VEGAN FOOD, NOT BORING FOOD!

First of all, let me join in the anthem of thanks, gratitude and concern for all those that were affected by last week's unique and devastating pattern of weather abnormalities. Especially to those affected here in The Bahamas. In times like these, people want to hear less about the Goodness of God and more about the kindness of His people. Myself and my colleagues will do all we can do to assist.  

That being said, I thought to offer a  CHALLENGE in unison with some other plans we have to support victims around The Bahamas, The Caribbean and Florida.    

So, by eliminating meat out of your diet for the next 7 days, you will not only eat better, but save a few dollars. All of which I suggest you donate to charity. 7 days. 10 dollars a day, 70 dollars to a favorite charity working to help hurricane victims. 

Exciting vegan dishes start with amazing ingredients! 

Exciting vegan dishes start with amazing ingredients! 

Let's be honest. When you marry the chaos of incumbent weather, last minute preparations and uncertainty, no matter how discipline you are everyone's diet changes. The words  organic and free range are soon replaced with canned and snacks. So with that in mind and my appreciation for those that always request vegetarian options, I want to help you understand, appreciate and cook fully vegan for the next 7 days and beyond.  

Vegetables can be the star if you allow them to be!  

Vegetables can be the star if you allow them to be!  

Balance grains, vegetables and starches for maximum flavor and nutrition.  

Enjoy roasted and raw vegetables in a salad with barley and red wine vinaigrette over fresh greens.  

Enjoy roasted and raw vegetables in a salad with barley and red wine vinaigrette over fresh greens.  

Remember SOUPS are a great vehicle for presenting vegetables creatively.  

My version of a Bloody Mary as an amazing chilled soup. 

My version of a Bloody Mary as an amazing chilled soup. 

Remember you can make many delicious soups vegan very simply. Here are some tips! 

  • Substitute any butter and cream for unrefined coconut oil and "onion milk" (*see recipe in earlier blog) 
  • Use a blender. Turn a puree into a soup. Eliminate gluten and thickeners by the fault. Simply use the same liquid used to poached the ingredients as the  stock. Use EVOO   to emulsify the soup. 
  • Remember to use only quality ingredients. Maybe that should be the heading of this section. Cooking isn't magic. What you put in is what you get out.  

Here's a simple puree soup recipe that can be switched up very easily. 

2 cups diced chopped pumpkin ( butternut squash will do just as well) 

1/4  large onion diced  

2 sprigs of thyme.  

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.  

EVOO to emulsify.  

Coconut oil for sauteeing  

In a sautee pan. Sweat the onions and pumpkin. Cover with distilled water until tender. Remove and blend. Hold back some of the liquid and make as think or thin as you prefer. Stream in the EVOO and season to taste.  Garnish and serve. 

Boom! That's it. Using simple techniques and quality allow you to eat "CLEAN" and you won't have to do too many dishes! Lol. 😁😁😁👍👍👍.   

My all time favorite vegan diet tips. 

  1. Honey is not vegan. It is in my terms liquid "meat". It is made by an animal. Replace it with unrefined brown cane sugar. 
  2. Replace milk with unsweetened coconut in most recipes and also with "onion milk" in others. ( Recipe for that is in blog bites). 
  3. Spices and heat are very important in vegan recipes. If you dont like spicy food then try to use a lot of spices when cooking. You do understand the difference right? 
Black-eyed peas are some of the most flavorful ingredients in the world.   

Black-eyed peas are some of the most flavorful ingredients in the world.   

Black-Eyed Peas and Okra Stew  

1 pk dried black peas, soaked overnight  

1/2 lb medium diced fresh okra  

1/2 yellow onion sliced  

2 cloves of garlic sliced  

About 4 sprigs of thyme  

2 bay  leaves  

1 can of organic crush or whole or fire roasted tomatoes.  

Coconut oil for sauteeing  

Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste  

Preparation. 

Remember to presoak your peas. If you want to do this on the fly canned organic beans will work. However you won't be able to cook them as long and obtain all that flavor.  Aww well just plan better next time. Lol. 

Many Bahamians hate okra and it's usually because of its texture. Da slime. To avoid that complete fry the okra. This breaks down that mucus like texture it has.

After that add the onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaves and cook for a few minutes. Add  the tomatoes simmer for about 2 minutes. Add your beans and coat them thoroughly. Cover with distilled water and cook on a low heat until the beans are tender. 

You will need to add more water occasionally. But the end product should not be to watered down.  

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Making vegetables taste good but you have to be patient and use sound cooking techniques.  

 

Flavor building is very important in cooking especially in the absence of meat proteins. Make stocks to add flavor. 

Flavor building is very important in cooking especially in the absence of meat proteins. Make stocks to add flavor. 

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All vegan menu for a week coming soon at a restaurant pop up in planning! See you there.  

 Remember $10  per day for 7 days. 

 

The coolest back to school tips ever! Turn your kitchen into a Healthy Grab and Go for your kids!

Summer is over, so let's get back at it. No more fast foods and cheating all week long. Pizza night is back to once a week and the kitchen cobwebs need to be swept away. 

Imagine those grab and go spots in the airports that are filled with healthy options etc. That is what your refrigerator should morph into for this school year.  

I'm not a parent, but I have an awesome nephew that wants to be a chef and I refuse to ever let him eat from the Kid's Menu. Subsequently, I hate chicken tender and fries or pasta with just plain cheese . So strap in. Call or text a girlfriend. Get ready for the most important blog I've ever posted. 

Frozen all fruit/ no added sugar popsicles with dry ice.  

Frozen all fruit/ no added sugar popsicles with dry ice.  

There is no way to be sequential with this as I am literally busting with ideas and tips. So please excuse my randomness;

1. If your kids like something healthy incorporate it into their diet often, but remember, anything overdone can be harmful. (My baby cousin once had so much carrot juice his palms, eyes and soles of his feet were literally orange. Shout out TJ. So be careful.) 

2. Find a fruit that your child likes regardless of the cost and have it available for snacks. Pay now or pay the doctor later. 

Grilled cheese and plantain sandwich with popcorn chowder 

Grilled cheese and plantain sandwich with popcorn chowder 

Let's put the list on pause because I just have to share something I just thought about. Told you I'm bursting with ideas today!  

Some amazing kids menu ideas.  

  • Grilled cheese with plantain sandwich with a side of popcorn chowder . 
  • Fruit salad water . Yeap I said it. Get yourself a water infuser bottle and trick your child's water out. They aren't just for your selfies at the gym. 
  • Homemade chicken pot pie made with unsweetened coconut milk and tons of vegetables.  
  • No pasta vegetable lasagna. I make this all the time for meat and carb lovers and they love it.  
  • Instead of just a plain green salad try mixing berries, oranges or mango, gluten free lightly sweetened cereal for an amazing crunch ( most schools forbid nuts due to allergies), parmesan cheese and yogurt dressing. Oh! Try getting them to taste cherry tomatoes. Most kids love them because they are slightly sweeter and fun to eat. Btw here's my yogurt dressing recipe. 

