Monthly Archives: January 2013

One buns, two buns… Rich Coconut Buns

Guyanese Coconut Buns

While writing this post I was faced with a simple grammatical dilemma , is it one bun or one buns? I’m talking about coconut buns of course. Most Guyanese would probably tell you that it is one buns and that the plural of buns is more buns (Ha)! However you choose to say it, grammatically correct or not, this is a quick and easy desert or snack, that’s a favorite among Guyanese everywhere. I learned how to make buns many moons ago, in high school. It is one of the first things you make in Home Economics, in First Form (I went to The Bishops’ High School in Guyana). Back then, I was taught the “rub in” method for making buns. In this method, you didn’t cream the butter and the sugar, but simply rubbed the fat into the flour, then added the other ingredients to form a very soft dough/batter type thing. Today I am using a slightly modified version of a recipe taken from What’s cooking in Guyana (Guyanese Cookbook).

Now for these buns…

For this recipe I am using a scale to measure the ingredients. See below for the cup measurement equivalent.Cream 8 ounces of butter and 8 ounces of sugar until light and fluffy.

For this recipe I am using a scale to measure the ingredients. See below for the cup equivalent.
Cream 4 ounces of butter and 4 ounces of sugar until light and fluffy.

It is difficult to find fresh coconuts in Colorado, so I am using shredded prepackaged coconut.Finely chop 3 cups of coconut flakes (1 pk).

It is difficult to find fresh coconuts in Colorado, so I am using shredded prepackaged coconut.
Finely chop 7 ounces of coconut flakes (1 pk).

Add 2 eggs (1 at a time) until completely blended into creamed sugar and butter. Then, add coconut and 1/4 tsp almond essence.

Add 2 eggs (1 at a time) until completely blended into creamed sugar and butter.
Then, add coconut and 1/4 tsp almond essence.

Next, Add 1 tsp baking powder to 6 oz flour. Then, add flour and baking powder mixture to the coconut mixture.

Next, Add 1 tsp baking powder to 6 oz flour. Then, add flour and baking powder mixture to the coconut mixture.

Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop buns mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.Bake for 30 minutes at 350 F

Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop buns mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. Let cool, then enjoy (preferably with some Mauby).

Rich Coconut Buns (Makes about 8 buns)

Ingredients:
4 ounces butter (1 cup)
4 ounces brown sugar (1 cup)
6 ounces flour (1 cup)
7 ounces coconut flakes (2 1/2 cups)
2 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp almond essence

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream sugar and butter until fluffy. Add Eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated into creamed butter and sugar. Add baking powder to flour and set aside. Finely chop coconut flakes in a food processor. Add coconut and essence to the creamed sugar and butter. Then, add flour, a little at a time, until completely blended into the coconut mixture. Using a 1/4 cup measure, ladle mixture onto a cookie/baking sheet, lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until buns are golder brown.

Tips and Ramblings

1. I make buns often and they disappear quickly.
2. Once, I tried substituting brown sugar for granulated sugar and it was just not the same.
3. In the summer I am fortunate to find coconut at my natural grocery, but when I can’t find it, I use prepackaged coconut flakes and it is just as yummy.
4. If you don’t have parchment paper you can simply grease the baking sheet.

Happy Baking!

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30 Minute meal… Chicken Chowmein

ChowmeinToday’s post will include a short history lesson or should it be Social Studies? I’m not quite sure. Well here goes. I’m featuring Chowmein. How is this Guyanese you ask? Well, Guyana is a fusion of six cultures. Chinese is one of them. Indian is another (you might have guessed this from the Indian dishes I posted before).

Chowmein is definitely one of my favorite dishes to cook and eat. It’s one of those dishes that most Guyanese make on special occasions (Birthday parties etc) or for lunch on Sundays. But in my house, it’s an “any day you don’t feel like cooking too much but want something delicious kind of meal” to prepare. So we have it often! It’s quick and perfect for my lazy days.

Okay, enough of that. Let’s get to the cooking…

Cut chicken thighs into 1 inch chunks

You will need 1 1/2 lbs boneless chicken thighs (See my Bunjal chicken recipe for how to debone chicken thighs). Cut Chicken thighs into 1 inch chunks.

We will use the following ingredients to season the chicken:1 small onion thinly sliced, 4 cloves garlic (chopped), 1 tbsp. dried thyme

For this dish we will use the following seasoning:
1 small onion thinly sliced, 4 cloves garlic (chopped), 1 tbsp. dried thyme, 1tbsp. cassareep or soy sauce, 1 tsp. brown sugar, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. mustard and  1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Add all of the seasoning (pictured above) to the chicken. Mix together and let marinade.

Set aside the onions. Then add all of the remaining seasoning (pictured above), to the chicken. Mix together and let marinade for 5 minutes.

While the chicken marinades, let’s prep the vegetables…

Cut 1 1/2 mixed bell peppers into thin strips. I'm using frozen vegetables, but you can use, carrots (julienne or diced), petite green beans (halved), and broccoli and cauliflower (if you like).  I'm also adding 1/3 green cabbage thinly sliced.

Cut 1 1/2 mixed bell peppers into thin strips. Then prepare your vegetables, if you are using fresh veggies. I’m using frozen vegetables, but you can use, carrots (julienne or diced), petite green beans (halved), and broccoli and cauliflower (if you like). I’m also adding 1/3 green cabbage thinly sliced.

1. Using 3 tbs oil, saute onions in a skillet or saute on medium heat, until onions are soft and brown. (I am using a large stock pot).2. When onions are cooked, add marinaded chicken and cook for 15 minutes, turning once or twice. 3. Once chicken has cooked for 15 minutes add vegetables and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are cook to your liking. 5.6.

1. Using 3 tbsp. oil, saute onions in a skillet or saute pan on medium heat, until onions are soft and brown. (I am using a large stock pot).
2. Then, add marinaded chicken and cook for 15 minutes, turning once or twice.
3. Once chicken has cooked for 15 minutes add vegetables and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are cooked to your liking. I like my vegetables al dente (a little crisp) so I usually cook them for 5 minutes. In this instance I am using frozen steamers, so I add them when the chicken has been cooking for 5 minutes. This way they will steam with the chicken and be very flavorful.
5. Add the peppers to the cooked chicken and vegetables. Cook for about 3 minutes. The peppers should be a bit crunchy.
6. Finally, add the cabbage just before you add the noodles. You do not need to cook the cabbage.

