Category Archives: Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch… Cheese pies (Mini Quiches)

Guyanese Cheese Pie

Where did all the time go? It feels like ages since I last posted a recipe.

Here’s the run down on where I’ve been and what’s been going on. I decided to take the summer off from blogging. We went away on vacation and when we came back, I just couldn’t get myself back on a proper schedule that allowed time for blogging. People always asked, how do you find the time to blog with a baby? And I always said easy, I blog when he’s napping. Well, he doesn’t nap as often anymore and when he is napping there are so many other things to do. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been cooking and taking pics when I can, but I can’t seem to find the time to edit and post new recipes. Then, I decide to do a fitness challenge for the month of September. Thirty days of clean eating and working out! So cooking Guyanese food was not on the agenda. I just couldn’t cook and bake all that deliciousness and stick to my plan. So here I am, I made it through the 30 days, started the Insanity workout program and am finally figuring out time to blog. I have a back log of recipes, so check your emails often!

Now for this recipe. A subscriber and friend asked for this one. The last time I made cheese pies, before this time of course, I was in high school, making these pies in Home Economics. So I had to do some research for a recipe. I tried the basic quiche recipes on foodnetwork.com and even Googled some Guyanese cheese pie recipes, but none came close to what I consider the best cheese pie I’ve ever had, the cheese pie from Fogarty’s. I’m not sure if there’s is still the best, but it was good when I was growing up in Guyana. It had a distinct flavor and after 3 tries I nailed it!

For this simple recipe you will need Pastry Dough, cheddar cheese, eggs, milk,   bell peppers, mustard, scallions and a bit of hot pepper. I'm using Guyanese wiri wiri pepper.

For this simple recipe you will need Pastry Dough (about 1 lb), cheddar cheese (7 ounces, shredded), eggs (4), milk (1 cup), bell peppers (1 mini, finely diced), mustard (3 tbsp), scallions (2 heads finely chopped), 1 tbs granulated garlic and a bit of hot pepper. I’m using Guyanese wiri wiri pepper.

The first time I made these pies, I used a cheap, pre-shredded mild cheddar cheese and it was terrible. The cheese didn’t melt and the pies tasted awful. This time I used a really sharp Australian cheddar with a flavor similar to Anchor Cheddar. It was perfect.

Add 1 cups whole mild and 4 eggs to a measuring cup. Whisk in mustard and garlic powder and finely dice hot peppers.

Add 1 cups whole milk and 4 eggs to a measuring cup. Whisk in mustard and garlic powder and finely dice hot peppers.

Roll out pasty dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into circles large enough to fill a muffin pan. Grease a muffin pan with butter or cooking spray.  Line muffin pan with pastry dough.  Fill dough 1/2 way with shredded cheese, add milk until cheese is almost covered.  Then add diced bell peppers and scallions.  Top off with a bit more shredded cheese.

Roll out pasty dough until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut into circles large enough to fill a muffin pan. Grease a muffin pan with butter or cooking spray.
Line muffin pan with pastry dough.
Fill dough 1/2 way with shredded cheese, then add diced bell peppers and scallions. Add milk until it covers cheese.
Top off with a bit more shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes. Mine had a bit of souffle action going on while backing because I over filled the cups.

Bake at 350 degree Fahrenheit for 25 to 30 minutes.
Mine had a bit of souffle action going on while backing because I over filled the cups.

See below for the pastry dough recipe.

Let cool after baking then enjoy!

Let cool after baking then enjoy!

Guyanese Cheese Pies (Makes 12)

Ingredients:
Crust
1 lb short crust pastry dough:
4 cups flours
1 cup vegetable shortening (1 stick)
1/4 cup butter
about 8 Tbsp ice cold water

Filling
1 cup whole milk
7 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
4 eggs
3 tbsp spicy brown mustard
1 mini red bell pepper (or 1/2 large bell pepper), finely chopped
2 heads of green scallions, finely chopped
1 wiri wiri pepper finely chopped
1 tsp granulated garlic

Directions:

Crust
Rub/cut/mix shortening and butter into flour until mixture forms a bread crumb like texture. Add ice water, 1 tbsp at a time, and pinch mixture together to form a soft dough. Do not knead. Separate mixture into two and chill in the refrigerator for as least 1 hour. When chilled, use dough to make any Guyanese pastry combination.

Filling:
Combine milk, eggs, mustard, pepper and granulated garlic in a measuring cup. Whisk until completely mixed together.

