Tomato chokha and sada roti

A bachelor friend asked me this week for a recipe for this classic Trinidad East Indian breakfast.  Not one to let a man go starving, I did a little consulting with my Indian girlfriends and figured out how to whip up this simple yet satisfying meal for breakfast this morning. I also learnt what it means to “chunkay” a pot!

 

 

Tomato Chokha

What to use

4 firm ripe tomatoes

3 cloves garlic (minced)

1/2 white onion (diced )

1 tbs olive oil

salt and black pepper to taste

hot pepper (optional)

Pretty much all you need!

What to do

Drizzle a little olive oil over tomatoes and roast in oven at 400 degrees until tender.   Allow to cool enough to handle and gently remove skin.  Mash pulp up to desired consistency.  I like mine a little chunky while some prefer it smooth.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Fry garlic and onion in 1 tbs of olive oil for a few minutes and then add to tomatoes. (This is the “chunkay” part!)  Serve warm with some freshly made sada roti.

Sada roti

What to use

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp instant yeast

3/4 cup warm water

What to do

Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and yeast. Add enough water to make smooth dough while kneading well. Cover dough with damp towel for about 25 minutes.  Roll dough into balls. This recipe should give you about 5 balls (just a little bigger than a golf ball).  Roll each ball out into a 1/2 inch thick flat circle.  Cook on a hot griddle or tawah for a couple minutes on each side.  The dough will rise while cooking.

Slice and serve nice and warm.

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Chocolate chip coffee muffins

Okay, I must confess I am becoming a tad obsessed with baking muffins.  They are so easy and virtually impossible for a baking novice like me to mess up.  This weekend I decided to experiment  a bit using my basic muffin recipe as a base (with a few minor adjustments) and another yummy creation was born.  Who needs a latte when you’ve got these?

What to use

2 cups flour

3 tsps baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 egg

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup milk

1/4 cup oil

2 tbs instant coffee

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup cream liqueur ( I used Amarula Cream Liquer but I think Bailey’s will work just as well)

What to do

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in  large bowl.  Add coffee to milk and stir until completely dissolved.  Add to that mixture the liqueur and stir well. In a separate bowl, beat egg with a fork and add milk mixture and oil. Stir well.   Pour wet ingredients into a well in the flour mixture and stir until moistened.  Dust chocolate chips lightly with flour and fold into batter.  Pour into lined muffin tin and bake for 25 minutes.

Chocolate chip goodness!

Fresh out of the oven

A farmers’ market breakfast

It’s spring time in New York and I’m visiting my lovely aunt who insisted on dragging me to the Farmers’ Market in the pouring rain this morning.  I don’t know what it is about markets and me but every single time I go to a market, no matter where in the world,  it rains. Not a sprinkle or a drizzle but buckets of rain!

Torrential downpour notwithstanding, I had lots of fun going through the fresh produce and sampling the organic, homemade items on offer from goat cheese with cinnamon and dried cranberries, honey, warm apple cider and fresh artisan bread. Yum! Unfortunately, since my camera is not waterproof I couldn’t take any pics!  We picked up some stuff for breakfast and lunch and made our way back through the rain via the park. And wouldn’t you know, as soon as we left the market, the rain eased!

Spring time in New York

For breakfast, I picked up freshly baked foccacia bread, fresh goat cheese, organic tomatoes, basil and oyster mushrooms which I’ve never tried but they looked so pretty,  I couldn’t resist.

Oyster Mushrooms

The oyster mushrooms lived up to their name.  They had a fishy, oyster like aroma and taste. I sauteed them in olive oil with some minced shallots and garlic for a few minutes and added a little kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of lime juice.

After removing them from the skillet, I lightly seared slices of tomato seasoned with kosher salt and Italian seasoning.  I used up the last juices from the pan by toasting the bread in the skillet.  I then plated everything up topping the tomato slices with goat cheese crumbles and fresh basil. We washed it all down with apple cider with a squeeze of lemon juice.


