APPLE-FILLED CREPES

Every chance I get, I try to incorporate as much fiber in a meal. This morning was no exception. During the autumn, the market is loaded with apples. As a result,  the prices become somewhat competitive. And, yours truly took advantage and stock up on a few extras.

Decided to make myself a few crepes filled with home-made apple sauce. But first, I used by my box grater and shredded a couple of gala apples. In a stockpot, I placed same and added a teaspoon of sugar, honey, cinnamon, ground ginger and a splash of water. This was simmered for a few minutes on low heat until it arrived at a sauce-like consistency.

In a bowl, I placed a combination of a half cup of whole-wheat and all-purpose flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, pinch of salt, and sugar. Combined dried ingredients were added to wet ingredients consisting of milk, beaten egg, vanilla and a little melted unsalted butter.

HOME-MADE APPLE SAUCE AND CREPE BATTER
HOME-MADE APPLE SAUCE AND CREPE BATTER

In a hot skillet under low heat, I sprayed a little Pam and allowed each crepe to cook and set for approximately two to three minutes per side. And these were the results:

CREPES READY FOR APPLE-SAUCE FILLING AND WRAPPING
CREPES READY FOR APPLE-SAUCE FILLING AND WRAPPING

I filled my fluffy crepes with apple sauce and wrapped my way to a fiber-filled breakfast.

APPLE-FILLED CREPES
APPLE-FILLED CREPES
Advertisements

SNAPPER WITH SWEET/SOUR PICKLES

It’s not all the time that my palate and I are on the same plate. However, today, there was no debate. After days of consuming the feathery ones (turkey and chicken), my palate and I came to a rapid consensus.

We decided to go fishing. Thanks to the king of the hour, (whole snapper). As per usual, I made a few scores across the surface. Scoring same allowed the salt and black pepper and other spices to penetrate within.

In a hot skillet, a combination of canola and coconut oil was added along with a clove of garlic. The garlic provided additional flavor to fish. And, this was fished out and tossed. After drying fish with paper towel, it was lightly sprinkled with whole wheat flour and then pan-fried on medium heat and set aside.

PAN-FRIED SNAPPER
PAN-FRIED SNAPPER

Julienned bell peppers, onions, along with finely chopped scotch bonnet peppers, grape tomatoes, pimento (all spices) were slowly sauteed under low heat. Then, vinegar, honey, thyme, scallion with a splash of water were added. I made sure to season along with salt, and pepper.

Pan-fried snapper was then added back to skillet under low heat for approximately three minutes on each side. Fish soaked up all the aromatic spices and flavors. My palate and I were in ‘Surf Land’.

 

 

 

FEATHERY ABANDONMENT!! ##ROASTED CHICKEN WITH APPLES

I confess; I’m not a great lover of turkey. However, on Thanksgiving Day I indulged in a very delicious, moist and succulent bird. Shhh!! My friend was on top of her game and ‘throw it down!’ I found my self returning for seconds. The side dishes served were: creamy macaroni/cheese, sweet and smooth sweet potato bake, hot kale salad and of course the tart/sweet cranberry.  All those sides gave a beautiful balance to the star of the show (turkey).

ROASTED TURKEY STUFFED WITH ROSEMARY, THYME AND OTHER HERBS
ROASTED TURKEY STUFFED WITH ROSEMARY, THYME AND OTHER HERBS

On returning home, I felt a tad guilty.  I took a peek at my chicken as it  perched on the bottom shelf. Somehow, it looked quite miniature.  My intention was to do a quick roast of it the next day. You see, I placed it in an apple cider brine the a day before. I removed same, rinsed and stuffed it with compound butter consisting of fresh herbs of rosemary, thyme and crushed garlic.

As my poor bird laid there I felt that I should find a way to perk it up and enhance the size and taste. Reflecting on the size of the turkey breast, I took my knife and made a slit in the center of my chicken breast. That didn’t satisfy me. I made quick scan of my surrounding trying to find a way to make it up to my bird. After all, I consume same most days of the week.

In my peripheral vision, I spotted the bowl of gala apples. Why not? Immediately, I grabbed a couple and removed the pits with my knife tip and stuffed them with some fresh herbs. I smiled, I felt like I was making it up with a lover. I drizzled a little olive oil and massaged the interior and exterior of my abandoned bird (well, in my mind).

SEASONED CHICKEN FOR ROASTING
SEASONED CHICKEN FOR ROASTING

I placed my dear bird on wire rack so that all the heat could circulate throughout and yield a crispy skin. Chicken was then placed on foiled baking sheet and roasted in a preheated 375 degree oven for approximately an hour (turning once). It was basted with a sauce consisting of little apple cider, ketchup, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and dried seasoning. Oven was turned up to 420 for another 15 minutes to arrive at a crispy and brown finish.

Though my beloved bird was small in body, I must state I loved all the amazing flavors. She has a way to adapt to any spice, and flavors come her way. She is so forgiving and always seem to satisfy me. I can’t promise her that I will not stray and test the waters with another feathery one. Deep down, I know she understands.

Oh, I wish they would all just get along. After all, it’s just a once in a while kind of thing. Do I have to choose? Okay, I choose my dear chicken.

 

 

 

ROASTED PUMPKIN/SWEET POTATO WITH FETA CHEESE

Roasted pumpkin and sweet potato are staples and huge  favorites on the table on Thanksgiving. Decided to pair both. On a baking sheet, sliced pumpkin and sweet potato were drizzled with olive oil and then sprinkled with a pinch of salt, and cinnamon.

