Category Archives: Seafood

Mexican Night… Fish tacos with mango salsa

Fish Tacos

In Denver there are many Mexican restaurants that serve up authentic Mexican meals for cheap. One of my favorite Mexican restaurants is Guadalajara on South Abilene in Aurora. Their food is delicious, the portions are huge and the price is just right. I love their fish tacos but the mayo sauce they add to it, is just too much sometimes. So I recreated the fish tacos with my own twist, of course. If you like fish tacos, then you will love this one.

I am using tilapia filets for my fish tacos.  Season about 6 tilapia filets with 1 packet of store bought taco seasoning. Any brand will do. Let marinade for 15 to 30 minutes.

I am using tilapia filets for my fish tacos.
Season about 6 tilapia filets with 1 packet of store bought taco seasoning. Any brand will do.
Let marinade for 15 to 30 minutes.

While the fish marinades, Chop 1 sweet white onion, 1 bell pepper, 6 cloves of garlic and about 1 cup of cilantro.

While the fish marinades, Chop 1 sweet white onion, 1 bell pepper, 6 cloves of garlic, about 1 cup of cilantro and 3 roma tomatoes (not shown).

Add 2 tbsp oil to a saute pan on medium heat. When oil is hot, add chopped onions and cook until soft and brown.  Add pepper, garlic and cilantro.

Add 2 tbsp oil to a saute pan on medium heat. When oil is hot, add chopped onions and cook until soft and brown.
Add tomatoes, peppers, garlic and about 1/2 of the cilantro.

Cook until peppers a bit soft but not mushy.

Cook until tomatoes are a bit soft but not mushy.

Add seasoned tilapia to the top of the cooked seasoning. Reduce heat, cover and let steam for about 5 minutes.

Add seasoned tilapia to the top of the cooked seasoning.
Reduce heat, cover and let steam for about 5 minutes.

After fish has steamed for about 5 minutes, flake fish and mix with seasoning.  Add the juice of 1 lime, a pinch of salt (if needed) and the remaining cilantro.  Mix together and continue to cook uncovered.

After fish has steamed for about 5 minutes, flake fish and mix with seasoning.
Add the juice of 1 lime, a pinch of salt (if needed) and the remaining cilantro.
Mix together and continue to cook uncovered for about 3 more minutes, then remove from heat.

For the mango salsa you will need.  1 firm yellow (1/2 ripe) mango. diced (about 2 cups of diced mangoes). 5 heads of green onions, finely chopped 1 roma tomato, diced 1/4 cup of cilantro The juice of 1/2 lime.  Add all the ingredients to a bowl, add a pinch of salt and some cayenne pepper and mix together.

For the mango salsa you will need.
1 firm yellow (1/2 ripe) mango, diced (about 2 cups of diced mangoes).
5  green onions, finely chopped
1 roma tomato, diced
1/4 cup of cilantro
The juice of 1/2 lime.
Add all the ingredients to a bowl, add a pinch of salt and some chili powder and mix together.

I am using flour tortillas for my tacos.  Warm tortillas on a hot skillet, add fish, then top with mango salsa and some shredded cheddar cheese (if you like).

I am using flour tortillas for my tacos.
Warm tortillas on a hot skillet, add fish, then top with mango salsa and some shredded cheddar cheese (if you like).

Fish Tacos.

I served my tacos with Mexican rice and black beans. Continue reading for a quick recipe for both.

For a quick Mexican rice, I combine two cups of rice, and 4 cups of water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil on high heat. Let boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low and let simmer. When rice is 90% cooked, I mix in some fajita or taco seasoning and let it continue to simmer until rice is fully cooked. Easy, simple and a delicious side dish.

For a quick Mexican rice, I combined two cups of rice, and 4 cups of water in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil on high heat. Let boil for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to low and let simmer.
When rice is 90% cooked, I mix in some fajita or taco seasoning and let it continue to simmer until rice is fully cooked. Easy, simple and a delicious side dish.