Yogurt recipe 

1 cup fat free Greek yogurt  

1/4 cup EVOO  

1/4 cup distilled water

Juice of half of lemon and orange  

Salt and pepper to taste.  

In a blender add all the ingredients except the EVOO. Which by the way is extra virgin olive oil.   

Incorporate everything then slowly add the EVOO. Reserve and serve with salads and instead of ranch dressing with raw fun vegetables. 

Flavored milk. It's not new nor did I event this idea, but you know we are making it awesome again!  

My favorite is for kids is carrot milk  

Recipe. It's so simple your want believe it.  

4 cups of ultra pasteurized organic whole milk ( I'm sorry, but all those save the planet, kumbaya milks I do not like. A cow makes milk naturally not soybeans.) 

6 large local or organic carrots washed, peeled and diced.   

Simply add to a high power blender and puree. You can strain the mix but I prefer it unstrained.  

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Roast a chicken or 2 on Sunday and make a GA-ZILLION dishes for the week. 

Firstly here's my go to quick roasted chicken recipe. 

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FIRSTLY, buy good chicken...... I have a guy, but I suggest you buy Abaco Big Bird or Bell and Evans from Fresh Market. 

Buy the chicken on Friday roast it on Sunday. 

You will have to brine it.  

1 gallon of distilled water for every chicken  

1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup  kosher salt  

1 lime  

Optional spices and herbs if you want. 

Mix the brine and add the whole bird. Be one foe at least 48 hours. Remove the bird and air dry in your refrigerator.  

Season and roast at 325 for 1 hour. Should be awesome.  

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  1. Roasted chicken leg quaters or dark meat chicken pot pie. 
  2. Chicken salad with yogurt dressing (recipe above) with craisins, grapes and pine nuts. 
  3. Chicken noodle soup. The bones make the most amazing stock.  

Chicken noodle soup stock. 

The roasted chicken bones cut up.  

1 carrot, peel and diced,  1 celery stalk, washed and diced and 1/2 onion diced.  

1 bag leaf.  

2 cloves of garlic  

A few allspice  

12 dried mushrooms. Shiitake are my favs.  

Add to a medium pot with water to cover and slowly cook for about 2 hours. Strain and add a few FRESH thyme sprigs.  Freeze and use when needed. 

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What we do is all for them. As adults we may have the worse eating habits, but our children and the younger generation need not suffer like we do. Feed them well. Please!  

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Amazing how this all started with this menu. I hope that I can work with schools, restaurants and kid centers around the world to introduce this NEW kids menu and better eating. I believe that with your help we can get this style of menu in the hands of those that feed our children. Please like, share and invite others to be a part of this movement! 

5 ways to eat like me when you travel!

Once again before we get started let me insert my disclaimers now. These are only suggestions that have worked foe me over the years. There is no scientific proof nor any guarantees that they will have similar effects when used by you. 

Simply put you may not be as charming as me. Who knows? 

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Here we go.

There are surely many ways to get preferential treatment or to eat well when travelling but here are my top five ways. 

1. Don't be afraid to mention you are from The Bahamas, if you are that is. Lol. Most people either want to visit our country or they have and want to talk about it. And of course, we all know that once the server flirts, I mean is attentive to you, no refills turn to endless refills and you may even hear about the off menu specials that's are often reserved for special Friends of the restaurant customers only. 

2. Plan to eat well. THAT'S RIGHT! Most vacation planning rarely include eating well especially if it's a large family. However, eating well does not have to mean eating expensively. When I travel I always have to hit up: 

A. A local food truck 

B. A local farmers market. They often have some of the best artisan food. 

C. A local  Starbucks.  ( This is where I get all my  info on where the locals eat and party. I used to ask concierge but they seem to reserved at work.) 

No matter what you do always budget to eat out well at least once as a part of your trip before you decide on going to your 7th Mall on the trip.  

3. Always mention if your having a birthday or any other celebrations. Can you say FREE DESSERT?  

ALMOST  WITHOUT fail.  It's a sort of the secret code that most restaurants have not to charge for birthdays and anniversaries. However who knows what honor there is amongst us these days, so be prepared! 

A free dessert for my nephew for simply being an ALL A student.  

A free dessert for my nephew for simply being an ALL A student.  

4. Be a repeat or return guest.  If for some reason 

You find a spot that you like, try going back twice on one trip or even when you return to visit again. Going back for  SECONDS  is the   biggest form of flattering there is. Remember how Nana treated you when you asked for a little bit more of something everyone else seemed not to like, well that! Even try asking for the same waiter or the chef if you got their names. Trust me this will get you the hook up!  

 

Free appetizer from my guy Steven at my spot on South Beach Miami.  

Free appetizer from my guy Steven at my spot on South Beach Miami.  

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My final tip #5- Last but not least be a generous tipper. Okay I know this seems a bit ambiguous, but let me explain. This point works only if you intend on coming back to this spot like I mentioned in tip #4 or if you are recommending a spot to others. Unlike other forms of profiling, in the restaurant business it's not illegal. However, whether you agree or not we leave a footprint that is often remembered for others to come. Okay lemme just say it because trying to be politically correct is making me seem daft. Tip well so that they know that we Bahamians are often good tippers. Once that happens every Bahamian receives the benefit of the doubt. It works trust me. 

Listen it's not easy to articulate this stuff sometimes, but you get the drift and trust me if you follow these guidelines your dining experience will for ever change. Ps these work here at home too but....🤣🤣.

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The top 5 places to eat in The Nassau!

Okay, so my lawyer and my publicist both insisted that I put this disclaimer up before I say another word! (Don't hate because I have a TEAM!  Just get your own). 

This list is my opinion and does not represent the claims of anyone else. Those listed have not even been contacted to know they would be mentioned and will only know they are when this list is posted.  These restaurants are not perfect, but they provide an amazing experience here in Nassau, Bahamas. 

Ok the legal stuff out the way, here is my list. Albeit in nonspecific order. 

THE TOP FIVE PLACES TO EAT IN NASSAU ARE:  

- SHIMA. This Thai fusion restaurant located at the Island House Hotel is an amazing spot. The food is aunthetically done and the chef's ability to change and add new items to the menu makes it one of my favorites. Add in the movies located a few steps away and it is an amazing date night spot. 

- The Pink Octopus... The food gods have definitely visited the chef here in his sleep and gifted him well. The food is innovative and definitely a frequent spot of mine. 

- The Warwick Hotel. Yeap I said it. This all inclusive joint is redefining hotel food as we know it. The chef here is making sure The Soul of the food is not lost. It is all inclusive resort so this makes it even more fulfilling. Literally. Grab a day pass and go check it out.  

