Category Archives: Rice Dishes

Cook-up Rice… Vegetarian Three Bean Cook-up Rice

Vegetarian Cook-up

The new year is almost here. If you’re Guyanese you’re probably rounding up your ingredients for your New Year’s eve cook-up rice and fried fish. I usually make a slamming black eyed peas and beef cook-up. When I was living in Guyana, my mom’s New Year’s eve cook up always had black-eyed peas, salt beef, tripe and beef. A. I hate tripe, b. I can’t find salt beef where I live and c. after eating pepper pot and all the goodies from Christmas, I feel like I need a bit of a break from all of that. So to start the new year off on a healthier note, I am sharing my recipe for a simple but tasty, three bean vegetarian cook-up. Hope you give it a try and enjoy on old year’s night (as we Guyanese say and/or New Year’s day!

Click on the link for a video tutorial (hint: I’m in this video, in case you were curious to know what I looks like, ha ha).

Yummy goodness!

Yummy goodness!

Vegetarian Three Bean Cook-up Rice (8 Generous Servings)

Ingredients:
1/2 can of black eyed peas (about 1 cup of cooked peas)
1/2 can of chick peas (about 1 cup of cooked peas)
1/2 can of kidney beans (about 1 cup of cooked peas)
2 cups long grain parboiled rice
1 can coconut milk, diluted with 4 cups water
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 can of petite diced tomatoes (or 2 large tomatoes, finely chopped)
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp dried thyme (Guyanese thyme preferably)
1/2 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp casareep
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch of Cayenne Pepper
2 tbsp oil

Directions:

Warm oil in a large (heavy bottom) stock pot, on medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until onions are soft and slightly brown. Add tomatoes, thyme, basil and 1/2 the granulated garlic and cook down until all the water from the tomatoes has evaporated. Add the black eyed peas, kidney beans and chick peas. Add the remaining granulated garlic, sugar, salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Add rice and mix together. Add the coconut milk and water mixture, then add the casareeep. Mix together. Increase the heat to high and bring up to a roaring boil. Let boil covered for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer until the rice is fully cooked. This should take 30 to 40 minutes. When rice is cooked and all the liquids have evaporated, serve and enjoy!

Tips and Ramblings:

1. Hope you guys enjoyed this video, I had fun making it!
2. I am using canned products in this video to give those of you with busier lives a quicker alternative for making cook-up rice.
3. If you prefer to soak your peas, just use a 1/4 cup of dried peas/bean for each of the peas/beans listed above.
4. If you have comments or questions don’t forget to post them in the comment section below.

Happy New Year and Happy Cooking!

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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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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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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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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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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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