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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Caribbean Nights

Winter 2008

This winter just doesn’t seem to want to quit, it goes on and on, nothing to do but huddle close to that extra special one and dream of the warm tropics of what you could possibly do under a warm moonlit night on the sands of a romantic island. Or how about cruising the warm waters of Caribbean and the wonderful foods of the islands. So here’s a thought if you can’t go there you can still enjoy the cuisine. Cuisine that is warming and delicious. Have you ever wondered why the warmest countries also have the foods that warm the palate as well as the soul and the coldest countries have food that are no hot (spice wise)? Its because those warm countries want to see you from the cold countries more often. Cuisine defines the people and you will find the island people like their food, warm and full of life. So with this writing I hope to capture just a bit of that spice for life and give something warm to think. Enjoy.


1 tbsp 15 ml ground allspice
1 tbsp 15 ml dried thyme
1 ½ tsp 8 ml cayenne pepper
1 ½ tsp 8 ml freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ tsp 8 ml ground sage
¾ tsp 4 ml ground nutmeg
¾ tsp 4 ml ground cinnamon
2 tbsp 30 ml salt
2 tbsp 30 ml garlic powder
1 tbsp 15 ml sugar
¼ cup 60 ml olive oil
¼ cup 60 ml soy sauce
¾ cup 180 ml white vinegar
½ cup 125 ml orange juice
3 tbsp 45 ml lime juice
1 1 seeded and finely chopped Scotch bonnet pepper
1 cup 250 ml chopped Bermuda onion
3 3 finely chopped scallions
4-6 oz 4-170 g boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In a mixing large bowl, combine the allspice, thyme, cayenne pepper, black pepper, sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, garlic powder and sugar. With a wire whisk, slowly add the olive oil, soy sauce, vinegar, orange juice, and lime juice. Add the Scotch bonnet pepper, onion, and scallions and mix well.

Add the chicken breasts, cover and marinate for at least 3 hours.

Preheat the grill. Remove the breasts from the marinade and grill for 6 minutes on each side. While grilling, baste with the marinade. Serve with a summer salad.

Here’s a recipe I used serve in my first restaurant in St.Catherines Ontario.

Barbadian Flying Fish

8 flying fish fillets
1 small onion
1 small green pepper choppped
1 bunch chives chopped
1 tsp each of thyme and parsley
salt and pepper to taste
few drops of lime juice
1 egg beaten
1/4 cup milk
fine unseasoned breadcrumbs
Safflower or peanut oil for frying
2 limes wedged

Mix the seasoning ingredients and spread over the meaty side of the fish. Leave for about 1 hour. Dip the fish into the beaten egg mixed with the milk and then into the breadcrumbs. Fry gently in a little oil for about 10 minutes. Serve with the lime wedges to juice over the fish directly and the Garlic Chili Lime Mayonnaise.

Garlic Chili Lime Mayonnaise

1 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lime
1 tablespoon roasted, chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chili paste
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly

Cayman Fish Stew

I love the Grand Cayman Island there so much to do there, from enjoying great cuisine to swimming with stringrays visit the turtle farm or just going to “Hell”. Here’s a very good simple fish stew from there to enjoy.

2 tbsp olive oil
4 oz Snapper
1/2 Lobster tail
6 Sea Scallops
2 large prawns
8 Small Shrimps
6 large crab claws
1 oz. oregano
1/2 oz. parsley/pinch of red pepper
1/2 oz. basil
2 oz. diced Plum tomato
½ cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the pan with the oil add the seafood, sauté for 2 minutes then add the fresh herbs and plum tomato cover and simmer for 8 minutes. Add the wine and continue simmer for 5 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serves 2. (Add some mussels or any other kind of fish or seafood you wish).


2 ounces light rum
1 teaspoon grapefruit juice
1 teaspoon maraschino liqueur
Juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup crushed ice

In a blender or a food processor, combine all the ingredients and process for 30 seconds. Pour into a chilled cocktail glass.

Another recipe found throughout the islands but this one is best from Grand Cayman.


2 ounces of minced conch
2 ounces of crab meat (blue)
1 egg
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 ounces of minced vegetables (carrots, celery, onions)
salt and pepper
1 ounce of cooked black angel hair pasta

In a bowl mix the conch with crab meat. Add egg, baking powder, vegetables then season to taste.

Next carefully add the black angel hair. Heat up the deep fryer to 250 degrees F. Drop tablespoon size balls into the oil and fry 2 minutes per side. Serve with the curry sauce.

Curry sauce

5 tablespoons vegetable oil (canola or sunflower)
4 tablespoons tamari *3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon dried parsley or finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon Jamaican pimento (allspice)
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce or other hot sauce
1 teaspoon very finely chopped jalapeno or habanero pepper
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
crushed red chilies to taste

Blend the ingredients in a large mixing bowl serve as required or use as a marinate. Can be used to mix with yogurt to make a creamy sauce. 1 cup yogurt to 1/4 cup paste.

* Tamari is a high quality soy sauce without the caramel colour and the additives.

A trip to the islands would not be complete without a taste of rum cake, while knows the recipe for the world famous Tortuga Rum Company cake is a closley grauded secert here’s a very good recipe and close to their as well.

Rum Cake

3 cups flour
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened (3 sticks)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 eggs plus 1 yolk
1 t. grated lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup dark rum (Tortuga)
Sauce (recipe follows)
Confectioner's sugar for dusting cake(optional)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs; stir until blended. Beat in the lemon zest and then add the rum. Gradually add the dry ingredients, alternating with the heavy cream and ending with the dry ingredients. Blend until the mixture is well combined. Pour batter into a well greased and floured 10 cup bundt or tube pan and bake for almost an hour. Test doneness with a skewer inserted halfway between the sides of the pan and the tube. Once done and while the cake is hot poke it with holes using a skewer or roast fork, pour he sauce into the cake it may appear to be to much but the cake with absorb it. Cool, turn out and dust with powdered sugar.


1/4 cup water
1/4 cup dark rum
1 cup sugar
1 stick oleo (butter)

Combine water rum, water sugar and butter in to sauce pan. Heat over medium heat, stirring until boiling. Boil for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.

Just A Note (Update)

I have been receiving many e-mails regarding the change in my web site recently, seems some are upset with the spiritual leading the site has taken. Most e-mails have been really great but I received a rather scathing e-mail tearing me up regarding the recent teaching I have been posting here. Seems the writer simply wants culinary teachings and does not want to read this “Christian junk,” the writer asked a question that I will now answer. Who do I think I am, being just a chef what could I possible know regarding spiritual things?

Well I am a chef, but that is what I do it is not who I am. Jesus was a carpenter it is what he did not who he was, Stephen and Phillip were waiters what they did not who they were. Your vocation certainly has something to say regarding your makeup but it does not define you. You are defined by who you are within, if you’re rotten in your core then you are a rotten being (needing a lot of help) if the core of being (your soul) is guided by the Spirit of God then that too is what proceeds from your soul. So with today’s writing I plan to tell you not who I think I am but rather who I am. Y’all know what I do so there is no need to go there. But that writing will take place at a new site Please bookmark it and go there often. The division will be simple this site will continue with culinary education and recipes galore (what I do) and the new site will be words from my heart (who I am). Watch for recipes on warming things up this week.