- The Golden Shore, Saunders Beach. Okay I know Chinese food in the Bahamas is not authentically done for the most part. In fact in the western world,  but this is the best and most consistent to me. The food here is my idea of good fast food. And this is where you will find me and my crew most days when we have time to grab a bite. Trust me it is the best....

Last, but not least  Lunch @ Dunes. Okay so most of you know that I'm wasn't the biggest fan of this place. That Sunday boil fish "cousin" made me so mad. It wasn't a favorite to say the least. HOWEVER, they have made some changes and to be really honest I go for the bread service and the desserts. Listen to me. Orgasmic. Unmatched. Innovative. Distinctive. And I can continue for weeks describing what pastry chef Angel is doing over there. Don't get me wrong the lunch good but the baked goods are Stupid Good! 

There are certainly newer spots that I have yet to visit like Manuelos, Thyme, Biggety, Cjay's Deli and that French Bistro at Baha Mar that I've been given great feedback on and so this list will be revisited. 

But, we will be back. For sure.  

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Please if you have a spot that you want me to check out leave a comment when I will surely visit and give my reviews. Thanks again and no matter what I feel or say remember to always Eat. PRAY. LOVE! 

Coffee milk.

Yeap we are making  COFFEE MILK. Simply   cofee no water just add milk. But here's the thing. Milk burns, boils over and doesn't dissolve like water. 

So the trick is to control the temperature. I use a thermometer, but you can substitute that by simply heating the milk gently on low to medium heat until little bubbles form around the edge. Then remove it and immediately add it to a French press. 

 Sorry I should have mentioned you need a French press. But you saw that in the video that brought you here. Sorry!  

Add it and let the coffee grinds infuse for about 60 seconds and you have coffee Milk! Add brown sugar and enjoy. 

Recipe simple. Follow the French press measurements. LOL Please use organic milk and good brown sugar.  

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Enjoy hot or cold. I love it both ways.  

More than just Good Tails!

   It's here! Lobsta Season

The heads are the true flava gems.  📸 by @whitfiddy

The heads are the true flava gems.  📸 by @whitfiddy

Did you know that up to 75% of all lobster hears are simply discarded. Today's recipes teach you how to use all of the product. 

Did you know that up to 75% of all lobster hears are simply discarded. Today's recipes teach you how to use all of the product. 

From the dawn of August 1st until midnight March 31st,  the majestic Atlantic Ocean and The Bahamas’ “sea police” grant us the opportunity to harvest one of life’s greatest treasures from her chest. I speak of a crown jewel that makes these Islands of Paradise even more extraordinary – the spiny lobster, also known as crawfish. “Lob-sta” season is here!

Sadly, season after season this delicacy is only harvested for the meat found in its abdomen or its tail. As a Chef immersed in the thought that “if you kill it, you eat it, and you eat every piece”, not using as much of an animal as possible disturbs me a great deal. So in early August, I journeyed to the shores of Montague Beach where Fisherman Marcus gave me a dozen heads for pennies, from tails he had just sold.

Below are the recipes and tips that were developed with the “home-cook” in mind, particularly those who share my convictions regarding using as much of an animal as possible.

Recipes:

1.Spiny Lobster/ Crawfish butter: Use this butter as you would any; but be aware of shellfish allergies.

My Favorite Uses: Lobster Butter topped grilled artisan baguette, lobster butter and sage, lobster butter topped asparagus and home-made tagliatelle pasta with blistered tomatoes

Special Equipment needed: A digital scale, a fine strainer, cheesecloth, blender

 Time: Overnight

 The shells of lobster, shrimp and crab all turn orange when cooked because to the carotene which has fat-soluble molecules, similar to those found in carrots. Cooking the shells in butter and other oils brings tons of flavor and a bright orange color.

Note- *Okay so you want to be a true Foodie. To get started, you must have a good set of knives, a proper kitchen apron, a digital scale, a thermometer and have at least 2 favorite dishes that you can easily prepare.

Ingredients

Canola oil – 85.049 grams/ 3 oz

Lobster head and body only – 1360.8 grams / 3 pounds 

Distilled water – 1360.8 grams / 3 pounds

Unsalted, premium butter, cubed and frozen – 907.18 grams / 2 pounds

M.O.P. –

Wash, rinse and dry the lobster shells then cut into manageable pieces. In a large pot add the canola oil and then the shells. Sauté for just a minute, then add the distilled water.  Immediately cover and simmer on medium heat for 1 hour. Add the liquid and shells to the blender and liquefy. (Be careful when blending hot liquids.)

Return this purée to the stove and cook for an additional 10 minutes on medium heat. This will intensify the lobster flavor. Then double line the fine strainer with a cheesecloth and strain.  At this point the liquid should still be warm. Return it to a clean blender and gradually add the cold butter. Pulse on medium speed, forming an emulsion. Place this liquid in a shallow pan and refrigerate over night.

The next day, remove the hardened butter from the surface and the lobster liquid will remain. Reserve this for later use. In a small pot bring the butter to a gentle boil stirring it constantly on a very low heat. Strain for a final time and place into the ice tray. Refrigerate until hard and use as desired.

 

2.Creamy Lobster and Potato Soup: A digital scale; a fine strainer; cheesecloth; blender; and a candy thermometer are the only Special Equipment needed. Don't be cheap. Buy tools. 

 Time : Not sure. Time it and tell me! LOL

 Presentation Tip: For a more elegant experience, in a warm bowl add a heaping tablespoon of room temperature lobster salad, blanched frozen green peas, local pea shoots, and a drizzle of lobster butter (see recipe above). Then pour or ladle 6 ounces of hot soup tableside for your guests.

This is an adaptation of the classic lobster bisque that was traditionally thickened with rice. Here, the potato is used also to impart a unique flavor to this seasonal delight. 

 

 Ingredients

Canola oil- 85.049 grams/ 3 oz

Lobster head and body only – 1360.8 grams / 3 pounds

Distilled water-  1360.8 grams / 3 pounds

Tomato paste- 113.40 grams / 4 ounces

Onion, medium diced- 170.10grams/ 6 ounces

Carrot, medium diced- 170.10grams/ 6 ounces

Celery, medium diced- 170.10grams/ 6 ounces

Potato, medium diced- 284 grams/ 10 grams

Bay leaf- 2 each

Heavy whipping cream – 453.59/ 1 pound

Lobster butter- 113.40 grams / 4 ounces

Brandy (optional) – 85.049 grams/ 3 ounces

Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Wash, rinse and dry the lobster shells, then cut into manageable pieces. In a large pot add the canola oil and then the shells. Sauté for just a minute then add onion, carrots, bay leaf and celery. Add the tomato paste and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the distilled water and immediately cover and simmer on medium heat for 1 hour. In a separate pot, cook the potatoes and heavy cream until the potatoes are tender.

