Archive | March, 2013

Recipe #14: Jamaican Corned beef and Cabbage

17 Mar

When I was growing up we always ate the quick and easy dish of corned beef and cabbage, but the corned beef we always ate was the corned beef in a can, the bulla(y) beef.  Mom would cook it down with some cabbage and white rice and that is what I knew as corned beef and cabbage. It wasn’t until I was with a friend on St. Patty’s Day, we were eating at this Irish Pub and I ordered corned beef and cabbage.  It looked completely different, I realized that the corned beef and cabbage I ate growing up was a completely the, “I am not a chef version.”  LOL. So I went searching in The Cookbook, I figure, if I ate it while growing up, it must be because it is a traditional recipe that my mom transformed….lol. And guess what I found? A recipe for corned beef! Just so happens it is also St. Patrick’s Day!

Here is the recipe from the book:

  • 12 Pimento berries
  • 2 stalks scallion
  • 3 slices hot pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 3 table spoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon saltpetre
  • 3 lb leg, loin or silverside of beef

Pound the pimento berries in a mortar.  Add the scallion, hot pepper and garlic and pound these almost to a puree, then combine with the black pepper, thyme, salt and saltpetre and mix well.

With a sharp, long, narrow-bladed knife, make incisions all over the meat.  Place a little of the seasoning mixture in each incision, leaving some to rub over the outside of the meat.

Place the seasoned meat in a glass, china or earthenware container, cover with plastic wrap, and leave it for 2-3 days in the bottom of the ridge.

When the mean is to be cooked, transfer it to a large pot with plenty of water.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and gently cook until it is tender.  This should take about 2 hours.  the corned beef should be tender but not falling apart.

OK here is what did:

First, luckily it was St. Patrick’s Day week. I was able to find an already prepped beef loin, so I didn’t have to worry about the saltpetre.  Image

I took the pimento and the scallion and pounded them in a bowl.  Very similar to what I did for the jerk rub. But I made a much better mixture.

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I added a whole hot pepper, sliced, pepper, garlic, pepper and  less salt since the corned beef was already salted. Pounded everything all together and got a great smelling paste.

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Then I made the incisions in the beef and stuffed the mixture into each incision, I rubbed the remaining mixture all of the beef.  I covered the beef and let it sit in the fridge for 2 days.

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Once I was ready to cook, I placed the beef in a pot, and filled it about half way with water.

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I brought everything to a boil, lowered the heat and cooked this for about 2-3 hours.

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This is smelling delicious at this point.  My mother kept lifting the pot. After about 2 1/2 hours I removed the beef.

I let it rest for a few minutes, and then sliced it up.

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This is beautiful because you can see all the seasoning that you stuffed into each incision when you slice it.

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To make the cabbage, I simply added onions, and carrots to an oiled hot skillet and cooked that until the onions were translucent. I sliced up cabbage and added it to the onions and carrots.  Here is the kicker! I added the juice from the pot the beef was in and poured it over the cabbage.  I let that cook down until the cabbage was tender but still had a crunch.

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This was so delicious. I think my favorite recipe. Very flavorful beef. My mom even loved it and she actually is not a beef lover.  My dad was not a huge fan, only because corned beef has the red on the inside.  He kept asking if it was actually cooked.  I informed him that canned corned beef is also red on the inside.  My brother LOVED the cabbage, and he never compliments anything so I know that was a hit!

Happy St. Patty’s Day!

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RECIPE #13: Jamaican PEAS SOUP

9 Mar

A few posts ago I cooked the rice and peas recipe. In that recipe I mentioned the fact that I wasn’t sure why Rice and Peas were called Rice and Peas since it is made with kidney beans.  Well turns out that in Jamaica, traditionally kidney beans are known as kidney peas.  Anyway, I went searching through The Cookbook looking for something completely different and found a Red Peas Soup recipe, but unfortunately I didn’t have any kidney beans. So I switched it up and made just a Peas Soup with Gungo Peas or as you will find it in the supermarket Pigeon Peas!

Here is the recipe from the book:

  • 2 cups red peas
  • 2lb shin of beef
  • 1/2 lb salted pig’s tail
  • 10-12 cups of water
  • 1lb yellow yam or other hard yam cut into pieces
  • 2-3 cocos
  • 1 1/2 cup of flour dumplings
  • 1 whole hot pepper
  • 3 slices hot pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 stalks scallion, crushed
  • 1 spring thyme
  • black pepper
  • salt

Put the peas and meats in a large pan with the water and bring to the boil.  reduce the heat cover and allow to cook until the meats are tender.  This should take about 2 hours.  Crush some of the peas with a large spoon or fork, then add the yam, cocos and dumplings.  Season the soup with the whole and sliced hot pepper, garlic scallion, thyme and a little black pepper.  cook until the yam and cocos are soft, adding more water if necessary.  Taste for salt.  Be Careful not to break or cut the pepper when you are stirring the pot.

O.K. here is what I did.

