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.
Once again, I revisited a heartwarming and good place. It not only satisfied and warmed my stomach, but it gave pleasure to my anticipating taste buds. Yes, guys, I’m talking about good/’ole’, Fishing!
Love a snapper in its whole form. That simply means the head, tail, bones, and its beautiful body. Such an adventure to devour. Recently, I pan-fried one and was greatly happy. Figured I would journey to that awesome place. This time, I stuffed my ‘big boy’ with fresh thyme.
Pan fried snapper in a flavored garlic oil consisting of olive/canola. Then placed it in sweet/sour pickle sauce. This absorbed all the mouth-watering flavors. Served up same on a bed of garlic spinach and fluffy Jasmine rice.
A Mexican grandmother would be super-proud of this dish. Though it took approximately an hour to prepare and cook, it tasted like hours of joyful/laborious cooking. Of course, ground turkey was the star of this chili dish. There are many variations to this dish and I must state that I’m happy about this one.
I took advantage of fresh and store-bought ingredients:
scotch bonnet pepper
red (chili) beans (spicy)
cold tap water
Ground turkey was brown in a sturdy skillet consisting of a drizzle of olive oil. This was seasoned with salt, black pepper, and other dry ingredients. Then, chopped onions, bell peppers, jalapeno, scotch bonnet peppers, and other fresh ingredients were added along with tomato paste, Mexican salsa, a pinch of sugar. Also, a cup of cold tap water.
With a lid on, this slowly simmered on low heat. About 15 to 20 minutes to end of cooking time, spicy red chili beans were added. Mouth-watering chili was topped with a dollop of sour cream along with diced avocado and tomatoes. Instead of cilantro, it was garnished with Italian flat-leaf parsley I had on hand.
Frankly, I didn’t miss the ‘beef’. With the marrying of all these ingredients, my turkey chili was very delicious. My taste buds and I were over the moon. I felt like harping “Ole! Ole!”
That’s it! I went jerking with my bird. It has been sometime since I’ve gone down this familiar route. I wanted a dish that was bold, spicy, succulent and packed with amazing flavors that would excite my taste buds.
As a result, I decided on one of my favorite ways to cook the feathery one. I even made a butterfly with the ‘white one’ by removing the back bone. Will use that backbone in a soup or broth. Anyway, marinated chicken overnight in a concoction consisted of:
salt, black pepper, crushed garlic, thyme, parsley, rosemary, onions, sprinkle of sugar, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and of course, jerk seasoning
Chicken was placed on foiled baking sheet on roasting rack along with Macintosh apple. This was roasted at a temperature of 420 degrees fahrenheit for 20 minutes and then oven was turned down to 350 degrees for another 30 minutes (turning once).
Chicken was basted with extra sauce consisting of jerk sauce, ketchup, honey, etc. in the last 10 minutes.
Served chicken with roasted wedges of sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots. My palate and I were exceedingly happy and satiated.
When it comes to cooking, I love the idea of borrowing and mixing different spices and flavors. So, I was quite excited to explore and swing with my native Caribbean and Mediterranean worlds.
I needed bold, colorful and exotic flavors to bring my chicken (half) to a spectacular level. Thus, all roads led me to a favorite of mine, curry powder. I selected a spicy specimen that sent my roasted curried chicken and garbanzo beans over the top. Yes, I’ve often consumed curried chicken in a stewed form; but, never roasted.
I didn’t hold back on taste. The other ingredients added were:
Crushed pimento (all spice)
Salt and black pepper
Fresh thyme and rosemary
Olive oil and butter
After combining all ingredients, chicken was placed in marinade overnight. This allowed ingredients to greatly absorb in same. Chicken was removed from marinade brought to room temperature. Reserved marinade from chicken was placed in a stockpot with a squeeze of ketchup, sugar, vinegar and simmered to a sauce-like consistency.
Chicken roasted at 360 degrees fahrenheit for 30 minutes. Then, another 30 minutes at 400 degrees fahrenheit (basting with simmered sauce) with skin-side up so as to gain a crispy skin. (N.B – Beforehand, herb butter was placed under skin. And, a few pats on skin for added crispness.
Beans were seasoned with a pinch of salt and curry powder, black pepper, paprika, crushed garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. These were then placed simultaneously in oven with chicken and roasted at 360 degrees fahrenheit for approximately 15 to 20 minutes until crispy.
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
I confess; I’m not a great lover of turkey. However, on Thanksgiving Day I indulged in a very delicious, moist and succulent bird. Shhh!! My friend was on top of her game and ‘throw it down!’ I found my self returning for seconds. The side dishes served were: creamy macaroni/cheese, sweet and smooth sweet potato bake, hot kale salad and of course the tart/sweet cranberry. All those sides gave a beautiful balance to the star of the show (turkey).
