HOLIDAY GREETINGS!!

MAY YOU HAVE JOY AND PEACE DURING THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

AND REMEMBER TO BE KIND TO YOUR LOVED ONES

AS WELL AS YOUR BEAUTIFUL PALATES!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

FELIZ NAVIDAD!!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

A MAHI MAHI CATCH!! #PAN-SEARED FISH

My palate and I were in a seafood kind of mood for supper. It was quite a delightful change to place  a hold on the feathery one (chicken) and indulged in a light yet satisfying seafood meal.

On my last shopping trip I secured a couple Mahi mahi steaks. Mahi mahi are commonly known as dorado or dolphin fish; but, they’re no way related to dolphins. These are found in tropical and subtropical waters worldwide.

After seasoning with salt, black pepper and crushed garlic, I allowed them to sit for about half an hour. Remnants of garlic were removed and fish dried with paper towel. In a hot skillet, olive oil was added with a few sprigs of thyme. Steaks were pan-seared on both sides for approximately six minutes per side and set aside.

PAN-SEARED MAHI MAHI
PAN-SEARED MAHI MAHI

Chopped onions were then added to pan along with a pat of butter. Onions were softened and a splash of water and fresh squeeze of lemon to make up a butter/lemon sauce. Under low heat, steaks were added back to pan to soak up all the flavors. Steaks were topped with a few capers to finish.

I served pan-seared Mahi mahi with pan-roasted grape tomatoes, garlic-flavored asparagus spears, a slice of nature’s butter (avocado) and a herb rice.

CHICKEN THIGHS SMOTHERED IN HOME-MADE APPLE SAUCE

I felt like a mad scientist while I chopped, and diced ingredients for  my roasted chicken thighs and side dishes. You see, one can eat chicken a ‘million’ and one ways. But, without the input of certain spices and other ingredients, these dishes can leave a ‘blah’ taste to the taste buds.

I was seeking a chicken dish that would ‘knock’ off my socks in a good way. And, this one did. Thanks to one of fall’s favorites, apples, I was able to turn out a dish that was savory, a little sweet and tart and left my taste buds seeking more.

Overnight, I marinated my chicken thighs with crushed garlic,drizzle of olive oil, salt, black pepper, paprika, fresh thyme. On the day of cooking, I hauled my apples in the mix. After all, they were there perched in that red dish, waiting to be devoured. I surprised them and I made a quick home-made apple sauce out of them. With a few squeeze of honey, cinnamon,pinch of salt and a splash of water, I lowered the heat.

Apples simmered on low until they because softened. I  then used my fork to help them along by mashing them. After simmering to the to sauce like consistency, this was placed aside.

HOME-MADE APPLE SAUCE FOR CHICKEN THIGHS
HOME-MADE APPLE SAUCE FOR CHICKEN THIGHS

Chicken thighs were roasted for approximately 45 minutes at a temperature of 365 degrees fahrenheit turning once.

ROASTED CHICKEN THIGHS READY FOR APPLE SAUCE
ROASTED CHICKEN THIGHS READY FOR APPLE SAUCE

Home-made apple sauce was then smothered on each thigh and then placed back inside the oven for another 15 minutes at 410 degrees.

CHICKEN THIGHS SMOTHERED IN APPLE SAUCE
CHICKEN THIGHS SMOTHERED IN APPLE SAUCE

I served chicken thighs smothered in apple sauce with a serving of fall greens consisting of sautéed brussels sprouts and broccoli with dried cranberries.

SAUTEED BROCCOLI AND BRUSSELS SPROUT WITH DRIED CRANBERRIES
SAUTEED BROCCOLI AND BRUSSELS SPROUT WITH DRIED CRANBERRIES
FINAL DISH OF CHICKEN THIGHS SMOTHERED IN APPLE SAUCE AND FALL GREENS AND CRANBERRIES
FINAL DISH OF CHICKEN THIGHS SMOTHERED IN APPLE SAUCE AND FALL GREENS AND CRANBERRIES

A SIDE I COULDN’T RESIST #ROASTED PUMPKIN/SWEET POTATOES

For the fall, this dish has become one of my absolute favorites. I’ve traveled this fork of the road before and I liked same. Maybe, it’s the sweet/tart tastes along with the warm spices of ginger and cinnamon and the contrasting salty flavor of the bits of feta cheese.

