Monday, December 27, 2010

Simple Jamaican Holiday Cake

5 sticks butter – 1 1/4 lbs

2 cups brown sugar

5 cups flour- sifted plus 2 tablespoons for flouring pans

3 tsp baking powder

8 eggs

2 ¼ lbs raisins

1 bottle port

1 nutmeg grated

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon vanilla

Preparing the raisins
This is best done ahead to time. The longer the raisins are allowed to soak in the port, the more intense the flavor will be.

Add raisins to large jar or glass container and cover with port. Let sit for at least 24 hours. Use blender to chop raisin mixture add a little water to blender if needed. Pulse for about 30 seconds. Should not be pureed. You should be able to see pieces of raisins. If you don't have the time to soak the raisins, you can always steam them in the port on a low flame. Be sure to let it cool completely before chopping and adding to the cake mixture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare 2 nine inch cake pans. Butter pans liberally and shake flour around in pan. Shake out any excess. Line bottom of pan with parchment or wax paper.

Bring butter and eggs to room temperature. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. About 5 minutes using hand or other mixer. Add eggs one at a time to the butter and sugar mixture until incorporated. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl as eggs are added. Add vanilla. Add baking powder to flour and sift mixture then add nutmeg and cinnamon. Add 1/3 of flour to batter then add 1/3 of the raisin mixture. Repeat ending with the flour mixture.

Pour mixture into pans and bake in middle of oven for 60-75 minutes. Test cake by sticking toothpick or small thin knife through middle. Cake is done if it comes out clean. Cool cake and pour small amount of port over top to keep moist. Cake can last a long time if stored in airtight container such as a cookie tin.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Traditional Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe

Traditional Jamaican Rice and Peas Recipe
1 1/2 cups dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight and drained 
1 1/2 cups rice
2 cloves garlic pealed and smashed
1 fresh coconut
3 scallions (green onions)
1 whole unbroken scotch bonnet pepper, prefferably green
12 allspice berries
½ teaspoon dried thyme (or 4 sprigs of fresh thyme)
¼ teaspoon salt (can ommit)
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Puncture one of the “eyes” of the coconut with the end of a sharp pointed knife. Try the “eye” nearest to the end of the coconut. Drain out the coconut water. Break open the coconuts. Taste to ensure the coconut is fresh. Remove the coconut “meat” from the shell with a knife. This is dangerous as you run the risk of cutting yourself. Therefore you should proceed cautiously until you get the hang of it. Cut the coconut “meat” into small pieces and chop up in a blender using the chop setting. Use 
just enough water to chop coconuts in blender. Chop the coconut in batches until the coconut is a fine consistency and the liquid resembles milk. Use a large strainer to separate the coconut from the milk. Hand squeeze any remaining milk from the residue. You can discard the residue or use in the coconut drops and coconut filling for gizzadas recipes. 

Place beans, garlic and all spice berries in a cooking pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When the beans are tender, stir in the coconut milk, green onions, scotch bonnet pepper, and thyme, black pepper and increase the heat to a boil. Stir in the rice. Don't break the scotch bonnet pepper. You may need to add some water to bring the level to about ¾ of an inch above the level of the rice. Bring to a boil and cover immediately. Do not stir.  Turn the heat down low and cook for 15-20 minutes or or until the rice is tender and has absorbed the liquid.  Remove the scallions, scotch bonnet pepper and thyme (if you used sprigs of thyme).

You can find other recipes, including a simple Jamaican rice and peas recipe, here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fighting Cancer with Food

Anticancer Choices
For better prevention, or better treatment results, nothing can beat the combination of conventional medicine (early screenings, or chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy, etc.) with an anticancer way of life: A way of living through which we begin to nourish every aspect of health within our bodies:
1. Cleaning up our diet: reducing sugar -- which feeds cancer growth and inflammation. Refined sugar is abundant in desserts, soft drinks (one can of Coke contains 12 coffee-size packs of sugar...), sauces (Ketchup, ready-made salad dressing, etc.), white flour which is equivalent to sugar as far as the body is concerned (white bread, bagels, muffins, etc.), and reducing pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids (red meats, dairy, corn, sunflower, soybean and safflower oils, and trans-fats).
2. Adding anti-cancer foods: including in our diet every day, three times a day, foods that help fight cancer. Such as anticancer herbs and spices (green tea, turmeric, ginger , thyme, rosemary, mint, basil, sage), omega-3 rich foods (salmon, sardines, mackerel, walnuts, green vegetables), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage), garlic, onions and leeks, red berries, plums, blueberries for dessert, dark chocolate (more than 70 percent cocoa), and even a little bit of red wine.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Shrimp patty filling
6 raw medium to large shrimp chopped up
slightly less than 1 teaspoon olive oil
slightly less than 1 teaspoon kikoman soy
¼-1/3 teaspoon jerk seasoning
mix ingredients then add shrimp and use as filling.