TIPSY BILLY #CURRIED GOAT WITH JAMAICAN RUM

To say that was happy is an understatement; I was over the moon with my dish. And I confess, so was ‘Billy’ (well, my aromatic dish of curried goat). Knew my goat meat could handle the true spirits of Jamaica. So what did I do? I marinated same with a few splashes of Jamaican white rum.

Normally, I would add the rum while the meat is being braised; however, I decided to flavor Billy overnight. And boy, it turned out to be a great idea. Some of the other exotic spices and ingredients added were:

  • curry powder
  • cumin
  • crushed ginger, pimento, garlic
  • cracked black pepper and salt to taste

Did a quick saute of the  pieces of goat meat in order to lock in the amazing flavors. Then, roughly chopped onions, celery, scotch bonnet pepper, fresh thyme were added. Cold tap water was then poured over all ingredients.

Under low to medium heat, with lid on, goat meat simmered in a rum-flavored curry sauce to a fork tender finish. In between braising process,  liquid (water) was added along with seasoning. Served curried goat with steamed Jasmine rice and garlic broccoli.

Billy didn’t disappoint. He turned out to be fork tender and succulent. The flavors and spices were bold but not overpowering. They were such a delectable reminiscence  of Jamaica.  My palate and I were transported to a beautiful place. A place that we’ll  certainly revisit.

 

 

BEEF BONE SOUP TO STICK TO THE RIBS

It was beef all the way. It has been a long time since I’ve gone down this road. Got me a few pieces of beef bones and decided to make a pot of the mouth-watering and nutritious soup.

Beef soup was loaded with pureed pumpkin that provided a rich and beautiful hue to my brew. Also,  an assortment of vegetables that included fresh and crispy corn on the cob. I made sure to add vegetable bouillon and pumpkin noodle packet mix for added flavors.

Fresh sprigs of thyme, scallion, whole scotch bonnet pepper, crushed pimento (all spices) and garlic helped to give exotic and amazing flavors to my delicious beef bones soup. Once more,  I was over the moon.

SUMMER CULINARY HABITS THAT SAVE $$$’S AND FOOD SAFETY

When the cooler temperatures morph into the sizzling ones, I know it’s time for me to make adjustments and changes along the culinary line. These moves help in the prevention of food spoilage which subsequently allow me to obtain my money’s worth. Some of the steps I generally take are: –

  1. Reduce the number on the thermostat in order to avoid spoilage and food-borne illnesses. The USDA states that bacteria thrives in temperatures 40 to 140 degrees which is termed the ‘Danger Zone’.
  2. Make a concerted effort to operate a ‘first-in/first out’ (FIFO) system when it comes to the usage of foods and left-over dishes. Thus, I try to stock freezer and refrigerator accordingly.
  3. Perishables like fruits and vegetables normally have a shorter shelf-life during the warmer months. As a result, I try to extend their lives by: freezing over-ripened fruits like berries, melon, and ripe bananas in zip lock bags in the freezer.
  4. Frozen fruits are generally used in refreshing and tasty smoothies and popsicles.
  5. To lengthen the short shelf-life of ripe bananas, I store them in plastic bags on counter top or/and refrigerator. If they become speckled and overly mature, I use same to incorporate in pancakes and fritters.  Or, they are placed in zip lock baggies in freezer for addition to smoothies.
  6. Wilted carrots and other veggies are tossed into stews and soups.
  7. Keep a pitcher in the fridge with: water and sliced lemon or/and water and sliced cucumber.
  8. Freeze water bottles for when I’m on the move during the day.

With the above moves and more, I know that I will gain some form of control in my kitchen throughout the warm months.

 

 

CREAMY POLENTA IN THE COMPANY OF SPICY GRILLED SHRIMP

The flavors, spices, and ingredients were ‘popping’ in my kitchen. Didn’t have to hop on a plane, bus or train to garner a Jamaican, Italian and Southern experience. With the aid of a few relatively inexpensive ingredients, I was able to turn out quite a mouth-watering dish.

My pantry yielded a pack of cornmeal for less than a $2.00. All I needed was a half of a cup to make a creamy polenta. Gave dish my Jamaican input of fresh coconut milk and added water with veggie bouillon, finely chopped onions, a pinch of nutmeg along with sprinkle of salt and black pepper.

After cornmeal slowly simmered in liquid to a thick consistency, I added a pat of butter and a little grated cheddar cheese to finish off the dish.

POLENTA SIMMERING
POLENTA SIMMERING

Decided to serve creamy polenta with grilled shrimp.

