Friday, April 22, 2016

Sunday Dinner April 24, 2016

On the Menu


  Oven Fried Chicken
Serves 8
Ingredients
1 broiler/fryer chicken, cut into 8 pieces
2 cups low fat buttermilk 
1 tablespoon +1 teaspoon sea salt - divided 
2 tablespoons smoked paprika - divided 
2 teaspoons garlic powder - divided
2 teaspoons onion powder - divided
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or Cajun/Creole seasoning 
1 cup flour 
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon thyme
 
Method
Preheat oven 350 degrees 
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray sheet lightly with oil and set aside.    

Place buttermilk, 1 tablespoon salt,  1 tablespoon paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder,  cayenne pepper and chicken in a plastic container, shake thoroughly making sure seasoning is evenly dispersed throughout the mixture.
Refrigerate overnight or for 24 hours.                                                             
Drain chicken in a colander, 30 - 45 minutes.
Combine flour, cornmeal, the remaining sea salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and thyme in a paper bag large enough to shake the chicken in.
Shake off any excess buttermilk then place chicken in the bag 2 - 3 pieces at a time.  Shake bag until chicken is coated then knock off excess breading.  Place chicken on the prepared sheet pan.
Space chicken in pan so that the pieces are not touching.  If pieces are too close, it will prevent the heat from circulating around the chicken and stop it from becoming  crunchy.
Bake in a 350 degree oven uncovered 45 minutes or if you are using a meat thermometer chicken is done when the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.  There is no need to turn the chicken, both sides will brown.
At the end of the cooking period, remove pan from oven and away from the heat.  Let chicken rest undisturbed 8 minutes prior to serving.
Use tongs when handling the chicken so that you do not poke holes in it and release the juices prematurely.
Now tell me this chicken ain't finger licking good!

8 Servings
 Ingredients:
4 large Roma tomatoes, ½” dice
1 large red bell pepper, ½” dice
1 large green bell pepper, ½” dice
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 cup feta cheese, diced
3 large cucumbers, seeded, diced
½ cup kalamata olives, halves
1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped
For the Dressing:
½ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon oregano, dry
½ teaspoon thyme, dry
½ teaspoon sage, dry
½ teaspoon basil, dry
½ teaspoon rosemary, dry
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper

Method
Dice tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and feta [about a half inch dice].
Cut cucumber in half [lengthwise], scoop out the seeds with a spoon and dice.
Slice or cut olives in half.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
Thoroughly whisk together all the dressing ingredients and pour ½ of the dressing over the vegetables. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate at least 2 hours prior to serving. 
Serve on a bed of red leaf lettuce, add more dressing if needed.
Remaining dressing can also be used as a marinade for meat, fish or 
vegetables.
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Yields 8 - 10 servings
Ingredients
4 pounds butternut squash
1 jumbo sweet potato
1 tablespoon sea salt – Divided
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ cup olive oil – Divided
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice mix
1 gallon vegetable broth – recipe to follow

Method
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Slice squash lengthwise and remove seeds
Wash sweet potato and cut in half lengthwise
Brush the inside of the potato & squash lightly with olive oil then sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and garlic      powder
Bake in oven 45 minutes or until tender.  The potato will get done before the squash, so remove it when it’s done
Once they are cool enough to handle, remove skin from the potato and scoop the squash out of its skin with a tablespoon.  Mash both the potato and squash with a potato masher
Add vegetable broth to a large stockpot and place over medium heat
Add mashed vegetables to the broth
Sprinkle in the remaining salt, coriander and pumpkin spice then mix thoroughly
Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat to medium low.  Cook uncovered 30 - 45 minutes or until soup thickens, stirring occasionally
If you have an immersion blender (hand blender), puree the soup in the pot. 
If you do not have an immersion blender, transfer soup in batches to a food processor or blender and puree; then return it to the pot.
Check for seasoning and add pumpkin spice/salt – ½ teaspoon at a time if needed
Bring the soup back up to a boil then reduce heat to medium low.
Continue cooking uncovered an additional 15 minutes or until it reaches the desired thickness.  Keep in mind that once the soup sets, it will become twice as thick.
Rosemary Roasted Baby Red Bliss Potatoes
2 Servings
Ingredients:
1 pound baby red bliss potatoes, halved or quartered (depending on size)
Juice of ½ lemons
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced or 1 teaspoon ground rosemary
¼ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
 
