If you are not watching your carbs intake, today is one to celebrate. It’s National Bagel and National Pizza Day! Grab your iPhones and smartphones and retrieve a digital coupon. Make your way to your nearest eatery for a delicious slice of pizza and bagel.
Some of the selected establishments where you can redeem your coupons are:
Einstein Bros. Bagels
It’s all about balance. And what better way to have same than to claim a freebie on this day (Feb.9). Honor the day and indulge in a slice of thin or deep crust pizza. Or, slather on some cream cheese on a warm bagel while you sip on your favorite morning brew.
Okay, so I got a little enthusiastic with my kale pesto. I couldn’t wait to slather same all over my seafood balls and linguine pasta. With a little help from my stash of hurricane canned goods, I was able to make some mouth-watering seafood balls. Drained the liquid from cans of:
Combined drained canned seafood with:
finely chopped Spanish olives and capers
finely chopped onions
splash red wine vinegar
a sprinkle of paprika
pinch of salt and pepper
a dollop of sour cream
Folded all ingredients together and made them into balls:
In a drizzle of hot olive oil, balls were perfectly warmed on the interior and crispy on the outer. Then, they were finished off with a squeeze of fresh lemon. Topped them with homemade kale pesto and served them with a bed linguine dressed in kale pesto.
It’s the weekend!! I can’t help myself. Will be treating my palate to a few of Jamaica’s favorite dishes. Already, my taste buds are salivating for that slightly salty and delectable dish of pickled mackerel.
Will be serving same with wholesome slices of roasted breadfruit. Breadfruit is an excellent substitute for rice or bread. Roasted breadfruit in an oven for approximately 50 to 60 minutes at 460 degrees fahrenheit.
For me, I can’t indulge in pickled mackerel and roasted breadfruit without sweet and creamy sides. Therefore, I will be having sides of fried plantain and of course, nature’s butter (avocado). Can’t omit my greens. There is definitely going be steamed callaloo (Jamaican spinach). I can’t wait to dig in!
Needed something to quiet and satisfy the craving within. What do you know? Bobby Flay came to my rescue. Stumbled on one of his Brunch shows. One of the items on the menu was fried red tomatoes.
Decided to create my version as I had the main ingredients on hand (red plum tomatoes). Sliced them up about an inch, sprinkled a pinch of salt for flavor as well to draw the excess fluid. These were then placed on a sheet of paper towel in order to absorb fluid.
Made an egg wash consisting of egg/milk/dollop of sour cream. This was seasoned with a pinch of salt. Also, did a mix of cornmeal/flour/cheddar cheese/squeeze of honey/pinch of salt/black pepper.
Placed tomatoes in egg wash for a few minutes. Then in cheesy cornmeal mix. These were then fried in a combination of hot canola and olive oil on both sides until they were crispy.
Served red fried tomatoes with an avocado dip. Oh, my red fried tomatoes were crispy and mouth-watering; just what my taste buds needed. Thank you, Bobby Flay.
Sunday’s brunch was quite a Jamaican affair. I went with one of my favorites, breadfruit which was roasted the previous day. This was done in oven at 450 degrees fahrenheit for approximately one hour. Peeled the tropical beauty and sliced:
Brushed slices with a little olive oil, sprinkled with a pinch of salt and then allowed my grill pan to do the work:
Served grilled slices of breadfruit with Jamaica’s national dish, ackee and codfish with slices of fried plantains, steamed callaloo (Jamaican spinach) and a slice of nature’s butter, avocado.
N.B – History books have stated that the breadfruit plant/tree was brought to Jamaica from Tahiti in 1793. Over the years, this fruit has flourished in abundance. The young fruit is often boiled and used in soups and the mature version is ideal for roasting on an open flame (coal/wood), on stove top or oven.
Breadfruit is a great substitute for rice or bread. It is loaded with fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Didn’t have to venture on high seas and contend with choppy and perilous waves to get my wild Alaskan salmon to my kitchen. Thanks to those hard-working fisher men/women, I was able to fetch a can of this omega food in my hands.
I had the perfect plan. Decided to make a few salmon patties to crave the hunger within. Drained canned salmon and added a few other ingredients:
Panko bread crumbs (1/4 cup)
finely chopped onions
pinch of salt and sprinkle black pepper
olive and canola oil for frying
fresh lime juice
After combining all ingredients, eight patties were made.
Patties were pan fried in a combination of canola/olive oil under low to medium heat until warmed and cooked on the interior and brown and flaky on the outside. Salmon patties were topped with a dollop of sour cream and finely chopped scallion.
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.
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.
So, over the week-end, I went a tad naughty and indulged in dish atypical of my weekly diet. All roads led me to a Jamaican experience. Needed something tasty and a little salty. Knew what I had to do. Didn’t have to venture far. Had left-over pickled red herring in close sight in refrigerator.
Because the sodium content is high in pickled red herring, I made sure to extract same by repeatedly rinsing, boiling and soaking. After taste-testing, fish was simmered in: drizzle of coconut oil, sautéed onions, garlic, tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers, crushed pimento, pinch of sugar, and splash of vinegar.
Served pickled red herring with a slightly sweet and sour sautéed cabbage with slices of nature’s butter (avocado). This gave a perfect balance to the pickled fish.
If it’s the week-end, at some point, I’ve got to go Jamaican. And, that ‘s what I did for Sunday’s brunch. I allowed a few items of left-overs (boiled banana and whole-wheat dumplings) to be a part of my delicious dish.
I warmed my soft/creamy banana and slit in halves. These I placed beside my fiber-filled Jamaican spinach (callaloo). I could consume these wholesome greens virtually everyday. I pan-fried the combination whole-wheat dumplings after I sliced them in halves and did a quick dry. They were crispy and quite brown and provided a hearty texture to my plate.
Now, I couldn’t leave out my country’s national dish (ackee/codfish). I have eaten same repeatedly over the years. Combined with that salty codfish which by the way had just about the right proportion of sodium within. I made sure to rinse, boil, and soak beforehand in order to eradicate extra salt.
When the yellow and smooth tasting ackee and codfish were intertwined, along with Jamaica’s spices like pimento (all spice), fresh thyme, and other ingredients, culinary magic was released on my taste-buds.
Of course, no Jamaica brunch like this is quite complete without the addition of a sweet treat. Thus, I added a few pieces of fried plantain to the mix. That move certainly provided a mouth-watering balance. With nature’s butter (avocado), my brunch was ready for consumption.