Friday, December 25, 2009
so he started off by getting the two secret ingredients:
and bay leaf. now in these here parts, a lot of herbs and spices are picked fresh from the garden. bay leaf is no exception. can't beat that with a bat.
he put the spices in a sauce pan and added some water plus that hot fiyah.
next, he got out some jellied cranberry sauce. we have this every year, but i never put it on my turkey. the jelly just isn't my thing.
he mashed around the jelly with a wooden spoon while it took the heat.
then he added a little salt to refine the taste.
balanced out the flavours wth a little sugar. it thickened up nicely and had this sweet and spicy flavour that was reminicent of the sauce that inspired the effort. i had to try it on my turkey.
so i did. it worked. i don't like a lot of sweet stuff, but this was just right. it played a good supporting role.
the cast was strong as usual: (going clockwise from the turkey at the bottom) minced beef and potato stuffing, cauliflower in white sauce, shepard's pie, peas with coconut milk, vegetable lasagne, beef pastelle and a vegetable rice with carrot, pepper, celery, onion, chive, apple and raisins.
thanks to the sauce, the falvours changed up again this year and it was another meal worth remembering.
pub mix. if you don't know, it's a tasty bunch of crunchies in a tall bottle that can throw off your appetite if you're not careful. "more-ish" as my mom describes it.
anyway, just a quick snack... well, a quick post... food post comin just now!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
What I end up sipping on while the notes of Auld Lang Syne fill the air has been dictated by the context of the limes I attended over the years.
For example, one year I hopped around
Last year the stroke of twelve caught me heading to a lime by some friends that I never spent New Years with before. I joined them in an after-the-stroke-of-twelve toast when I arrived, and to facilitate it, we had shots of Patrone tequila… a drink I never had before. That also led to a new type of disaster for me, unfortunately unsuitable to mention in such a lighthearted article.
But the closest thing to a consistent New Year’s drink for me is what you’re sure to find whenever I get together with my inner circle of friends either at my place in Aranguez, by Ma in Barataria, or up on the block in Laventille by Jo. That’s Johnnie Walker Black, which we usually have in 2L bottles affectionately called “De Man Wit De Handle” because of the handle worked into the bottle design. There’s just something comforting to me about sipping a Johnnie on the rocks with some good friends on Old Year’s Night that makes the 365 days to come look a lot less challenging.
feel free to post what you drink to welcome the new year. i'd like to know. and don't forget to get yourself a newsday on sunday december 27th to see who else drinks what else while the ball drops.
leh we bubble
Sunday, December 13, 2009
pita bread made by one of my favourite spots, lawrence of arabia... of shops of maraval. though pita bread wasn't on my scientifically calculated google map of a grocery list, i couldn't resist bringing it home.
and with a classic line like this one, how could i put this down?
like the pack says, it is soft and tasty. and it tasted good out of the pack. i was curious about that considering it wasn't in any sort of chiller-like unit. it was just out there chillin' with the kiss loafs and such. anyway, it didn't have that powdery taste you get from some of the frozen ones. and though the sizes in the bag varied from piece to piece, the pieces were of a decent size.
luckily for me, the lawrance pita was just right to deal with the after supermarket hunger. quick and easy, taste good... not too much to clean up. to me that meant slap two pieces of smoked ham on there, grate some cheese, then throw on some ketchup, chow chow and pepper.
wrapped it and placed it in this. what is this? hmm.
de george forman. real handy piece of equipment.
about 3 minutes later, i had this hot, crispy wrap. not bad at all. i want to use it with a stew something or a curry sometime and just dip it like a sada roti. until that though, this wrap will do. who say seconds?