Assembling:
Roll pastry dough out until it is 1/8 inch thick. Cut into circles large enough to cover a cups in a muffin pan. Grease a muffin pan with butter or cooking spray, then line with pastry dough. Fill muffin pan with cheese until about 1/2 way up each cup. Then add a bit of scallions and bell peppers. Pour milk and egg mixture into cup, until is covers the cheese. Then top off with a bit more shredded cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

Tips and Ramblings:

1. Be sure to let your pastry dough chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before working with it.
2. I liked the rich flavor of mustard in these pies you can choose to add less mustard if you wish.

Happy Baking!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday Brunch… Deviled Eggs

Deviled Eggs

Who doesn’t like deviled eggs, or stuff eggs as most Guyanese call it? They are easy to make, delicious and a great quick hor d’oeuvre. I also think it’s perfect for Sunday Brunch! These deviled eggs have a twist, so be sure to keep reading.

First prepare 4 hard boiled eggs…

Add four eggs to 4 cups of water, in a small pot.  Please on high heat.  Bring to a boil, then continue to boil for 10 minutes.

Add four eggs to 4 cups of water, in a small pot.
Place on high heat.
Bring to a boil, then continue to boil for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and add to a bowl with iced water. When completely cooled remove shells.

Remove shell from eggs. Then cut in half (lengthwise), and scoop out the yoke. Place yoke into a small bowl. Then, wash any remaining egg yoke from the white.

Cut eggs in halves (lengthwise), and scoop out the yolk. Place yolk into a small bowl.
Then, wash any remaining egg yolk from the white.

Combine egg yokes, fresh cracked black pepper, 1 tbsp butter, 2 tsp spicy brown mustard, 2 tbsp shredded Italian cheeses, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and mix into a smooth paste.

Combine egg yolks, fresh cracked black pepper, 1 tbsp butter, 2 tsp spicy brown mustard, 2 tbsp shredded Italian cheeses, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper and mix into a smooth paste.

You can fill the whites by using a teaspoon measure, sprayed with a bit of cooking pray, then filled with the yoke stuffing.  Garnish with a piece of green onion cut on the diagonal and a tiny piece of hot pepper (I am using Guyanese wiri wiri pepper, you can use scotch bonnet or even jalepeno)

You can fill the whites by using a teaspoon measure, sprayed with a bit of cooking pray, then filled with the yolk stuffing.
Garnish with a piece of green onion cut on the diagonal and a tiny piece of hot pepper (I am using Guyanese wiri wiri pepper, you can use scotch bonnet or even jalapeno)

Or if you wanna be fancy…

Add the stuffing to a piping bag with a star tip.

Add the stuffing to a piping bag with a star tip.

Pipe into the egg whites, making sure to fill it completely.

Pipe into the egg whites, making sure to fill it completely.

Garnish with a piece of green onions and a small piece of hot pepper.

Garnish with a piece of green onions and a small piece of hot pepper.

 

Deviled/Stuffed Eggs (Makes 8 servings)

Ingredients:

4 Eggs (hard boiled)
1 tbsp butter
2 tsp spicy brown mustard
2 tbsp Kraft Italian Blend Cheeses
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of cracked black pepper
Pinch of salt (optional, the cheeses are a bit salty)
1 blade of green onions, cut into 8 diagonal slices (garnish)
1/2 wiri wiri pepper cut into 8 tiny pieces (garnish)

Directions:
Divide hard boiled eggs in halves (lengthwise). Scoop out yolk and set aside. Wash whites and place on a serving plate/tray. Combine yolks, butter, brown mustard, cheese, cayenne pepper, black, pepper and a pinch of salt (if desired). Mix together until it forms a smooth paste. Using a teaspoon measure, scoop a teaspoon of the yolk mixture and stuff into the egg whites. Garnish with a slice of green onions and a piece of wiri wiri pepper.
You may also add the yolk mixture to a piping bag with a star tip. Then pipe the filling into the whites. Garnish same as above.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. You can substitute butter for Mayonnaise.
2. There are many different ways to make stuff eggs, this is just how I prefer mine.
3. As soon as I was finish taking the pictures for the blog post, these were devoured!

Happy Cooking!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday Brunch… Salt fish Cakes

photo(286)

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.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday Brunch… Potatoes and Vegetables Gratin

Potato Gratin

This is a quick side dish, perfect for Easter brunch. It’s a classic potato gratin with a veggie twist. I’m not going to say too much on this post, still sick and battling a nasty cold. So while my head is in a fog, I’ll spare you guys any crazy stories.

