Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Goat Water

I found organic mutton and lamb at Proctors so I made the goat water with that.

Goat water Montserrat style

Frozen cubes of mutton or goat 2 packs it has bones
enough water to cover the frozen cubes in a pot
put on stove and cook on high until the meat thaws and starts to cook and cook for a while
add more water if needed
keep pot open
skim off foam my organic lamb did not have foam. I think that is good

3 large cloves of garlic that have been mashed up
chop half large onion
chop 3 potatoes or you could use tania
chop 3 carrots
fresh thyme
a little hot pepper
pepper and salt

covered until the lamb is soft.
everything will be soft at this point

half cup bisto or flour with half cup cold water mixed in

at this point turn it off and let it sit on the stove until ready to eat.
then reheat and eat.
very good with garlic bread

Monday, 14 March 2016

Chicken or steak Avocado lunch

left over grilled chicken or steak, cold or warmed and shredded or sliced thin.
Cannelloni beans drained and rinsed then mixed with olive oil and vin of choice
avocado cut  in half or sliced
beans and chicken in hole.
on plate with mixed green salad with homemade croutons and oil vin dressing

Home made croutons

Slice and dice
stale loaf of french bread or any bread.
bread into bite size pieces

in frying pan with olive oil and herbs of choice until a little brown on outside but soft on inside.
This takes only  a few minutes.

Use warm or cool

Crisp bacon crumbled is also good on this salad.
I cook the entire package of bacon when I get it then store it in fridge to use on salads etc.

Monday, 26 January 2015

Makin Bacon

Recently I had some super bacon at of all places Disney in Orlando. It was in a nice little restaurant at the resort and the food was superb. They had a pepper crusted bacon. So good
 I got it twice.

So naturally I had to make some. Got myself a huge pork belly from the local restaurant supply house and cut off a 6 lb. chunk. Then I cut that into 1 lb. chunks.

We don't have pink salt available on island so I settled for Mortons Quick Cure, figured it would be
the safest one for my new bacon experiment.
Following  directions on the bag I measured the correct amount of cure for each cube of belly and placed it all in a plastic bag in the fridge for what was originally a week but turned out to be 3 days because I ran out of time.

I did not realize I could add all the other stuff into the original brine bag so I waited until it was time for the smoke to apply the local brown sugar and course ground black pepper to the outside.
That was after I washed off the cure.

Now  I was ready for the oven.
We had chopped up some seagrape wood into small slivers and saw dust. I made a fire in the pizza oven and waited until it was down to almost nothing, under 200 F. before putting in the wet sawdust in an old cast iron skillet. I am sure we will perfect this method in time to come.

We use a tuscan grill in the oven for cooking steak etc. and it was perfect for the cubes of belly.
The skittle full of sawdust was happily smoking away so I put in the belly and shut the oven, not all the way and left the chimney open.
I checked it a few times and basically left it all night to smoke.
In the morning, the bacon was done. Even without pink salt it was pink. The fat was drawn down nicely and it smelled smokey.
Next the taste test.
It was no  longer pork, it was now bacon. I cut off the rind before putting the slices in the
skillet. I can use the rind to make cracklin.
This was a great experiment, the bacon is very good and I will certainly do this again.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Egg and sausage Pie

Egg pie is nice for brunch or lunch. Easy to make if you have pre-made crust.
It's very quick too.

Egg Pie with smoked sausage, gruyere cheese and lardons.

1 pie crust
5 or 6 eggs
2 or 3 smoked brat sausage
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
1 cup of lardon
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk or cream

In a bowl, break the eggs and beat with a whisk. Add some liquid and beat. Add grated cheese, salt and pepper.
Put the crust in a pie pan and arrange sliced sausage on bottom.
Pour the egg mixture over the sausage.
sprinkle the lardons over lightly.
Put in hot oven, 400.
Bake until the egg mixture rises and browns a bit and the lardons look crispy.
Eat hot or eat cold.

