Monthly Archives: April 2013

Guyanese Bread…Whole Wheat Plait Loaf

Whole Wheat Plait Bread

I love oven fresh bread but I don’t bake bread often. I mostly make homemade bread when I make pepperpot, once or twice a year. So when, one of my subscribers asked for a bread recipe and wanted a whole wheat version, I was super excited to get in the kitchen. I know, I know. I must be some kind of crazy person that gets excited about baking. But, I really do.

For this recipe I made a video tutorial. As usual there is no audio, so don’t adjust your volume. :-).

Whole Wheat Plait Bread

Whole Wheat Plait Loaf (Makes 1 loaf)

Ingredients:
4 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp dry active yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup butter
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tbsp salt
2 tbsp oil (for oiling the bowl)

Directions:
Combine 1 tbsp brown sugar, yeast and water in a small bowl. Mix until sugar dissolves. Let sit until yeast ferments (about 5 minutes). Combine milk and butter in a measuring cup. Microwave on high until butter melts. Set aside and let cool. When cool add fermented yeast. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, remaining brown sugar and salt. Mix together. Then, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Add milk and yeast mixture to the dry ingredients. Knead together to make a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface and continue to knead for 5 to 10 minutes. Shape into a tight ball. Place in a grease bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and let sit until dough doubles in size (about 1 hour). After dough rises to double its size, separate into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a strip. Plait strips together. Place plaited dough into a greased loaf pan. Cover with a damp paper towel and let sit until doubles in size. Once dough doubles, brush with a bit of water and bake for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. When bread is golden brown, remove from oven and brush top with butter. Remove from pan and let cool.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. I live in dry Denver that is also 5280 feet above sea level, so bread baking is often a challenge. I brush the top of my bread with water to prevent it from getting crusty while baking. I also bake it low and slow. Most bread recipes will say bake at 375 or 400 degrees. Try this temperature first and if for some reason it doesn’t work you can increase the heat.

Happy Baking!

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Carrot Pilaf…and Fried Tilapia with a cucumber salsa

Carrot Pilaf and Tilapia

During this week, I had a craving for tilapia. So I made a quick rice pilaf and fried some tilapia. The meal felt like it was missing something. So I went to my refrigerator, pulled a few ingredients and created a cucumber, avocado and tomato salsa. I tossed it all in some lime juice and cilantro and the flavors were just what the fish was missing. Plus, the lime juice over the fish was pretty tasty.  This meal is perfect for a weekday dinner and the left overs were equally delicious.

 

First the pilaf…

 

In large stock pot on medium heat, saute1 large onion (thinly slices), 6 cloves of garlic chopped and about a handful of plum tomatoes (halved). I used about 3 tbsp of canola oil.  When the onions are a little brown, add 1 cup of shredded carrots, followed by 2 cups of rice.  Mixed together, then add 1 tbsp dried thyme, about 3 tsp salt, and a pinch of fresh ground pepper.  Then, add 4 cups of vegetable stock or water.

In a large stock pot on medium heat, saute 1 large onion (thinly slices), 6 cloves of garlic chopped and about a handful of plum tomatoes (halved).
When the onions are a little brown, add 1 cup of shredded carrots, followed by 2 cups of rice.
Mixed together, then add 1 tbsp dried thyme, about 3 tsp salt, and a pinch of fresh ground pepper.
Then, add 4 cups of vegetable stock or water.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer until rice cooks and all of the liquid evaporates.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer until rice cooks and all of the liquid evaporates.

The finished product…

Carrot and Rice Pilaf

Now the tilapia…

First I washed the fish with some lemon juice and salt.  Then, I created a dry rub with:1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp fresh thyme, 1 tbsp dried  oregano, 1/2 tsp cayenne powder and 2 tsp salt.  Coat fish in dry rub and let marinate for about 30 minutes.

First I washed the fish with some lemon juice and salt.
Then, I created a dry rub with: 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp fresh thyme, 1 tbsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp cayenne powder and 1 tsp salt.
Coat fish in dry rub and let marinate for about 30 minutes.

Frying the fish…

Combine a cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs and a cup of flour. Mix together thoroughly.

Combine a cup of seasoned Italian bread crumbs and a cup of flour. Mix together thoroughly.

Coat fish in the bread crumb mixture.

Coat fish in the bread crumb mixture.

Add about a cup of oil to a frying pan on high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add flour coated fish. Fry on each side until fish is golden brown (about 2 minutes). Drain fish on a few sheets of paper towels to remove excess oil.