For the dish….

First you will need about 1lb potatoes.Washed and sliced into 1/8 inch thickness.Layer in a sauce pan and cover with water. Cook until it is al dente (slightly hard).

First you will need about 1lb potatoes.
Washed and sliced into 1/8 inch thickness.
Layer in a large saute pan and cover with water and add 1 tsp salt.
Cook until it is al dente (slightly hard).

Once the potatoes cook, remove from heat but not from water.For the veggies I am using a bag of steamers by Bird's Eye, but you can use fresh cauliflower, carrots and broccoli. Just remember to steam them a bit before putting the dish together.

Once the potatoes cook, remove from heat but not from water.
For the veggies I am using a bag of steamers by Bird’s Eye, but you can use fresh cauliflower, carrots and broccoli.
Just remember to steam them a bit before putting the dish together.

For the sauce:Melt 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan on low heat. Add, 1 tsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp chopped onions, 1 tsp spicy brown mustard, 4 cups shredded cheese, 2 cups milk, 1 tsp parsley flakes and a pinch pf  fresh ground black pepper.Whisk together until cheese melts and forms a thick sauce.

For the sauce:
Melt 1 tbsp butter in a saucepan on low heat.
Add, 1 tsp granulated garlic, 1 tbsp chopped onions, 1 tsp spicy brown mustard, 4 cups shredded cheese, 2 cups milk, 1 tsp parsley flakes and a pinch of fresh ground black pepper.
Whisk together until cheese melts and forms a thick sauce. Remove from heat and when cooled whisk in 2 whole eggs and set aside.

Layering the Gratin…

Grease a large baking dish with oil or cooking spray. Add a light layer of cheese sauce.Then add a layer of potatoes, followed by another layer of cheese sauce.

Grease a large baking dish with oil or cooking spray.
Add a light layer of cheese sauce.
Then add a layer of potatoes, followed by another layer of cheese sauce.

Add a layer of vegetables, then another layer of cheese.Finish with a second layer of potatoes and a final layer of cheese sauce.

Add a layer of vegetables, then another layer of cheese.
Finish with a second layer of potatoes and a final layer of cheese sauce.

Top with 1 cup shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 mins.

Top with 1 cup shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 mins.

I had mine with a side of oven roasted herb crusted chicken breast. Yummy.

I had mine with a side of oven roasted herb crusted chicken breast. Yummy.

Potatoes and Veggies Gratin (Serves 4)

Ingredients:

1lb potatoes
1 packet Bird’s Eye Steamers (mixed veggies),
or
1 head of broccoli
1/2 head of cauliflower
3 Carrots
5 cups of shredded cheese (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 eggs
2 cups milk
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp chopped onions
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
2 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley flakes
pinch of black pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wash potatoes and slice into 1/8 inch round slices. Layer slices in a large saute pan, cover with water, add 1 tsp salt and cook on medium heat. When potatoes are cooked but not too soft (al dente) remove from heat, but not water.
Prep veggies:
If you are using the steamers, follow instructions on the packet. If you are using fresh veggies. Steam veggies for 5 to 10 minutes. They should be cooked but not soft. Season with 1 tsp salt
Making the cheese sauce:
Melt butter in a small saucepan. Add chopped onions, granulated garlic, mustard, parsley flakes and black pepper.
Add 4 cups cheese and milk. Whisk until cheese melts into a thick sauce. Let cool then whisk in eggs.
Layering the gratin:
Grease a large baking dish with cooking spray or oil. Add a thin layer of cheese sauce. Then add a layer of potatoes followed by a layer of cheese sauce. Then add a layer of veggies, followed by another layer of cheese sauce. Finally add a top layer of potatoes and a final layer of cheese sauce. Then top with the remaining shredded cheese.

Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Tips and Ramblings:
1. If you want this to be more cheese, you can add 1/2 lb more cheese.
2. You can make the cheese on the top much thicker, but I wanted a more subtle cheese flavor.
3. You can make the sauce thicker by adding a tbsp of flour to the butter before adding the onions etc.

Happy Cooking!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday Brunch… Pancakes with strawberries and whiskey syrup!

Pancakes with strawberries in a whiskey sauce.

Pancakes with strawberries in a whiskey sauce.

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

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

Well, let’s get to it…

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

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

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

Now for the pancake batter…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pancakes with strawberries and whiskey syrup. (5 servings)

Ingredients:

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

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

Directions:


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

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

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

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,