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Pork Tenderloin on sugarcane skewers

Found some nice small tenderloin and decided to try them sliced and marinated on skewers and
Here's the recipe...
Pork Tenderloin sliced long and thin
Lime whole chopped
Tamarind sauce or pulp no seeds
Garlic cloves
White wine enough to make blending easy
S and p
Sugarcane split into skewers
I also soaked some in rum
Blend in blender all but pork and sugarcane. Marinate pork strips for a while or in fridge half day.
For spicy just add hot pepper to mix.
Heat up the grill.
Roll the marinated pork strips on cane skewers.
It doesn't take too long.
Excellent and it could be used as a starter or main.

Friday, 12 September 2014

Veggie Chips

As I was passing through SXM, St. Maarten airport I stopped at a new cafe type restaurant, Paris
Bistro or something like that. They had good sandwiches and with them you got a free bag of chips, not potato chips, veggie chips. They were excellent! I don't care for veg but I liked these a lot.
Naturally have to make my own using local ground provision and some of the things they used in the veggie chip bag.
Dasheen or taro makes a great tasty chip.
Cassava even better, a little sweet, not too much, very tasty
Yams taste good going in but has a funny after taste, not for everybody
I have not tried Tania yet will update later.
Then I turned to more traditional veg.
Carrots are fantastic and you really wouldn't think so
Beets also delightful
String beans, you must cut them up or they take forever to deep fry
Eggplant was a failure, gets all mushy, tastes good but not a chip

So far this is all I have done but it is very easy to do...
tall pot with oil, don't fill it too much couple of inches
heat oil to 350f
slice up veg using a mandolin or a vegetable peeler works great
Don't overload the pot or they don't crisp up
The string beans take the longest and you just have to do a test to see how long.
Around two minutes for the thin sliced veg.
shake them out on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt
Let them cool then put them on an oven tray and let them dry out a bit more in a warm oven.
You can re-crisp them that way too.
Really Really great alternative to potato chips but I like them too.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Kitchen Travel Essentials

We travel a bit for business. When I say travel I mean we go to an island and stay for maybe a year or
more. Since I have done this a couple of times I realize there are things you should bring along to save the trouble of finding them or not getting them at all.
Most islands in the Caribbean have substandard kitchen supplies and now since most of them are being supplied by Chinese products, they also have bad bedroom stuff, curtains, towels, you name it if you are buying from a local shop the towels are half polyester blend and so are the sheets. Just plain awful to use or sleep on. If you are renting a furnished apartment you normally get the leftovers from the last tenant or the cheap curtains and furniture that do the job but don't make for pleasant living. So now if possible I bring it from home, ship it on a boat and remove all the items from the house or apartment I can and store them away until we leave. Saves their stuff for the next lucky tenant and lets me have something that makes me feel like I want to live there.
I like to cook and it is important to have the basic tools you need to do what you want. Not everything, sometimes buying something on island is the best way to go, you might even find an unusual item you can't get at home like a lovely large tawa or those big propane gas burners that are far better than any small gas stove in an apartment.
But for me, there are items I have collected over the years that I like to bring along.

Three really good knives
Big kitchen knife
Bread knife
Paring knife

Pots and Pans
Large stock pot with lid
Med. size pot with lid
Small pot
lasagna pan
cookie sheets

Hand Tools
Kitchen spoon
Kitchen spoon with holes
Kitchen fork
Can opener
Wine opener
Measuring cup
Pepper Grinder
Bench scraper
Vegetable peeler (good one)
Decent potholders
Cotton towels, I really like old cotton T shirts cut in half

Electric Items
Hand Blender serves as a regular blender too.
Convection Oven is much better than the gas range in an apartment.
Toaster, their toasters never work.
Coffee maker cause we like espresso.
Usually the place has a microwave

I have also found that using the dining utensils in rented places is just plain awful. So, I bring just enough of the good stuff we have so we don't have to eat with forks that rust the second time you wash them.
If I can pack items in big plastic bowls with lids I bring them along for baking.
Wine glasses are nice since they are generally poor quality in shops and the kind with tiny mouth rims that are hard to drink from, why do they make those anyway?
We buy suitcases, lots of them and I use them to pack the easily transportable items often on the plane. If it is a large item I can ship it on a boat but it takes longer and depending on the size of the job you might want to exclude the large ticket items like an oven and just get one on island.
On this last job I had a welder create for me a pizza oven made from an old water tank. We call him Bender.