First, I must say, this was possibly the most difficult recipe for me to get together.  For some reason all of the ingredients just would not work with me.  Seriously drama from start to finish.

Shopping for the ingredients, I realized I had no idea what a yellow yam looked like, and when I went into the supermarket this is what I saw. Image

There were so many different types of YAM! I gave up after going to 2 supermarkets and getting very confused.  My mom kept saying “it’s the long one, that looks like a branch.” (She refused to come to the supermarket with me)

Yeah… ok…I just bought potatoes.. LOL

Anyway, like I said before, I used pigeon peas instead of kidney beans, because we had the dry ones in the house already. I Soaked the peas with the pigs tail for a while.  The dry peas have to get soft and just boiling them will not get them as soft as I needed them at the end. So I soaked everything for about an hour before I boiled them.

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Now, don’t be discouraged by the pigs tail.  It is just pork and the favor is really good. I couldn’t find the salt beef, so I only used the pigs tails.

Then, I began trying to roll out the dumplings. I mixed flour and some salt together and added water. Of course, this was my second hiccup.  I ran out of flour! My mother laughed, she said she has never run out of flour, obviously all of my cooking is using up items we previously barely used.  So, I was supposed to make firm little dumplings. But, instead mine came out as sticky little dumplings. Whatever… I just threw them in.

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I added in the diced potatoes and the rest of the ingredients, minus those dam yams, and brought everything to a boil.

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I simmered everything for about 2 hours, until the potatoes were soft and I could crush a few peas on the side of the pot. Then I served it up.

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Yum! Can’t wait to make this with the yam, next time I will ask. In some markets they will cut it open for you and you can see if it is yellow inside.  Those are yellow yams. But the flavor was good. I think I would add less peas next time, but you can add or remove peas to your taste. My dad loves peas, my mom not so much. They both agreed that the flavor was great regardless.

The dumplings came out fine as well, I would make sure to make them smaller and next time check to make sure I have enough flour.

This is dads bowl, notice the size of his compared to ours! LOL

*His*

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*Mine*

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RECIPE 12#: Fricasseed Chicken (Brown Stew Chicken…?)

3 Mar

So I was told today that I need to slow down. Apparently, I have cooked so much that we have food for days, we can’t eat it fast enough. So I didn’t cook all week. My hands were itching to get to the pot.  I had chicken in the fridge and I went searching for brown stew chicken in The COOKBOOK, but I couldn’t find it.  The only thing I found was  Fricasseed Chicken, the recipe sounds very similar to Brown Stew Chicken, so maybe that’s it?

Here is the recipe from the book

  • 1 chicken, 4lb
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3-4 slices of hot pepper
  • 1 whole hot pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2-3 cups water

Wash and dry the chicken, removing any feathers still remaining on it.  Rub it all over with the lime juice.  Cut into joints and place them in a bowl.  Season with salt and plenty black pepper, add garlic, thyme, onions, tomatoes, and hot pepper.  Mix well and leave the chicken to marinate for 15 mins.

Remove the chicken pieces from the bowl, and fry them in oil until very brown.  Fry as many pieces as the pan will hold without overlapping, and when they are all browned, remove them from the pan.  Take the pan off the heat for a minute or so for it to cool a little, then lower the heat, put the pan back, and scape in the seasoning in which the chicken was marinated.  Stir for a minutes or so, then pour the water, bring to a boil, and add the chicken pieces.  Cover the pan and simmer for 1 hour or until the chicken is tender but not falling apart.  Be careful not to break the whole hot pepper.

Taste the juices for salt and if the gravy is too liquid, reduce it by increasing the heat, leaving the cover off, until the excess liquid evaporates.  Remove the whole pepper before serving.

Here is what I did:

First of all, there was noooo way I was plucking feathers of a chicken for the morning. I decided to just use the chicken I had in the fridge, which were just drumsticks. I cleaned it and then seasoned the chicken with all of the spices, (a little extra hot pepper and salt lol) and I marinated the chicken over night.

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The next day, I took the chicken out and picked of the seasonings to fry.  If you fry it with the seasonings, such as onion, still attached the seasoning will burn and make the oil pop. It’s an extra step, but very worth it. I used a mix of half oil and half butter.  I fried the chicken, just a few at a time.

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I removed each piece, once it was browned on all sides, and continued until the entire batch was cooked.  Then I put them to the side.

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I could have eaten them then…if they weren’t still raw.  Don’t eat them yet.. lol

Then I added the seasoning to the pot.

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Yumm…Once, those were giving off a delicious aroma, I added a little water. A little less than the recipe called for, because for some reason I am not good at reducing water down.

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I added the chicken back to the pot and covered the pot for an hour. The water did reduce well this time.. surprise surprise… the one time I add less water…smh.  Once it was done, yumm.. very flavorful, not too spicy but I didn’t mind. The next day the chicken was even better. I served it with white rice and avocado slices. Image

Notice..I am working on my plating skills.. LOL!! How am I doing?