GRILLED SHRIMP WITH A SERVING OF SPICY SWEET PEPPERS
GRILLED SHRIMP WITH A SERVING OF SPICY SWEET PEPPERS

Topped grilled shrimp with serving of spicy sweet peppers which included, mini (assorted) peppers, finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper, vinegar, honey, and a pinch of salt/black pepper. A garlic spinach was also served.

LIGHT AND EASY #SEARED SALMON IN LEMON-BUTTER SAUCE

When the summer temperatures are sizzling on the outskirts, light, quick and easy is the way to go. And, that was what occurred earlier on. Had yours truly a much-needed omega fatty acid seafood (salmon) paired with sautéed assorted summer vegetables.

Made a lemon butter sauce to go with skinless salmon. I also added some sliced tomatoes alongside fish which expelled  their juices and mingled with the fresh lemon-butter sauce. Garnished  salmon with finely chopped parsley.

Sautéed vegetables comprised  of zucchini, onions, mini-sweet peppers and broccoli. Made a quick concoction of balsamic vinegar and honey and drizzled on crispy veggies. Also, doubled-back on some left-over whole-grain pasta and made it part of the dish.

Topped veggie and pasta dish with seared salmon. All dishes combined into a happy medium. I was over the moon and satiated.

SUMMER’S FINEST #GRILLED CORN SALAD FIESTA

I was in good company. It was like a corn fiesta in my kitchen. Once again, Mother Nature has done her duty. She has bestowed some of the finest and wholesome foods for the sizzling days of summer.

And because I know how much these foods are perishable, I did my part by firing up my grill pan with a couple leftover ears of corn. Though the temperatures were sky-rocketing on the outskirts, I made sure to open my doors and windows to emit the smoky air.

Those sweet and crispy corns were not alone; I also grilled zucchini, mini sweet peppers. These are seasonal vegetables as well. More so, the prices were relatively inexpensive.

CORNS ON THE COB AND ZUCCHINI
CORNS ON THE COB AND ZUCCHINI
GRILLED MINI SWEET PEPPERS
GRILLED MINI SWEET PEPPERS

I even roasted some green beans in the oven that seemed to be heading south. After grilling, corn was removed from the cob and slices of other veggies were added to  pan-roasted onions and tomatoes. I made sure to season along with salt and black pepper along with a tangy dressing of red wine vinegar and a dash of sugar.

All the vegetables were in accord and soaked up all the delicious flavors. Topped grilled corn salad with crumbled feta cheese. This added a beautiful creamy contrast to the sweet corn salad.

 

OMELET WITH SALSA FILLING

Decided to place my staple breakfast dish (oatmeal) on a hiatus and went with eggs. These were done in an omelet form. For the filling, I went a tad out of the box and reached for salsa in a jar. Shh!!……never bought the chips. It was deliberate Love me some salsa in my omelet.

Served my oozing omelet on a bed of leftover Jamaican spinach (callaloo). And topped with nature’s butter (avocado) and fresh sliced tomatoes. For a contrasting taste, I couldn’t help myself. Toasted up an English muffin and added a sweet spread of strawberry jam.

ENGLISH MUFFIN WITH STRAWBERRY SPREAD
ENGLISH MUFFIN WITH STRAWBERRY SPREAD

My salsa omelet was ‘kicking’  along with a sweet and crispy taste of English muffin. All was well.

 

 

 

ONE OF SUMMER’S FAVES #TOMATOES

When it comes to tomatoes and other foods, my palate is quite ‘fluid’ with the many dishes that can be had. And, now that the temperatures are already sizzling on the outskirts, there is a strong presence of tomatoes in the market places.

Call them what you may, fruits or vegetables, I don’t care. The fact is that these cancer-fighting foods are sweet and juicy to the taste-buds. Moreover, the prices are relatively inexpensive. I can’t help but to feel elated when I see these beneficial and attractive foods (especially when they are hanging from the vines).

I adore them in any form. Love them in a fresh garden salad. With a pop in the mouth I can devour and enjoy the tart and sweet taste as it hits my taste-buds. Give me a delicious and smooth tomato soup with crusty bread, and my stomach will leap with joy.

I even adore tomatoes in a jar mixed with other veggies. I do think it’s called same ‘salsa’. I got a little creative and made a filling and tasty omelet. Of course, my filling of choice was the gushing flow of salsa. Placed same on a bed of left-over spinach and topped with nature’s butter (avocado) and fresh tomatoes.

OMELET WITH SALSA FILLING
OMELET WITH SALSA FILLING

Without a doubt, when it comes to tomatoes,20160602_083155 I don’t discriminate. I’ll have them almost anyway.