At this stage, remove the lobster stock, then blend and strain. By blending it with the shells, the lobster flavor is intensified. (Remember; be careful when blending hot liquids). Then double line the fine strainer with a cheesecloth and strain.  At this point the liquid should still be warm. Return the liquid to a clean blender and add the hot the milk and potato, then pulse. Add as little or as much of the potato to obtain the thickness of the soup you desire. Bring the mixture back to a boil and whisk in the cold butter and brandy to finish.

To Serve: Fill your favorite set of coffee or tea cups and serve

Optional Garnish: Whisk a bit of cold, heavy cream until frothy. Spoon a dollop on top of the soup with a drizzle of lobster butter. Add home-made potato chips prepared by frying thinly cut slices of potato (skin on or off) in 365° F Canola oil until golden. Heavily salt and place a mound of fresh chips next to the tea cup.

Chef Tips: Try buying the entire animal. The head and body section has some of the tastiest “offals” and cheek meat that you can simply serve with grilled bread as an appetizer or a snack for you and your guest.

·Don’t boil crawfish or tails whole by submerging in regular tap water. Try steaming them in boiling sea water, covered with clean local ocean seaweed or oven baked them in clean local ocean seaweed. Cooking them using the elements in which they live will produce a better taste.

·Always buy lobster from a reputable fisherman that keeps them iced down in a cooler. There are many fishermen at Montague Beach that have great practices. Also, Bahamas Food Services sells live whole crawfish which are sold locally to many local restaurants and exported as far as Europe as well. Moreover, take a cooler or a cooler bag with ice when shopping for lobster in order to keep them fresh for the journey home.

·Always buy fresh and whole lobsters that smell like the ocean and are free from any visible damage. Also, inspect the connection between the tail and the body underneath and ensure that it is not black.

·Only buy lobster meat from a highly reputable fisherman or supplier. Unscrupulous suppliers often harvest lobster meat from the tails of underage, undersized animals. This is not only unlawful, but it depletes the lobster population at an unhealthy rate.

·When purchasing butter always buy premium unsalted butter. Salt is often added to mask the flaws and inferior quality of most brands. Unsalted butter is often a higher quality.

·Remember that the more your smell your food when it’s cooking means the more aroma or flavor is being lost. Keep it tightly sealed at all times to retain as much flavor as possible.

School notes- Equal parts carrots, onions, celery used to flavor stocks and soups is called a mirepoix . 

Happy cooking! 

 

After a long day on the seas.  

After a long day on the seas.  

📸  by @scharadlphoto

📸  by @scharadlphoto

THE BAHAMIAN ESCARGOT!

It's crazy how the mind works. Even more crazy when you're a chef or maybe it's just hunger that inspires me from time to time. Who knows. 

Bahamian "escargot" is my newest display of "LOCAL INGREDIENTS WITH GLOBAL TECHNIQUES!"   

If chefs like Ludo Lefebvre who prides t

Himslef in the making his hometown classsic French Style Escargot from Burgundy, why can't we use our local sea snails and do the same. 

Mis en place.  

Mis en place.  

Heres what you will need to make 4 servings  

12 medium whelks  

1 cup unsalted butter 

2 tsp of chopped garlic  

2 tbsp of chopped parsley  

2 tbsp of fine diced red onion ( It's suppose to be shallots but dey too expensive so ain' noone have time for that.) 1/2 cup of French white wine (You buying it souse whatever white you want just nothing sweet!) 

Sea salt and pepper to taste and that's it.  

Always pipe some butter to the bottom of the shell then add the whelk then top with more butter.  

Always pipe some butter to the bottom of the shell then add the whelk then top with more butter.  

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Whip the butter first by hand or in a kitchen aid. Then add the other ingredients. The butter should be light and fluffy.  Season with salt and pepper to your liking. 

Okay this is the way I do it. You can decide what works best for you.  

Pressure cook the whelks first!   

For the best results pressure cook then clean the whelks first. Then you will return the whelk tonite original shell.  

 

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Serve with your favorite toasted bread and enjoy. Simple as that. 

 

Advance Cooking for the Eery'day Cook.

School is in and we are doing it big this week. Are you ready?  

Coconut onion Johnny cake muffins 

Coconut onion Johnny cake muffins 

Today our recipes are a little more advanced than usual, but truly if you're patient enough to read all of the steps and put your touch on everything, you will get it done. 

This recipe was something I remember doing some 15 years ago, but it was recently reimagined after I spoke with one of my favorite cooks Suzette Wallace.

Firstly, the topping must be made separately and added just before baking.

Ingredients for the topping:

2 egg whites (reserve the egg yolks for the muffin)

1 cup freshly grated Bahamian Coconut

1 bunch of green onion, roughly chopped

1 small red onion, roughly chopped

½ cup white organic sugar

MOP ( If you don't know what MOP means that says you haven't been following me and shame on You!) 

In a food processor blend, all the dry ingredients then stream in the egg whites until it all comes together.

Disclaimer......

Listen this isn’t your conventional Johnny cake nor is it a true muffin batter. It is the fusion of the 2. I won’t tell a lie. Usually I record my recipes as I go along, but this time I really wasn’t going to share this recipe, so this is all from the notes I took and sometimes I leave things out. So, if it’s a bit dry or too wet, add or subtract. The end batter should be able to be scooped with a large ice cream scoop.

Ingredients:

2 lbs All purpose flour ( From now on referred to as AP flour) 

2 egg yolks from the topping

1 whole egg

8oz cold unsalted butter

½ cup organic sugar

1 heaping tbsp of baking powder

1 even tsp baking soda

1 even tsp salt

1 cup grated fresh coconut                            

1 quart of milk

½ cup vegetable oil

Melted salted butter for finishing.

MOP:

Mix together all the dry ingredients well. Mix together all the wet ingredients without the butter.

Crumb the butter and the dry ingredients together.  (Meaning in a food processor or kitchen aid or the old school way flake the butter into the flour until it resembles sand). Then fold in the wet ingredients. If you over mix the batter will become DOUGH! (Meaning the gluten will form and you will have a tough bread type very dense muffin). 

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter into a lined muffin pan. I use large tulip muffin cups for presentation. Then spoon a tsp of the coconut egg mix on top of the muffin before you bake it.

Bake at 350 for 12 minutes then rotate the pan. Then a final bake for 6 more minutes should do. (However, every oven is different so…..)

As soon as they come out the oven brush with a little salted butter and serve.

How the topping should be placed.  

How the topping should be placed.  

THE PERFECT STEAK! FOLLOW THESE STEPS AND YOUR NEXT MEAL CAN LOOK LIKE THIS!   

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The Perfect Steak

As a chef, I was taught the improper meaning of the word consistency. That all food should look and be the same!  However, as I’ve matured I have realized that this is true in some areas and highly irregular in others. How do I get Ms. Debra to make the macaroni the same way as Nadia does? Even if I hand out recipes every day for the same thing they will both produce a product that has their individual fingerprints on it.

