Monday, June 25, 2012

"Mango Madness" Mango Flan with Coconut Rum Sauce

 Mangoes are eaten in the Caribbean more than any other fruit and Summer is the peak time for mangoes. Mangoes can be eaten fresh picked from the tree or added into sauces, breads, desserts, stuffing for meat and fish dishes, juices and jams.This is quick and easy dessert for Mango flan with Coconut Rum Sauce. When making this flan I recommend you choose very ripe, highly flavored mangoes.

3 large egg yolks
3 large eggs 2
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 cup pureed Mango flesh ( About 3 large Mangoes)
In a medium glass bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, and condensed milk until smooth. Add the milk and pureed mangoes and mix until fully combined. Divide the caramel among eight 3/4 cup ramekins, coating the sides and bottom. Place the ramekins in a large baking pan add boiling water to reach halfway up the sides of the pan. Bake in the middle of a preheated oven at 350 degrees about 40 minutes or until flans are firm in the middle. Remove the flans from the water and cool to room temperature. Place flan in refrigerator to chill until ready to serve.


4 Tablespoon water
1 1/2 cups sugar
Pour the water in a heavy thick bottom pan, add the sugar and stir well. cook over high heat stirring slightly. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the mixture is caramel brown, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat to prevent burning.

Coconut Rum Sauce

1 1/4 Cups Coconut milk
3 Tablespoon dark rum
1/3 cup Sugar
2 Teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 Tablespoon cold water

In a small saucepan. bring to boil the coconut milk, rum , and sugar to a simmer, over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar, about 6 minutes. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture and cook the sauce stirring, until thickened about 2 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and serve with the flan.

To serve run a knife around each flan and invert onto desserts plates. Pour any caramel remaining in the ramekins over the flan. Pour the Coconut rum sauce around the flan, garnish with diced mango and toasted coconut flakes.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Caribbean Style Salt Cod, Jonny Cakes Sticks and Eggplant Chokha

Salt Cod ( Bacaloo) is a staple in Caribbean Cooking, Brought over to the islands by British farmers because of its ease for storage, and versatility ( There was no refrigeration at that time). Salt cod is used in making fish cakes, stews, sandwiches, and patties. In this recipe for Caribbean style salt cod it is prepared in a tomato stew. Because of the saltiness of the salt cod it should be soaked before cooking to release the salt. I usually soak overnight so I recommend starting this recipe ahead of serving time.

Caribbean Style Salt Cod

1 pound salt cod (preferably the center cut) can also purchase boneless
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large yellow onions peeled and sliced
1 yellow or green pepper seeded and sliced
1 large ripe tomato seeded cut into medium dice
2 fresh sprigs of thyme
2 green onions chopped
1/2 Scott bonnet pepper seeded and chopped ( optional)
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup water
 Place the salt cod in a large bowl, fill to the top with water and soak over- night, Drain the salt cod
 and return  to a large pot cover with water and bring to a boil, Boil for 20 min, Remove from heat and drain, If using bone -in salt cod remove bones and skin and flake lightly.
In a medium skillet heat the oil over medium heat add the onions, peppers and cook lightly without color, add the tomatoes and thyme, green onion, and scott bonnet pepper, cook for two minutes. Add the tomato paste and ligthly stir, Add the water and bring to a boil, Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes  add the flaked salt cod and lightly combine ingredients, Simmer for two minutes remove from heat and serve.

Jonny Cakes

One of the quick and all time favorite is this easy quick bread Jonny cakes served with early morning cocoa tea, coffee or bush tea, Jonny cakes are also served with traditional Sunday morning breakfast on some of the islands.

2 cups all purpose flour

2 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vegetable shortening

1 tablespoon butter

1/3 cup milk or water

canola oil for frying

Mix the flour ,baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl, add the shortening and butter blend the mixture with the finger tips until crumbly. Make a well in the center add the milk and mix into a smooth stiff dough, do not over mix. Place dough in a bowl and cover . Let dough sit for 15 minutes to relax the dough. Meanwhile heat oil in a large heavy skillet for about 400 degrees. Cut dough into small pieces and form pieces into balls by lightly rolling in the palm of the hands about the size of small ball, on a lightly floured surface roll balls into medium logs. Rest for 5 minutes and fry until golden brown turning to even browning, reduce heat as necessary. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.