Thursday, December 10, 2009
been hearing about "the best fried chicken in the country" for quite some time now. jap's fried chicken. you can find this spot in st helena (thanks randy). it's quite easy to find. from piarco side, you pass the new airport, pass the old airport, make a right when the road leads to the major road, then make another right at the first traffic light. look for the red, white and green japs sign on your right hand side.
the sign is similar to the custom box. i found the illustration to be quite amusing, but with a claim like "...de best taste around!" right next to it, it was wise for a first timer like me to save the laughs for after the tasting. the first thing of note was the number of cars. this place was obviously scoring. but i soon realized that the cars were a small tell tale sign compared to the line of people coming out of the door. i endured said line (which actually looked more intimidating than it was) and purchased the coveted product.
price!! 2 piece and fries = $20. up sized fries = $3. fish and fries = $25. quite affordable
hearty portion sizes... even without up sizing
efficient system... it cut down the long lines in no time
an ok looking chinese food place next door just in case you end up feeling for a beef fried rice instead of fried chicken, but already made the trek
the branded stuff like the bag and boxes take it out of hole-in-the-wall realm and gives it that franchise look we love
the prep area is visible from the front, so you can see what's going on. no behind the scenes
not so impressive:
the parking sucks... but there's a yard for some sort of business a little further up that can be of service if you don't mind a very short walk back
there are a few tables for dining there, but with lines of people crowding the space the experience can't be that great
the funny illustration of that chef. the design was ok with the logo alone man!
but how did it taste though?
it has that home flavour as opposed to the mass produced, oily big franchise product the big boys pedal. i'm guessing it's because the oil in their deep fryers does less work, so the product is fresher. maybe. the meat was well cooked straight to the bone though. commendable. there was some seasoning, but not as much as i anticipated, proving once again that anticipation is a dangerous thing. the crust was crispy and tasty with a spicy kick, but the meat itself was just passable. not bad, not great... passable. all in all, i disagree. i don't think japs is the best fried chicken in the country. they make an ok chicken that looks as though the taste is consistent, which is a good thing. i was at least hoping for some hole-in-the-wall-secret-sauce, but that wish didn't come to pass. just the regular mass market condiments with a nice pepper sauce.
i'd buy it again providing i'm on that side, but i won't leave home to get it, unlike some other options that i'll bring to the table soon.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
tried something. just a lil snack. you will have to eat about 300 to get full. but you might get fed up of crunching before you reach 100.
minced beef done up with the usuals:
lime juice, onion, all purpose, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, ginger powder, italian seasoning. i also used some of the crusting mixes that ms mar-fan kindly supplied to me. i use it like a seasoning sometimes because it has a nice french onion kinda flavour.
i left it to marinate, then cooked it in a deep frying pan.
after it browned up and sprung all its juices, i added some olives and a mixture of ketchup and some left over salsa i had (a regular saucy salsa with chunks of tomatoes, peppers, onions etc.) cooked it down with a little touch of cooking butter. just a tip.
i had some wanton skins, so i cut them in half and fried them up to make some triangular chips. tortilla inspired.
this was the end result. it was nice. a little too salty i think because of the all purpose. i added some more after putting the sauce in because it looked a bit watery. but i misjudged. however, i thought you all might have been interested in the concept.
happy to report that i tried something that turned out kinda nice. don't know what to call it, but let me tell you what i did:
started out by putting some minced beef into the trusty slow cooker. tossed in some roughly chopped onions and sprinkled black pepper, garlic powder, paprika and just a little salt into it. i also crushed and sprinkled 1 beef and 1 vegetable maggie cube into it. i let that cook for about half hour. it basically seasoned right in there.
next i added the chipotle marinade. (you will notice by now, i didn't use any of the seasonings the way they were intended to be used. that's no fun anyway.) i followed the directions, but not the measurements. the pack of powder, some water and some olive oil. mixed it up and poured that into the beef. i let that cook for about 15 more minutes.
by this time of course the place is fragrant and i am sitting still so that the neighbors don't figure out that i'm cooking and come beggin for a plate.
next i added some white rice. mixed it up so everything was evenly distributed.
