Monday, July 20, 2009

Awesome Iced Coffee


I love iced coffee and now that it's summer I have been experimenting with several different kinds of iced coffee... From local coffee shops to my own homemade. So far my homemade recipe tops the ones I have been purchasing while out and about around town. Here's the recipe... let me know what you think!

– First you need a French coffee press and coffee grinder.
– Then your favorite whole bean coffee (I use Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee that I brought back from the tropical island)
– Grind about 4 to 5 tbsp of whole bean coffee. Make sure you grind it so it's course and NOT finely ground.
– Pour your ground coffee into the French press.
– Fill with cold water.
– Let the coffee steep over night in the refrigerator.
– The next morning, push the ground down to the bottom of your coffee press.
– Then pour the desired amount over ice and add cream. (You may also add milk, but cream gives it a much richer flavor.)

– Note if you like your coffee sweetened, it's best to make some simple syrup. I do this by mixing a little bit of hot water and sugar.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Olive and Chicken Curry Crepes:

This was a recipe my friend Cindy used to make my birthday dinner this year, it's absolutely delicious and I've been wanting to make them myself ever since. That was a month and a half ago... finally I did a Google search and found the recipe (if not the same, then very similar) at allrecipes.com.

I have adjusted the Crepe recipe slightly since I have made them before and they have never failed me. I also made the filling first and set it aside while I then made the crepes. As soon as the first crepe was done cooking I would fill it with the chicken mixture; and then continue to do this as each crepe was coming off the skillet. Therefore the original directions from allrecipes.com will be slightly adjusted below.

Tried and tested by yours truly and approved by my other half... this dinner turned out amazingly!

Crepes:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, room temperature
3 large eggs, room temperature
5 tablespoons unsalted melted butter, plus more for skillet
1/2 teaspoon salt

Olive and Chicken Curry Filling:
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 cups diced celery
1 cup diced onion
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup milk
2 cubes chicken bouillon
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup sliced black olives
2 1/2 cups cooked, diced chicken breast meat
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh ground black pepper (optional) to taste

  1. To Make Filling: Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat and saute celery and onion until just barely tender. Stir in flour, salt and curry, blending well. Dissolve bouillon in water, then pour milk and bouillon mixture into skillet, stirring until well mixed and thickened. Add olives and chicken and mix all together. Set aside.
  2. To Make Crepes: In a medium bowl combine the flour, milk, eggs, butter and salt and beat together for 1 minute, until you have a smooth, thin batter.
  3. Heat a lightly greased or buttered large skillet over medium heat, pouring in a thin layer of crepe batter that covers bottom of pan. Brown on both sides. Once browned take crepe off the skillet and fill with the chicken mixture. Wrap like a burrito and then set on a non-stick baking sheet. Repeat until all of the batter is used.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  5. Sprinkle the filled crepes with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
I served my crepes with sliced avocado.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Best Homemade Beef Burgers!



As Memorial Day approaches a lot of people will be having a BBQ. I love making hamburgers on the grill and I have perfected my recipe for them in the past year of grilling in Cayman. They are moist and juicy and I have gotten compliments from even the most critical BBQ "connoisseurs" in my life... mostly men. Mind you I don't measure my ingredients for this, I will use more or less depending on the texture and feel of the meat when I'm mixing it with my hands. Here is the recipe...

Hamburger Meat (I usually buy a package of fresh ground 85% lean sirloin meat in about 1.5 pound package)
1 egg or 2 if you are using more then 1.5 pounds of ground beef.
A1 Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce
Ground Black Pepper
Fresh Garlic Clove minced
Parsley
Dried Bread Crumbs

I then mix all the ingredients with my hands and then roll into patties. With 1.5 pounds of beef I get about 4 hamburgers. Then grill the burgers to desired temperature. Serve with fresh sliced tomato, sliced aged cheddar, red onion, lettuce, and grilled mushrooms (if you want.) Enjoy and happy grilling this summer!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Simple Salmon:


I love cooking with Salmon. It's a simple easy delicious fish to make for dinner or lunch. Here are a few toppings/marinades I use when I cook Salmon. I never measure when making my marinade, I just use more or less depending on the size of the fish. I also always start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and once in the oven I put the timer on for 28 minutes.