Follow the instruction on the packet to cook the noodles. I cook my like to cook my noodles while the vegetables and meat are cooking, so that they finish cooking, just when they need to be added to the other ingredients.

Follow the instructions on the packet to cook the noodles. I like to cook my noodles while the vegetables and meat are cooking, so that they finish cooking, just when they need to be added to the other ingredients. This way the noodles don’t get clammy/pasty.

Bringing it together…

Add the noodles to cooked chicken and vegetables and mix together. Add chopped green onions (shallot, scallions) for some added crunchiness. Remove from the heat and enjoy!

Add the noodles to cooked chicken and vegetables and toss together. Add chopped green onions (shallot, scallions) for some added crunchiness. Remove from the heat and enjoy!

Guyanese Chicken Chowmein

Ingredients:

1 pk dried Chowmein noodles
1 1/2 lbs. boneless chicken thighs
1 small onion (thinly sliced)
3 tbsp. oil
1 1/2 mixed (red, green, yellow) bell peppers (thinly sliced)
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables or
1 carrot (julienne)
1 cup petite green beans (cut into 2 inch pieces)
1 cup fresh or canned sweet corn
1/2 head of broccoli (speared)
1/2 head of cauliflower (speared)
1/3 green cabbage (thinly shredded)
5 heads of green onions (shallot, scallions) finely chopped

To Season the chicken:
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tbsp. cassareep or soy sauce
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. mustard
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
You can also add 1 tbsp. ketchup (if you like)

Directions:

Follow the instructions on the packet to cook the noodles. Chop chicken into 1 inch chunks. Then season with thyme, cassareep or soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, salt, mustard, black pepper and ketchup (if you’re using that). Set aside and let marinade for about 5 minutes. Prepare the vegetables. Then in a skillet large enough for the noodles, warm oil on medium heat. Add onions and cook until onions are brown and soft. Then increase heat to high. Add seasoned chicken and cook for about 10 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked. Add vegetables and cook for another 5 minutes, constantly turning for even cooking. Add the peppers and cook for 3 minutes. Peppers should be crunchy after cooking. Then add the cabbage and the noodles. Toss together then add chopped scallions. Remove from heat and enjoy.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. The key to good chowmein is to have a bit of sauce in the cooked meat and vegetables, so that once you add the noodles, it soaks all that goodness up.
2. You could substitute the protein in this dish for any protein of choice or eliminate it all together.
3. It takes about 30 minutes to cook this dish if you have cook time management. Chop chicken first, season and set aside, put noodles on, while noodles are cooking prep veggies. Etc.
4. After writing this post, I wanted to go make some more chowmein. I seriously love this stuff.
5. CASSAREEP is a Guyanese dark sauce (similar to soy sauce) made from cassava/yuca juice. It’s traditionally made by the indigenous peoples (Amerindians) of Guyana and makes stews and almost any dish you would add soy sauce too, taste amazing.
6. You can also cook this dish in a wok. Once upon a time, I had a wok. It was amazing. We had so much fun. I made lots of delicious stir Fries. Then we moved and got an electric stove. The wok doesn’t work the same with an electric stove. The wok was laid to rest. The end.

Happy Cooking!

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Sunday Brunch… Pancakes with strawberries and whiskey syrup!

Pancakes with strawberries in a whiskey sauce.

Pancakes with strawberries in a whiskey sauce.

There is nothing particularly Guyanese about this recipe, but everyone loves a good pancake or two. In fact, when I was growing up pancakes, or chotah as we called it, were often made for weekday breakfast and served with scramble eggs. These chotahs were more akin to Indian dosas. Sometimes, my mom made them really sweet so you didn’t need any topping except a bit of butter. Other times she made them savory by adding scallions and garlic to the batter. The savory chotahs we rolled up (like a dosa) and ate with cheese, scrambled eggs, or even potato curry or stews. Yummy.

I make pancakes mostly on Sundays or as a treat when my husband has his first day off after a long stretch. When my sister-in-law visits, she always puts in her requests for pancakes. So I can safely say that these are pretty good. This recipe I created after trying quite a few online ones, so it might have bits and pieces from a few recipes.

Well, let’s get to it…

You should make the strawberries and whiskey syrup first. Then set it aside to cool.

Add 1 cup strawberries (I'm using frozen strawberries, it's winter y'all), 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup granulated sugar to a saucepan on medium heat and bring to a boil. Then add about 2 tbsp. whiskey. Let cook for about 10 minutes (less time for fresh strawberries). Remove from the heat and cool.

Add 2 cup strawberries (I’m using frozen strawberries, it’s winter y’all),  1 cup water and 1/2 cup granulated sugar to a saucepan on medium heat and bring to a boil. Then add about 1/4 cup whiskey. Let cook for about 10 minutes (less time for fresh strawberries). Remove from the heat and cool.

Now for the pancake batter…

First prepare the wet ingredients. Add 1 1/2 cups milk, 4 tbsp melted butter, 4 eggs to a mixing bowl (I'm using a measuring cup) and whisk together.

First prepare the wet ingredients. Add 1 1/2 cups milk, 4 tbsp melted butter, 4 eggs to a mixing bowl (I’m using a measuring cup) and whisk together.

In a large mixing bowl, add 2 cups flour, 2 tbsp granulated sugar, 2 tbsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp salt and mix together.Then add previously prepared liquids (milk, melted butter and eggs) and mix together with a whisk to form a smooth batter.

In a large mixing bowl add, 2 cups flour, 2 tbsp. granulated sugar, 2 tbsp. baking powder and 1/2 tsp. salt. Mix together, then add previously prepared liquids (milk, melted butter and eggs) mixing together with a whisk to form a smooth batter.

Grease a hot skillet / frying pan / griddle with butter. Pour 1/2 cup of batter onto the skillet. Cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes or until air bubbles form on the top of the batter, then flip over and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat, top with strawberries and some powdered sugar or whip cream and enjoy!

Grease a hot skillet / frying pan / griddle with butter. Pour 1/2 cup of batter onto the skillet. Cook on medium heat for about 2 minutes or until air bubbles form on the top of the batter, then flip over and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat, top with strawberries and some powdered sugar or whip cream and enjoy!

Pancakes with strawberries and whiskey syrup. (5 servings)

Ingredients:

Pancakes
4 tbsp. melted butter
4. Eggs.
1 1/2 cups milk
2 cups flour
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
About 2 tbsp. additional butter for cooking pancakes

Strawberries and whiskey syrup
2 cup strawberries
1 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup whiskey

Directions:


Syrup: Make the syrup first and set aside. In a saucepan on medium heat, add strawberries, sugar and water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling add whiskey. Boil for 10 minutes or until strawberries are cooked but not too soft.