Method
Preheat oven 450 degrees
Lightly oil/spray a baking sheet
24 hours prior to cooking, prep potatoes by scrubbing with a vegetable brush to remove dirt.  If potatoes are larger than 1 inch in length, cut them in half. 
Cover potatoes with cold water squeeze in the juice of ½ lemon then add lemon rind to water.  Refrigerate and let potatoes soak overnight.
Remove potatoes from refrigerator and let drain in a colander.  Blot potatoes with a paper towel to remove excess liquid then place them in a large bowl.
Add the rosemary and mix thoroughly by hand.
Add chili peppers, salt, onion and garlic powder and mix thoroughly.
Add olive oil and minced garlic and mix until every potato is well coated.
Place potatoes on the sprayed baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven 30 minutes or until they are golden brown and tender. Garnish with parsley and serve hot.
 

 Sauteed Greens with Caramelized Onions & Red Pepper
4 - 6 Servings
Ingredients:
2 pounds collards, kale or any greens, washed, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
¼ - ½ teaspoon crushed red chili peppers
1 large onion, sliced thin
1+ teaspoon sea salt
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced or sliced
1 medium - large red bell pepper, sliced thin
½ cup orange juice or 1 large orange, juiced
1 teaspoon pepper
2 teaspoons oregano or dried herb

Method
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add the crushed red chili peppers, sliced onions and ½ teaspoon salt.  Sautee the onions over medium heat until they are caramel in color, do not let them burn.  Add the garlic and red bell peppers; continue sautéing approximately 3 minutes.  Add the greens, orange juice, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and dry herb; mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.  Bring pan up to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook 15 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  That is a sufficient amount of time for the greens to be done.  Taste for flavor and adjust seasoning accordingly.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Our Islanders Sunday Dinner

On the Menu


Jerk Chicken
4 Servings
Ingredients
4 Chicken breasts, 6 – oz., boneless, skinless

For the Jerk Seasoning:
1 tablespoon allspice
¼  teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground clove
1 teaspoon cinnamon
10 scallions, trimmed and chopped
5 garlic cloves, peeled
4 jalapeno peppers, seeded
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

Directions:
Prepare Jerk Seasoning by placing ingredients in a food processor or blender. Puree until smooth. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Place chicken breast in a heavy-duty zip lock bag. Pour  ¾ of the Jerk Seasoning over chicken and refrigerate overnight.
Place remaining sauce in refrigerator until ready to use for basting the chicken.
Drain marinated chicken breasts by placing them on a rack.  Place rack over the sink or on a sheet pan.
Heat the grill.  Once grill is hot, carefully wipe down the grill rack with oil to prevent chicken from sticking.  To wipe down grill; pour oil (canola or peanut) on a clean cloth then wipe down rack with the oil. 
Place drained chicken on grill and cook for 9 – 10 minutes over medium heat on each side. 
Baste with reserved Jerk Seasoning on both sides the last 3 minutes of grilling.
Remove cooked chicken from grill and allow to rest 10 minutes. 
Slice and arrange BBQ Jerk chicken on a platter. 

Caribbean Roasted Cabbage and Carrots
8 Servings
Ingredients
1 medium  cabbage, cut into squares
1 large onion, cut into cubes
2-3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 large carrot, sliced on the bias
1 bell pepper, cut into large squares
1 Scotch Bonnet chili pepper finely chopped
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil

Method
Preheat oven to 450°.
Combine cabbage, onion, garlic, carrots, bell peppers, scotch bonnet, salt, granulated garlic, granulated onion, pepper and oil in a large bowl; toss to coat.
Divide cabbage mixture between 2 oiled sheet pans (cookie sheets).
Bake at 450° for 20 minutes, then remove from oven.
Heat broiler to high. Return cabbage mixture to oven, place each pan under the broiler until edges begin to brown and crisp.
 