I am not a franchise chef. I do not wish to employ or program people to be robots. So, I set standards and encourage everyone to follow them. I also encourage cooks not to be so rigid and understand that unless you are a private chef cooking for the same people at every meal period to let the food flow. No two plates should be identical in presentation but certainly in technique and flavor profiles. 

Please note that any recipe I share is mine. Your job is to make it yours.  Add a little this. Take away a little that and adapt it to your liking. For example, I prefer a hard pan seared char on my steaks. I believe that the open flame of a grill is too harsh to let the “Beefiness” of the meat shine through.

So, here’s my technique for steaks.

1.Choose a great steak. Something at least an inch thick so that you can have a good sear and achieve a good medium temperature.

2.I use a pan on a stove cranked all the way up. I mean this will surely set of your fire alarm that has been chirping in the kitchen for months

3. Season your steaks liberally. Remember that most of the seasoning you apply whether on a grill or pan will “cook” off. Also, if you are going to slice your steaks be sure to add some finishing salt for that extra pop of flavor.

4. You will need a knob, okay more lake a few knobs of good butter, some thyme and fresh rosemary to pan baste the steak while it cooks.

5.Here’s where the technique comes in. Turn your steaks every 30 seconds and count equal turns for each side. This is a bit time consuming but it works!

6.Always, listen this is no joke. Always rest your steaks for at least 7 to 10 minutes before you slice them. You must let the juices redistribute evenly.

Follow these tips and I guarantee that you will have the Perfect steak. (Perfection however is relative lol). 

Not my favorite way to cook a steak but sometimes you want that char that only an open glame can give like on these Asian style beef short ribs. 

Not my favorite way to cook a steak but sometimes you want that char that only an open glame can give like on these Asian style beef short ribs. 

Be patient so that you get a perfect char on the outside of your steak.  

Be patient so that you get a perfect char on the outside of your steak.  

This is one of my favorite recipes. Simple, but complex!   Whole Roasted Chicken.  

Select the best birds you can find. 

Select the best birds you can find. 

Chickens make me happy!    

Chickens make me happy!  

 

 

As we embark on teaching the Bahamian cooking public the secrets of the professional kitchen, we must first teach what we call the “Basics”!

One of the most basic meals any first-year culinary student must learn is, “The Roasted Chicken.” In its simplicity, it is very complex. However, once perfected it teaches an invaluable lesson that carries through too many other dishes. Also, as one of the worlds most prepared dishes we can all relate to the sensations of nostalgia that roasted chicken reminds of all off. From the carving of the chicken to wild yard birds and their morning crows, this dish is reminiscent of many childhood and professional memories for me.

Here are the fundamentals that this dish teaches;

  1. Purchasing, selecting and buying the best bird. Look for an evenly, un-bruised skin bird. One free of any discolorations and extra blood in the packaging. The ultimate would be never frozen as well.
  2. Preparation and organization- This meal requires overnight refrigeration and 4 ½ hour preparation which would require anyone to organize the planning and serving of this dish.
  3. Food safety- Chicken is from that start of its consumption been the biggest health risk. There is only one chicken, The French blue foot chicken that can be consumed below temperatures safely! Thus, the handling storage and preparation of this food item is essential.
  4. Simplicity- As chefs create and develop their skills; we often become so complicated that we forget that less is often more. This dish reminds us that simplicity is always best as this dish screams Chicken and that is exactly what we want it to do.
  5. The chemistry of heat- because of the controls of heat we are reminded that slow heat allows the muscles of most meats to relax versus high heat that contracts the muscle and forces the juices out.

  
Crispy skin is pure technique  

Crispy skin is pure technique  

  A bird so lovely that it had its own photo shoot by famed Bahamian photographer @scharadlphoto 

  A bird so lovely that it had its own photo shoot by famed Bahamian photographer @scharadlphoto 

Perfection often takes time.  

 Simple but Complex!

Crispy skin and succulent flesh are the key goals for this dish! However, to have crispy skin you need high heat and moist flesh you need low steady heat! Thus, lays the conundrum and the complexity of this dish! Follow the following stages and you will prepare the perfected roasted chicken!

Preparation process! (You will need to plan and be patient!)

Four Stage Process

Stage one – brine the chicken – 8% salt solution. Rinse in cool the salt for an hour. Change the water every fifteen minutes- This process makes the chicken even more succulent!

Stage two- This stage creates an extremely delightful crisp skin. (remove the wing tips) boiling water- Plunge the chicken into the boiling water for 30 seconds, to remove any bacteria. Carefully remove and plunge in boiling water! Bring the water back to the boil and repeat the process. After 30 seconds remove and shock in cold water. The key now is to let the chicken dry! This mimics what the Asians do in peeking duck recipe that creates that memorable skin. To do this, drape the chicken with a light airy towel and allow it to dry overnight in your refrigerator. The air in there is very dry and helps with this process in a safe environment.

Stage 3- Lightly season the bird with rock salt and fresh ground pepper. Place the bird straight away into a 60-c oven use a store-bought thermometer that is more reliable than the oven setting. This will cook for 4 ½ hours. The low gentle temperature will allow the bird to cook evenly and safely without drying out which would occur at high temperature. In the meanwhile, take 1 lb. of unsalted butter and the wing tips that you reserved and heat until the butter turns a nutty brown and is infused with the pan roasted wing flavor. Then strain. Pour into a meat basting injector and reserve.

Stage 4- Browning the skin. At the stage, the bird will be totaling cooked but it will not look appealing and will not be crisp! However, we don’t want to dry out the rewards of a slow roasting 4 ½ hours of patience! So, thesim trip here is to do it fast and gentle! To do this, heat a skillet for 7 minutes, add a neutral vegetable oil! Add 2 sage leaves and 3 sprigs of thyme and roll the chicken evenly in the oil for no more than two minutes. Using the basting needle inject the roasted butter into the chicken, whose skin should be wonderfully brown and crisp after the hot thyme oil bath. To serve, sprinkle with fresh plucked thyme leaves and rock salt.

Serve with roasted potatoes and glaze carrots and peas!

Bey all the recipes can't be easy. You want easy or you want memorable. Ok den. Go cook! 

The best ##$%#&@ chocolate cake, full stop!  

 

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The best chocolate cake ever. That or your money back.  ( What money? Lol!) 

May Favorite Chocolate Cake adapted from a recipe I got from Food52.com my favorite recipe site)

This recipe is best in a bundt pan for whatever reason, but my adaptation is used for everything from sheet cakes to cupcakes to birthday cakes. It is that awesome.

Remember baking is a precise genre of cooking. However, baking is affected by so many variables. Things such as oven uniqueness, brand of flour, size and age of eggs and so much more. So, you may have to adjust this recipe like all the recipes I record. 