Pancakes:
First, prepare the wet ingredients by adding, milk, melted butter and eggs to a small mixing bowl and whisking together until eggs are “fluffy.” Set aside. Then, add flour, granulated sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl. Mix together and add wet ingredients (milk, melted butter and eggs). Whisk until wet and dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed and form a smooth batter. Warm a skillet / frying pan / griddle on medium. Coat pan with butter. Ladle 1/2 cup of batter onto the pan (I use a measuring cup for this). Cook on each side for about 2 minutes or until air bubbles form on the top side of the pancake. Flip and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and top with strawberry syrup.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. This recipe makes about 10 pancakes. I consider 2 pancakes the serving size. Hence, why I said above that it’s about 5 servings. You can easily divide the ingredients in half if your family is smaller.
2. I am using frozen strawberries because it is winter and the fresh strawberries are quite sour.
3. You can use Brandy or Bourbon (I’ve used both before) if you don’t have whiskey, or even rum.
4. I seriously don’t know how to spell any of the Guyanese creolese words so I might have misspelled chotah. 🙂
5. It will take you about 20 minutes to make these pancakes. Easy peasy.

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Curry chicken… Bunjal chicken

Bunjal Chicken

Today I am featuring the third and final recipe in a three dish series. When we (Guyanese people) cook curry, most often we are making some form of madras curry —rich  with turmeric, coriander, cumin and garam masala. Bunjal simply means cooking the curry down until there is no sauce, so that all the curry flavor clings to the protein. Bunjal curry is often paired with dhal and rice because the dhal provides the sauce or gravy, for lack of a more suitable word. Here the protein of choice is chicken thighs (boneless). This dish takes about 30 minutes to make and also goes great with aloo paratha (potato roti).

Let’s get started…

You can buy boneless chicken thighs from the supermarket, but if you would like to make your own, here are a few easy steps. 1. Turn chicken thigh flesh side down.2. Using a knife, cut along the thigh bone and away from the flesh, until bone is completely free from the flesh.3. Cut flesh into 1 inch chunks.

You can buy boneless chicken thighs from the supermarket, but if you would like to make your own, here are a few easy steps.
1. Turn chicken thigh flesh side down.
2. Using a knife, cut along the thigh bone and away from the flesh, until bone is completely free from the flesh.
3. Cut flesh into 1 inch chunks and season with1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (if you like extra spiciness)

Next, dice up a large onion and saute in 3 tbsp of oil until brown. Make a curry paste by mixing together  1tbsp madras curry powder, 1 tbsp dried thyme, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tsp paprika, t tsp tomato paste, 1 tbsp ground cumin (geera) and 1/2 cup of water. Add curry paste to browning onions and cook until most of the water evaporates.

Next, dice up a large onion and saute in 3 tbsp of oil until brown.
While the onions are browning, make a curry paste by mixing together 1tbsp madras curry powder, 1 tbsp dried thyme, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp tomato paste, 1 tbsp ground cumin (geera) and 1/2 cup of water.
Then add curry paste to browning onions and cook until most of the water evaporates.

Once the curry paste thickens (once most of the water evaporates) add chicken, stirring until all the chicken is coated with the curry.Cook for 15 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. You may add 1/2 cup of water if the chicken starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. This will also help to deglaze the pot and thicken the curry sauce. Continue cooking until the sauce cooks down and becomes really thick.

Once the curry paste thickens (most of the water evaporates) add chicken, turningg until all the chicken is coated with the curry.
Cook for 20 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. You may add 1/2 cup of water if the chicken starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. This will also help to deglaze the pot and thicken the curry sauce.
Continue cooking until the sauce cooks down and becomes really thick.

Bunjal Chicken

Ingredients
1.5 lb boneless chicken thighs (diced into 1 inch pieces)
1 onion chopped
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp. Madras curry powder
1 tbsp. crushed dried thyme
1 tbsp. cumin powder (may be substituted with 1/2 tbsp. ground geera (roasted cumin) and 1/2 tbsp. garam masala
1 tbsp granulated garlic (can be substituted with 3 cloves garlic)
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. tomato paste

Directions:
Add salt to chicken thighs and set aside. In a large skillet (or stock pot, which will give you more room for even bunjaling) heat 3 tbsp oil on medium heat. Add chopped onions and cook until onions are soft and brown. While onions are browning, add curry powder, thyme, cumin, garlic,paprika, tomato paste to a small bowl and mix together. Add water to form a paste. When onions are soft and brown, add curry paste to onions and cook until all the water evaporates and curry past becomes slightly brown (about 3 mins). Then, add chicken thighs and toss with the curry paste to ensure that the chicken is completely coated. Cook for 20 minutes on medium heat (the juices from the chicken should form a sauce with the curry paste, but if this does not happen you can add 1/2 cup of water). After the chicken has cooked for 20 mins, increase the heat to high and cook until the curry cooks down or becomes a very thick sauce (about 5 mins).

Pair your curry with dhal and rice or roti and enjoy.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. I might get a lot of heat for not including any pepper in this dish (Guyanese people love their pepper), but I find the curry spicy enough.
2. You can substitute chicken thighs for chicken breast, or shrimp or any other protein
3. My mom (who is Indo-Guyanese) taught me how to make this dish and her mom taught her how to make it. So I’m passing on a family recipe.
4. I LOVE curry, but be warned the smell lingers in your home (and on your clothes and in your hair) for a while after you’ve cooked it. This could be good or bad, depending on how you look at it.

Bunjal chicken, bahgie, dhal and rice.

Bunjal chicken, bahgie, dhal and rice.

Happy Cooking!

(check down below for the other two dishes shown in the meal above)

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Not popeye’s spinach… Bahgie

Spinach/Bahgie

Today I am featuring dish number two in a three dish series. It will take you less time to cook this dish than it took me to write this post. Spinach or Bahgie, as it is known to most Indo-Guyanese (Guyanese with Indian ancestry), is a popular side dish for most curry and roti combinations. Or at least it’s that way in my home. It’s quick and easy and loaded with iron.

Let’s get right to the recipe cause I’m sure you don’t want to hear about how we grew spinach in our back yard when I was little and picked it fresh and cooked it every other week. Or do you (wink).