 Cuban Black Beans
Servings 6- 8
Ingredients
1 pound black beans, dried – (Do not soak)
2 large bay leaves
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
1 chili pepper, diced
Olive oil, for sautéing, plus 1 tablespoon
1 white onion, large dice
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
6 cloves garlic, chopped
⅛ cup white vinegar (rice wine vinegar is excellent)
½ teaspoon sea salt

Method
In a large stockpot, cover the beans with water, covering them by 2 inches. Add bay leaf, cumin, oregano, and chili pepper. Simmer on low heat, with pot partially covered until the beans are tender, but not completely done, about 1 hour.
While beans are cooking, roast the red and green pepper by placing them directly on the burner, turn with tongs until the whole pepper is charred.
Place the peppers in a zip lock bag for about 15 minutes.
Once the peppers are cooled, remove the stem and black skin to reveal the smooth layer underneath.
Cut the peppers open to remove the seeds then dice.
In a sauté pan, add the olive and sauté onions, peppers and garlic until onions are translucent. 
Transfer to a blender, add the vinegar and puree to a pulp. Use some of the bean water if needed to the puree.
Add the puree to the beans, season with salt and continue to cook until beans are done about 30 minutes.
Curried Lemon Rice
4 Servings
Ingredients
1 cup brown rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
½ teaspoon crushed red chili pepper
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 small carrot, grated
1 lemon, juiced
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup cashews or any nut, chopped


Cook rice as directed on the package.  Let it cool for 10 minutes, then spread it on a plate, mix in 1 teaspoon of oil so that the grains will not stick together.  Set aside for later use.
Heat remaining oil in a skillet; add mustard seeds, when seeds start to pop, add crushed chili peppers, onion powder, curry powder and carrots. Sauté until the carrots are slightly cooked.
Squeeze the lemon juice in a cup, add salt then mix it in the rice.
Add the rice to the skillet, mix thoroughly and cook until rice is warmed through.
Taste for flavor, add more lemon juice if desired.
Top with nuts and serve.
  Grilled Mango with Strawberry Coulis
6 servings

Ingredients
5 ripe mangoes
Juice of 1 orange
2 cups organic strawberries
½ lime, juiced
1 tablespoon agave [optional]

Method
Peel mangoes using a vegetable peeler not a knife.
Slice mango off the seed (large slices in order to grill).
Place mango slices on hot oiled grill long enough to get grill marks on both sides.
Once mangoes cool down, cut into ¾ inch strips.
In a blender, pour in the orange juice,strawberries and juiced lime, blend until it’s a smooth paste.
Toss grilled mangoes in sauce and serve.

Note: This same strawberry coulis can be served on/with any fruit, chicken, fish, beef or lamb.  And the berries can be any berry.


Jamaican Sorrel
Yields 8½ Cups


Note: Hibiscus flowers can be purchased at any Hispanic grocery store. It's sold under the name of Jamaica which is pronounced hah-my-kah. 

Ingredients
6 ounce hibiscus (Jamaica) flowers
10½ cups water
2 tablespoons dried ginger root pieces
12 whole allspice (pimento) berries
1½ cups sugar

Method
Spread the hibiscus out on a cookie sheet and sort through the flowers to remove any debris.
In a large pot, add the water, hibiscus, ginger and allspice berries. Bring the pot to a boil for 10 minutes, then remove it from the heat.  Let sorrel steep for 30 minutes.
Strain the mixture and discard the flowers, etc.
Add the sugar starting with 1 cup.  Taste for sweetness and add more sugar as needed.
This beverage can be served hot or cold.
If serving cold, let it come to room temperature before refrigerating or adding ice.


Jamaican Sorrel

Jamaican Sorrel
Yields 8½ Cups

Note: Hibiscus flowers can be purchased at any Hispanic grocery store. It's sold under the name of Jamaica which is pronounced hah-my-kah. 

Ingredients
6 ounce hibiscus (Jamaica) flowers
10½ cups water
2 tablespoons dried ginger root pieces
12 whole allspice (pimento) berries
1½ cups sugar

Method
Spread the hibiscus out on a cookie sheet and sort through the flowers to remove any debris.
In a large pot, add the water, hibiscus, ginger and allspice berries. Bring the pot to a boil for 10 minutes, then remove it from the heat.  Let sorrel steep for 30 minutes.
Strain the mixture and discard the flowers, etc.
Add the sugar starting with 1 cup.  Taste for sweetness and add more sugar as needed.
This beverage can be served hot or cold.
If serving cold, let it come to room temperature before refrigerating or adding ice.