Add about a cup of oil to a frying pan on high heat.
When the oil is hot but not smoking, add flour coated fish.
Fry on each side until fish is golden brown (about 2 minutes).
Drain fish on a few sheets of paper towels to remove excess oil.

 

For the salsa…

Peel and dice 1 large cucumber and 1/2 of a large avocado.  Finely chop 1 slice of red onions. Cut 1 cup of plumb tomatoes in half.  Combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Then, add the juice of 1 lime.  Finally add 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, 1 tsp salt and a pinch of ground black pepper and a pinch of ground cayenne pepper. Mix together.

Peel and dice 1 large cucumber and 1/2 of a large avocado.
Finely chop 1 slice of red onions.
Cut 1 cup of plum tomatoes in half.
Combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
Then, add the juice of 1 lime.
Finally add 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, 1 tsp salt and a pinch of ground black pepper and a pinch of ground cayenne pepper.
Mix together.

Bringing it together…

Top the fried tilapia with the cucumber salsa, be sure to get some of the lime juice on the fish.

Top the fried tilapia with the cucumber salsa, be sure to get some of the lime juice on the fish.

Put the rice and fish together and enjoy!

Put the rice and fish together and enjoy!

 

Carrot Pilaf (Serves 6 large portions)

Ingredients:
1 onion, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup plum, halved
2 tsp salt
3 tbsp oil
1 tbsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 cup of shredded carrots
2 cups rice
4 cups vegetable broth or water

Directions:
Add 3 tbsp oil to a large stock pot on medium heat. When oil is hot, saute onions, garlic and tomatoes. Once onions cook and become a bit soft and brown, add shredded carrots. Then, add thyme, salt, cayenne powder and rice. Mix together then add vegetable broth or water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and let simmer until rice cooks. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

 

Tilapia (serves 4)

Ingredients:
4 tilapia filets
2 lemons (juiced) and 1 tbsp salt (for washing fish)
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
1 cup flour
1 cup oil for frying

Directions:
Wash fish with lemon juice and salt. Make a dry rub by combining thyme, granulated garlic, salt, oregano and cayenne powder. Completely coat tilapia and let marinate for at least 30 minutes. When fish is ready for frying, combine bread crumbs and flour and coat fish with the mixture. Add oil to a large frying pan on high heat. When oil is hot but not smoking, add flour coated fish. Fry on each side until golden brown (about 2 to 3 minutes each). Remove from oil and drain on a few sheets of paper towel.

Cucumber, avocado and tomato salsa (serves 4)

Ingredients:
1 large cucumber (peeled and diced)
1/2 large avocado (peeled and diced)
1 cup plum tomatoes (halved)
1/4 cup cilantro (chopped)
1 limes (juiced)
pinch of cracked black pepper
pinch of cayenne powder

Directions:
Combine cucumber, avocado, tomatoes in a small mixing bowl. Add lime juice followed by cilantro, black pepper, salt and cayenne powder. Mix together and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. When I made the rice I added way too much oil for sauteing the onions. I was busy getting my 9 month old out of the kitchen and into his play yard and wasn’t paying attention. The rice came out a little bit greasy but it was still pretty delicious. So be sure not to use more that about 3 tbsp oil.
2. You could add coconut milk to this dish if you like, but since it’s a pilaf I skipped the coconut milk.
3. You could add about 1 tbsp brown sugar for a little touch of sweetness to the rice.
4. Don’t over cook the tilapia or it will be pretty dry. You want it to have a bit of crunch but still moist.
5. Be sure to get some of the lime juice on the fish, it will give it a really tasty flavor.

Happy Cooking!

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Oxtail Stew… Jamaican Oxtail Stew

Oxtail Stew

I know I’m not Jamaican but I can cook a mean oxtail stew, Jamaican style. Two years ago when I moved to Colorado, one day I just had a craving for the oxtail stew my cousin and I got from the little Jamaican cook shop at Flatbush junction in Brooklyn. This was the best oxtail stew I ever tasted. It had the right amount of fat, tenderness and gravy. So I tried to replicate it. First going off of my own taste buds and then by looking up authentic Jamaican oxtail recipes online. Soon I realized that oxtail stew was very similar to Guyanese beef stew, with the exception of all spice. All spice is what gave oxtail stew it’s unique Jamaican flavor. If you’re not sure what all spice it just do a quick internet search. So my recipe  follows my typical Guyanese beef stew recipe with loads of all spice!

