Roasted red pepper and goat cheese sandwich

Roasting is fast become my favourite way of preparing vegetables.  I absolutely love the resulting flavours. I was on the hunt for a recipe to try  and adapted this recipe from Ina Garten for  dinner tonight. Ina’s recipe was a little too long and involved for a quick dinner for one so I did a few short cuts which I don’t think hurt the recipe one bit.

What to use

1 red bell pepper

2 tbs red wine vinegar

1 tbs olive oil

1 garlic clove (finely chopped)

pinch of coarse ground black pepper

pinch of sea salt

2 tbs goat cheese ( I used a garlic & herb flavoured one.)

handful of fresh spinach leaves

thick, chunky ,crusty bread of your choice (e.g ciabatta)

What to do

Cut pepper in half and remove seeds and stem. Place on a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes at 400 degrees.   In the meantime, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, garlic, black pepper and salt and set aside.  When pepper is done, allow to cool for a few minutes and remove skin.   Place peppers in vinaigrette and let sit for a few minutes while you toast bread.  I used an Asiago cheese bread. You can also place bread under the broiler for a minute or two.  Spread goat cheese on toasted spread, add roasted pepper and top with spinach.  And there you have it! Delicious, satisfying and healthy.

 

 

Shrimp with Spicy Asian Orange Dipping Sauce

I’m pretty bummed. My brand new camera fell and broke so I’m back to relying on my point and shoot. 😦 I’m not exactly thrilled with my food pics these days.  Hopefully, I can get it repaired soon.

Anyhoo, it’s Sunday afternoon and I was lounging around and feeling peckish.  I was rummaging through the fridge to see what I could rustle up and realized I had some frozen shrimp tucked away.  I decided to whip up this quick snack .

What to use

1 dozen shrimp (peeled with tails on)

1 pinch sea salt

1/2 tsp red chili flakes

2 teaspoons of olive oil

1 tsp lime juice

2 garlic cloves (minced)

3 tbs sweet orange marmalade

1 tsp red chili paste

2 tbs soy sauce

1 tsp ketchup

1/2 tsp sesame oil

pinch of coarse ground black pepper

2 tbs butter

chopped parsley for garnish

What to do

Place shrimp in medium sized bowl and add salt, chili flakes, lime juice, olive oil and garlic. Heat large skillet and add butter. Saute shrimp until slightly browned.

In a small serving dish, combine marmalade, chili paste, soy sauce, ketchup, sesame oil and black pepper and stir well.

Plate shrimp and sprinkle with chili flakes and chopped parsley with dip on the side.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Usually when I stock on loads of veggies, they spoil before I’ve had a chance to cook them all.  So I’ve been making a real effort to find ways to cook them to avoid the monumental wastage that usually occurs every week.

A few days ago I tried out this roasted vegetable pizza and enjoyed the taste and combination so much that I thought it would also work well in a lasagna dish.  I could use loads of veggies and have lunch for the week!

What to use

I used the same ingredients from here to roast the vegetables and make the tomato sauce plus the following:-

Lasagna sheets

2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese (grated)

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

What to do

Cook lasagna sheets according to package instructions. Layer a large baking dish with tomato sauce. Add a layer of lasagna sheets, then a layer of cheddar cheese, then a layer of roasted vegetables.  Top that with a sprinkle of coarse black pepper and a scattering  of crumbled goat cheese. Repeat until you have a final layer of lasagna sheets.  Top with some more tomato sauce and a layer of cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes.  Remove foil and bake for an additional five minutes to allow top to brown.

Allow to rest for about ten minutes before serving.

This was one meal I didn’t mind eating every day for a whole week!

 

 

Guinness Punch

In honour of St.Patrick’s day, I decided to whip up this lovely drink.  Guinness punch is a Trini favourite.  Particularly for the fellas! Supposedly it “strengthens the back” and is much touted for its ability (mythical, in my view) to enhance a man’s prowess in the bedroom.  I can’t attest to that but it sure is quite tasty.

What to use

1 bottle of ice cold Guinness

1/2 cup cold milk

1/2 tin of sweetened condensed milk

generous pinch of cinnamon

generous pinch of nutmeg

dash of Angostura bitters

1/4 tsp of cocoa powder

What to do

Combine all the ingredients in a chilled bowl and whisk together and serve. Enjoy!

 

If you purchase this from a Trini punchman, you will most likely have the option to top it off with some wheatgerm, bran and even glucose.   Some punch vendors even add a whole egg to pack a little punch of protein in there.