Guys, I’m harping about my roasted pumpkin and sweet potatoes. I’ve always roasted sweet potatoes and pumpkin; however, I’ve never executed both simultaneously. I really don’t know how I’ve not done so before. However, the ‘mad-cap’ in me decided to do so during the fall. And I can’t seem to cease.

So once again, I retrieved my chopping board and knife and went to work with my specimens on hand. Both root vegetables were thoroughly rinsed with cold tap water. With skin-on, I chopped veggies in large wedges and placed on foil-covered baking sheet.

PUMPKIN AND SWEET POTATOES READY FOR ROASTING
PUMPKIN AND SWEET POTATOES READY FOR ROASTING

Wedges were drizzled with olive oil, sprinkle of salt, powdered ginger and cinnamon. These were roasted in a preheated oven at 420 degrees fahrenheit  for approximately 40 minutes. My abode was permeated  with all the warm and aromatic flavors and spices of fall. I was super-happy.

As warm golden wedges of sweet potatoes and pumpkin hit the plate, bits of crumbled feta cheese were strewn on. Each bite  (skin edible) tasted like a piece of ‘heaven’. Nature is amazing!

JAMAICAN CHRISTMAS FRUIT CAKE IN CUPCAKE SIZES

A miniature version of Jamaica’s traditional Christmas fruit cake. Decided to bake some in a cupcake format. This cake is made with candied fruits simmered/infused with spirits (alcohol): Wray/Nephew White Rum, Red Label Wine and Brandy. Molasses and food browning were added for a dark brown hue.

As usual, Santa will be delivering a few bigger versions to my loved ones.

JAMAICA'S CHRISTMAS FRUIT CAKES
JAMAICA’S CHRISTMAS FRUIT CAKES

Ho!!!Ho!! Merry Christmas!! Feliz Navidad!!

ENCORE PERFORMANCE #BRAISED CURRIED GOAT

Supper was an easy decision. A few days ago, I cooked a braised curried goat infused with a touch of white rum. I enjoyed and decided to reserve a portion for another time. Fast forward to today.

Thus, it was with great delight that I went with the flow and partook of my lucky goat. Just like before, it was fork tender, full of amazing bold and mouth-watering flavors. I served my braised curried goat with:

  • Steamed Jasmine rice with a topping of avocado ball (mashed)
  • A steamed garlic-flavored serving of asparagus and broccoli
  • A serving of fried plantain
  • Grape tomatoes

My palate and I were very satisfied.

A TRADITIONAL JAMAICAN CHRISTMAS DRINK….SORREL (ROSELLE)

IT’S TIME TO GET JOLLY WITH A JAMAICAN FAVE….SORREL!!

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Sorrel is the flower from the hibiscus plant. It’s deep red in color which makes it just ideal for the yuletide season. Another name for it is Roselle. It takes approximately six months to mature. And is in full bloom during the Christmas period.

Fresh cranberries Fresh Sorrel

In Jamaica, sorrel drink is a traditional beverage that is very popular at Christmastime. There are two types, the dried and the fresh. The dried version is available all year round. With a quick rinse under tap water, these buds are ready to be immersed in boiling water.

Prepping (rinsing) sorrel and root ginger for boiling water Prepping (rinsing) sorrel and root ginger for boiling water

Ingredients needed:

  • Sorrel
  • Root ginger
  • Sugar or any sweetener
  • Jamaican white rum (Wray/Nephew) (or any white rum available
  • Red wine (optional)
  • Lemon/lime juice
  • Pimento (all spice) [optional]
  • Water

In this recipe I’m using the fresh version which is less potent. However if the dried ones were used…

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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!