Variations: These Jonny cakes can also be roasted in a large stone pot on open coals and are called roast dumplings. More care must be taken when roasting since the heat and dumplings must be adjusted to be sure that the insides are cooked

Eggplant Chokha

Eggplant also know as aubergine, boulanger or melongene in some of the islands are used in many ways. While working as a chef in Florida I enjoyed this recipe made by my friend Trinidadian chef Ricky. At The restaurant we served this as dip. Served warm or cold it goes great with pita bread, jonny cakes, coconut bread or any other type of bread.

1 large Eggplant
6 garlic cloves peeled
2 ripe tomatoes
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce ( optional)
Sat and pepper to taste

Cut eggplant in two lengthwise, Make long slits on the sides of eggplant.
Place garlic cloves in each slits
Cut Tomatoes in halves
Drizzle Large roasting pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place eggplant and tomato halves face down in pan. Roast in a pre-heated oven and cook for 20 -30 minutes.
Remove from heat, and peel the skin from the eggplant and tomatoes. Place in a large bowl and mash together, Add oil, vinegar, and pepper sauce, stir to combine season with salt and pepper.
Serve warm or cold.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Caribbean Culinary Tours Cooking Team Building Classes

Caribbean Culinary Tours Cooking Team Building Classes
Caribbean Culinary Tours is now offering Cooking Team building classes on the islands of Antigua, Barbados, St Lucia, Dominica, Jamaica, St Marteen, Puerto Rico, St Kitts/Nevis, Bahamas and the USVI , Classes are offered to corporate and meeting groups.

Classes are for one(1) day only, you will learn the art of Caribbean cooking while exploring our Caribbean culinary culture. Classes are open for Corporate business Teams for groups of 10 and up. Our cooking classes are generally about 3-4 hours long and include the preparation of a multi- course meal which you will enjoy along with our tropical islands cocktails at the end of the lesson. Day classes include a visit to the local farmers market where you will get the opportunity to savor the colors, flavors and the authentic life of the local Caribbean people.

Morning classes usually begins from 10:00 Am depending on your group schedule and includes pick up from your cruise ship or hotel. At the end of your class you will be taken back to your ship or hotel. Classes can be customized to suit your meetings or ships itinerary and dates,

Caribbean Culinary  CookingTeam Building Classes

Need a fun, exciting and creative way to bond with your clients or employees in a tropical atmosphere with a great end result of a fabulous three course Caribbean meal to be enjoyed by your group. With our Corporate team building classes your team will learn the art of preparing authentic Caribbean style cooking while building a creative working environment for company leaders, managers and employees.

Laugh and learn as you join in the farming, fishing, shopping, planning and preparing of a 3 -4 course tropical Caribbean Menu. Your team will get the opportunity to prepare a perfect Caribbean meal through team work. Sit back and enjoy the fruit of your labor as you savor your entire meal accompanied by tropical islands cocktails.

Top benefits of Culinary corporate team building

Improves communications, Problems solving, and listening skills

Heightens creativity

Aids in setting goals and achieving objectives

Builds trust

Encourages rapport,

Listen to NPR news story on why corporate team building cooking classes are one of the best for building strong teams and the effectiveness of promoting strong bonds and team work WORKPLACE WOES The Team Building Retreat

Choose from these Caribbean Islands culinary hands- on team building activities

“Farm to Table” Corporate team building culinary class St Croix USVI

“Some like it Hot” “Jerking things up” Corporate team building cooking class

Montego Bay Jamaica

“Teach a man to Fish” Corporate team building class St Johns Antigua

“Going Cuckoo for Cou Cou” Corporate team building Bridgetown Barbados

“Paradise Island” Corporate Team building Nassau Bahamas

Team building events includes, ( Depending on which islands your class is held)

Harvesting your food on our local island farm

Farmers market tours to purchase local ingredients

Fishing excursions,

Complete menu and event planning

Arrangement of cooking station to accommodate event

Dish cleaning, washing and kitchen cleaning

Table service for the 3 course meal

Copies of recipes and photos of group

Apron and hand towels for all participants during the point

Personalized Aprons and or chef hats with embroidered or silk screened with company logo are available at extra cost.

Rates start from $295 per person