For the black beans, I used canned beans. Add beans with water to a small sauce pan. Add 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, a pinch of salt, cayenne pepper and cumin powder. Let simmer for about 5 to 20 minutes on medium heat. Then remove from heat and serve.

For the black beans, I used canned beans.
Add beans with water to a small sauce pan. Add 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro, a pinch of salt, cayenne pepper and cumin powder. Let simmer for about 5 to 20 minutes on medium heat. Then remove from heat and serve.

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos with mango salsa(Makes 8 generous tacos)

Ingredients:

6 Tilapia Filets
1 packet of Taco seasoning, or
[1 tsp cumin powder, 1/4 tsp chilli powder, 1/4 tsp oregano, 1/4 tsp paprika]
1 red bell pepper (chopped into strips)
1 sweet onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1 lime, juiced
2 tbsp oil

Mango Salsa:
1 firm yellow mango (half-ripe, if you’re Guyanese)
5 green onions, finely chopped
1 roma tomato, diced
1/4 cup cilantro leavee, finely chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
pinch of salt and chili powder

You will also need 8 small flour tortillas and about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (if you like cheese on your fish tacos).

Directions:
Fish Tacos
Wash and season tilapia filets with pack of taco seasoning, or if ready to use taco seasoning is not available, season tilapia with cumin, chili pepper, oregano, paprika and about 2 tsp salt. Let marinade for 15 to 30 minutes. While fish marinades, warm oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add onions and let cook until brown and soft. Then add garlic, tomatoes, peppers and 1/2 of cilantro. Let saute until tomatoes are soft but not mushy. Add tilapia filets to the top of the cooked seasoning (just let it rest on the cooked seasoning), reduce heat, cover and let steam for about 5 minutes. After about 5 minutes, flake fish and mix together with the peppers, onions and tomatoes. Add the remaining cilantro. Increase heat back to medium and cook uncovered for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Mango Salsa
Combine all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Mix together, then add salt and chili powder to taste.

Making the tacos

Warm tortillas on a skillet. Fold in half and stuff with fish. Top with mango salsa and cheese (if desire). Enjoy!

Tips and Ramblings:
1. This is a quick and easy recipe for fish tacos, if you can’t get prepackaged taco seasoning, don’t be discouraged, some cumin, chili powder and oregano usually gives you that Mexican taco flavor without too much of a fuss.
2. My husband likes to warm his tortillas in the toaster. He folds then in half and toasts them. When they are done, they are usually the perfect shape and really crunchy. Try this trick if you don’t have a skillet.
3. I like to mix it up and cook different / non Guyanese cuisine at least once a week. We have Mexican night, Italian night, Indian night, you get the idea….

Happy Cooking!

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Sunday Brunch… Salt fish Cakes

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I love cakes, so when a good friend and subscriber asked if I had a recipe, I was too happy to pull this together. You can use any variety of salt fish for this recipe or even fresh fish. Just be sure to cook (bake or steam) before you make it into cakes. This dish is perfect for Sunday Brunch with biscuits or bakes or just by itself, as an appetizer for dinner parties.

First you will need some salt fish. I am using salted boneless and skinless Alaskan Pollock…

Soak the salt fish in boiling water and leave  overnight to remove some of the salt.

Soak the salt fish in boiling water and leave overnight to remove some of the salt.

Wash two red potatoes and dice into quarters and boil with skin on.

Wash two small red potatoes and dice into quarters and boil with skin on until tender. Then, remove skin and crush. Set aside and let cool.

Cook salt fish, by boiling in about 4 cups of water for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain water, let cool and flake salt fish flesh, using a fork.

Cook salt fish, by boiling in about 4 cups of water for 20 to 30 minutes.
Drain water, let cool and flake salt fish flesh, using a fork. You may also use clean hands to flake the flesh.

Add flaky salt fish to a small mixing bowl and add: 1. Crushed potatoes 2. 1 tbsp granulated garlic (garlic powder) 3. 1 tsp crushed dried thyme 4. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 5. 3 heads of green onions finely chopped. 6. The juice of 1/2 a lime.

