Tuesday, 19 January 2016

A Basic Shrimp and Fettucine Recipe

This is a basic, quick recipe that can be made with either shrimp, chicken strips or cubes, or a combination of both. I elected to use shrimps only as despite the high cholesterol this may have, the dish is not something I often make. There are only a few quantities given as this is a very flexible recipe that can be altered to suit individual tastes. After making it a couple of times, you will get accustomed to exactly how much of each ingredient works for you. The idea behind this recipe is to ensure that there is some of the oil and butter sauce in the frying pan that will coat the Fettucine when it is added at the end.
1/2 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined.(Frozen may also be used if thawed appropriately)
Old Bay Seasoning
Salt and black pepper to taste (you can always add more after the dish is cooked). In fact, the pepper is best added at that point just before eating
Paprika, or Lemon Pepper or Cayenne Pepper (Depending on which taste you prefer)
1-2 squirts of Sriracha (If you like things spicy)
1-2 shallots, finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
Small, very ripe Roma tomato, finely chopped
Few Broccoli Florets, coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons Olive oil plus 1 tablespoon butter to saute
1/2 cup cooking wine, white
Juice of one lemon
1 serving of Fettucine, boiled and drained
1. Season the shrimp (or chicken) with the spices. .
2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a frying pan. Quickly saute the chopped shallot and garlic.
3. Once the shallot becomes transparent, add the broccoli, tomato and seasoned shrimp. Continue sauteing until the shrimp become opaque then add the cooking wine.
4. Continue the saute process over high heat until the volume of liquid in the pan is reduced by half. Add the cooked Fettucine and mix so that the pasta is coated with the oil/butter/wine sauce. Plate and squeeze the lemon juice over it.Garnish with freshly chopped parsley, if desired. 

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Lebanese Spiced Beef with Egg

This is a very traditional Middle Eastern dish with as many variations as you can imagine. Each country uses its own spice mix to give it a unique identity. This is the Lebanese-Jamaican version of the dish that my mother used to make for breakfast.

For the Lebanese spice mix, Baharat, there is no fixed recipe. The constant ingredients are Cinnamon and Allspice. Other spices vary as each family makes it according to their taste. One of my cousins, Jamie,  makes the best Baharat I've ever used! It is also readily available in most Lebanese stores already mixed. Clearly, making your own mixture to suit your taste is best. The dish goes well with sliced cucumber, pickles, Pita or Naan bread.

6 ozs of ground beef
3 large cloves garlic
1 shallot
1/2 small Habanero Chili pepper
1 small Plum Tomato, finely diced
1/2 tsp salt
1-2 tsps Baharat or Lebanese Spice Mix (Garam Masala may be substituted but then one ends up with the Indian version of this dish. This dish, and it's many spice variations is common throughout the Middle East and the Indian Subcontinent)
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 eggs

1. Finely chop the shallot, garlic and Habanero pepper
2. Heat oil in a frying pan and brown meat until no pink remains and the beef is well browned and dry. Add the finely chopped shallot, garlic, habanero pepper, salt, Baharat or Garam Masala. Saute until it smells fragrant then add the chopped tomato.
3. Saute this mixture for a minute or two then break 1-2 eggs over the mixture and continue cooking as if you were cooking scrambled eggs. Plate when egg is cooked. Eat with Pita or Naan bread.

Saturday, 9 January 2016

Jerk Pork Rib Ends in Tamarind Chutney Sauce

This dish combines the fiery hot flavor of Jamaican Jerk with a sweet, tangy Tamarind Chutney Sauce from India. They are two of my favorite flavors. The Tamarind Sauce does a good job of "taming" some of the Jerk "fire".

3 lbs pork rib ends or oriental style ribs
2 tablespoons Grace Caribbean All Purpose Seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 rounded tablespoon Indian Garam Masala
2 teaspoons Grace Hot Jerk Seasoning
1 teaspoon Colombian Panela sugar (Brown sugar may be substituted)
1 tablespoon Jamaican Pickapeppa Sauce
1 tablespoon Worcester Sauce
1 Tablespoon Sriracha Chili Sauce
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 bottle National Tangy Tamarind Chutney Sauce


1. Cut the rib strips into 2-3inch segments and place in a bowl or Ziploc plastic bag. Add all the seasonings, and oil listed except the Tamarind Chutney Sauce. Marinate in refrigerator overnight.
2. Set oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place ribs in a baking dish, and bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until meat is nicely browned.
3. Remove dish from oven and pour bottle of tamarind chutney sauce over the ribs. Decrease oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cover baking dish with foil and bake for another 30-40 minutes. Remove foil and serve.