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.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

I was hit by a truck

Seriously, I got hit by a van today in Nevis. It was not pleasant. First you don't see it coming. Minding my own business I am crossing the street. It is a stop sign so naturally you would think the guy in the van would look both ways before entering the road. He did not. He hit me dead on but fortunately the kid in the passengers seat screamed STOP! and he did.
Let me tell you how it feels to be hit by a truck. Not great. First you are completely unaware thst it is one expected the Spanish Inquisition. I am on the ground, actually the pavement and I have been pushed a bit. My head is covered in scrapes and I am assuming  bruises. They are coming. Knees and elbows are abused. I found that I had chest pain probably due to the trauma. Glasses destroyed. But... I am alive. I look like hell but these things will pass.
Strangest thing, when I am on the pavement I am aware of what is going on and I yell out STOP. I look and see the chassis of the vehicle and am trying to figure out in those few short seconds where I can go to avoid the most damage. Weird.
The guy that hit me just called. He was so sorry that I felt bad. Here I am covered in bruises and I feel bad. So I look at it this way. I got really lucky, I could be dead. I move on, I had an incredible experience it was not pleasant but I lived. Now I can tell everyone I got hit by a truck. Who can say that?
Note: I found out later that the guy driving the truck was blind in one eye, they eye he needed to see me. He was working for someone and his job is driving the van. Nice.