Bake and buljol

coconut bake and saltfish

Weekends at my grandmother’s house meant a huge breakfast of freshly made  coconut bake, stewed down saltfish (buljol) and real cocoa tea made from the cocoa beans that she grew on the estate behind her house.  This is exactly what I was craving this Sunday morning. I couldn’t get the authentic cocoa tea but I could certainly rustle up some bake and buljol.

coconut bake and saltfish

Coconut bake

What to use

2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 oz cold margarine

1/2 cup of coconut mik (approx. )

What to do

Sift flour with the baking powder and add salt.  Rub in margarine.  Slowly add the coconut milk and knead the mixture to make a smooth dough.  Leave to rest for about 25 minutes.  Roll out to  circle about 1 inch thick.  Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.  This should serve four persons or two very hungry persons.  Serve hot.

roast bake

Buljol

What to use

1 pack of of saltfish (salted cod) (preferably boneless or you will spend a lot of time picking out tiny bones)

1 pimento pepper

1/2 onion (red or white)

1 large ripe tomato (diced)

two cloves garlic (minced)

2 tbs ketchup

1 tbs olive oil

1/4 tsp lemon juice

1 tbs cilantro or shadon beni

1/2 green sweet pepper diced (didn’t use any this time around but it’s part of my usual recipe)

What to do

Place the saltfish in boiling water and soak overnight.  In the morning, rinse saltfish and shred into small pieces (removing any bones).  Rinse again and drain. You want to remove all that excess salt. Saute onion, peppers, garlic and cilantro in olive oil is large skillet over medium heat until tender.  Add saltfish, tomatoes, lemon juice and ketchup and cook for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve hot with coconut bake.

coconut bake and saltfish

Baked eggs with spinach and cheese

 

Love and eggs are best when they are fresh. – Russian proverb


What to use

3 eggs

1/3 cup red peppers

2 tbs chopped chives

1 cup chopped fresh spinach

1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar

salt and pepper (to taste)

cooking spray

What to do

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two ramekins with cooking spray.  In a mixing bowl, add eggs and gently stir in remaining ingredients except cheese.  Don’t whisk!  Top with cheese.  Pour into ramekins and bake for 20 minutes.

Garnish with a little chopped chive.

This works perfectly for a brunch. You can increase the number of eggs and other ingredients accordingly and use a muffin tin to serve lots of people. Each person will then have a perfectly baked omelette and you don’t have to slave over a frying pan!

And this is what they looked like on the inside after I nibbled off all that lovely top layer of cheesy goodness!

 

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

Cornmeal porridge

Normally, I have a big decadent breakfast on Saturday mornings to make up for the rushed ones during the work week. Today, however, I was feeling for something light but hearty.  I happen to love porridge in any form.  Oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, rice – you name it, I love it! I love porridge more than Goldilocks!  I have a dear colleague from Jamaica who occasionally brings me a steaming bowl of cornmeal porridge whenever she makes a batch.  I figured it was time to whip up my own batch.

What to use

1 cup fine yellow cornmeal

3 cups water

1 cup milk

1/2 tsp nutmeg

2 tbs honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 bay leaf

sweetened condensed milk to taste

 

What to do

Whisk the cornmeal in 1 cup water.   Bring remainder of water and milk to boil and add in cornmeal mixture and salt . Stir well.  Add nutmeg, cinnamon, honey, vanilla and bay leaf.  Cook for about 10-12 mins.  Sweeten with condensed milk to taste.  Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon.  Serve hot.

Variations

My mom usually adds two whole cinnamon sticks instead of the ground cinnamon while cooking.

 

Mmmmm…..just right!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Breakfast parfait

In the mood for a healthy, light breakfast? Why not whip up this crunchy treat?


What to use

Chopped  fresh pineapple

Chopped fresh strawberries

Muesli of your choice ( I used Swiss Crunch Muesli with dried strawberries and raspberries.)

Plain yogurt

Splenda

Mint

What to do

Start with a layer of muesli. Follow with yogurt, splenda, strawberries and pineapple.  Repeat until done. Top with mint and a final sprinkle of Splenda.

Candi’s Cinnamon Hazelnut French Toast

Who doesn’t love french toast? It’s my favourite treat when I’m in the mood for something a little more indulgent for breakfast.  I’ve got a much needed day off from work today so I decided to whip up a somewhat healthier version of the classic french toast.  It is ridiculously simple and utterly delicious!

What to use

1/2 cup Silk Almond milk

2 tbs hazelnut coffee creamer

1 egg

1 tsp cinnamon powder

3 slices Pepperidge farm Brown Sugar Cinnamon Swirl Bread

PAM butter flavour cooking spray

Toppings (entirely optional but highly recommended!)

sugar free maple syrup

Hershey’s light chocolate syrup

Fat free whipped cream

sliced bananas

2 packets of Splenda (with added fiber)

 

What to do

Whisk together milk, creamer, egg and cinnamon.   Dip each slice of bread in the mixture.  Cook bread on each side over medium heat in a skillet or frying pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Once both sides are brown, plate and add toppings.

 

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