2          cups organic sugar               

1 ½      cups all-purpose flour

1          cup cocoa powder, plus more for dusting

1/2       teaspoon salt

1          teaspoon baking powder

2          teaspoons baking soda

1          cup evaporated milk

½         cup freshly brewed strong black coffee

½            cup Vitamalt™

1/2       cup vegetable oil

2          eggs

1          teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350° F. Use a non-stick pan and lightly grease it for good measure.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Combine all the wet ingredients. Combine and mix until everything is incorporated. Then, with the mixer still on low speed, slowly add in the dry ingredients. Mix well and be careful that the batter is smooth but not overworked.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, but of course you should be able to check if a cake is done with a pick.

Garnish with ganache , fresh berries and flowers or what ever makes you happy! Just enjoy your cake. You made it! 

Garnish with ganache , fresh berries and flowers or what ever makes you happy! Just enjoy your cake. You made it! 

Hors d'oeuvres 4.0

Throwing a party doesn't mean that you have to serve "stables" of meats, tables of side dishes and an endless buffets of food. How about a tapas or appetizer only party? 

 

Small Bites!  

My biggest tip today is don't try to recreate new recipes for everything. Simply take some of your existing dishes and MINIATURIZE them. Meaning nothing should be more than 2, maximum 3 bites. 

My top seven miniaturized dishes in no particular ranking;

  1. Baby loaded baked potatoes
  2. A twirl of spaghetti Bolognese 
  3. One riblet if smoked bbq pork ribs  
  4. A shot of hot or cold soup with @glfarmsbahamas fresh blossom shoots 
  5.  Hot fish sliders. Okay I know sliders are a bit played out, but when you use purity bakery pull away brioche clusters and make spicy hot fish then a slider is 100 percent endorsed.
  6. "Leftover" tacos. Listen a tortilla was made to  envelop  what ever you have for it. So try turning those leftover baked lamb chops or steamed pork chop into the most amazing 2 to 3 bites "teaser". 
  7. Mini chicken n' da bag. Inside of leg quarters use a wing and some hand cut fries. French in "hot sauce ketchup" and serve. 

 

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This is my BBQ Edict! Barbecue basics 2.0 and Party in da' backyard. (MY first 2 in 1 blog)

This is by far the hardest blog to write to date. Not because I have nothing to say, but frankly because I feel like a bag of microwave popcorn ready to explode. 

When anyone mentions the word   Barbeque I  get excited!  Maybe because it's in my Caribbean DNA.   

Fun fact. Barbecue comes  from the Haitian word Barabicu which for the Taino people meant "scared fire pit"! 

Photo- Me doing a demo with some other local chefs on old school  Barabicu! 

Photo- Me doing a demo with some other local chefs on old school  Barabicu! 

Fast forward to today when the American Bbq giants like Aaron Franklin and Kenny Gilbert are doing things that would make any of our ancestors very proud. Restaurants like Franklin Barbecue in Austin Texas are notorious to having 6 hour waits and sell out of barbecue every single day they open their doors. 

Developing the sort after  HUE  that smoking meat obtains due to the maillard reaction. ( This was after 2 hours. Only 5 more to go). 

Developing the sort after  HUE  that smoking meat obtains due to the maillard reaction. ( This was after 2 hours. Only 5 more to go). 

Okay, now that we done some history and paid homage here's a few recipes and tips for anyone getting into barbecue. 

  1. Don't take it too seriously. Unless you plan to make a living from this, historically BBQ is about sharing and having fun. Yes there are certain techniques etc, but none of them are designed to replaced the joys that slow cooking meat should bring. 
  2. Buy good meat. Dis isn't the time to go to the market and buy the cheapest cut of meat available. Good in. Good out!       
  3. Don't rush it. I said it before, Caribbean people have the propensity to go hard and fast. In this case, to go low and slow is often best. So grab some friends and hang out in da' backyard and chill. 

Most importantly- Never ever ever ever boil ribs or precook any meat for this method of preparation. If you do I will personally come to your house with a fire extinguisher and ruin your event! 

My friends @tuesdaywhiteblogs and @shesomajor two amazing hometown bloggers who I look up to, would probably scold me for combining these two "blogs" together, but I just have to.  

A backyard party event we did to celebrate the engagment of a friend's sister.  📸 by @terrelwcareyphoto ( Most of today's photos are btw) 

A backyard party event we did to celebrate the engagment of a friend's sister.  📸 by @terrelwcareyphoto ( Most of today's photos are btw) 

Although this may not be the typical scene for us in the Bahamas, this is a very Pinterest version of what I'm talking about. However, it was the best picture I had so don't hate cuz! 

So usually we are a bit rowdier, more scattered and all crouched of a styrofoam plate ( sorry tree huggers) with mountains of food. A few items of which I would love to discuss today. 

  1. If you're in charge of the potato salad and you put it anywhere near the fridge prior to your arrival, it's no wonder your last lover left you. You play too much! Something about potato salad and being refrigerated does NOT work.  
  2. Stop waiting for Johnny to bring the sodas to put anything to drink on ice. Step your hosting game up and offer an arrival drink. (OF COURSE I WOULD SAY MY COCONUT SWITCHA FROM MY PREVIOUS POST) 
  3. If you're going to put anything on the grill don't skimp on the condiments. From raw onions to good pickles to decent mustard good backyarding deserves the best.

 

Insert pickle recipe here.

1 cup white vinegar  

1 cup sugar  

3 cups distilled water  

1/2 cup pickling spice.  

Combine in sauce pot. Bring to a boil for exactly 10 minutes remove from the heat and cool. Add to any vegetable and  pickle  for at least 48 hours in a sealed container.  

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For me having a party always means getting others involved. However, as the host you should ensure that you have at least one conversational dish in your repertoire. For me that is my tomato salad with coleslaw vinaigrette. 

 

Tomatoes salad with coleslaw vinaigrette  

Tomatoes salad with coleslaw vinaigrette  

Yes as promised here is my simple yet one of the most amazing dishes for the summer.  

1 lb of cabbage, freshly shredded, very thinly 

2 whole medium carrots, freshly grated 

1 red onion, finely sliced

1/2 green bell pepper,  diced

1 pound of assorted fresh ripe tomatoes. Don't be cheap buy the good kind. 

3 cups Hellman's mayonnaise  

1/2 cup white sugar  

Juice from 1 lime 

1/4 cup white vinegar  

1 heaping tsp of fresh ground black pepper 

A dash or 2 of Kosher salt

M.O.P.

Combine the cabbage, onion,  bell pepper, carrots and salt and bruise them in a bowl with something heavy. This is to release the natural juices from the vegetables. (I'm sure you've figured out by now that we are taking left over slaw juice and using it to dress another salad.) Let this sit at room temperature for 1 hour. 