The key to flavorful oxtail stew, is to marinate the oxtail overnight…

I'm using about 3 lbs of oxtail that I've trimmed most of the fat from.In a large bowl combine oxtail, 1 large onion diced, 6 cloves garlic finely chopped, 2 tbsp all spice, 1/4 cup cassareep or soy sauce, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper.Mix together until meat is fully coated with other ingredients.Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

I’m using about 3 lbs of oxtail that I’ve trimmed most of the fat from.
In a large bowl combine oxtail, 1 large onion diced, 6 cloves garlic finely chopped, 2 tbsp all spice, 1/4 cup cassareep or soy sauce, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper.
Mix together until meat is fully coated. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

Add 3 tbsp oil to a large stock pot, or pressure pot on high heat. (I'm using a pressure pot). When oil is hot, add marinated oxtail. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, turning constantly.This step helps to seal in the flavor. Then, Add 3 to 5 cups of water. If you are using a pressure cooker. Cook until meat is tender (about 30 minutes).If cooking in a regular pot, cover and cook on medium heat until tender, about 1 hour.

Add 3 tbsp oil to a large stock pot, or pressure pot on high heat. (I’m using a pressure pot).
When oil is hot, add marinated oxtail. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, turning constantly.
This step helps to seal in the flavor. Then, Add 3 to 5 cups of water.
If you are using a pressure cooker. Cook until meat is tender (about 30 minutes).
If cooking in a regular pot, cover and cook on medium heat until tender, about 1 hour.

Meat falling off the bone is a good indication that the oxtail is fully cooked!

Meat falling off the bone is a good indication that the oxtail is fully cooked!

If you are using a pressure cooker, once the meat cooks, reduce the heat to medium to low heat and let simmer until stew thickens.

If you are using a pressure cooker, once the meat cooks, reduce the heat to medium to low heat and let simmer until stew thickens. At this point you should taste the stew and make any flavor adjustments you need. I added a bit more salt and sugar to mine.

Serve the stew up with your favorite side dishes. I'm having mine with pigeon peas and rice and a mango and pepper salsa!!!

Serve the stew with your favorite side dishes. I’m having mine with pigeon peas and rice and a mango and bell pepper salsa!!!

Oxtail Stew (Serves 6)

Ingredients:
3lbs oxtail (most of fat trimmed from meat)
1 large onion diced
6 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/4 cup cassareep
2 tbsp all spice
1 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp tomato paste
About 4 cups water

Directions:

Combine oxtail, onion, garlic, cassareep, all spice, salt, black pepper, sugar and tomato paste in a large mixing bowl. Mix together and let marinate overnight. Then, add 3 tbsp oil to a large stock pot or pressure cooker on medium heat. When oil is hot, add oxtail and saute for 5 to 10 minutes turning meat constantly. Add water and cook until oxtail is tender. If pressure cooking this will take about 30 minutes. If conventional cooking, it will take about an hour. Once the oxtail is tender, reduce heat and simmer until stew is thick.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. I tried making this stew with soy sauce and it didn’t have the same flavor.
2. You can also make this dish in a slow cooker.
3. In another version of this I added tomatoes and it added a nice amount of acidity to the stew.
4. I’m not Jamaican so please, if you have a better version of this stew, don’t be afraid to share.

Happy Cooking!

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Curry in a hurry… Shrimp Curry!

Shrimp Curry

I don’t eat shrimp, but my husband loves it! So I make it at least once a month. A few nights ago I made aloo parathas and for my hubby I made shrimp curry and channa curry for myself. It really only took about 20 minutes to make this curry. Shrimp is so delicate that you have to be careful or you can overcook it.

Let’s get to it…

First I washed, the peeled and deveined shrimp with some salt and lime juice.

First washed, the peeled and de-veined shrimp with some salt and lime juice.

Then I seasoned the shrimp with 1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp garam masala, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tbsp granulated garlic and a pinch of ground black pepper.

Season the shrimp with 1 tbsp curry powder, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp garam masala, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tbsp granulated garlic and a pinch of ground black pepper.

Let the shrimp marinate while you prepare the curry sauce.

Finely chop 1/2 onion, 6 cloves of garlic using a food processor.Then add 1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp granulated garlic powder and 1/2 tsp salt.Mix together to form a paste.

Finely chop 1/2 onion, 6 cloves of garlic and 1/4 cup water using a food processor.
Then add 1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp granulated garlic powder, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp garam masala and 1/2 tsp salt.
Mix together to form a paste.

Cook seasoned shrimp in a small frying/saute pan with about 2 tbsp oil. Cook on each side for about 1 minute, then remove from heat.

Saute seasoned shrimp on medium heat,  in a small frying/saute pan with about 2 tbsp oil. Cook on each side for about 1 minute, then remove from heat.