PUMPKIN AND SWEET POTATO FOR OVEN
PUMPKIN AND SWEET POTATO FOR OVEN

Root vegetables were roasted in a preheated 420 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes turning once. Roasted pumpkin and sweet potatoes were then topped with feta cheese for a sweet and salty finish.

CRANBERRY PUNCH (NON-ALCOHOLIC)

It was such a great treat to indulge in an afternoon non-alcoholic cocktail. These awesome berries are just in time for the holidays. I didn’t have to venture far as I had the red, tart and healthy  berries (cranberries) chilling in the refrigerator from the previous day. These were simmered on low heat for less than 25 minutes until they burst with glee.

In   a standing blender, a splash of water was added along with some of the simmered cranberries. To that I further added a little simple syrup and blended all the ingredients to a refreshing finish. Drink was garnished with a sprig of mint and a slice of grapefruit.

Salud!

HOLIDAY BERRIES #CRANBERRIES

It’s that time of the year when the market is loaded with cranberries. Their presence remind us that the holiday season is here. And because it’s the peak season for these,  the prices are relatively inexpensive. Prices vary; however, a pound of these can put you back $2.00 in certain markets.

These red and tart berries are not only attractive for the table, but they are packed with beneficial nutrients such as antioxidants that protect against damage to the body. Moreover, over the years, many studies have found that the acidity in  these berries prevent urinary tract infections (UTI’s).

I love to take advantage of these seasonal berries. Thus, I like to buy and freeze a copious amount to be used up during the year when prices are higher. I rinse and store in ziplock bags.

FRESH CRANBERRIES
FRESH CRANBERRIES BEING RINSED FOR STORING IN FREEZER

A little goes a far way. I often use as: syrup for pancakes/crepes, as a side dish for turkey and other poultry. I love to simmer on low heat, cool and make a cranberry drink instead of the store-bought version. Or, as a holiday cocktail (cranberry vodka martini). Also I like to add other berries such as blue, straw or raspberries and fruits and make a refreshing non-alcoholic drink.

 

 

EL NINO IS TO BLAME!! #PICKLED RED HERRING LEFT-OVERS

As I made my way to my ‘nest’, one major thing was on my mind. You see, when stormy weather is at my back door, my palate and I switch to a different mood. The forecasters call the present weather pattern “the El Nino effect” which is formed in the Pacific near South America. This is when cold and warm air collide and produce copious rainfalls during this period.

So, as buckets of precipitation came fiercely from the darkened skies, I rapidly made my way to my kitchen. I reached for my left-overs (pickled red herring, boiled dumplings (whole-wheat/cornmeal), Irish potato, and steamed callaloo (Jamaican spinach) of the previous day. They were dutifully perched on the bottom shelf just waiting for me. I snatched them up with a huge grin on my face.

I made a quick dry with paper towel of my dumplings and potato and carefully cut them in halves. You see, I didn’t feel like consuming them in their present boiled form. I wanted a crusty exterior. Thus, I decided to pan fry them in hot canola oil. Can you imagine? I told you El Nino drove me to this.

This didn’t stop there; every Jamaican knows that when consuming pickled red herring, something sweet has to be added. As a result, I also fried a few pieces of plantain. Steamed callaloo (Jamaican spinach) and of course left-over pickled red herring were placed on a plate and reheated. With a couple of slices of avocado, my dish was ready for consumption.

Thanks to the El Nino effect; my palate and I were satisfied. All I needed was some piping hot green tea. Salud!

 

SAUTEED PICKLED RED HERRING ##BLUE MOON

It’s the week-end; and, I’m in a kind of naughty mood. You see, in my culinary mind’s eye, there’s a full blue moon. And, when this rarity develops, almost anything can occur in my kitchen.

I was in the mood for something a tad salty, spicy and chock-full of amazing flavors. Moreover, I craved something that reminded me of my earlier years in Jamaica. Thus, all roads led me to fillet pickled red herring.

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR SAUTEED PICKLED MACKEREL
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR SAUTEED PICKLED RED HERRING

Herring pieces were cut into smaller portions. And because pickled red herring contains extra sodium I made sure to extract same. I did this by repeatedly rinsing, soaking and boiling for a few minutes until I was satisfied with the level of sodium I needed.

In a hot skillet, a drizzle of coconut oil was added. Then, sliced onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers, crushed pimento and garlic were sautéed on low to medium heat.

Pickled red herring was then added and allowed to simmer under low heat in order to absorb all the aromatic flavors. Also, because seafood loves acid, a drizzle of vinegar was added along with a pinch of sugar for a fine balance.

BREAKFAST WAS SEAFOOD FROM A CAN

I love seafood. I like a fresh catch as well as the store-bought version in the can. This morning, I consumed a tasty and delicious serving of canned sardines in olive oil. Based on nutrition facts, sardines are loaded with beneficial omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, protein and other nutrients that good for the body.

Call me a tad ‘nutty’; but, sometimes I like to warm my canned sardines. And, that’s what I did this morning. In a hot skillet, a drizzle of olive oil was added. Sliced onions were softened and then sardines were added under low heat. A sprinkle of black pepper was also added. And, because seafood craves acid, I drizzled a little vinegar and a squeeze of fresh lemon.

I paired my warmed sardines with a serving of tomatoes and nature’s butter (avocado). I couldn’t resist; I love a little sweet taste accompanying my savory sardines. Thus, I had a few pieces of rye toast covered with a spread of strawberry jam. I was in heaven!