Blog Archive

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Recipe Formula: A Change of Pace

A recipe is only one piece of the puzzle.

Over the last couple of weeks I have wandered around the appetite zone; I played with an island twist to everyone's favourite Mac & Cheese. I took the traditional Lasagne and Quiche and somehow combined them. Fruits were paired with vegetables to make soups which could be served equally hot or cold. Earlier, a wonton wrapper found itself with a butternut squash filling, swimming in beef broth. Fresh pesto found its way over the top of fettuccine, sharing the spotlight with a jazzy view for the traditional alfredo. Finally, curry had brushed itself with island flair as with the Mac & Cheese.

All in all it's been fun jumping from taste to taste, as our appetites for diversity are never completely satisfied.

Trinidad's Mac & Cheese

1 lb elbow macaroni
2 tbsp butter
1 lb sharp cheddar, shredded
1 lb provolone, shredded
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bunch green onion, finely chopped
1 cup fresh oregano, finely chopped
2 ½ cup evaporated milk
2 eggs, whisked
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, minced
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tsp mustard
½ tsp nutmeg
1 ½ tbsp rum (optional)

Boil macaroni, strain and set aside.
Saute onion, add green onion and oregano, continue to saute for 5 minutes.
Add to macaroni and mix through.
Mix the two varieties of cheese and set aside 1 cup, add the rest to macaroni and mix well.
Add the butter.
Preheat oven to 350° F, grease a lasagne pan or something similar.
Whisk the eggs, add evaporated milk, minced garlic and onion,
ketchup, mustard, nutmeg and rum.
Mix well, then pour the macaroni mixture.
Let stand for a minute then bake for approximately 25 to 35 minutes.
Prior to baking, sprinkle remaining cup of cheese over the macaroni after the milk settles.

(Serves 6 to 8)

Curry a la Trinidad

1 ½ lb chopped chicken
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
½ cup pineapple, chopped
½ cup mango, chopped
fresh cilantro for garnish

Curry Mix

1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp tumeric
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp allspice
1 cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 ½ cup coconut milk
1 tbsp white rum (optional)

Bring coconut milk to a boil, add cilantro and rum, simmer for 1 minute.
Add spice mix, stir well, bringing it to a boil,
then turn down the heat and simmer on low for 8 minutes.
Cook chicken till done in pan, add onion and bell pepper.
Cook till onion is translucent.
Add pineapple and mango.
Pour curry mix on top and simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve over boiled rice.

(Serves 6)

Arugula Pesto

2 ½ cup baby arugula
½ cup fresh oregano
½ cup fresh basil
½ cup fresh Italian parsley
3 garlic cloves
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp tabasco
1 red onion
¼ cup red wine
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
1 tsp pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground black pepper

Pulse all ingredients in a blender till fully smooth.
Can be refrigerated in a sealed container for 10 days.

Fresh Tomato & Spinach Pesto

3 large tomatoes, halved
4 large garlic cloves
2 ½ cup baby spinach, stems removed
½ cup fresh oregano
½ cup fresh basil
½ sweet onion, chopped
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
2 roasted red peppers
2 tsp pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper, ground
½ cup red wine

Roast tomatoes and garlic in oven at 400° F for 30 minutes.
Peel and drop into blender.
Add the rest into blender.


6 apple cinnamon sausages
1 sweet onion
2 red bell peppers
1 portobello mushroom
285 g hash browns
3 eggs
1 ½ cup milk
salt & pepper
1 cup pancake mix
1 ½ cup cheddar cheese
1 cup red wine

Finely chop onion, pepper and mushroom. Saute till onion is no longer translucent.
Break sausage meat from casing then cook till meat is no longer pink, breaking it up continuously.
Add red wine and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
Strain any oil and add to onion mixture, then set aside.
Saute hash browns till golden brown and add to sausage and onion mixture.
Preheat oven to 375° F, grease a lasagna pan or something similar.
Add cheese to meat and onion mix, setting aside 1 cup full.
Whisk the eggs in a bowl, lightly add the milk and mix well.
Now add pancake mix and blend thoroughly.
Pour over meat mixture in pan, sprinkle remaining cheese,
and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.

(Serves 6 to 8)

Won Squash & Broth

2 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled
5 amaretti cookies
1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 egg, separated
1 ¾ cup Swiss cheese, grated
salt & pepper
wonton wrappers
6 cups beef broth
1 leek, green part only, chopped
3 fresh thyme
1 tbsp brandy

Cook squash and garlic till tender, then cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
In a food processor, crush cookies and breadcrumbs, add squash and process till smooth.
Mix in egg yolk, 1 1/3 cup of cheese, and season with salt and pepper.
Brush one wrapper lightly with egg whites, place 1 teaspoon of filling over it,
cover with another wrapper and pinch to seal all around.
Bring broth to a boil, add chopped leek, fresh thyme and brandy, then simmer for 5 minutes.
Add wontons and cook for 4 to 5 minutes.
Garnish with finely chopped leek and shredded cheese.

(Serves 6 to 8)

Beet & Apple Soup

1 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves
6 cups beets, peeled and chopped
3 apples, peeled and chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup 10% cream
½ cup red wine
salt & pepper
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp brandy (optional)


crumble feta or blue cheese
fresh dill

In a pan, melt the butter, then add onions, beets and apples.
Cook till beets turn slightly tender approximately 5 minutes.
Add chicken broth, 10% cream, red wine, salt, pepper, smoked paprika and nutmeg.
Bring to a boil then add brandy if desired.
Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes till beets are fully tender.
Place all ingredients into a blender and pulse till smooth.
Serve with a garnish.

This soup can also be served cold.

Carrot & Peach Soup

1 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
6 cups carrots, peeled and diced
3 peaches, peeled and chopped
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup 10% cream
¼ cup white wine
salt & pepper
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp nutmeg


brie cheese
1 tbsp honey
roasted nuts

In a pan melt the butter, add onions, carrots, and cook till carrots show slight tenderness.
Add chicken broth, 10% cream, white wine, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and nutmeg.
Bring to a boil then add peaches.
Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or till carrots are soft and tender.
Place all of the ingredients into a blender and pulse till completely smooth.
Serve with a garnish.

This soup can also be served cold.

Jazzy Alfredo

½ cup fresh sage, finely chopped
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
½ cup butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups heavy cream
¼ tsp white pepper
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ cup parmesan cheese
1 cup brie cheese
½ cup white wine

Melt butter in pan, then add sage, basil, garlic, heavy cream, salt, pepper, and white wine.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 8 to 9 minutes.
Add parmesan and brie cheese, stirring into mixture.
Once cheese dissolves into mixture, lower heat and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes to thicken.

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