In the same frying pan used to cook the shrimp, add the curry paste (you may need to add a bit more oil).Cook paste until all the liquid evaporates. Then add 1/2 cup of water and continue to cook to form a thick sauce.

In the same frying pan used to cook the shrimp, add the curry paste (you may need to add a bit more oil).
Cook paste until all the liquid evaporates. Then add 1/2 cup of water and continue to cook to form a thick sauce.

Add sauteed shrimp to the curry sauce. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Then remove from heat.

Add sauteed shrimp to the curry sauce.
Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Then remove from heat.

Shrimp Curry and Aloo Paratha

Shrimp Curry and Aloo Paratha

Shrimp Curry (2 servings)

Ingredients:
1/2 lb Shrimp (about 15 pieces)
1/2 onion
6 cloves garlic
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp and 1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
1 lime and 1 tbsp salt
pinch of ground black pepper
About 1 cup water

Directions:
Peel and devein shrimp. Wash shrimp with t tbsp salt and juice from lime. Season shrimp with 1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp garam masala and black pepper. Finely chop onion and garlic in a food processor. Add 1/4 cup water, 1 tbsp curry powder, 1 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp granulated garlic, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1/4 tsp garam masala and 1/2 tsp salt. Mix together to form a paste. Warm 2 tbsp oil in a small frying/saute pan on medium heat. Add seasoned shrimp and cook for about 1 minute on each side. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. In the same pan, add the curry paste and cook down until all the water evaporates and curry is a light brown color. Add 1/2 cup water and cook down until a thick sauce forms. Add sauteed shrimp to the sauce and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and enjoy.

Tips and Ramblings:

1. You don’t need to let the shrimp marinate for too long. 10 to 15 minutes is good enough.
2. Do not cook the shrimp for more that 5 minutes total or it will over cook and be tough.
3. Sauteing the shrimp first seals in the flavor and prevents it from having a boiled taste.

Happy Cooking!

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Roti, Roti… Potato Roti (Aloo Paratha)

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If you don’t know by now, I love roti! Once in a while I make aloo parathas or potato rotis. Not because, I don’t like them, but because they are so delicious I can’t stop myself when I make them and eat way too many. If you are not sure how to make roti, check out my recipe for paratha roti before attempting this version of the paratha. Trust me, it will help a lot in the first part of the dough making.

Potato roti or aloo paratha, is a potato filled flat bread that is seasoned with Indian spices. It goes great with curry of any variety! I love mine with channa curry (chick peas curry or chola). My husband loves his with shrimp curry. My mom always made hers with chicken liver curry, which is also really delicious.

So here’s the recipe…

Making the dough…

In a mixing bowl combine: 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp butter or ghee and 1/4 tsp salt. Mix together until butter is incorporated into the dough.

In a mixing bowl combine: 2 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp butter or ghee and 1/4 tsp salt.
Mix together until butter is incorporated into the dough.

Add 3/4 cup water to flour mixture and knead together to form a soft dough.

Add 3/4 cup water to flour mixture and knead together to form a soft dough. Let dough sit for an hour.

While waiting on the dough,  prepare the potato filling…

Peel and dice 1.5lbs potatoes. Add to a saucepan and cover with water. Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender.

Peel and dice 1.5lbs potatoes.
Add to a saucepan with 1/4 cup chopped onions, 1 tsp salt and cover with water.
Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender.

When potatoes are fully cooked, drain and place in a large mixing bowl. Crush with a potato masher.Then, add 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper or chili flakes.

When potatoes are fully cooked, drain and place in a large mixing bowl.
Crush with a potato masher.
Add 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp garam masala, 1 tbsp granulated garlic, 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper or chili flakes.  Then, mix together.

Bringing it together…

After about 1 hour, divide dough into 6 equal pieces. Then roll into smooth balls.

After about 1 hour, divide dough into 6 equal pieces.
Then roll into smooth balls.

1. Flatten a dough ball into a small round disk.2. Fill with 1/3 cup of the potato filling.3 and 4. Close up the dough dish to form a large round ball.5. The difference between a filled dough ball and a regular dough ball.

Flatten a dough ball into a small round disk.
Fill with 1/3 cup of the potato filling.
Close up the dough dish to form a large round ball.
Notice the difference between a filled dough ball and a regular dough ball.

Cooking the rotis/parathas…

To make the baste, add 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of oil to a small bowl. Microwave until the butter melts, then mix together.

To make the baste, add 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of oil to a small bowl. Microwave until the butter melts, then mix together.

On a floured surface roll a filled dough ball into a large round dish about 1/8 of an inch thick.

