SHOTS OF CULINARY REDEMPTION #KIWI/KALE/STAR FRUIT SMOOTHIE

I admit; I have been quite a naughty girl over the week-end. Yes, I fell off the ‘wagon’ as I sometimes do. I indulged in some calorie-laden, mouth-watering type of goodies. Oh, they were sinfully delicious. After all, I’m human and what’s life without a little salty, sweet and fried delights? Thinking about them sets my palate on overdrive. Oh, I’ve to control myself!

Thank goodness I have redemption. I have options. I do try to be a person of balance. So, after I gave a dear heart a jolt of morning activity, I grabbed my faithful blender. I added kiwis (2), a handful of kale and a chopped star fruit with a splash of water and lime juice and pulsed my way to a smooth tropical finish.

My fiber-rich and vitamin-laden fruits brought the natural sugars to my shots of smoothie. I know that my digestive system will be ecstatic for the rest of the day.

Guys, there’s always room for redemption. Bottoms up!!

FISH HEADS RULE!! #FISH BROTH (TEA)

I had just finished my morning’s work out and my endorphins were kicking. Moreover, I had all this pent-up energy within. What did I do? I headed for my kitchen and grabbed a couple of snapper fish that I had reserved for tomorrow’s dinner. Immediately I had a clear plan. I grabbed my cutting board and butcher’s knife and went chopping.

Those big guys stood erect and stared back at me. Their eyes were brilliant as they ogled me. It was as if they were beckoning me to come and get them. And I did. I took my knife and gently but firmly removed their heads, and set them aside. Where I come from, we don’t toss these.

Funny how a couple of fish heads bring back heart-warming memories when things were simple. You see, my dad used to bring home these King fish heads at least once a week. And mom being that ‘iron chef’ that she was turned out some mouth-watering fish broths for the entire family (well, it was one of dad’s favorites). In Jamaica, we call it ‘fish tea’. It’s a cross between soup and broth. It’s an excellent starter for a meal.

So, with that in mind, I decided to replicate my dear mom’s fish tea. I gathered a few root vegetables and fish heads.

SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR FISH BROTH (TEA)
SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR FISH BROTH (TEA)

With a few rough chops I added same to stock pot and allowed them to simmer under low to medium heat. I also added veggie bouillon and seasoned along with a pinch of jerk sauce, crushed garlic,thyme, pimento and salt and black pepper to taste.

FISH BROTH (TEA) SIMMERING
FISH BROTH (TEA) SIMMERING

Close to the end I tossed in a few pieces of blanched chopped okra I had in the freezer.

In less than half an hour my fish tea was ready for serving. In my broth (tea), I don’t strain; everything  is consumed. It’s vital to be careful of all those bones. I don’t worry. By now, I’m a pro!

FINISHED FISH BROTH (TEA)
FINISHED FISH BROTH (TEA)

I know what I’ll be having for a light lunch today. I’ll pair with some crusty English muffins with a smear of butter. By then, I’ll be relaxed and ready for a siesta. By the way, the rest of the fish (body) will be done up in an escovitched. I can’t wait.

THE TROPICS WAS ON MY MIND #STAR FRUIT AND KIWI

Maybe, it was the sizzling temperatures on the outskirts, but, the tropics was upfront and center on my mind. I wanted to start my day just right so I figured what better way to do so than with a few fruits of the tropics. Star fruits and kiwis are filled with great vitamin C and other nutrients that are beneficial to the body.

A fruit plate was in the works. To go with my tropical delights, I also tossed in a few slices of strawberries and gala apples for added texture and color. With a little squeeze of fresh lemon juice  my refreshing fruit plate was ready for consumption.

A SUMMER WRAP-UP #GRILLED AND SKEWERED SHRIMP

With summer on its way out I thought I would fire-up my in-door pan grill. And so I did with the sweet and crispy corn on the cob along with bell peppers and onions.

CORN ON THE COB, ONION AND BELL PEPPERS FOR GRILLING
CORN ON THE COB, ONION AND BELL PEPPERS FOR GRILLING

Corns were brushed with a little olive oil and added to piping hot grill so as to wake up the beautiful flavors within.

CORNS, AND BELL PEPPERS ON GRILL
CORNS, AND BELL PEPPERS ON GRILL

In no time, I got the other veggies into the mix.