For this recipe I am using 3 bundles of spinach/bahgie. 3 tomatoes (diced), 5 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp brown sugar (not pictured) and salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp).

For this recipe I am using 3 bundles of spinach/bahgie. 3 tomatoes (diced), 5 cloves of garlic (chopped), 1 tsp brown sugar (not pictured) and salt to taste (about 1/2 tsp).

First you will need to wash the spinach/bahgie because it is usually loaded with sand. I'm washing mine in my sink but you can use a large bowl if you prefer. 1. Chop the stems off the spinach.2. Submerge spinach in water. Then wash each  hand full of spinach under running water.3. Chop spinach into large chunks.

First you will need to wash the spinach/bahgie because it is usually loaded with sand. I’m washing mine in my sink but you can use a large bowl if you prefer.
1. Chop the stems off the spinach.
2. Submerge spinach in water. Then wash each hand full of spinach under running water.
3. Chop spinach into large chunks.

Add 3 tbsp. oil to a large frying pan / saute pan on medium heat. When oil is hot add tomatoes and garlic and cook until tomatoes are soft. Add chopped spinach and toss until spinach and tomatoes are thoroughly mixed together.

Add 3 tbsp. oil to a large frying pan / saute pan on medium heat. When oil is hot add tomatoes and garlic and cook until tomatoes are soft.
Add chopped spinach and toss until spinach and tomatoes are thoroughly mixed together.

Cook down for 5 minutes (do not cover pan), then add sugar and salt to taste. Cook for an additional 10 minutes on high heat, Turning occasionally to ensure even cooking.

Cook down for 5 minutes (do not cover pan), then add sugar and salt to taste. Cook for an additional 10 minutes on high heat, Turning occasionally to ensure even cooking.

So in about 30 minutes (prep included), you have really yummy bahgie.

Bahgie(spinach), bunjal chicken, dhal and rice.

Bahgie(spinach), bunjal chicken, dhal and rice.

Bahgie (Spinach) (4-5 servings)

Ingredients:
3 bundles of spinach (chopped)
3 large tomatoes (diced)
5 cloves garlic (chopped)
3 tbsp. oil
1 tsp. brown sugar
salt to taste

Directions:
Heat 3 tbsp oil in a large saute pan or frying pan, on medium heat. Add tomatoes and garlic and cook until tomatoes are soft. Add spinach. Toss spinach until completely mixed with tomatoes. Cook down spinach for 5 minutes then add sugar and salt. Increase to high heat and let cook for an additional 5 minutes, turning spinach often to ensure even cooking. Spinach is finished when all the water has cooked off and spinach has a dark green color.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. This is not the only way to cook spinach but it’s the easiest way to cook bahgie.
2. Some people add coconut milk to their bahgie. If you like you can add 3 tbsp. coconut milk right when you add the spinach. It gives it a rich flavor.
3. Do not cover the spinach while cooking or it will “spring” a lot of water and you’ll likely end up with steamed spinach, which is also tasty but not exactly what we are going for here.
4. In the last 5 minutes, let the spinach saute on high heat, it will make a difference in the flavor.

Happy Cooking and don’t forget to subscribe, it’s free!

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Altee chunkay…Dhal

Dhal

There is a popular chutney (fusion of Indian and Soca music) song that says “Mammie baileh roti, daddy chunkay dhal.” Baileh (not sure how it is spelled to be honest) is the word Indo-Guyanese use to describe the rolling out of the dough to make a roti and chunkay is the word used for the final step in dhal making. Today I’m featuring dhal as the first recipe in a 3 part series to form one delicious meal, requested by my cousin-in-law.

Dhal goes great with rice or roti and is usually accompanied by something something (chicken, lamb, shrimp, fish) and a stewed or stir fried vegetable to form a symphony of flavors in your mouth. Okay, not sure where that “symphony of flavors” line came from, but I quite like it.

My mom taught me how to make dhal when I was 11 or 12. Back then we boiled the split peas until it was nice and soft, then we would blend everything together using a dhal gutney (again not sure how to spell this word and google is no help, but its a wooden spoon like think used in dhal making). Today, I cook my dhal in the pressure cooker and it ready in 20 mins. I use a hand held blender to blend everything up at the end of the process.

So here is my quick and easy dhal recipe.

1. In a pressure cooker, add 1 cup of split peas to 6 cups of water. 2.  Then add the following: 1 tbsp. curry powder (I am using my fav curry powder from Lalah's)3. 1 tbsp. chopped onions (I'm using the dried kind).4. 1 tbsp. cumin powder5. 1 tsp. salt6. 1 tsp. granulated garlic.

1. In a pressure cooker, add 1 cup of split peas to 6 cups of water.
2. Then add the following: 1 tbsp. curry powder (I am using my favorite curry powder from Lalah’s)
3. 1 tbsp. chopped onions (I’m using the dried kind).
4. 1 tbsp. cumin powder
5. 1 tsp. salt
6. 1 tsp. granulated garlic.

Stir it all together and pressure until split peas is completely soft (about 20 mins).

Stir it all together and pressure until split peas is completely soft (about 20 mins).

Finely chop 3 cloves garlic.Then, in a frying pan on medium heat cook garlic in 3 tbsp oil. Cook until garlic is really brown (almost burnt), then add to dhal. Blend together and serve! The garlic gives it a really nice roasted garlic flavor.

Next, finely chop 3 cloves garlic.
Then, in a frying pan on medium heat cook garlic in 3 tbsp oil.
Cook until garlic is really brown (almost burnt), then add to dhal. Blend together and serve! The garlic gives it a really nice roasted garlic flavor.

There you have it…Dhal.

Dhal with bahgie (spinach), bunjal chicken and rice.

Dhal with bahgie (spinach), bunjal chicken and rice.

Dhal

Ingredients:
1 cup yellow split peas
6 cups water
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp chopped onions (1/2 small onion)
1 tbsp cumin powder (you can also substitute with 1/2 tbsp geera and 1/2 tbsp garam masala)
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp granulated garlic (can substitute with 4 cloves garlic finely chopped)
3 cloves garlic (finely chopped
3 tbsp oil

Directions:
In a pressure cooker, add water, split peas, curry powder, onions, cumin powder, salt and hranulated. Mix together and pressure cook on high heat for 20 minutes or when split peas is completely soft and no longer grainy. Alternatively, if you don’t have a pressure cooker you can put all the ingredients in a large stock pot and cook until the split peas is soft. It will take about 40 minutes.