On a floured surface roll a filled dough ball into a large round disk about 1/8 of an inch thick.

On a warm skillet on low to medium heat add the rolled out roti. Then flip over using a metal spatula. Baste with the butter and oil mixture. Then repeat on the other side. Roti will inflate (swell up) into a large ball.

Add roti to a  warm skillet on low to medium heat.
Then flip over using a metal spatula.
Baste with the butter and oil mixture.
Then repeat on the other side.
Roti will inflate (swell up) into a large ball.

Placed cooked roti on a few sheets of paper towel to help absorb some of the oil from basting.

Place cooked roti on a few sheets of paper towel to help absorb some of the oil from basting.

The finished product.

The finished product.

I had mine with channa curry and my husband had his with shrimp curry. Yummy!

I had mine with channa curry and my husband had his with shrimp curry. Yummy!

Potato Roti / Aloo Paratha

Ingredients:

The dough:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp butter or ghee
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup water

Potato filling
1.5 lbs potatoes peeled and diced
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely chopped onions
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Baste:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup oil

Directions:

Making the dough: Combine flour, baking powder, butter or ghee and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mix together until butter is fully combined with flour. Add water and knead to form a soft dough. Cover with a damn paper towel and let sit for 1 hour. After an hour, separate dough into six pieces and roll into smooth balls.

Making the filling: Add potatoes, salt and onions to a small pot. Cover the potatoes with water. Then bring potatoes to a boil on high heat, cook until potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and drain water. Crush potatoes using a potato masher. Add cumin, masala, granulated garlic and cayenne pepper to potatoes. Mix well and set aside.

Filling the rotis/parathas: Flatten a dough ball into a small round disk. Fill disk with 1/3 cup of the potato filing. Close disk up to form a potato filled ball. Repeat process for the remaining pieces of dough.

Cooking the rotis/parathas: For the baste, combine 1/4 cup of butter and 1/4 cup of oil in a small bowl. Microwave until butter melts, then mix together. On a floured surface roll a potato filled ball into a large flat disk about 1/8 inch thick. Place on a warm skillet on low to medium heat. Flip over and baste with butter and oil mixture. Flip over and repeat. Cook roti for about 2 minutes on each side making sure to baste both sides. Roti should become completely inflated. Remove from heat and place on a few sheets of paper towel to allow excess oil from basting to drain. Repeat process until all the parathas are cooked.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. Please see my paratha roti recipe and video for more details on how to make the roti dough.
2. Potatoes must be mashed to a smooth consistency or it will be hard to roll the parathas out into a disk without it tearing.
3. When filling the dough balls with the potato, you can adjust the filling amount if the dough is being stretched too thin.
4. When rolling out the roti, please ensure that the surface and dough ball is completely floured. Roll gently to prevent the roti from tearing.

Happy Cooking!

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Dinner in 30… Strip Chicken Fried Rice

Guyanese Style strip chicken fried rice

If you’ve got 30 minutes, then you’ve got dinner!

A few nights ago, I roasted a whole chicken for dinner. My hubby had the leg and thighs for dinner and then lunch the next day and I had the wings. So now, I’m left with the two breast. Usually when this happens, I make chicken salad or cut the breasts into cubes and freeze for chicken noodle soup. This time I had a craving for some Guyanese style strip chicken fried rice. Simple, quick and easy deliciousness. Since the chicken breasts are already cooked, this dish came together in no time. I used the pan drippings from the roasted chicken as the stock to cook the rice with. I usually use this for gravies and soup, but thought that it would probably bring a lot of flavor to the rice, and it did!

So here’s my recipe…

To cook the rice I used the pan drippings from when I roasted the chicken the night before (but you can use store bought chicken stock).My stock has: White wine, onions, garlic, celery, old fashion whole grain mustard, honey, salt, pepper, oregano, carrots, thyme (that I seasoned the chicken with).I added the stock, then 2 cups rice, then 4 cups water. Bring water to a boil on medium heat, then reduce to simmer until rice cooks.

To cook the rice I used the pan drippings from when I roasted the chicken the night before (but you can use store bought chicken stock).
My stock has: White wine, onions, garlic, celery, old fashion whole grain mustard, honey, salt, pepper, oregano, carrots, thyme (that I seasoned the chicken).
Add the stock to a large saucepan, then 2 cups rice, then 4 cups water.
Bring water to a boil on medium heat, then reduce to simmer until rice cooks.