SLICED ONION RINGS AND SCALLION ON GRILL
SLICED ONION RINGS AND SCALLION ON GRILL

After grilling I allowed corns to cool; then, I let my knife do the talking in removing the kernels from the cob. I also did a rough chop of all the veggies.

LOOSE CORN READY AND VEGGIES FOR COCONUT RICE
CORN READY AND VEGGIES FOR COCONUT RICE

Grilled veggies were tossed in with steamed coconut rice. Of course, I even got some skewered shrimp in on the action. With a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and black pepper, paprika, and crushed garlic, these were placed on skewers.

On a hot grill under low heat, shrimp were grilled for approximately two minutes per side.

GRILLED SHRIMP ALONG WITH LEMON
GRILLED SHRIMP ALONG WITH LEMON

Grilled skewered shrimp were served on a bed of coconut steamed rice with grilled corn and other veggies.

 

EXTRA SPICY JERK WINGS

It was quite an extra spicy day in my kitchen. You see, I was asked to prepare and cook some chicken wings for a special occasion. Thus, I went to work feverishly. The ingredients were:

  • Chicken wings (approx. 12 lbs)
  • Onions (3 large) {minced in food processor)
  • Garlic (6 cloves) {minced in food processor)
  • Scallion (3 stalks)
  • Black pepper (sprinkle)
  • Salt (1 teaspoon per pound)
  • Paprika (sprinkle)
  • Jerk sauce (mild and hot)
  • Vinegar (a few splash)
  • Dark sugar (1 tablespoon)
  • Ketchup
  • Bell peppers (2 whole) for garnish and sauce
  • Pimento (all spice){1 table-spoon crushed]
  • Canola oil

Method:

Salt, black pepper, and paprika were used sparingly bearing in mind that jerk sauce contains a reasonable amount of sodium and other ingredients.

  1. Wings were first cut into two pieces; then were rinsed with fresh squeeze of lime.
  2. Excess water was removed by draining and drying with paper towel. A drizzle of canola oil was added for jerk sauce and other seasoning to adhere to wings.
  3. Onions, garlic and other ingredients and spices were pulsed in food processor and then added along with store-bought jars of jerk sauce (mild/hot).
  4. Wings were baked in a pre-heated 360 degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes turning once.

    BAKED JERK WINGS READY FOR EXTRA SAUCE
    BAKED JERK WINGS READY FOR EXTRA SAUCE
  5. Wings were brushed with extra jerk sauce and placed under broiler for another 3 to 5 minutes.
  6. Extra sauce was served in bell peppers.

PULP TOO GOOD TO TOSS!! #CARROT AND BEET MUFFINS

I couldn’t bear to toss. I made myself beet and carrot juice. I incorporated finely chopped ginger root and a squeeze of lime. With a splash of water, all ingredients were placed in standing blender. This was blended and then strained so as to remove pulp.

BEET/CARROT JUICE
BEET/CARROT JUICE

Though most of the juice was extracted, I retained the pulp which still contained enormous fibers, beta-carotene, and other nutrients. I decided to make  carrot and beet muffins. I added shredded carrot to same and combined.

PULP FROM BEET/CARROTS ALONG WITH SHREDDED CARROT FOR MUFFINS
PULP FROM BEET/CARROTS ALONG WITH SHREDDED CARROT FOR MUFFINS

Other ingredients:

  • Whole-wheat and all-purpose flour (1 cup ea.)
  • Baking soda (1 teaspoon)
  • Baking powder (1 teaspoon)
  • Flax-seed (2 table-spoons)
  • Dark sugar (1/4 cup)
  • Granulated sugar (1/4 cup)
  • Butter (1 stick)
  • Vegetable oil (1/4)
  • Salt (pinch)
  • Cinnamon (2 teaspoon)
  • Vanilla (1 teaspoon)
  • Raisins (1/4 cup)
SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR BEET AND CARROT MUFFINS
SOME OF THE MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR BEET AND CARROT MUFFINS

Method:

  1. Butter, oil and sugar were creamed and then  vanilla added.
  2. All dry ingredients were combined and then gradually added to creamed butter and sugar.
  3. Pulp of carrots and beets along with shredded carrots and raisins were added and folded.
  4. Batter was then placed in sprayed muffin pan.MIXED CARROT AND BEET MUFFINS READY FOR BAKING
  5. Muffins were baked in a pre-heated oven at 370 fahrenheit until done.

    BAKED CARROT AND BEET MUFFINS
    BAKED CARROT AND BEET MUFFINS