Chunkay the dhal: Warm 3 tbsp. oil in a frying pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add 3 cloves finely chopped garlic and cook until the garlic is almost burnt. Add, cooked garlic along with the oil used for frying to cooked split peas. Using a hand blender, blend until garlic is completely mixed into the split peas. If you don’t have a hand blender you can blend with a whisk then, let the dhal sit for at least 30 mins and then strain with a sieve to remove the bits of burnt garlic.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. There are different ways of making dhal. I find this version to be quickest and tastiest.
2. I can’t tell the difference between dhal that has been pressure cooked and dhal that has been slow cooked.
3. Many Indo-Guyanese add pepper to their dhal. I find that there is enough spiciness in the curry powder so I don’t add any additional pepper.
4. You can definitely keep the garlic in the dhal and serve it that way. In fact, that’s how my mom makes it and how I used to eat it until I got married and my husband said how much he hated the burnt pieces of garlic.

Stay tuned for the recipes for the other two dishes shown in the pic above (bahgie and bunjal chicken).

Happy Cooking!

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Sunday Brunch…salt fish and bake

Salt fish & Bake

Salt fish & Bake

As I started editing this post, I tried to think of a great anecdote for salt fish and bake, or to muster up some child hood memory where it was first introduced to me and then it became quite obvious that I eat this dish so regularly that it is part of my being. Does that make sense? Let me explain. I make bakes at least once a week. It is so easy to make that sometimes I have it for dinner. I don’t always make salt fish, but when I do the combination of the two is, for me, the definition of simple comfort food.

Now for the story. When I was a little girl, the kind of salt fish we had access to, was filled with bones. Bones that had to be picked out after boiling and before sauteing. It was quite a task and often one given to the children. I loved eating salt fish and bake but HATED having to pick bones from the fish before my mom could cook it.

In these lovely United States, salted cod filets are boneless and such a welcome joy to cook. Progress is not having to pick bones from salt fish! Hilarious.

Salt fish and bake, or bake and salt fish, however you say it, is great for Sunday brunch, or any meal on any day if you ask me or any other Guyanese.

Oh I should tell you although it is called “bake” it is actually deep dried. Not quite sure how we got to calling it “bake,” but call it what you want, it’s pure deliciousness.

And now the recipe. We’ll start with the bakes first because the dough takes a bit of time to get it just right.

For my version of bakes you will need, 3 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp baking powder and 1 1/2 cups of water.Add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

For my version of bakes you will need, 3 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 2 tsp baking powder and 1 1/2 cups of water.
First, add all the dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl.

Mix the dry ingredients together. Then, make a hole in the center and add water.Mix together to for a soft down. Cover down with a damp paper towel and let sit for at least 30 mins.

Mix the dry ingredients together.
Then, make a hole or well (if you’re sophisticated) in the center of the dry ingredients and add water.
Mix together to form a soft dough. Cover dough with a damp paper towel and let sit for at least 30 mins.

After about 30 mins, on a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a log. Then cut into nine pieces. Here I've made mine into 6 pieces because I will cut my bakes into triangles (see below).

After the dough has sat for about 30 mins, on a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a log.
Then cut into nine pieces. Here I’ve made mine into 6 pieces because I will cut my bakes into triangles (see below). Knead each piece into a small round ball and let sit for another 15 to 30 minutes.

If you separated your dough into 9 pieces, roll each piece into a round disk. Because broke the dough into six pieces, I rolled the dough into a large disk then cut it into 4 (like the photo on the left). Then, add 4 cups of oil (canola or vegetable oil) to a pot deep enough for frying. When oil is hot but not smoking (about 300 C) fry bake one at a time. Cook on each side  until brown, then flip to the other side. (See video below)

If you separated your dough into 9 pieces, roll each piece into a round disk. Because I separated my dough into six pieces, I rolled the dough into a large disk then cut it into 4 (like the photo on the left).

Now for the cooking…

Add 4 cups of oil (canola or vegetable oil) to a pot deep enough for frying. When oil is hot but not smoking (about 300 F) fry bake one at a time.
Cook on each side until brown (about 2 mins. each), then flip to the other side. (See video below). After frying place in a dish lined with paper towels and allow some of the excess oil to be absorbed by the paper towels before serving.

The finished product!

The finished product!

Now for the salt fish recipe. Here I am using salted cod.

1. Add salt fish and 4 cups water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. 2. Boil for 15 minutes. 3. Then drain water and add 4 more cups of water and repeat step 2. Drain

1. Add salt fish and 4 cups water to a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2. Boil for 15 minutes. 3. Then drain water and add 4 more cups of water and repeat step 2.
4. Drain, let cool then flake with a fork (or your fingers), until salt fish is nice and flaky.

You will need, 2 tomatoes (diced). 5 heads of green onions (shallot for those in Guyana) , 1 tbsp. dried thyme and a pinch of cayenne pepper (not photoed)Then,add 3 tbsp. oil to a saute pan on medium heat (I'm using light tasting olive oil). When oil is hot add, tomatoes, 2/3 of green onions (reserve some for garnish) and garlic.Cook until tomatoes are soft, then add flaky salt fish, cayenne pepper and dried thyme. Mix together and let cook for 10 to 15 mins turning often to insure even cooking. After about 10 to 15 mins, remove from heat and add reserved green onions.

As seasoning for the fish you will need, 2 tomatoes (diced). 5 heads of green onions (shallot for those in Guyana), 1 cup mixed bell peppers (not photoed), 1 tbsp. dried thyme and a pinch of cayenne pepper (not photoed)
1. Add 3 tbsp. oil to a saute pan on medium heat (I’m using light tasting olive oil).
2. When oil is hot add, tomatoes, 2/3 of green onions (reserve some for garnish), bell peppers and garlic.
3. Cook until tomatoes are soft, then add flaky salt fish, cayenne pepper and dried thyme.
4. Mix together and let cook for another 10 to 15 mins turning often to ensure even cooking.
5. Remove from heat and add reserved green onions.

Put the two together (however you like) and enjoy!

