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.

 

 

 

BUTTERMILK FRIED CHICKEN/GRILLED CORN SALAD

So, after I made a delicious grilled corn salad from summer’s crispy and sweet corn on the cob

GRILLED CORN SALAD
GRILLED CORN SALAD

decided to continue on the Southern path. Paired same with some chicken thighs. Those ‘bad boys’ were begging to be soaked up in some buttermilk. Did them the honors and soaked them overnight in the tart and creamy liquid after seasoning them with a little salt, black pepper, paprika and crushed garlic.

Removed them from buttermilk and drained on paper towel. These were then placed in flour seasoned with additional paprika, salt and black pepper. Oh, those thighs were super-happy as they were thoroughly deep-fried in canola oil.

After draining excess oil from chicken, they were served with the warm grilled corn salad along with steamed broccoli and nature’s butter (avocado).

CINCO DE MAYO TREATS #CORN FRITTERS

Lunch was quite a delicious treat. With the help of some crispy and sweet corn (canned) and other pantry ingredients, I was able to whip up a savory and slightly sweet corn fritters.

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR CORN FRITTERS
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR CORN FRITTERS
BATTER FOR FRITTERS
BATTER FOR FRITTERS

With a drizzle of canola oil in a skillet, my corn fritters were cooked and crispy brown on both sides. Served them with a dollop of sour cream and finely chopped avocado.

 

A TASTE OF HOME (JAMAICA) #PICKLED RED HERRING AND SAUTEED CABBAGE

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.

PERFECT JAMAICAN COMPANIONS #ACKEE/CODFISH, ETC.

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.

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.

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!

 

PROTEIN/FIBERS IN CUP CAKE FORM #MINI QUICHES

Breakfast was a protein and fiber-packed one. With a couple of beaten eggs, left-over vegetables (broccoli, asparagus) and fresh spinach, parsley, and tomatoes, I was on my way to a  satisfying affair.

MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR MINI-QUICHES
MAIN INGREDIENTS FOR MINI QUICHES

It was like having mini quiches in cup-cake format. Assorted vegetables were added to egg batter. I made sure to season with a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste along with a little grated cheddar cheese. In a muffin pan and I sprayed a Pam oil in three cups. At the bottom, I placed a piece of whole-wheat wrap and then added batter.

CUP-CAKE MINI-QUICHES READY FOR OVEN
CUP-CAKE MINI-QUICHES READY FOR OVEN

In a pre-heated 330 degree oven, mini cup cake quiches were baked for approximately 16 minutes until set. A fresh spinach and parsley pesto was served on the side along with avocado.

A STORMY DAY DISCOVERY! #LEFT-OVER CURRIED CHICKEN THIGHS

As dark clouds blanketed the evening skies, I hastily made my way to my humble kitchen. Mother Nature was at work on this first day of autumn (well, that’s what the calendar states). However, the elements screamed summer conditions within my midst. With thunder roaring and the skies lighting up, I knew it was quite risky stirring up a pot. However, tell that to my waiting stomach. It didn’t care.

Time was of the essence. I kept my fingers crossed hoping there wouldn’t be an interruption in the electric power. With that in mind, I knew that I wasn’t going to cook from scratch. Moreover, I was exhausted and required much-needed slumber.

I smiled as I made my way to my faithful freezer. Most times, it doesn’t disappoint me. As such, I made a quick rummage through the contents, and my eyes lit up as I spotted the container of curried chicken. I cooked that almost a week ago.Who knows? My foggy brain was trying to focus. So far, so good. All I needed was some carbohydrates and vegetables.

My trek further led me to discover some left-over Jasmine rice. As a matter of fact, there were two small containers which turned out to be just the right amount. I grabbed hold of the frozen spinach at the side of the freezer door. I love to keep a couple of them on hand for times as this.

Thanks to my microwave oven, it produced a quick thawing of my frozen spinach. After about five minutes, I drained the water content and placed spinach in a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil, softened onions and crushed garlic. I warmed through same and seasoned with a pinch of salt and black pepper.

Within a few minutes, my dear microwave yielded quite a feast. No one would have surmised that my supper was left-overs. My curried chicken thighs were piping hot and released mouth-watering aromas. I served same on a fluffy bed of Jasmine rice with a ring of garlic spinach. And, like a true Jamaican, I topped with a serving of fried plantains and a slice of nature’s butter (avocado). I was in heaven.

So funny how Mother Nature works. After all that hoopla of thundering and lightning, no precipitation followed. The sun began to shine.