Add flaky salt fish to a small mixing bowl and add:
1. Crushed potatoes
2. 1 tbsp granulated garlic (garlic powder)
3. 1 tsp crushed dried thyme
4. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
5. 2 heads of green onions finely chopped.
6. The juice of 1/2 a lime.

Then add: 1. 1 large garlic clove (grated) 2. 1/4 large onion (grated) 4. 1 tsp spicy brown mustard and 1 tsp tomato paste 5. You may choose to add an egg for extra binding. Finally, mix it all together.

Then add:
1. 1 large garlic clove (grated)
2. 1/4 large onion (grated)
4. 1 tsp spicy brown mustard and 1 tsp tomato paste
5. You may choose to add an egg for extra binding.
Finally, mix it all together.

Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop out 1/4 cup of the seasoned salt fish mixture.  Then, shape into a flat cake.  Make all of the cakes before you start cooking.

Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop out 1/4 cup of the seasoned salt fish mixture.
Then, shape into a flat cake.
Make all of the cakes before you start cooking.

Add 1/4 cup of all purpose flour to 1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs.  Mix together then completely coat fish cake with bread crumbs and flour mixture.

Add 1/4 cup of all purpose flour to 1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs.
Mix together then completely coat fish cake with bread crumbs and flour mixture.

Add about 3 cups of oil to a frying pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add salt fish cakes.  Cook on one side until golden brown (about 4 minutes), then flip and cook on the other side until golden brown.

Add about 3 cups of oil to a frying pan on medium heat. When the oil is hot, add salt fish cakes.
Cook on one side until golden brown (about 4 minutes), then flip and cook on the other side until golden brown.

Place on a sheet of paper towel to allow some of the excess oil to drain. Then serve and enjoy!

Place on a sheet of paper towel to allow some of the excess oil to drain. Then serve and enjoy!

I served mine with a sauce made with Guyanese wiri wiri pepper sauce, a bit of mustard, vinegar and honey. It was AMAZING!

I served mine with a sauce made with Guyanese wiri wiri pepper sauce, a bit of mustard, vinegar and honey. It was AMAZING!


Salt Fish Cakes (Makes 5 to 6)


Ingredients:

1/2 lb salt fish
1/4 lb red potatoes
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
2 heads of green onions
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 large garlic (grated)
1/4 large onion (grated)
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 tsp tomato paste
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 cup seasoned Italian Bread Crumbs
3 cups of oil for frying

Directions:
Soak salt fish in boiling water and leave overnight. Cook salt fish by boiling in about 3 cups of water for 30 minutes, in a medium pot on medium heat. Once cooked, let cool, then flake using a fork. Wash and dice potatoes (with skin on) into quarters. Boil potatoes until tender, then remove from heat and let cool. When cool, remove skin and crush. Add potatoes and salt fish to a small mixing bowl. Then add granulated garlic, thyme, cayenne powder, green onions, lime juice, grated garlic, grated onion, mustard and tomato paste. Mix together. Using a 1/4 cup measure, scoop 1/4 cup of fish mixture and form into flat a cake. Continue until all the cakes are made (about 5 or 6).

Then, mix together flour and bread crumbs. Coat cakes completely with bread crumbs mixture. Add oil to a frying pan on medium heat. When oil is hot but not smoking, add fish cakes and cook on one side until golden brown. Then flip and cook on the other side until it is golder brown. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel to allow some of the excess oil to drain. Serve them however you chose and enjoy!

Tips and Ramblings:
1. I use clean hands to flask the salt fish flesh because it makes it into really tiny flakes.
2. You can add an egg to the mixture for additional binding. I find that the potatoes are enough to pull it together without making it too stiff.
3. I served mine with a simple sauce I made by combining 1/8 cup white vinegar, 1 tbsp Guyanese pepper sauce, 1 tsp mustard and 1 tbsp honey. I added a pinch of salt and mixed it together. It gave it a nice kick.

Happy Cooking.

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Tilapia Scampi… versus Shrimp Scampi

Shrimp and Tilapia ScampiI made shrimp and tilapia scampi a few nights ago and it was so quick and easy and delicious, I thought I would share. I really should have made this one of my dinner in 30 meals, but you get the idea.