Prepare the other ingredients while the rice cooks…

I am using the two chicken breasts from last night's dinner, about 1 cup of frozen mixed bell peppers and 1 1/2 frozen mixed vegetables.Since the broth used to cook the rice is so flavorful I am only using garlic, salt and pepper to season these ingredients and a bit of soy sauce.

I am using the two chicken breasts from dinner a few nights ago (shredded into small pieces), about 1 cup of frozen mixed bell peppers and 1 1/2 frozen mixed vegetables.
Since the broth used to cook the rice is so flavorful I am only using garlic, ginger, salt and pepper to season these ingredients and a bit of soy sauce.

Cooking the remaining ingredients…

First, I sauteed the chopped garlic in about 2 tbsp oil on medium heat. Then, I added the frozen peppers and the frozen veggies. Followed by about 1 tsp salt, and a pinch of black pepper. Once the veggies and peppers cooked, I added about 1/4 cup of soy sauce and continued to saute on high heat. Finally, I added the shredded chicken breasts and tossed together.

First, saute the chopped garlic in about 2 tbsp oil on medium heat.
Then, add the frozen peppers and the frozen veggies. Followed by about 1 tsp salt, a pinch of black pepper and 1 tsp of fresh ginger finely chopped.
Once the veggies and peppers cooked, add about 1/4 cup of soy sauce and continued to saute on high heat.
Finally, add the shredded chicken breasts and toss together.

Bringing it together…

Saute the chicken and veggies for an additional 5 minutes to bring the flavors together. When the rice is fully cooked, increase the heat to high.

Saute the chicken and veggies for an additional 5 minutes to bring the flavors together.
When the rice is fully cooked, increase the heat to high.

Then add the chicken and veggies to the rice. Continue to saute, stirring until all the rice, veggies and chicken are completely mixed together.

Then add the chicken and veggies to the rice.
Continue to saute, stirring until all the rice, veggies and chicken are completely mixed together.

And there you have it… strip chicken fried rice.

Guyanese Style Strip chicken fried rice

Guyanese Style Strip chicken fried rice


Strip Chicken Fried Rice
(Makes 4 Generous servings)

Ingredients:
2 large precooked and shredded chicken breasts
4 cups of chicken stock
2 cups rice
2 tbsp oil
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
1 cup frozen mixed bell peppers
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup lite soy sauce
1 tbsp old fashion whole grain mustard
1 tsp honey
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp fresh ginger, finely chopped.

Directions:
Add chicken stock, rice, mustard and honey to a large stock pot, on high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until rice is fully cooked. While rice is cooking prepare the other ingredients. Heat oil in a saute pan on medium heat. Saute onions and garlic. When onions are brown and soft, add frozen peppers followed by frozen mixed vegetables. Season with salt and pepper to taste. When peppers and vegetables have cooked, add shredded chicken breasts and soy sauce. Mix together and saute for about 5 minutes to bring the flavors together. When rice is fully cooked increase heat to high. Add cooked veggies and chicken to the rice. Continue to saute on high heat while completely mixing together. Remove from the heat and enjoy!

Tips and Ramblings:
1. If you don’t have precooked chicken breasts you can roast your own, in a saute pan. You will need bone in, skin on, chicken breast. Just season the chicken breast with salt and pepper. Add a little bit of oil to a saute pan, then the chicken and roast on high heat. It will take about 5 minutes on each side. Or you can stick in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
2. I used to cook this type of fried rice in a wok and “fry up” small batches at a time. I can’t use my wok anymore because now I have an electric range, but if you have a wok, feel free to use it.
3. I sometimes add the soy sauce to the rice, and “fry it up.” It makes for a more intense fried flavor.
4. You can use fresh bell peppers and veggies if you like.

Happy Cooking!

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Guyanese Staple… Tennis Rolls

Tennis Roll

Let me start this post by saying, that this was my 3rd attempt to make tennis rolls. The first time, the rolls didn’t taste close to tennis rolls. The second time, it had the flavor but was raw on the inside. Finally, I got it to taste right and cook all the way through. The top did get a bit browner that I wanted it to, but I will adjust this the next go around.

Now for the story… Tennis roll, I will assume started out as a dinner roll. But if you’re Guyanese you know it’s an anytime roll and most often eaten with extra sharp cheddar cheese from New Zealand (Anchor cheddar cheese is the best cheddar cheese hands down). As a kid, I used to go to the local neighborhood shop and buy a tennis roll and cheese for $20 (about US 10 cents). Some like their tennis roll and cheese with Mauby (a local drink made from the bark of a tree). I preferred mine with cream soda. Just the thought of this combination is making me salivate.