Next, mix in all the remaining ingredients and let this sit for 3 hours or up to overnight in your refrigerator. Remove and strain. Squeezing out all the juices. 

Just before your ready to serve cut the tomatoes and dress liberally with the Coleslaw vinaigrette.  

I assure you if you master this recipe you will be the talk of the party. 

Whew! What an entry . My fingers are tired. I hate reviewing my work and frankly I think this is enough info for one read. 

So check in with me this week and stay tuned for some more tips and recipes for exciting backyarding. 

Summer School 4.0

Will muddoes! Who would have thought that I would open a school. Me a principal?

Ok so it's not that serious. This isn't your typical online school in anyway, but I always wanted to say that. It's simple. Log on each week Wednesday (in fact check in daily for random recipes and updates) this summer for some amazing recipes, tips and training. Also feel free to send me your kitchen questions.  It is also the best place this summer for young budding cooks of any age. So log on.    

The sights and smells of Summer.  

The sights and smells of Summer.  

CULINARY SKILL DEVELOPMENT

Basic Terms and Fundamentals

The materials for this course were developed by

The training division of the Simeon Hall Restaurant Management Group Ltd.

Revision Date June 2017/ Copyright © 2016

All Rights Reserved

  1. Key Terms

Aromatic – enhance and support the flavors of the dish

Brown stock – When you roast the bones before blanching in water.  This creates the dark brown color.

Degrease/ degraisser – to take away the fat from the finished product.

Chopping – a method used for something that will be strained, roughly cut into relatively even pieces.

Dice/ Dicing – Producing cube shapes, next step after your julienne.

Extraction – to take and get out, for example stocks use mire poix to get the flavor out of it.

Fumet – sweating the main ingredients before simmering, and often has white wine added.

Mignonette pepper- fresh milled whole pepper seeds

Remouillage – Reserving the simmered bones and mirepoix and simmering them again for a second time.

Sauteuse –  large sautee pan

Steam jacketed kettles – large production pot that is used for stocks. 

Stock – a flavorful liquid that is made by simmering bones of meat or poultry with mirepoix and aromatics.  Stock is used as the base of many soups and sauces in the culinary industry.

White Stock – combining all ingredients with cool water and allowing to boil and then simmered over light heat.

Seeding – to get the seeds out of the product.

Slicer – machine that slices products into thick or thin flat pieces.

Brunoise – fine dice, 1/8 x 1/8 x 1/8 inch cubes

Batonnet – larger julienne, ¼ x ¼ x 2 – 2 ½ inches

Small dice – ¼ x ¼ x ¼ inch cubes

Bouquet Garni – made of fresh herbs and vegetables, and tied up into a bundle, used to give flavor to the stock.

Depouillage-  cleaning of a sauce is the most important process in building a sauce.

Concasse/ concasser – blanching a tomato, then shocking it in ice water, so that the skin peels off very easily.

Mince/ mincing – Very fine cut used for many vegetables like onion and garlic.

Fond – another name for stock.

Medium dice – ½ x ½ x ½ inch cube

Onion pique – studding an onion with whole garlic and bay leaves, used to flavor béchamel sauces.

Rondeau – used to cook mirepoix for a brown veal stock.

Sautoir - The Sautoir is a heavier pan typically, with straight sides.  This is because it is commonly used for sauces and reductions, where the flat, heavier bottom helps the cooking process.

Stock pot – a pot that is usually taller than it is wide to reduce the amount of surface area which reduce the amount of evaporation

White mirepoix – flavors white stocks and soups with mild flavor.  Contains 2 parts onion or the white part of the leek, 1 part celery root, and 1 part parsnip.

Peeling – to remove the skin on some vegetables without taking off too much.

Shocking – to stop the cooking process by setting item in cold water.

Slicing – a thin flat cut of something.

Julienne – long match stick like cuts, long thin rectangular cuts. 1/8 x 1/8 x 1 – 2 inches

Large dice – ¾ x ¾ x ¾ inch cube

Questions

1.Name the three basic types of stock. __________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2.What are the major uses of stock? _____________

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

3.What is the standard ratio to yield one gallon of white stock or brown stock?

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Summer Recipe.....

TUNA POKE. serves 4 

TUNA POKE. serves 4 

Summer is a time of fresh, light, flavorful food. And this recipe is a combination of all of that. 

There is only one difficulty in this recipe and that is locating fresh  AHI TUNA . Message me and I will share with you my contact. (Yes I'm making sure that you are reading. Lol) 

1/4 cup low sodium doy sauce    

1 tsp sriracha   

1/4 cup sweet chili sauce  

Zest and juice of one orange  

1 clove of minced garlic  

3 stems of green onion  

A splash fish sauce 

1 finger of fresh finely grated ginger

12 oz fresh small diced tuna 

Simply add all these ingredients, mix and serve.  

For plating you can add soy beans, chunks of fresh fruit, more green onions, dried seaweed flakes, etc. 

Thanks so much for checking in with this new community and I hope that we are giving you the resources that you need in today's kitchen.  

 

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Mis en place/ Lesson #2

Do you remember when Grammy used to make you take out the fish or conch or chicken and leave it in the sink overnight. Albeit extremely dangerous and unsafe this was what we call in the kitchen getting your set up ready. 

Or simpler; when she cut up all the vegetables, precooked her peas and soaked salt beef before going to church without fully cooking anything. That's mise en place. A culinary term that simply means make sure you have all you need. No messing around. Throw in a few explicits and you would be in the center of any kitchen before service time. 

Therefore, as important as l the phrase is to learn, it is even more important to execute. Whether at home or in a professional kutchen or cooking at the family summer bbq the term MISE EN PLACE is one for you to know and love from now!  

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Kitchen summer camp!

Okay, so I'm sorry if you thought you was getting some cooking classes for free. Me and free don't go 2 step. It's a virtual cooking camp for the next few weeks. From easy to follow videos to recipes to quizzes and words of the week. We will do it all here. 

This week we follow Chef Jacques Pepin is known to this generation for being one of the most amazing chefs that teaches the fundamentals and sound kitchen techniques to all. 

Bon Appetit magazine is featuring several amazing videos of him showing some of these techniques to the world. This is a MUST watch for anyone interested in cooking professionally or at home. 

Remember if you know the basics you can work hard to learning how to "break" (ok I mean do things your way) dem'. 

Fundamentals of cooking.....these videos never get old!  Click on the links and watch the entire series. It is worth it! 

The art of menu writing.

A fellow chef, a famous local blogger and I had a interesting conversation this week that inspired me to post this blog this morning. If you have been following us, you would know that my style of cuisine is "local ingredients with global techniques". Something  repeated so much that my auyotype puts the phrase in automatically on my android. LOL!  

