Tag Archives: jamaican cuisine

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.

Image

While that was working I grated the ginger.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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

Image

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!!

Image

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!!

Image

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!!

Advertisements

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

I let this sit over night.

Image

Then served!

Image

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!!

Image

Keep it Spicy!!

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

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?