Caribbean Night

 

Sun Cocktail

I was completely free styling with this one but it immediately brought the sun back into the house.

1 part limocello

1 part white rum

1 part fresh lime juice

4 parts fruity aromatic white whine

Mix everything together, decorate with a slice of lime, clothes your eyes and taste the sun.

Salad with smoked chicken and yogurt

2 hands full Baby leaf salad

2 tomatoes

½ red onion

½ red capsicum

2 tablespoons Turkish yogurt

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 smoked chicken breast

1 garlic clove

1 tablespoon fresh coriander

1 tablespoon fresh parsley

1 peach

1 handful cashew nuts

Pepper and salt

Cut the chicken, onion, garlic, coriander and parsley small. Mix it together with the yogurt, lime juice, pepper and salt.

Cut the tomatoes and the peach, wash and dry the salad and mix it together. Put the chicken with yogurt in the middle of the salad and decorate with the nuts.

Bacon Rice

½ red onion

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

200 gram bacon in cubes

½ red capsicum

1 carrot

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 stock cube

1 cup brown rice

Water

Pepper salt

Cut the onion, garlic, carrot and capsicum. Warm oil in a deep pan and sauté the onion and the carrot after a couple of minutes add the garlic and the capsicum, sauté for 5-7 more minutes on medium high fire. Add the bacon and the tomato paste and bake everything together for another 5 minutes. Keep stirring so the tomato won’t stick to the pan. Add the rice, cover it in the sauce and add the stock cube and water up to 2 cm above the rice. Cook until the rice is ready, check if there is enough water, if the water evaporated before the rice is done, add some more water.

Serve with nice Caribbean music and a sun cocktail.

 

Polenta squares with salmon (or any other shape you like)

Experimenting with polenta

The polenta

600 ml vegetable stock

200 ml whole milk

200 gram polenta

1 bay leaf

½ teaspoon ground coriander seeds

1 small chili pepper

Pepper and salt

The sauce and salmon

1 can tomatoes

1 onion

4 garlic cloves

2 capsicums

Smoked salmon

Cheese (I used Parmesan)

Parsley

To start with the capsicum, just open your gas fire small and put the capsicum on top. Keep turning until the skin is black at all sides. Let it cool down and peel, take the seeds out and slice them in stripes. Don’t wash!! You will wash away so much of the flavor.

Polenta: Bring the stock with the milk to a boil with the bay leaf, crushed coriander seeds and the whole chili pepper (if you like spicy, chopped the pepper). Poor in the polenta and stir. You have to keep stirring regularly because otherwise it will stick to the bottom of your pan. In the beginning the polenta is just laying on the bottom but you will see that it will become one mass eventually. Keep boiling on a low fire and stir until you can leave your wooden spoon in it straight up. This will take at least 20-30 minutes I’m afraid, but you will get as strong as an Italian mama.

When the polenta is done, you can add some butter or cream to make it more creamy and season well with pepper and salt. Pour the mixture in a shallow dish and put it in the fridge for at least an hour. The polenta will have to get entirely set.

So we can start with the sauce. Cut the onions in half rings and the garlic small. Bake the onion in some olive oil, add the garlic when the onion is soft and bake another minute or two. Add the capsicum and season with pepper and salt. Add the salmon only at the end.

When the polenta is set; cut it into pieces and bake them in a pan a little brown at all sides. This is to improve the texture; otherwise it will get like pudding in your mouth. Put the baked polenta in a oven proof bowl and add the sauce with the salmon. Garnish with cheese and if you like the cheese melted, put it under the grill for a couple of minutes. Otherwise, garnish with some chopped parsley and enjoy.