I think it would be quite tasty with an addition of a dollop of vanilla ice-cream for a creamier, thicker texture.

After I made this, I decided to google alternative recipes and stumbled upon this visual recipe by a Trinidadian architect, Vernelle Noel.  How super cool is this?

Visual recipe by Vernelle Noel

Roasted Vegetable Pizza with Goat Cheese

Giving up meat for Lent?  Don’t know what to cook? Try this earthy, rich, delicious pizza.  I promise you won’t miss the meat.

 

 

 

What to use

1 large zucchini (sliced)

1 Eggplant (sliced)

1 Red Bell Pepper (sliced thickly)

1 Yellow Bell Pepper (sliced thickly)

1 small red onion (cut into wedges)

3 garlic cloves (peeled)

4 tbs olive oil

1 tbs red wine vinegar

2 tbsp chopped thyme

tomato sauce (See recipe below)

3 oz goat cheese

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

pizza dough (click here for recipe)

 

 

What to do

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lay out vegetables.  Mix together oil, vinegar, thyme, salt and pepper and pour over vegetables.  Toss together and roast  for 20 minutes. Remove and set aside.

roasted vegetables

While vegetables are roasting, prepare tomato sauce.  You will need:-

2 tbs olive oil

1 small white onion

1 garlic clove

1 can chopped tomatoes

2 tbs chopped fresh parsley

1 tsp dried oregano

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp sugar

salt and pepper

What to do

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the garlic and saute for a further minute.  Add the tomatoes, parsley, oregano, bay leaves, tomato paste, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

Bring the sauce to boil, then simmer, uncovered for 15 – 20 minutes or until the sauce has been reduced by half.  Discard the bay leaves before serving.  Unused sauce can be bottled and refrigerated for about a week.

Roll out pizza dough and spread with tomato sauce.  I didn’t feel like mixing the dough tonight so I used naan bread in place of the pizza dough. You can use a flat bread of your choice or even a tortilla.

Lay out the vegetables and top with goat cheese.  Bake at 400 degrees until dough is crisp and golden (about 20 minutes).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast frittata with three cheeses

“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.” – John Gunther

What to use

3 eggs

1/4 cup sharp cheddar

2 tbs crumbled feta cheese

2 tbs goat cheese

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp  dried basil

pinch of salt

2 tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

2 tbs milk

1/2 white onion (sliced)

2 small tomatoes (diced)

1 cup of arugula (chopped) or veggie of your choice (Spinach works just as well.)

1 tbs culantro (chopped)

1 tbs chive (chopped)

4 slices pepperoni (chopped) (optional)

paprika

 

What to do

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute onions in a small cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Add tomatoes, arugula, culantro, chive and pepperoni and continue to cook.  Whisk eggs in a bowl adding feta cheese, cheddar cheese, oregano, basil, salt, pepper and milk.

Pour eggs into skillet and top with goat cheese.  Cook eggs until firm but still wet. This should take about 5 minutes.  Place skillet in oven and cook for about 8 mins.  Switch to broiler for about 2 more minutes.

Remove and let sit for a few minutes before serving.  Top with a sprinkle of paprika.

 

 

“Never work before breakfast; if you have to work before breakfast, eat your breakfast first.” ~Josh Billings

Shrimp fritters

The Lenten season is soon upon us which means no meat for 40 days! I’ve been stocking up on shrimp and fish before the prices skyrocket. The challenge will be to find different ways of preparing them so I don’t get bored.  My first experiment was this batch of crispy, tasty, golden shrimp fritters.  They’re great as a snack or appetizer or even as a light meal with a side salad.

What to use

1 lb fresh shrimp

1 lemon

5 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 cup fresh herbs (parsley, chive, culantro (shadon beni), thyme)

2 eggs

1 cup all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tbs milk

1 cup canola oil for frying

 

What to do

Clean shrimp, cut off tails and chop into smaller pieces.  Season shrimp with sea salt, black pepper, juice of half of the lemon  and cayenne pepper.  Place shrimp in food processor and mince.  Add the garlic, herbs and eggs and process until the ingredients are well combined.  Place mixture into a large bowl and add flour, baking powder and milk.  Combine until entire mixture forms a paste.

Heat oil in a deep skillet and add tablespoons of mixture .  Be careful not to let drops of mixture touch each other. Fry on each side until golden and remove and drain on parchment paper.

Squeeze other half of lemon juice over all the fritters.  Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.

I did a quick little dip of ketchup, honey mustard, chili paste and Miracle Whip.

 

And for dessert… a little wine and cheese…the perfect end to long work week….

 

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