Archive | April, 2013

Recipe #17: Ginger Bread

28 Apr

Right now I am trying to do anything to get away from cooking that tripe! So I decided to test my hand at baking.  There are quite a few recipes that call for baking in The COOKBOOK.  I have actually gone through almost all of the dinner dishes, so to avoid the tripe, it is only right to begin on a few desserts.  This was such a quick and easy recipe, me (who sucks at baking) completed it without barely a hitch!

Here is the Recipe from the book:

  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 egg beaten

Heat the molasses, sugar and butter gently in a pan.  Pour in the hot water, mix well and set aside.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg, then add the grated ginger and the well beaten egg.  Combine the molasses liquid with the flour mixture, and pour the resulting batter into a shallow tin lined with greased paper.  Bake in a slow over at 300 – 350 degrees F. 150-160 degrees C, for an hour or until done.

OK Here is what I did:

I began with the molasses. I was very nervous about burning it, so I kept the heat on low as everything melded together.

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While that was working I grated the ginger.

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Once the molasses and butter mixture was melted, I added the water and let it sit. The consistency was runny, and smelled delicious. Image

I set that aside and sifted the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg together.

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Once that was done I got the pan ready. I learned a trick that my aunt always uses when she is baking something so that the food doesn’t stick.  I took a slice of butter and placed it on a napkin.  I rubbed the butter all around the pan.  Then a took of pinch or two of flower and shifted it around in the pan until the entire pan and the sides were covered.  Then I discarded the excess flour. Image

Now my only hiccup was when I added the molasses mixture to the flour.  It became really clumpy.  I am not sure how to prevent that.  If you have any ideas, let me know! But I added all the ginger to that mixture and stirred it up. Then poured it into the pan.

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See.. a little clumpy.  But anyway, I baked that for the specified time.  The house smelled awesome! And wallah! Gingerbread!!

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My mom asked why i didn’t put it in a bread pan. LOL, I don’t know! But the test was whether it bread came out smoothly.  And Oh yes it did!!

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Look closely at the bottom of the pan! And yes I served it with ice cream. I know it is supposed to be a bread, but I thought ginger and ice cream.. and yes it was yummy.  I wonder if I could use that bread to make a bread pudding..hhmmm…LOL!!

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Everyone loved the bread. It was like eating a ginger bread cookie, just softer.  We all picked at pieces of the bread all day.  It didn’t last long! YUM!!

Recipe #16: Jamaican Beef and Okra

14 Apr

So, I took the Beef Tripe out of the fridge. I thawed it out, but I am still not ready to work with it.  I am promising myself that I will do it some time this week, but I am not ready yet!.  So instead of cooking the tripe I went back out to the store and just picked up some round of beef. In The Cookbook I found Beef and Okra, which is a dish I am much more willing to work with!

Here is the recipe from the book

  • 2lb shoulder steak, round of beef, sirloin or shin of beef
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/3 cup of oil
  • 2 onions
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups of water
  • 1lb of okras, tops removed

Cut the meat across the grain into thin slices, no more than 2×3 inches and season them with a little salt and pepper.

Brown the meat in the oil, then add the onions and garlic and stir until these take color.  Add the thyme and tomatoes, stir again, and add the water.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer until the meat is tender.  Add more water if it becomes necessary.

Add the okras, taste for salt, cover, and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Here is what I did:

My family isn’t really a beef eating family, so I knew my goal was to get them to enjoy this meal.  Also, I’ve cooked beef before and my personal challenge is trying to figure out how to get the beef tender.  When I said this out loud my father, my backseat cook, yelled that I need to “let da meat cook.” LOL! So that is what I did.

First I bought already cubed meat, and I seasoned them on both sides with salt and pepper.  I added them to a pot of hot oil and butter.

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While that was browning I chopped up my other ingredients, the tomatoes, onions, and garlic.