Wild rice salad

‘If something is called wild rice I have to try it’ that name promises something. When I opened the package at home, I saw there was black and white rice inside, it did not get its name by its appearance apparently, so I made it a bit wilder by adding some color to it. This might be one of the most colorful rice dishes you have seen, it just makes you happy by looking at it. (Ottolenghi inspired, this kitchen is a never ending source of inspiration)

Wild rice salad

1 cup wild rice

5 dried apricots

Juice and zest of 1/4 orange

½ carrot grated

1 tomato cut in cubes

1 red onion in rings

1 handful of chopped and roasted cashew nuts

1 big handful of rocket

Cut the apricots small cubes and soak them in the orange juice for 10 minutes. Bake the onions in oil on low fire for 15 minutes.

Cook the rice in 2 cups of water until done but still with a bite, let it cool down until luke warm.

Mix all the ingredients together, except for the rocket and nuts, and season with pepper and salt. Mix in the rocket and sprinkle the nuts on top.

Voila, a colorful and fun rice; I had this with lemon chicken; the two different citrus dishes were a nice combination, it brought the summer a back into the house for a short while.

Colorful Wild Rice Salad on Foodista

Ptitim with Tuna Labneh Balls

 

Ptitim

Ptitim with Tuna Labneh Balls

250 gram Ptitim

1 small onion

2 garlic cloves

2 hands full baby spinach

150 ml Labneh

1 can tuna

Squeeze of lemon juice

balsamico

2 tomatoes

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Poppy seeds

Pepper and salt

Cut the tomatoes in six parts, put them on a baking sheet and sprinkle with pepper, salt and balsamico vinegar. Put them in the oven on 140C and let them stand for about 2 hours or until they lost enough water. The more water they lose the more intense the taste will be. You can make them up front and store them in some olive oil.

Start with preparing your tuna balls. Mix one can of tuna with 150 ml labneh (for this recipe see the Labneh post) ad a squeeze of lemon juice, pepper and salt. Make little balls of the tuna labneh mixture; sprinkle poppy seeds on a plate and roll the balls lightly through the seeds.

Cut the onion and the garlic small and bake them until soft. Wash the spinach and cut it in small stripes. Cook the ptitim as stated on the package; don’t overcook them, make sure they still have a nice bite. Add the onion, garlic, spinach tomatoes and parsley to the ptitim and season generously with pepper and salt.

Tuna Labneh Balls

Couscous with dried fruits

dried fruits

1 cup of couscous

1 ½ cup of vegetable stock

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 tablespoon chopped mint

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 theespoon ground cinnamon

2 theespoons ground cumin

2 tablespoons  ras el-hanout

1 tablespoon raisins (dark and/or light)

5 dried apricots

Pepper and salt

Cut the apricots icouscousn the same size as the raisins. Put the raisins and apricots in warm water and let them well up.

Put the couscous in a shallow bowl and pour hot vegetable stock on it. The vegetable stock should be 3 mm above the couscous. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic and put aside for about 10 minutes.  Taste the couscous to check if it has the right texture. It should be dry but soft, not crunchy and definitely not soggy. When you have the right texture, work it with a fork until there are no lumps in it anymore. Add the spices, the herbs, the apricots and the raisins and mix well. You can decorate it with some more dried fruits, cinnamon and herbs.

Perfumed Rice

If I could remember where I found this recipe or at least the inspiration for it I would share it with you. What I do know is that I adopted it and never let go of it again. If you need a recipe that makes something special out of an ordianry rice dish, try this…

riceislife

2 cardamom pods

1 cinnamon stick

2 cloves

Pinch of saffron

Pepper/ salt

1 cup of rice

1 onion

Sun flower oil

100 gram Pistachio nuts

Cut the onion in half rings. Rinse the rice under water until the water coming out is clear.

Warm a nice layer of sun flower oil in a heave based pan, put in the cardamom, cinnamon and cloves. Let the oil suck up the perfume of these spices for a minute or two. Add the onions and caramelize them until nice and brown.rice

Cook water; add the rice and the pinch of saffron, cook until done.

Take out some onion of the pan to garnish. Take out the spices and pour the rice in the pan with onions. Add some cut pistachio nuts and mix together well.

Dispatch on a nice tray and top of with some caramelized onions and some more nuts. Voila, a nice and easy version on perfumed rice.