Tennis rolls, have a rich citrus and vanilla flavor and is semi sweet. It’s dense but soft. Has a nice crumble but holds its own. Before I could only get tennis rolls when I go to NY and buy it from the Guyanese bakery in Queens or Brooklyn, but now I can make my own, and you can too!

The recipe I am using was taken from guyanaoutpost.com

Well, let’s get to it….

First let's set the yeast.Add 1 tbsp dry active yeast and 1 tbsp brown sugar to 1/4 cup of warm water and let sit for at least 5 minutes until yeast ferments.

First let’s set the yeast.
Combine 1 tbsp dry active yeast, 1 tbsp brown sugar and 1/4 cup of warm water in a small bowl and let sit for at least 5 minutes until yeast ferments.

Then let’s prepare the wet ingredients…

1. Scald 1/2 cups milk in a small sauce pan.2. Add 1 cup brown sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.3. Add 2tsp lemon extract and 1 tsp vanilla extract4. Add 1/4 cup butter 5. Add 1 tsp fresh orange rind.6. Let cool, then whisk in 3 eggs.

1. Scald 1 cup milk in a small sauce pan.
2. Add 1 cup brown sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.
3. Add 2 tsp lemon extract and 1 tsp vanilla extract
4. Add 1/4 cup butter
5. Add 1 tsp fresh orange rind.
6. Let cool, then whisk in 3 eggs.

Add the fermented yeast to a stand mixer, then the cooled milk mixture.Sieve 5 cups flour and 1 tsp salt in a large mixing bowl.Then, Add the flour 1 cup at a time to the liquid mixture.

Add the fermented yeast to a stand mixer, then the cooled milk mixture.
Sieve 5 cups flour and 1 tsp salt in a large mixing bowl.
Then, Add the flour 1 cup at a time to the liquid mixture.

This is after 4 cups of flour. Not quite there yet.

This is after 4 cups of flour. Not quite there yet.

After 6 cups of flour (yes, I had to add an additional cup of flour). It has formed a very, very soft, stretchy dough.

After 6 cups of flour (yes, I had to add an additional cup of flour). It has formed a very, very, soft, stretchy dough.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead into a loose ball.

Turn dough onto a floured surface and knead into a loose ball.

place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and let sit until dough doubles in size (about 1 hour).

place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and let sit until dough doubles in size (about 1 hour).

when dough has doubled in size, turn onto a floured surface and punch down. Then divide into 18 equal pieces and knead into a small ball/roll. (I measured out 2.5 ounce pieces).

When dough has doubled in size, turn onto a floured surface and punch down. Then divide into 18 equal pieces and knead into a small ball/roll. (I weighed out 2.5 ounce pieces).

Place rolls in a  (or two) greased baking pan, cover with plastic wrap and let sit until doubles in size (about 45 mins)Then brush with egg whites and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

Place rolls in a (or two) greased baking pan/s, cover with plastic wrap and let sit until doubles in size (about 45 mins)
Then brush with egg whites and bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

tennis rolls

tennis rolls

Look at that beautiful texture. Yum!

Look at that beautiful texture. Yum!

Tennis rolls (taken directly from guyanaoutpost.com)

Thanks to Jennifer Szala Snyder for this recipe for a Guyanese Classic.

Ingredients

1 pkg. active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water, 110°F
¼ cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk, scalded
2 eggs and 1 egg yolk beaten
1 egg white
1 tsp grated lemon rind or orange rind
2 tsp lemon extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
4½ to 5 cups flour

Preparation

  • Soften the yeast in warm water.
  • Add butter/shortening, sugar, salt, lemon rind, lemon extract and vanilla extract to the scalded milk. Let cool to luke warm.
  • When cool add yeast, eggs and enough flour to make a batter. Beat well.
  • Add more flour, a little at a time, to make a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until satiny.
  • Place in a greased bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise until double in size.
  • Punch down, shape into rolls and let rise again.
  • Brush with egg white mixed with water and bake at 375°F for 25 to 30 min. Makes about 3 1/2 dozen rolls.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. This does not make 3 1/2 dozens. I’ve tried it 3 times and only get 1 1/2 dozens. I think it’s a typo.
2. Patience is key when making this. Make sure you have enough time to let the dough prove twice.
3. The dough has to be soft almost like a thick batter.
4. I always put oil on the top of my dough while it proves the first time, this prevents it from getting crusty.
5. My tennis rolls were a bit browner than I wanted them, so next time I will try baking them at a lower temperature.

Happy Baking!

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Quick and Easy Snacks… Cassava Egg Ball

Cassava Egg Ball

So Easter is over and you bought trays of eggs to color, dye and hide for your Easter egg hunt, but you didn’t quite use all of the eggs. What to do with those left over eggs? Make some egg balls of course!!!

