe.

Simple Tamarind Chutney Recipe.

18 January 2016

Here's another one of those spicy condiments I grew up enjoying with many of the street food sold outside the gates of my secondary school in San Fernando, Trinidad at recess and lunch time. Usually used a a dipping sauce for Pholourie and Saheena... and as a topping for doubles and aloo pies. But I think we most enjoyed it on it's own as a thick savory sauce when our taste buds craved something exciting (especially when we didn't have enough money for the pholourie). You'll find that I did stray a bit from the traditional type recipes, however you'll enjoy the subtle complex flavors.

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Tasty Shrimp Pholourie.

Tasty Shrimp Pholourie.

07 January 2016

I've had a weakness for these delightful fried dough balls served with spicy chutney, ever since my school days. I'd guess that at least 50% of my weekly allowance went directly to the vendors outside our school compound, selling pholourie and other popular street foods in San Fernando (Trinidad). There was one spot where they sold them straight from the fryer dripping in hot grease, but the lines were always longest there. Would explain why as soon as the recess or lunch bell would go off, it was like an Olympic 100 meter dash to get out the gates and at the front of the line. I dare Usain Bolt to get in our way or try to outrun us.

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Caribbean Style Homemade Baked Beans.

Caribbean Style Homemade Baked Beans.

04 January 2016

You never really associate baked beans with the Caribbean, but it was a norm in our home and the more I speak to others around the Caribbean I'm finding out that it's not that uncommon. Unfortunately, it was the stuff from a can... which mom did wonders with, by adding other local ingredients to add additional flavor and to help stretch 1 can (say 'tin' in the Caribbean) for a family of 6 (actually I don't think dad ate it, since he didn't fancy 'sweet' food'). This recipe is my rendition of baked beans Caribbean style - from scratch!

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Caribbean Saltfish Fried Rice Recipe.

Caribbean Saltfish Fried Rice Recipe.

30 December 2015

I grew up in a house where food was NEVER wasted, so 'butter' containers (empty ice cream, butter and margarine containers mom would wash and reuse) stacked in the fridge was a norm. Usually packed with whatever leftovers there was from the night before. So finding the same in our fridge is not that surprising. This fried rice recipe is something I usually do when I want something quick, filling and delicious to eat and I have some leftover rice in the fridge.

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