force of habit, i put a little piece of cooking butter in. can't help myself. but i don't think this dish really needed any more oil. no probs. is not health food.
after letting that cook for just a bit, i poured in about 2 cups of water (which was just enuff to cover the ingredients)
added some coconut milk powder to the mix, then a tin of green peas.
covered and let it cook until the rice was cooked and the water boiled out. took about another 30 to 40 minutes.
the end result was a cross between a pelau and a jambalaya rice. the heat from the chipotle gave it a spicy kick, while the coconut milk made it nice and rich. knock yourself out with it just so, or treat it like a pelau with a lil cole slaw on the side.
and thus were my activities in the off times. things should clear up soon and i'll be blogging again.
until such times, leh we bubble.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
1 Chicken breast thinly sliced,ideally as close to shredded as possible
2 Medium firm tomatoes, cubed very small
6 Mushrooms sliced thinly
a handfull of chives
sprig of parsley
grated cheese preferably parmesan
in pan 1
bring a pot of water to boil and add a teaspoon of oil and salt.
put in the pasta and boil till al dente
in pan 2
lightly fry the chicken to your desired colour.
in pan 3
heat 4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil and add add the rest of ingredients to it.
once the tomatoes have become soft, use a potato masher to make it into a smooth paste.
add the chicken and pasta and mix it all together.
sprinkle the grated cheese liberally while mixing.
keep it bubblin in england horse.
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
it always freaked me out to see the corned beef in slices on the tin though. never had it that way. i always take it out the tin and mash it up like this.
that way i could add my lime... yuh know ah love it.
and i could add a little touch of green seasoning like so. then i could mix that up while i...
put some oil in a pot to get heated.
the next step is to put some onions, pimentos and garlic.
in goes the corned beef. let that cook for a bit.
some ketchup, some A1 sauce and some water.
some black pepper...
fire fuh dat!
and daz it dey. on some jasmine rice, yuh on. the only thing easier, quicker and more affordable than that is a make it happen loan.
leh we bubble.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
dawi built the grill while i went inside to start things off. now my apologies. this was a little too difficult to get detailed with the photosnappin', so i didn't document much of the meat preppin'.
Anyway, I took 5 packs of minced beef from pricesmart and added onion, celery, chive, parsley, basil, pimento peppers, green seasoning, garlic powder, all purpose seasoning, jerk powder, black pepper, bitters, A1 sauce and some lime. personally, i don't like egg in the mix, so i didn't employ the services of any eggs. worked in all the seasoning with my hands, hence the lack of photos. It's all about the seasoning, so I added the seasoning in portions and worked it all around to ensure the seasoning found its way through everything.
dawi started off manning the grill.
with some back up from kory, who is skilled on de grill.
it must be noted that the ladies didn't have to lift a finger.
except to take some video footage.
and to bring a mit or two. but nothig much more than that.
dawi mapped out the most efficient start point on the grill. he also suggested that we should coat the burger in a mixture of cornmeal, jerk powder, garlic powder and black pepper. that is what's going on in the white bowl there.
so the routine was to pat the patties into shape, coat them and place them on the grill.
the coating proved to be interesting.
but the heat wasn't quite right.
we had to make more fire.
which in turn created more sizzle.
finally, the right temperature. the burgers started to cook properly. after flipping them, we loaded some of them up with cheese. more trial, less error. the coating made a nice tasty crust. not bad at all.
with the new found confidence, kory broke out the tricks. first, he patted out some big boy burgers. then he made a little cavity and put some cheddar in the middle.
then closed them up and shaped them into some neat patties.
they had the grill lookin good.
they turned out to be hearty helpings of beef with hot melted cheese on the inside.
much success. the burgers were money. we topped them with all sorts of things. condiments like ketchup, mustard and pepper sauce. mayo and cheese wizz. onions, pickles, lettuce and tomato.
it ranked high up on my list of burger experiences.
good job fellas. let's do it again sometime.