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Once the pieces were brown, I followed the rest of the instructions, adding in the onion and garlic.  Letting it brown, and then adding the tomatoes, thyme and water.  I added just enough water to cover the meat.

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I covered the pot and let this simmer. Like I said, my goal was to get the meat as tender as possible.  This pot of yummy goodness simmered for over an hour.

When I felt I could break apart the beef cubes easily with the knife I added in the Okra. I used frozen okra because my supermarket didn’t have fresh ones.  I also added in a few dashes of hot sauce.

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I covered the pot again and let it simmer for another hour.  At this point the meat was practically falling apart.

Then I served it up with rice and peas.  Made perfectly of course from the previous recipe!

Here is dads plate!

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Here is mine!

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Another success! This was so good, the beef literally melted in my mouth. My dad added a few more dashes of hot sauce, but I was good with my spiciness.

After rereading the recipe I noticed it said I should slice the meat into thin slices.  Next time I will make thinner slices, but regardless definitely a go to meal!

RECIPE #15: Jamaican Escoveitch Fish

9 Apr

My dad, the backseat cook (lol), has insisted that we are eating too much of the same meat.  So he decided that he would buy fish, tripe, beef kidneys, and other pieces of meat that I have never eaten…ummmm..I decided to start with the fish. Luckily the COOKBOOK has other fish recipes, and I found escoveitch fish! I’ve had this at Jamaican restaurants, and although the fish is delicious it’s the onions and carrots that I always go back for. I’ll worry about the other pieces of meat another time!

Here is the recipe from the book:

  • 2 lbs fresh fish
  • juice of 2 limes
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • oil
  • 1-2 cho cho or cucumbers
  • 2 onions
  • 2 hot peppers, scotch bonnet
  • 2 tablespoons pimento berries
  • 1 cup vineger

Clean and wash the fish, rub them with the lime juice, and dry them with a kitchen cloth or paper.  Sprinkle them on both sides and inside with salt and pepper.  heat plenty of oil in a frying pan until it is very hot and begins to smoke very slightly.  Place the fish in the hot oil one at a time, taking care that they do not overlap.  Reduce the heat a little and fry the fish on both sides.  If they are difficult to turn, then the oil was not hot enough.  Leave them for a couple minutes to allow the underside to brown, then turn.  When the fish are done, drain them and arrange them on a large platter or in a deep bowl.

In the meantime, peel the cho chos and cut them into halves and then into long strips.  Put them in a saucepan with the onions, hot peppers, pimento, vinegar and a little salt to taste.  Bring the mixture to a boil simmer for 2 minutes or so, then remove it from the heat.  Pour this hot pickle over the fish.  The fish can marinate for 1 hour to 3 days.  Can be served hot or cold.

O.K Here is what I did!

The best fish for this is the red snapper, I got pretty big snapper because I couldn’t find anything smaller.  If you can find smaller fish, then please use them, the big ones complicate things! Image

I cleaned and washed those babies, and then salted and peppered the inside and the outside. I couldn’t find a pan to fit them in tho.. LOL. I had to use my bridge burner and a long pan.  I heated the oil until it was smoking and then carefully placed the fish down…. do this carefully, i splashed the first time. I let them cook for 4-6 minutes and then flipped. Image

While that was cooking I sliced up my onions, cucumbers (cause I’m still not sure what cho cho’s are, lol), onions and hot peppers. I sliced these into thin strips.

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I placed my sliced pieces into a pot with vinegar, I used apple cider vinegar.  I let it boil and then simmer for a few minutes.

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Once the onions and carrots were more translucent, but not soft I wanted them to have some crunch, I poured my mixture over the fish.

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I let this sit over night.

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Then served!

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Notice I cut the fish in half, and had two pieces.  Don’t be intimidated by the fish head, you can also ask your butcher to cut the heads off and just do the tail end.  My mother happens to looooove the fish head. This was delicious. The onions and carrots tasted exactly how I wanted them to. Next time I will spice it up another notch!!

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Keep it Spicy!!