Egg ball is a delicious Guyanese street food. It’s similar to scotch eggs, in that it is boiled eggs wrapped and deep fried. Only difference is that it is not wrapped in meat, it is wrapped in Cassava (yuca), instead. And it is eaten with mango sour!!!

I don’t make these often because it is difficult to get good cassava where I live, but when I do, they don’t stick around for too long.

Peel and chop 1 lb cassava into 2 inch pieces. Place in a small saucepan, add about 1 tsp salt and cover with water. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Boil until cassava is soft and can be easily crushed with a fork.

Peel and chop 1 lb cassava into 2 inch pieces.
Place in a small saucepan, add about 1 tsp salt and cover with water.
Bring to a boil on medium heat.
Boil until cassava is soft and can be easily crushed with a fork.

While the cassava is boiling. Hard boil 6 eggs. Put the eggs in a small pot, cover with water, bring to a boil on high heat. Boil for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a bowl with iced water. When eggs are completely cool, remove shells.

Cassava Egg Balls

Once the cassava cooks. Remove from the water and crush.Before crushing remove the "vein" of the cassava.

Once the cassava cooks. Remove from the water and crush.
Before crushing remove the “vein” of the cassava.

Season the egg balls with a pinch of fresh ground black pepper, about 1 tsp granulated garlic and a handful of chopped scallions.

Season the egg balls with a pinch of fresh ground black pepper, about 1 tsp granulated garlic and a handful of chopped green onions.

Making the egg balls:1. Take about a 1/4 cup of the mashed cassava, then roll it into a ball.2. Flatten the ball.3. Place the boiled egg in the center of the ball.4, 5 & 6 Cover the egg with the egg ball.

Making the egg balls:
1. Take about a 1/4 cup of the mashed cassava, then roll it into a ball.
2. Flatten the ball.
3. Place the boiled egg in the center of the ball.
4, 5 & 6 Cover the egg with the egg ball.

Before Frying…

Simple Egg Wash:Add 1 beaten egg to a small plate and about 1 cup flour to another plate.

Simple Egg Wash:
Add 1 beaten egg to a small plate and about 1 cup flour to another plate.

First coat egg ball in beaten egg, then cover with flour.

First coat egg ball in beaten egg, then cover with flour.

Frying up these bad boys…

Add about 3 to 4 cups of oil to a saucepan. Enough to cup about 1/2 way up the egg balls. Heat the oil on medium heat to about 300 degrees F. It should be hot but not smoking.Add the coated egg ball to the oil and cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.Remove from oil and drain the excess oil by placing egg ball on a paper towel.

Add about 3 to 4 cups of oil to a saucepan. Enough to come about 1/2 way up the egg balls.
Heat the oil on medium heat to about 300 degrees F. It should be hot but not smoking.
Add the coated egg ball to the oil and cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Remove from oil and drain the excess oil by placing egg ball on a paper towel.

Cassava Egg Balls (makes about 6 egg balls)

Ingredients:
1 lb cassava (yuca),
6 eggs and 1 for frying
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp granulated garlic
4 to 5 heads of green onions, finely chopped
pinch of fresh ground black pepper
3 to 4 cups oil for frying.

Directions:
Peel cassava and cut into 2 inch pieces. Place in a small sauce pan, cover with water and add salt. Bring to a boil on high heat. Boil for about 15 minutes or until the cassava is soft and can be easily crushed with a fork. Place 6 eggs in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Then transfer to a bowl of iced cold water. When eggs are completely cool, remove shells. Once the cassava boils, remove from the water. Then remove the “vein” from the center of cassava. Crush the cassava with a potato masher or fork. Season cassava with granulated garlic, black pepper and green onions.

Making the cassava balls:
Take about 1/4 cup of the mashed cassava and form into a ball. Flatten the ball, then add 1 boiled egg. Cover the egg with the cassava and roll into a ball. Whisk the remaining egg and pour into a small plate. Add 1 cup of flour to another plate. Coat cassava ball with eggs, then with flour. Fry in hot oil, until golden brown. Remove from oil and drain excess oil on a paper towel. Enjoy with some Guyanese pepper sauce or sour.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. Most of the time making this dish is used for boiling the cassava, which can be less that 15 minutes, or up to 30 minutes, depending on the cassava.
2. If you don’t have cassava you can substitute cassava for potatoes.
3. I only made 4 egg balls when I made these and used the remaining cassava to make cassava balls.

Happy Cooking!

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