On returning home, I felt a tad guilty. I took a peek at my chicken as it perched on the bottom shelf. Somehow, it looked quite miniature. My intention was to do a quick roast of it the next day. You see, I placed it in an apple cider brine the a day before. I removed same, rinsed and stuffed it with compound butter consisting of fresh herbs of rosemary, thyme and crushed garlic.
As my poor bird laid there I felt that I should find a way to perk it up and enhance the size and taste. Reflecting on the size of the turkey breast, I took my knife and made a slit in the center of my chicken breast. That didn’t satisfy me. I made quick scan of my surrounding trying to find a way to make it up to my bird. After all, I consume same most days of the week.
In my peripheral vision, I spotted the bowl of gala apples. Why not? Immediately, I grabbed a couple and removed the pits with my knife tip and stuffed them with some fresh herbs. I smiled, I felt like I was making it up with a lover. I drizzled a little olive oil and massaged the interior and exterior of my abandoned bird (well, in my mind).
I placed my dear bird on wire rack so that all the heat could circulate throughout and yield a crispy skin. Chicken was then placed on foiled baking sheet and roasted in a preheated 375 degree oven for approximately an hour (turning once). It was basted with a sauce consisting of little apple cider, ketchup, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and dried seasoning. Oven was turned up to 420 for another 15 minutes to arrive at a crispy and brown finish.
Though my beloved bird was small in body, I must state I loved all the amazing flavors. She has a way to adapt to any spice, and flavors come her way. She is so forgiving and always seem to satisfy me. I can’t promise her that I will not stray and test the waters with another feathery one. Deep down, I know she understands.
Oh, I wish they would all just get along. After all, it’s just a once in a while kind of thing. Do I have to choose? Okay, I choose my dear chicken.
Though the temperatures are flirting in the triple digits, it’s evident that summer is disappearing before my eyes. I guess the dwindling days have placed me in a grilling frame of mind.I couldn’t help myself. Didn’t have the craving for nothing else so I fired up my indoor grill pan. I was on a mission. I intended to grill everything in sight. My poor scotch bonnet pepper wasn’t going escape the cooking process.
Had me a whole snapper fish for roasting; however, that plan was quickly altered. With glee I scored my fish and seasoned with a sprinkle of black pepper, salt and crushed garlic. I made sure to season inside the head (love me the head) and cavity.
When it was time to grill I removed garlic and drizzled with olive oil inside and out and stuffed fresh tarragon and thyme within for more intense flavors. I also chopped an onion, wedges of different color bell peppers and okra.
I made sure to do a quick one minute pre-cook of the hearty okra before I brushed same and other veggies with a warm tarragon and thyme oil. First, I started with the veggies.
I removed the okra and onions and sprinkled a very light layer of whole-wheat flour to prevent fish from sticking.
I smiled as I also added scotch bonnet pepper in on the action. My snapper needed a few minutes internal cooking But first, I removed the other veggies. Then, I placed it in the oven for another five minutes at 360 degrees with the squeeze of fresh lime.
My fish came out a little crusty on the outside and quite flaky within. Each bite was full of amazing flavors that were spicy and lemony. The tarragon and the thyme gave the snapper an even more flavorful and aromatic taste. As for the veggies, the grilling brought out all the natural sugars that reminded me of summer. On the side, a creamy/cheesy polenta (turned cornmeal) was served.
I got a tad tired of the usual chicken and fish dishes. I craved for a meal that was bold and pungent in flavors yet delicious and mouth-watering. And so, my culinary mind led me to an old favorite, curried goat (mutton). This dish is very popular in kitchens across my native island domain, Jamaica. I have consumed same quite a number of times as a child as well as an adult.
Part of the work was done by my butcher. Although mutton was chopped up in sizable pieces, I further cut up in even smaller bite-size portions. Goat was seasoned with:
Salt and black pepper to taste
Crushed pimento(all spice)
In a stock pot, a drizzle of coconut oil was added along with goat.
Goat was sautéed for a few minutes under medium heat. Two table spoons of Jamaican white rum were added.
Then cold tap water was added to cover meat along with thyme, additional crushed garlic, onions celery.
The lid was placed on pot and mutton slowly simmered under low to medium heat for approximately two and half hours.
Additional water was added as needed every 20 to 30 minutes.
Minced scotch bonnet peppers, scallion, chopped onion were added to dish so as to further add extra spice.
Curried goat was served with steamed Jasmine rice and sautéed vegetables. The finished dish was bold, delicious and succulent.