TRENDING: #SLAB OF BABY BACK RIBS

Sunday’s supper will be oh so good. Looking forward to lovingly rip this beautiful slab (pork ribs) apart. I’ll  devour each morsel of slightly sweet, tart and mouth-watering flesh which was cooked to perfection. A fork-tender goodness comes to mind.

It has been some time since I’ve been down this culinary route. And, by golly, from a taste-test of this specimen, already my taste buds are leaping with joy. When it comes to food as this, I can’t help myself; it’s all fingers in. They will be sticky and that’s alright. Each bone will be handled just right. I’ll gnaw and suck each one until I’m satisfied.

Sunday’s supper is looking up alright.

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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!

BRAISED GOAT MEAT SIMMERED IN A CURRY/RUM SAUCE

Earlier on, my palate and I experienced great elation with the consumption of Sunday’s supper. We indulged in one of Jamaica’s favorites,curried goat. The previous day, goat was chopped into bite-sized pieces and marinated with crushed garlic and pimento(all spice), cumin, curry powder, ginger, salt, black pepper, dash of soy sauce and vinegar.

On cooking, this was brought to room temperature. Then, in a sturdy hot skillet, a drizzle of coconut oil was added and goat pieces were sauteed under low to medium heat. At this point, a generous splash of Jamaican Wray and Nephew white rum was added and allowed to absorb in meat.

Chopped onions, celery, sprigs of thyme, finely chopped scotch bonnet peppers were added to pot. Cold tap water was added to cover meat. With lid on,  goat simmered under low to medium heat for approximately two and half hours.  Additional liquid was added in between cooking period.

For the last fifteen to twenty minutes, diced Irish potatoes were added along with chopped scallion and any other necessary  dried seasoning and spices. Finished dish was fork tender and was served with steamed Jasmine rice stuffed into bell peppers, assorted garlic vegetables and fried plantains.

A SWITCH TO THE OTHER WHITE MEAT #GINGER-BALSAMIC PORK/LEEKS

Supper was quite a succulent and delectable change. You see, once in a while, I get the craving for something other than poultry or seafood. And today,was one of those days. I went with the other white meat (well, that’s what they call pork). I fetched a sizable pork steak at the butcher and went to ‘town’ with it.

I was in the mood for a rustic affair. Thus, I got my sturdy skillet and immersed my marinated steak within. Overnight, I roughly sliced steak into smaller portions. I then seasoned with crushed garlic, salt and black pepper to taste. I also added grated ginger root, balsamic vinegar and splash of soy sauce.

After removing the remnants of garlic, pork pieces were seared on both sides. Roughly chopped onion segments were added along with finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper, fresh thyme, crushed pimento (all spice) and additional clove of garlic. Cold water was added to cover pork pieces with lid on. This was then simmered under low to medium heat; making sure to turn on the other side.

Additional water was also added so as to create a brown sauce. Pork simmered for approximately 30 minutes until fork tender. Chopped leeks were then added for a contrasting and refreshing flavor to the dish.

A LEFT-OVER RENEWAL #CURRIED CHICKEN

When precious time is against me and I feel like tearing my weave out, it’s always great to know that I have one less thing to worry about. Yes guys, I’m talking about my culinary needs; we all have them. It’s such a delight to return to the nest after a day of laboring and breath a sense of relieve knowing that something delicious is awaiting.

And, that’s what happened the previous evening. Like always, I like to cook a little extra (well, that’s what my mother used to say, “cook an extra dumpling!”). A few days ago, I made a mad chop of some skinless (bone-in) legs and thighs. I seasoned them with salt, black pepper, cumin, curry powder, crushed ginger, pimento (all spice), thyme, onion, crushed garlic. These were marinated overnight.

In a sturdy skillet I added a couple teaspoons of coconut oil. Curried chicken  was cooked under low to medium heat until the flesh fell from the bone and still kept its integrity. I served same with  steamed Jasmine rice and a medley of steamed veggies. Left-overs of chicken and rice were cooled and placed in the freezer.

Fast forward to my left-overs. I’m so elated that I had them stored away. These were defrosted overnight in the refrigerator. All I did on serving my mouth-watering curried chicken was to reheat in microwave oven. With a quick sautéed of baby kale and spinach, my curried chicken meal was resurrected.

The fresh greens gave it a brand new appearance and made it look entirely new and inviting. My chicken stood the test of time and didn’t get disintegrated in the succulent gravy. It tasted even more delicious. Moreover, the addition of the contrasting sweet fried plantain gave the dish a beautiful balance.

Yay for left-overs!!

GUILT-FREE EASTER/PASSOVER SMOOTHIE #KALE/STRAWBERRY SMOOTHIE

It’s the Easter/Passover week-end. Without a doubt, we’ll all be going a bit overboard when it comes to our culinary intakes. Many of us will be indulging with a few extra slices of roast, fried fish,potato pancakes, pies and cakes and more. I know that I’ll be doing same. But, I have a perfect plan to help ease the guilty feelings within.

Head for your refrigerator and grab some greens and a few other items.That’s what I did. In my standing blender (one of my perfect partners in the kitchen), I toss in a handful of kale. To that, I added four strawberries, fresh chopped ginger, a half of a ripe banana,the juice of an orange, and a half pint of water. With a few pulses, my smoothie was pureed to a perfect finish.

Kale and strawberry smoothie was just the way I like it. There was no added sugar because the banana,orange juice, and strawberries provided all the natural sweetener that my taste buds required. I was super happy knowing that all these ingredients gave me great vitamins, minerals antioxidants, fibers and a host of other nutrients. Moreover, it was smooth, tasty and refreshing.