Salt fish and bake

Salt fish and bake

Salt Fish and Bake (5 to 6 servings)

Ingredients:

Bakes (makes 8 to 9)
3 cups flour (and 1/4 cup for kneading)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cups water
4 cups oil for frying (Canola or vegetable oil)

Salt fish
1 lb salted cod or other salted fish
About 8 cups water for boiling
2 large tomatoes (diced)
1/2 cup mixed bell peppers (I’m using frozen peppers in this recipe)
5 heads of green onions (finely chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
1 tbsp. dried thyme
pinch of cayenne pepper

Direction:
Bakes: In a large mixing bowl, add flour, sugar, baking powder and mix together thoroughly. You can use a whisk for this step or your hands. Make a well (hole) in the center of the mixed dry ingredients, add water and knead to form a soft dough. Knead together until dough is smooth. Cover with a damp paper towel and let sit for at least 30 minutes. After the dough has sat for 30 minutes, roll into a log on a floured surface and cut into 9 pieces. Knead each piece into a smooth ball. Cover with a damp paper towel and let sit for another 15 to 30 minutes.

When the dough is ready for frying, in a pot large enough for deep frying heat up 4 cups of oil. The oil should be about 300 F. If you bring it to 350 F(the regular temperature for deep frying, your bakes will burn and the inside will be raw). Roll each round dough balls into flat disks and submerge into the oil. The dough will initially sink to the bottom of the pot, then it will rise to the surface and begin to swell. After about 2 minutes or when the oil side of the bake is brown, flip the bake over to brown the top side (see video above).  Once both sides are brown, remove from oil and place in a dish lined with paper towels.

Salt fish: Add salt fish and 4 cups of water to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 to 15 minutes. You may need to reduce the heat as the salt fish sometimes boils over and causes quite a mess! After fish has boiled for 15 minutes, drain water, then add an additional 4 cups of water, bring to a boil and boil for another 15 minutes. Once the fish has boiled for another 15 minutes, remove from water and let cool. When fish cools, flake with a fork or your hands until all the flesh is completely flaky.

Seasoning the salt fish: Add 3 tbsp. oil to a large saute pan on medium heat. When oil is hot, add tomatoes, 2/3 green onions, bell peppers and garlic. Cook until tomatoes are soft, then add flaky fish, thyme and cayenne pepper. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even cooking. Once the fish has cooked for 15 minutes, remove from the heat and add the remaining green onions.

Tips and Ramblings

1. You can make bakes as often as you like. It goes well with eggs, fried fish, cheese, peanut butter. Pretty much anything you like.
2. I don’t add any additional salt to the fish because even after boiling it is still quite salty.
3. Lots of people add butter or margarine to the dough when making bakes, mine are tender without it so I don’t add any additional fat.
3. Some people will say what I am making is called floats and bakes are a lot more dense. To this I say, I grew up calling this bake, so bake it is.
4. If you roll the dough out too thick before frying the bake will be raw on the inside.
5. If the oil is too hot and the bake fries too quickly, it will be raw on the inside.

If you find these recipes helpful, drop me a line and let me know and don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!

Happy Cooking.

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30 Minute Meal… Bora two ways.

Green Beans and Shrimp

Green Beans and Shrimp with rice.

When I was a little girl in Guyana, there were definitely week day meals and weekend meals. On the weekend we cooked “fancy dishes” like fried rice and baked chicken or cook-up rice, because that’s when you were most likely to have a visiting relative. Guyanese customs stipulate that who ever walks through your doors must be fed. And that’s exactly what happens when you visit anyone in Guyana. Well, that’s what happened when I was growing up, not sure if it’s quite the same now. Okay, I am straying from the top at hand. During the week we made simple dishes that were often served with rice. Guyanse vegetable stews and stir-fries often consist of one vegetable and a protein. Simple and delicious.

Now about this Bora situation. Bora is the Guyanese word for Chinese long bean and is quite delicious when paired with meat or fish. As you guys know I live in Denver now, where I can only find Chinese long bean at the H Mart (Asian Supermarket) in the summer, so I’ve discovered that when cooked with the right spices green beans have the same flavor profile.

In this recipe I am using frozen petite whole beans (bought from the freezer section in WalMart) and pairing it with Shrimp for my husband and just stir fried with tomatoes for moi, since I don’t eat shrimp. The recipe takes about 30mins and is a great mid-week meal for two. So if you’ve got 30 minutes, you’ve got dinner!

First let’s get our rice on the stove.

First you will need 2 cups of rice (I'm using parboiled long grain rice). Then, 2 cups water.Add rice and water to a saucepan and bring to boil on medium to high heat.Let boil for 5 minutes then reduce to low heat and let simmer until rice is fully cooked and all the water has evaporated.

First you will need 2 cups of rice (I’m using parboiled long grain rice). Then, 4 cups water.
Add rice and water to a saucepan and bring to boil on medium to high heat.
Let boil for 5 minutes then reduce to low heat and let simmer until rice is fully cooked and all the water has evaporated.

While the rice is cooking, let’s prep the veggies and the shrimp. First the veggies.

You will need 1/2 onion (thinly sliced), 2 tomatoes (diced), 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped), 1 tbsp. dried thyme, 1 tsp. brown sugar and a pinch of salt and black pepper.1. In a large skillet, sauté onions until soft and brown.2. Add tomatoes, garlic, thyme, brown sugar and salt and pepper. 3. Cook until tomatoes are soft and cooked down.

You will need 1/2 onion (thinly sliced), 2 tomatoes (diced), 3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped), 1 tbsp. dried thyme, 1 tsp. brown sugar and a pinch of salt and black pepper.
1. In a large skillet, sauté onions with about 3 tbsp. oil, until soft and brown.
2. Add tomatoes, garlic, thyme, brown sugar and salt and pepper.
3. Cook until tomatoes are soft and cooked down.

Defrost the green beans. If you are pressed for time you can run it under hot water. Then chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Once you've chopped all of the green beans, add to the cooked tomatoes and seasoning and sauté for about 10 minutes tossing constantly to ensure even cooking.

Defrost the green beans. If you are pressed for time you can run it under hot water. Then chop into 1/2 inch pieces.
Once you’ve chopped all of the green beans, add to the cooked tomatoes and seasoning and sauté for about 10 minutes tossing constantly to ensure even cooking.

Now for the shrimp…

Peel and devein about 1/4lb shrimp. Season with salt and pepper, thyme, garlic powder, paprika and  pinch of cumin. Set aside and let marinade for 10 to 15 mins. Then, add 1 tbsp. butter to a warm skillet (on low to medium heat). Once butter has melted ad shrimp.Let cook for 2 minutes on each side, then remove from heat.

