It's funny how I kept telling people that I'm not a fan of Hummus and just didn't understand the sort of current 'Hummus Hype".. until I started making my own. While Hummus may seem exotic, it's probably one of the simplest recipes to put together. There's no cooking involved, can be done in under 5 minutes and you can play around with flavors you like. In my case I like my Hummus to have a slight kick, with a subtle smoky undertone. Any excuse to put "Caribbean Sunshine" (scotch bonnet peppers) to use.
Did you get a chance to give the Caribbean Fish Stew Using Fresh Cod a test drive yet? As we continue in this #FishFrday mini-series, I've got a super simple way to do a whole fish in the oven. Using a Sea Bass (what's on sale at the fish store currently) as our main ingredient, we'll enhance things with some ginger, scallion, lemon and sliced fennel. Yea, the fennel was on sale so I was convinced by my wallet to bring it home from the grocery store. Since Fennel is not your typical "Caribbean" ingredient, you can use a large sliced onion instead.
This recipe combines two of my favorite dishes into one glorious pot of comfort. After sharing the technique for roasting a breadfruit in an everyday oven, you knew I'd follow up with a recipe for putting that roasted breadfruit to use. Stewed saltfish (salted cod) is as classic as it gets when it comes to Caribbean culinary culture and in the event you cannot source breadfruit, you can use cassava, yam, sweet potato, green cooking bananas or even something as everyday as regular potatoes.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
28 December 2015
Sorrel and homemade ginger-beer are two drinks you're guaranteed to find being enjoyed in just about every Caribbean home you visit during the Christmas season. Even after we moved to Canada, it was our yearly tradition to source out a grocery store which stocked the dried petals of sorrel or have relatives who would be visiting stock their suitcases with a package or two on their way up. The odd time we could get the fresh flowers, it was a welcomed bonus (like finding buried treasure). It's funny how after so many years of using the dried stuff, you almost prefer it to the fresh ones now.
08 December 2015
Not sure if it was the way I was dressed/looked or the washed-down accent I used in placing my order, but the doubles vendor inside West Bees supermarket in Diego Martin (Trinidad) took time from her busy lunchtime line of customers to warn me "son be careful eh, this rheel hot". Pepper choka is one of the many SPICY condiments you'll find at most street vendors throughout the twin island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Scotch Bonnet (known locally as congo pepper) peppers, roasted and made into a chunky sort of salsa.
04 December 2015
There's all the food, the merriment with family and friends and of-course the variety of adult beverages, but nothing SCREAMS Christmas in the Caribbean louder than a thick slice of black fruit/rum cake. I remember mom having her dried fruits soaked in a lethal combination of rum, sherry and cask wine, for months (even a full year at times) and as a family we'd all have a hand in making this Christmas staple. We didn't have an electric mixer in those days, so everything was done manually.
03 December 2015
We've done channa and aloo (chickpeas and potato) fully vegetarian, with added flavor by adding chicken to the mix and in this recipe we'll follow the same technique for cooking this tasty curry dish, but we'll add another unique flavor and texture by starting with a curry beef base. As we've discussed in previous posts using chickpeas / garbanzo beans are commonly known as channa in the Southern Caribbean, where there's a stronger East Indian influence.