Monday, 17 August 2015

Tamarind Jerk Beef Strips

This is a really quick and tasty recipe for beef. It can be eaten in a wrap or with rice. It combines the flavors of Jerk and Tamarind, both Caribbean favorites. It is not particularly spicy but very tasty. Any brand of dried jerk seasoning may be used but for the Tamarind flavor, I like to use a Tangy Tamarind Chutney made by a company called National.

7 oz New York Strip Steak, cut in strips
½ tbsp dried jerk seasoning
½ tsp salt
½ tsp brown sugar
½ tsp thyme
1 shallot
1 small jalapeno pepper
3 cloves garlic
3-4 cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1-2 tsp Worcester sauce
1 tbsp Tangy Tamarind chutney
2 tbsp cooking oil

  1. Cut the steak into small strips. Season with jerk seasoning, salt, Worcester sauce, brown sugar and thyme
  2. Place shallot, garlic cloves and jalapeno pepper slices in a small chopper, and pulse to coarsely chop.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and sauté chopped shallot, garlic and jalapeno pepper. Cook until the chopped shallot becomes transparent
  4. Add steak strips with seasoning and sauté until lightly brown. Add chopped cherry tomatoes, and tamarind chutney. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Eat with rice or in a wrap.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

A Quick and Easy Banana Date Bread Made in a Food Processor

I love Banana bread but hate all the steps of mashing, chopping etc that you have to go through to make it. I wanted to come up with a tea bread that could be made in a food processor, one that was quick, easy and for which the food processor would do all the work of mixing, chopping etc. Some of the new, fancy, all-in one kitchen mixers they are now promoting on the market for close to $1000 might do all that but I only have a $30 food processor to use. The recipe is a simple one but does require the steps to be carefully followed as a food processor is not like a stand mixer. The bread is not the usual sickly sweet banana bread but one with a slight tartness to it because of the added tamarind flavor.

8 oz whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
Seeds from 4 green Cardamom pods (or ¼ tsp ground Cardamom)
2 oz butter
2 oz coconut oil
4 oz dark brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp molasses
2 tbsp tamarind paste
2 bananas cut in1/2 inch slices
½ lime, juiced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
4 oz pitted dates

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Put the rack in the middle position of your oven. Grease and line a 2 lb loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. Cut the bananas into 1/2 inch slices, and squeeze the lime juice over it.
  3. Mix the honey, molasses, and tamarind concentrate in a small bowl I find that a little oil on the spoons used to measure these “syrups” helps them to slide easily off the spoon)
  4. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, dates, and spices (Note: If I’m using Cardamom seeds, I put them in at this stage so that the food processor will grind them up) in the food processor bowl. Pulse on high 6-8 times until the mixture looks like cornmeal and the dates are finely chopped
  5. Add the butter, and coconut oil to this and process until the mixture has the consistency of breadcrumbs (about 30-40 seconds).
  6. Add the lightly beaten eggs, the mixture of “syrups”, and the banana slices and lime juice to the processor bowl. Process until smooth (about 1 minute on high) and no whole slices of banana can be seen.
Empty into loaf pan and bake for about 60-70 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.
Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run a rubber spatula around edges before turning out to cool further.