Peel and devein about 1/4lb shrimp. Season with salt and pepper, thyme, garlic powder, paprika and pinch of cumin. Set aside and let marinade for 10 to 15 mins. Then, add 1 tbsp. butter to a warm skillet (on low to medium heat). Once butter has melted ad shrimp. Let cook for 2 minutes on each side, then remove from heat.

Bringing the dish together…

Separate the cooked beans into two portions, leaving 1/2 in the skillet. Add shrimp to the beans in the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat. (It is important not to overcook the shrimp or it will become tough).

Separate the cooked beans into two portions, leaving 1/2 in the skillet. Add shrimp to the beans in the skillet and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat. (It is important not to overcook the shrimp or it will become tough).

And there you have it, bora (or for the sake of argument, green beans) two ways. Enjoy!

Green Beans and Shrimp with Rice

Ingredients:

Rice

2 cups long grain parboiled rice

4  cups water

Green Beans and Shrimp

1 packet frozen green beans (chopped into 1/2 inch pieces)

3 tbsp. oil

1/2 onion (thinly sliced)

2 tomatoes (diced)

3 to 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

1 tbsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Shrimp

1/4 lb large shrimp (peeled and deveined)

1 tsp. butter

1 tsp. dried thyme

1/4 tsp. paprika

1/4 tsp. granulated garlic or garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Add rice and water to a saucepan on medium to high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes, then reduce to low heat and let simmer until all the water has evaporated and rice is fully cooked (about 10 minutes).

Add thyme, paprika, garlic, and salt and pepper to shrimp and set aside.

Warm oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onions and sauté until onions are brown and soft. Add tomatoes, garlic, thyme, brown sugar, salt and pepper and cook until tomatoes are soft. Add chopped green beans and sauté for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, tossing constantly until beans are cooked.

In a medium or small skillet on medium to low heat, melt 1 tsp. butter. Once butter is completely melted add seasoned shrimp. Cook (without turning) for 2 minutes or until shrimp turns pink, then flip on other side and cook for another 2 mins. Remove from heat and set aside.

Separate green beans into two portions, leaving one portion in the skillet. Add shrimp to green beans in the skillet and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

Tips and Ramblings.

1. Frozen foods get a bad wrap but when they are fresh frozen they taste just as delicious as the fresh stuff. When fresh green beans are available I opt for those.

2. You can substitute shrimp in this recipe for chicken and, or beef

3. Although I don’t eat shrimp, my husband loves it and I enjoy cooking it for him

4. This meal probably takes less than 30 minutes to cook, in all honesty, but giving yourself a little bit of wiggle room is always a good thing.

Happy Cooking!

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Dessert Quickie… Baked Custard and cinnamon sugar berries.

Baked custard with cinnamon sugar dusted berries

Baked custard with cinnamon sugar dusted berries

My earliest memory of baked custard is of my auntie Cheryl bringing it home from work. Auntie Cheryl worked as a cook in the kitchen at Georgetown Public hospital in Guyana. I spent some August (summer) vacations during my adolescence with her and she made lots of yummy treats for me. I remember her custard always came in an aluminum pan with a collapsible handle. Today, the taste of her baked custard still lingers in my memory and I think I’ve come as close as I can to replicating it.

Now for this recipe… I have to warn that, although baked custard is simple and quick to make its deliciousness is addictive and you might find yourself making it quite often.

You will need these simple ingredients.1 can condensed milk (I'm using the fat free version)2 cans evaporated milk4 large eggs1 tsp. vanilla extract1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg

You will need these simple ingredients.
1 can condensed milk (I’m using the fat free version – which is a joke cause it’s pure sugar!)
2 cans evaporated milk
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg

1. In a saucepan whisk together condensed milk and evaporated milk and warm until almost boiling.2. Whisk eggs together in a large mixing bowl and add, essence and about 1/4 tsp. nutmeg.3. Slowly add small amounts of warmed milk (about 1/2 cup at a time) to the egg mixture, while whisking vigorously. (This is called tempering the eggs).4. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish. Here I am using a 2 1/2 quart earthen baking dish.5. Grate some fresh nutmeg over the mixture and bake for 30 mins at 350 degrees.

1. In a saucepan whisk together condensed milk and evaporated milk and warm until almost boiling.
2. Whisk eggs together in a large mixing bowl and add essence and about 1/4 tsp. nutmeg.
3. Slowly add small amounts of warmed milk (about 1/2 cup at a time) to the egg mixture, while whisking vigorously. (This is called tempering the eggs).
4. Pour mixture into a greased baking dish. Here I am using a 2 1/2 quart earthen baking dish.
5. Grate some fresh nutmeg over the mixture and bake for 30 mins at 350 degrees.

Baked Custard

Ingredients:

1 can condensed milk

2 cans evaporated milk (substitute for 3 cups of whole milk, if you prefer)

4 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.

In a saucepan combine condensed milk and evaporated milk and stir until completely mixed together. Warm on low to medium heat until almost boiling, then set aside. In a large mixing bowl combine eggs vanilla extract and about 1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg. Whisk until eggs are fluffy.  Next, add small amounts of warm milk to the eggs mixture while whisking vigorously. This is called tempering the eggs and is an important step to prevent the eggs from cooking and becoming scrambled eggs. Once the milk is completely added to the eggs mixture, pour mixture into a greased baking dish. You may also use small individual baking dishes for a more personalized touch.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 mins.

Happy Cooking.

 

1. In a bowl mix together1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon.2. Add 1 cup mixed berries to sugar mixture.

1. In a bowl mix together1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp. ground cinnamon.
2. Add 1 cup mixed berries to sugar mixture.

Cinnamon Berries:

Ingredients:

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 cup of mixed berries (Strawberries, raspberries and blueberries).

Directions:

Add sugar and cinnamon to a small bowl and mix together. Wash berries. While berries are still wet add to mixture.  Mix until berries are completely coated with the cinnamon sugar. Add, as a garnish, to your favorite deserts.

Tips and Ramblings:

1. Most people will be surprised that I am not making this is a water bath (placing the baking dish in a pan of water while baking). Well, a long time ago (out of pure laziness), I decided to do away with the whole water bath situation and found that not only was my custard still delicious but it was nice and thick and creamy and delicious. Oh right I said delicious before. Well it’s true.

2. You can substitute whole, skim, 2%, 1% even almond milk for the evaporated milk in this recipe. Ok, I’ve never tried almond milk but I’m sure it would work too.