I was out running errands all day, got home and realized, I didn’t defrost any meat, and wasn’t quite sure what I was going to make for dinner. Home delivery in my neighborhood is Chinese food, Chinese food and Pizza. I didn’t want any of that. First I though, I guess it’s vegetarian night… I’ll just cook up something quick. But it was the night before I started my month long, no carbs, clean eating diet and I wanted to be a bit bad! I know, I know. Don’t judge me. So I went to the freezer and the shrimp was staring at me. I knew it wouldn’t take long to defrost so I grabbed it. I knew I would make shrimp scampi for my husband, but what would I could for myself, since I don’t eat shrimp. And then the cliched light bulb went off. Tilapia Scampi. I made shrimp scampi the way I always do… my variation of a food network recipe. I followed the same recipe for the tilapia, with one exception, I added some pesto for additional flavor.

I hope you try these two simple recipes the next time you make pasta!

Now for the Tilapia Scampi…

I followed instructions on the pack and cooked the pasta. This is about 1/3 of one packet of pasta (I didn't want to have leftovers).

I followed instructions on the pack and cooked the pasta. This is about 1/3 of one packet of pasta (I didn’t want to have leftovers).

I seasoned the tilapia with salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 1 tsp dried oregano and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.

I seasoned the tilapia with salt, a pinch of cayenne pepper, 1 tsp dried oregano and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.

I then cut the tilapia into quarters, chopped 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 onion and two roma tomatoes.

I then cut the tilapia into quarters, chopped 3 cloves of garlic, 1/2 onion and two roma tomatoes.

In a medium suace/saute pan on high heat warm 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil.  Cook, onions, garlic and tomatoes until soft. When cooked, add 1 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup of sweet white wine and 1 tbsp pesto (I had store bought pesto).

In a medium suace/saute pan on high heat warm 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add onions, then garlic and tomatoes.
Reduce heat to medium  and cook, until tomatoes are soft (about53 minutes).
Then, add 1 tbsp butter, 1/2 cup of sweet white wine and 1 tbsp pesto (I had store bought pesto). Feel free to add a pinch of salt if needed. Cook down until a semi thick sauce forms.

Add Tilapia Pieces to sauce. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes.

Add Tilapia Pieces to sauce. Cook on each side for about 3 minutes, until tilapia is cooked and nice and flaky.

Add cooked pasta. Toss together and remove from heat.

Add cooked pasta. Toss together and remove from heat. Be careful not crush up the fish when tossing the pasta.

Tilapia Scampi

Tilapia Scampi

 

Tilapia Scampi (makes 2 servings)

1/3 pack of thin spaghetti
4 cups of water (for cooking spaghetti)
1 tbsp salt (for pasta water)
2 Tilapia filets
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 roma tomatoes diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp parsley flakes
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup sweet white wine
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp pesto (I used store bought, premade pesto)

Directions:
Cook pasta according to instructions on the box.
Season tilapia with lemon juice, granulated garlic, cayenne pepper and oregano, then cut into quarters. In a medium sauce/saute pan warm olive oil on high heat. When oil is hot cook onions and garlic. When onions are brown and soft, add diced tomatoes. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook until tomatoes are soft, then add wine, pesto and butter. Cook until sauce is semi thick, then add seasoned fish to the sauce. Cover and let tilapia cook for about 3 minutes on each side, coating with sauce. Add cooked pasta, toss together and remove from heat.


Tips and Rambling

1. This makes 2 generous servings, but I only added 1/3 of the pasta to my sauce, because I just didn’t want that much pasta.
2. It’s a good idea to cook the sauce while the pasta is boiling so that the pasta and the sauce finish cooking at the same time. This way you won’t have clammy pasta.
3. Always add a generous amount of salt to the water (like sea water), so that the pasta will not taste bland.
4. You can check to see if the tilapia is fully cooked by flaking the flesh with a fork. If it’s white, tender and flaky, it’s done. If tough and pink, it needs to be cooked some more.

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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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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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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