Marinade #1: Soy Honey Sauce
Soy Sauce
Honey
Cracked black pepper
Parsley

Marinade #2: Lemon Pepper
Fresh squeezed lemon juice
Cracked black pepper
You can also leave slices of the lemon on top of the fish while it cooks

Marinade #3: BBQ Salmon
In a small bowl mix the following:
Honey (about a 1/4 cup)
Worcestershire Sauce (only about 2 tsp)
Ketchup (about 1/4 cup or more)
Black pepper
Garlic

Mix to taste by adding more ketchup or honey depending on how sweet or savory you want your bbq sauce to be, then spread on top of salmon and then bake.

Marinade #4: Honey Dijon Mustard
Honey
Dijon Mustard
Black pepper
Garlic
Parsley

You can mix all of these ingredients together in a small bowl or mix right on top of the salmon.

Marinade #5: Just Herbs, Spices and Citrus
Parsley
Black Pepper
Dried Garlic
Fresh squeezed lemon and lime



I usually serve my salmon with either rice or a baked potato and asparagus. Salmon is a great fish to experiment on with several different flavors. I tend to keep mine rather basic, but I'm sure I will come up with more a long the way and post them here.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Quick Tomato Pie:



I was craving tomato pie the other day. The kind that my friend Angela always has at family parties or picnics. It's one of my favorites! But, since Cayman doesn't seem to have a pizza place I like that makes a classic tomato pie like home I decide to try making one myself. Here is what I did:

Ingredients:
2 refrigerated pizza crust (thick crusts, these can be found in your grocer's refrigerated section, I found mine near the dairy and cheeses, you can make your own fresh crust too, but I was being rather lazy the day I made this tomato pie)
1 can (approx. 8 oz) tomato paste
1 can (approx. 8 oz) tomato sauce
Fresh Romano cheese grated (use more or less to suit your taste)
1 to 2 cloves fresh garlic minced
Oregano (more or less to suit your taste)
Black Pepper (more or less to suit your taste)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. While oven is preheating take the tomato paste and the tomato sauce in a bowl and mix together. Then take the oregano, black pepper and minced garlic and mix together with the sauce.

2. Split the sauce mixture and spread on top of both store bought or fresh pizza crusts.

3. Bake in oven for 10 minutes on 375 degrees until the crust is slightly golden brown. After 10 minutes is up, take pizza out of oven and sprinkle Romano cheese on top. The heat from the pizza will melt the cheese slightly. You can eat this pizza hot or at room temperature. I prefer to eat it at room temperature.

Enjoy!

Easy Spinach Dip:


I'm not sure how most people make their spinach dip, but the other day when I wanted to make my own I came up with the following recipe:

Ingredients:
10 oz. pack frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained from any excess water
Approx. 8 oz Sour Cream
Approx. 2 tablespoons mayo (use more or less to suit your taste)
Chopped red onion (use more or less to suit your taste, I used about a quarter of a medium sized onion)
Cracked Black Pepper (to taste)
A dash of salt
Dried Garlic and Parsley Mix (use more or less to suit your taste, this item can be found in the spice section at your grocery store)

Directions:
Basically I added all the ingredients and mixed them all together. I then transferred them into a bowl and served with garlic pita. You can use just plain pita bread as well. It's a quick delicious appetizer for any night of the week.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Breakfast Pancakes:

As my first entry I'll begin with one of my favorites. Breakfast! And pancakes to be exact.

I found a recipe for basic pancakes a long time ago that I revised a bit. Adding a bit of spice here and there, they are the perfect weekend breakfast treat.

This is how I make my Pancakes:

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour (I prefer the whole wheat flour, you can always do half a cup of each as well.)
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons sugar (I use organic raw sugar cane)
0.5 teaspoons salt (or use less salt)
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 large egg
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Approx. 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
0.5 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
A pinch of brown sugar (optional)

You can make the pancakes with just those ingredients or I like to add sliced bananas, strawberries, chocolate chips and blueberries. I tend to mix and match these ingredients. Sometimes doing banana chocolate chip pancakes and other times just banana. Be creative there's no wrong way. I like to think of what would taste nice and go from there.

Directions:
1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients until moist and thick. A few lumps are okay. I usually add my fruit or chocolate chips after mixing the initial ingredients.

2. Heat a large skillet on medium to high heat (depending on your stove, I have an electric stove and keep my skillet a bit above medium heat) spray with a non-stick cooking spray or use butter on the pan so the pancakes will not stick.

3. Scoop out about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the mixture onto the skillet. Wait until the top of the pancakes are bubbling slightly before flipping. Then carefully flip the pancakes to cook the other side. Each side should take about 1 to 2 minutes depending on the size of the pancake.

4. Serve with pure maple syrup, honey or fruit preserves! Enjoy!