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Tag Archive | "chris de la rosa"

Simple Heirloom Tomato Salad.

Simple Heirloom Tomato Salad.

Even as a child on the islands (I was told) I had an affection for tomatoes. While most of the stuff we get in the grocery stores today lack any sweetness or flavor, and even something as basic as the scent we associate with tomatoes, when I come across Heirloom tomatoes.. they come home with me. You won't find any two looking the same, their shape will be somewhat weird (at times) and they may not be that uniform red color you've been programmed to associate with ripe tomatoes. My favorite way to enjoy such beauties.. raw a salad!

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Traditional Caribbean Salted Pigtail Pelau.

Traditional Caribbean Salted Pigtail Pelau.

While salted pigtails may not sound appealing to many people, it's a key ingredient in many dishes we would consider 'comfort food' in the Caribbean. Only recently are we seeing prominent chefs and restaurants trying to find ways to use the entire animal after it's butchered. Normal thing in the Caribbean. If pork (especially pig tails) is not your thing, I've got versions of Pelau using chicken, beef and we've even played with a vegan option as well. Check the Recipe Index for those recipes.

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Insanely Spicy Canadian Mother In Law.

Insanely Spicy Canadian Mother In Law.

After getting a request for a new "Mother-In-Law" recipe via a YouTube comment , the spicy condiment we use on the side of many curry dishes in Trinidad and Tobago, I decided to do things a little different and do my interpretation of a Canadian version. I believe the name comes from the 'spicy' nature of one's mother in law, mixed with different textures and flavors (complexity). Do keep in mind that you can control the amount of heat of this condiment by the number and type of hot peppers you use.

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Simple Caribbean Coconut Spinach.

Simple Caribbean Coconut Spinach.

While we didn't have 'spinach' readily available on the islands when I was growing up, mom did her thing with dasheen bush (leaves), chorai (Jamaican callaloo) , pak choi and other 'greens'. After moving to Canada and not being able to find that stuff I grew up eating on the islands, spinach quickly became my friend. I've confessed before that I have a definite weakness for any and all greens, so this is something I cook on the regular.

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How To Cook Curry Pigeon Peas (from frozen).

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.

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Salted Pigtail Callaloo Recipe.

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.

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The Ultimate Mango Mojito (virgin).

The Ultimate Mango Mojito (virgin).

While I did share the video demo for this refreshing virgin Mango Mojito a few months back (during the hot summer), there's been a lot of requests for the printable version of the recipe. Though this version is 'virgin' (safe for kids and those who don't mess with the rum), you can always add a cup (or more) or your favorite rum and enjoy this as a big-people beverage. If you cannot source a ripe mango, try the frozen section of your grocery store for frozen mango pieces.

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Spam For Breakfast – Caribbean Style Spam Recipe.

Spam For Breakfast – Caribbean Style Spam Recipe.

NO! I never had Spam while living in the Caribbean as mom wasn't big on feeding us canned stuff (corned beef, salmon and sardines were the exceptions) and to be completely honest, this was the first time I would be including Spam in a recipe. Further, I didn't even know what to expect as I opened the can of Spam. Totally unknown territory for me, but the plan was to include this interesting canned meat in our morning breakfast alongside eggs, slices of avocado and toasted coconut bread.

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Amazing Okra Rice Recipe (vegan).

Amazing Okra Rice Recipe (vegan).

Here's another example of a dish mom would prepare during the time I was a kid on the islands we'd (my brother and sisters) never want to touch, yet as an adult I can never get enough. The culprit for our childhood hate? OKRA! The texture and flavors were simply not our thing and we won that battle with mom time and time again. I must confess (as far as I can remember) mom's version wasn't as good as the recipe I'm about to share with you (don't let her know I said so though).

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Insanely Good Guava Peppersauce (hot-sauce).

Insanely Good Guava Peppersauce (hot-sauce).

While I don't have immediate access to many of the fruits I grew up eating as a young fella on the islands, with many local groceries servicing the vibrant immigrant population in Ontario, there are times when I luck out. This time I came across ripe guavas (mind you they were not the best quality) at my favorite Asian market. Usually I'd make guava jam or guava cheese, but the amount of fruit required for those two recipes.. let's just say my budget didn't allow for it. So a fruity peppersauce came to mind.

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