3. I baked my custard in a large baking dish so that we could decide how much we wanted when serving ourselves (family style). The custard just sits in the fridge like a tub of ice cream and everyone takes as they like. By everyone I mean my husband since it’s just us and our 6 mth old. You can choose to bake yours in individual baking dishes for a bit more elegant appeal when serving, especially if serving for a dinner party or brunch.

4. I am using frozen berries in my recipe above. It’s winter y’all and fresh berries just don’t taste or look the same as they do when they are in season!

Happy Cooking.

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Happy New Year…with black-eyed peas cook-up rice.

Black-eyed peas cook-up rice, with pan-fried trout and green salad

Black-eyed peas cook-up rice, with pan-fried trout and green salad

Someone recently said, “You en Guyanese if you not eating black-eyed cook up on old year’s night!”

This is very true.

As a child growing up in Guyana, New Year’s eve was as much about ringing in the new year, as it was about my mom’s black-eye peas cook-up rice, fried fish and plantains. At the stroke of mid night Guyanese everywhere are loading up a plate of deliciousness and ringing in the new year.

Black-eyed peas is said to bring wealth and good fortune so it makes sense to have some right at midnight to help kick start the new year.

Cook-up rice is a one pot dish where the main ingredients, rice and peas, are cooked in a coconut broth. Meat, poultry, smoked fish and sometimes dried shrimp are often added. Carrots and other root vegetables can be added as well. Most Guyanese make cook-up rice on Saturdays as it is an easy, uncomplicated, comfort food and can go a far way if unexpected visitors show up at your door.

My version is a classic black-eyed peas cook-up rice, served with pan fried trout.

Enjoy and Happy Cooking.

Season beef with onions, garlic, thyme, salt, casreep and black pepper

In a pressure cooker, on medium heat sauté seasoned beef for 10 mins.

Add black-eyed peas (that has been soaked over night) to beef. Then add 3 cups of water and pressure cook for 30 mins. Once the peas and beef are fully cooked transfer to a stock pot. I use an 8-quart stock pot.

Add black-eyed peas (that has been soaked over night) to beef. Then add 3 cups of water and pressure cook for 30 mins. Once the peas and beef are fully cooked transfer to a stock pot. I use an 8-quart stock pot.

Add rice and coconut milk. Cook on high until it comes to a boil, then simmer on medium to low heat until rice is fully cooked.

Add rice and coconut milk. Cook on high until it comes to a boil, then simmer on medium to low heat until rice is fully cooked.

When all of the liquids are almost evaporated from the rice, add freshly chopped basil.

When the liquids are almost evaporated from the rice, add freshly chopped basil.

Black-eyed Peas Cook-up Rice (6 servings)

Ingredients:

1lb stew beef

1 cup dried black-eyed peas (soaked over night and drained)

2 cups parboiled long grain rice

1/4 cup oil (preferably canola or olive oil)

1 can coconut milk (about 1 1/2 cups)

3 cups of water

1 onion (chopped)

2 tomatoes (diced)

5 cloves garlic (finely chopped or grated)

2 tbsp Thyme (preferably Guyanese Thyme)

1 tbsp Casreep (or Soy Sauce)

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

A handful of freshly chopped basil

Directions:

In a medium bowl, add beef, onion, garlic, tomatoes, casreep, brown sugar, salt and black pepper. Mix together and let marinade for 20 to 30 mins. Add oil to a pressure cooker on medium heat, and sauté beef for 10 mins. Add black-eyed peas and 3 cups of water and pressure cook for 20 mins or until peas and beef are fully cooked. Once the peas and beef are cooked, transfer (along with any remaining liquids) to a stock pot (any pot large enough to cook 3 cups of rice).  Add rice, coconut milk and 2 cups of water to peas and beef. Cover pot and cook on high until liquids come to a boil. Once boiling cook for 10 mins, then reduce to low heat and let simmer until rice is completely cooked and all of the liquids have evaporated. Stir rice every 5 to 10 mins while it simmers to ensure it cooks evenly. When the rice is almost finished add a handful of freshly chopped basil and give it a quick stir. Remove from heat when rice is completely cooked.

Pan fried Trout (6 servings)

1. Cut Trout into 2 inch strips. 2. Season with Thyme, minced onions, granulated garlic, lemon and pepper seasoning, salt and paprika.3. Mix 1 cup Italian bread crumbs and 1 cup flour.4. Coat fish with flour and bread crumbs mixture

1. Cut Trout into 2 inch strips.
2. Season with thyme, minced onions, granulated garlic, lemon and pepper seasoning, salt and paprika.
3. Mix 1 cup Italian bread crumbs and 1 cup flour.
4. Coat fish with flour and bread crumbs mixture

5. Add fish to hot oil in skillet and fry for 3 mins or until brown on each side.6. Place cooked fish on a few sheets of paper towel and let rest for a few minutes before serving. 6. Let

5. Add fish to a skillet with hot oil and fry for about 3 to 5 mins or until brown on each side.
6. Place cooked fish on a few sheets of paper towel and let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Ingredients:

1lb. trout filets (fresh or frozen)

1 tbsp. thyme (preferably Guyanese thyme)

1 tbsp. minced onions

1 tsp. granulated garlic

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. lemon and pepper seasoning (can be substituted for fresh lemon juice and ground black pepper)

1 tsp. paprika

1 cup Italian bread crumbs

1 cup flour

1 cup of canola oil

Directions:

Wash and dry fish. Cut fish into 2 inch strips. Season with thyme, onions, garlic, salt, lemon and pepper seasoning and paprika. Let marinade for 30 mins. In a small plate, mix bread crumbs and flour together. Coat fish with bread crumbs and flour mixture. Add oil to a large skillet on medium to medium high heat. Once oil is hot (you can test this by sprinkling a bit of flour in the oil, if it sizzles, the oil is hot), add pieces of floured/breaded fish skin side down. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the skin is brown. Turn fish over to the flesh side and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until brown. Remove from oil and let rest for a few minutes before serving.

Tips:

1. I usually season my meat and fish the night before cooking, but you can also season the meat and the fish 20 to 30 minutes before you begin cooking.

2. After frying, I let the fish rest on pieces of paper towel to remove any excess oil.

3. When making cook-up rice I sometimes substitute fresh tomatoes for fire roasted tomatoes (from the can).

4. I usually use fresh lemons when cooking fish, but lemon and pepper season proved to be a good substitute when I went to the refrigerator and discovered I was out of lemons. (bows head in shame)

5. Cook-up rice is great by itself but even better with fried fish or chicken. (Fried food makes everything better!)

Happy Cooking.

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