The topic of discussion was based on the fact that the Bahamas was NOT included in the top 10 foodie spots in the Caribbean by a leading magazine. ( Sorry I'm in the Starbucks on universal about to catch a flight so I ain't gern looking up the source but its on my Facebook. Go check it out!)  

To chop a long story short...... we ended     up speaking about what is Bahamian and are Bahamians ready for the creative fusion food we want to present the world? Do we stay down home to be considered authentic or does my CORNED BEEF BITE disqualify me as a ambassador for a true Bahamain experience. 

Well here's to one of my latest menus for a project I'm working on. It's Bahamian but it's my twist on things. It's what my grandmother would cook if she was born on October 1976 I believe.   

BUT,  YOU tell me. Judge away. Criticise. Love. Hate, express what you feel and we can start a discussion. Remember menus are made to tell a story through food and this is what we are doing.  TELLING THE BAHAMIAN STORY! 

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Shout out to my girl and expert handwriter that hand writes all these menus. We aim to be the first .......sorry can't tell you anymore. Just stay tuned.  

 

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End of Summer Giveaway

THE RULES ARE SIMPLE  

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1. Post any dish you make between June 21st to September 21st , 2017  with the hashtag #makingsummertastegoodagain on Instagram, follow my Instagram and tag me as well @simeonjalljr. A lil secret;  summer dishes will be best, but attempts on my recipes will definitely be favored. Hey dis my giveaway I make my own rules.....

2. The food, the talent ( me and my crew, smt to the grammar police), the wines and all the beverage will be free. All you have to do is supply the venue. BOOM! Ps we will travel anywhere a large plane goes at your expense of course. 

3. This giveaway is for TWO people only. If you want to transfer this towards an event by yours truly you can but that will be at cost.  

4. You can give this gift away. It's value is 450.00     (we're talking about a lavish meal so). However you will have to send that in writing. 

5. The only difficult part of this giveaway is it is subject to my availability and is redeemable for only 6 months. So let's get to planning. 

6. You must type "giveaway" in the comment section of this blog to be eligible. 

Thank you all for your support and I look forward to making someone belly happy soon. 

That's it!  

 

 

Summer tips! Bbq guidelines for just about anyone.

Seasoning: Don't mind all the hoopla about secret this and secret that..... it is often unnecessary hype. So don't get nervous and follow these simple rules.   Rule #1- Use sea or kosher salt. I have no scientific reason behind it, all I know is "dey is work best"

Rule #2- 50 % of the seasoning will simply burn off. So for dry rubs go heavier and for wet marinades make sure that you give the product time to absorb your seasonings. 

Rule #3- Remember that dried herbs burn and fresh herbs add moisture thus blocking proper browning. Try making a drizzle, a sauce or a dressing for after to add last minute or make a marinade that doubles for a sauce that you can grill in like my grilled sweet soy snapper. 

My go-to Asian sauce: 3 cloves chopped garlic/ 1 thumb of fresh peeled ginger/ chopped cilantro/ 1 cup sweet chili sauce/ 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce/ 1/4 cup Hoisin. Combine and thin with a lilt sake and serve. 

There's a huge difference between "low and slow smokin and grillin'. What Caribbean folk usually call BBQ is what most people understand to be grilling.  

Here's my quick "LOW AND SLOW BBQ GUIDE". 

Pork ribs cook in about 8 hrs  

Beef brisket cooks in about 14-16 hrs  

Pork shoulder or pork butt in about 10- 14 hrs  

Jerk chicken 3-5 hours  

   

 

 

What can I say? This is what a good BBQ plate should look like.  

My go to rub. ( So simple you won't believe it)  

1 cup kosher salt  

1/2 cup butcher block or course ground black pepper.  

That's it. I promise. That's it!  

Okay so there's a catch.  

  1. You can't use fresh ground black pepper on BBQ because it's too strong.  
  2. Buy good meats. If you buy good pork or beef or chicken then you don't want to dump a bunch of competing flavors on it  so keep it simple. Taste the smoke and the bbq sauce if you want it. 

The final tip of the day is not from me but from my BBQ mentor, eventhough he doesn't know it and that's the proper bbq sauce. Listen I won't lie I've watched  this video and more of his about a thousand times. My only suggestion is that you try it straight up then put your spin on it. I have and I have 3 sauces thag are 2 die for. 

Obviously this is not my video and I share this without any credit for it. Go support and like this dude who is the king of BBQ in Texas.  

Next up...sides.  

Next week we will focus on my favorite part of  the summer bbq experience.....the accoutrements. From pickles to cornbread to vegan greens that still make you want to slap your mama! 

Watermelon on da vine.

 I'm not sure  if there's a term for chefs that see things in color that is as cool as synesthesia for musicians , but there should be and it would explain how I see red and green when I see the word             "watermelon" .

 

The Bahamian folk song, "Watermelon spoiling on the vine" is one of my favorites and so is this dish. So simple, but yet so complex in flavor.

Add this is one of the few dishes I make where the garnish is vital to the overall experience of the dish. As you will learn I love soups and how you can make any soup seem sophisticated. But that's for later. For now you will need: 

A blender or juicer 

A melon baller

A fine mesh type strainer 

A skillet and other typical kitchen tools. 

INGREDIENTS

1 large local watermelon 

2 limes 

1/4 oz fresh ginger  peeled

A splash or two of Tabasco 

6 large shrimp. Peeled and deveined  ( I use a 13/15 shrimp)

2 tsp store bought blackening spice ( I have some in the making for purchase at a later date)  

Garnish with Green Leaf Farms edible flowers, chives and micro greens. ( Stop being cheap! #yesisaidit)

METHOD OF PREPARATION (M.O.P. for all future recipes)

Cut the melon in half.  And place it in a bowl to reserve all of the liquids. Then use the melon baller to make the perfect melon balls. Then freeze for about 4 hours along with the serving bowl. Yes put the clean bowls in the freezer as well.

Using a juicer extract the juice of the all the remaining water melon and the ginger.

*If using a blender use the collected juice to get it started.  DO NOT ADD WATER! Then strain with a fine mesh sieve. 

Then simply add the juice from one lime ( Yeah I said 2 but you can never tell with limes. Taste it first and if you want or need more add it. It should taste bright and watermelony  not like limeade!). At the Tabasco.

Reserve and chill 

Simply season the shrimp with the blackening and sear in a cast iron skillet. To properly blacken something you should have a intensely hot skillet and a drop or 2 of regular oil. Not EVOO!   REMEMBER TO COOK THE SHRIMP LAST MINUTE. AKA "A LA MINUTE" in kitchen terms.

This way you have a contrast of hot and cold....citrus, sweet, spicy and some bitter from the edible flowers. Culinary perfection. 

Plate up as seen.

 

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Simple can sometimes be the best.  

 

Keep it clean and simple  

Keep it clean and simple  

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This dish combines the sum of the whole to make it work.  

 

Dimple ways to plate up at home.  

 

The muse for this dish.