Savoury Plantain Pie


What to use

Four large ripe plantains

1 cup milk

1 egg

3 cups grated cheddar cheese

pinch of salt

1 tsp coarse ground black pepper

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

What to do

Cut each plantain in half.  Place plantains in large pot and boil until soft.  Peel and slice plantains diagonally. Each slice should be about 1/2 inch thick. Beat egg and add to milk. Stir in pinch of salt and black pepper. In a greased shallow baking dish, alternate layers of plantain and cheese starting with a layer of plantain.  Pour milk mixture over layers and top with a layer of panko bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 to375 degree for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

******Update*****

I absolutely love when people try my recipes and make them their own.  My sister did her take on this by using a mixture plantains and sweet potato (which she also boiled first).  She topped her pie with crushed Post cereal.  She swears it’s better than my rendition! lol

Here’s the proof:-

Chi’s Savoury Plantain and Sweet Potato Pie

Hearty lentil soup

Wow! I’ve been so busy.  It’s seems like it’s been ages since I’ve had a home-cooked meal.  I’ve been planning to make this soup for some time now but only just got around to actually doing it.

It’s pretty easy to put together and is a hearty option for dinner.

What to use

1 cup lentils (washed and drained)

1  white onion (sliced)

2 celery stalks (diced)

2 cloves garlic (minced)

1 tbs shadon beni (finely chopped)

3 tbs spring onion or chive (finely chopped)

2 carrots (sliced)

3 cups pumpkin (cubed)

2 tomatoes (diced)

3 cups water or vegetable stock

2 bay leaves

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbs lemon juice

parsley for garnishing

2 tbs olive oil

Tabasco sauce

What to do

Boil lentils for two minutes and leave to soak for an hour.  Drain lentils and set aside. Saute onion, celery, garlic, shadon beni and spring onion in olive oil until tender.  Add lentils, carrots, pumpkin, tomatoes, water/stock, bay leaves, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until lentils are soft and pumpkin and carrots are tender. Stir in lemon juice and remove bay leaves before serving. Add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce and top with parsley.

 

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!

 

 

Everything but the kitchen sink salad

So I suppose making a salad  isn’t really cooking, is it?  However, there is a certain art involved in putting together just the right combination of ingredients.

Due to a little mishap yesterday involving me, high heels,  running, steps and the sharp corner  of a wooden desk , I’ll be laid up for a few days on doctor’s orders.  No standing around in the kitchen slaving over a hot stove today! It also means no gym for a few days.  So, lunch today is what I like to call an “everything but the kitchen sink” salad.

My criteria for a great salad, especially as a main meal, is that it must be incredibly filling, colourful, varied in texture and of course, tasty!

What to use (in any amount you desire)

Romaine lettuces (chopped)

Red and Green sweet peppers (thinly sliced)

Sweet corn

Raisins

Hard-boiled eggs (chopped) (remove the yolk if you like)

Carrots (shredded)

Celery (diced)

Cucumber (sliced)

Green apples (thinly sliced)

Bacon  (the real deal not that imitation stuff!)

Roasted chicken breast (chopped)

Cooked jumbo shrimp

Goat cheese (crumbled)

Cheddar cheese (finely shredded)

What to do (it ain’t rocket science!)

Toss all ingredients together with dressing of your choice! I used a honey dijon vinaigrette.  Add a little salt and pepper to taste.

Some of you may prefer a neater finish but I love to have combination of flavours in every bite (plus I think it’s prettier this way 😉 ).

Pelau

Pelau (pronounced pay-lao) is one of the traditional dishes of  my homeland, Trinidad & Tobago. It’s a very easy to make one pot meal…our version of pilaf or paella.   It’s a staple of many a get together or lime as we call them.  Everyone has their own twist on the popular dish but my preference is for the  deliciously simple combination of rice, chicken and pigeon peas.

I can pretty much make pelau in my sleep.  It’s a wonderful Saturday afternoon dish which can refrigerate well and provide lunch for the whole week.   I actually think it tastes better after a few days.

Here’s a recipe from one of my favourite cookbooks – The Naparima Girls’ High School Cookbook.  This cookbook, which features the multi-cultural cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean,  is a must have for every Trinbagonian cook!

What to use

3 lbs chicken pieces, skinned

1tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 tbsp mixed green seasoning

2 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp ketchup

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 – 3 tbsp brown sugar

2 cups parboiled rice

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2  cup chopped sweet or pimento peppers

1 1/2 cups cooked pigeon peas

1 tbsp salt

1 whole hot pepper with stem (Scotch Bonnet)

2 cups coconut milk

2 cups chicken broth or water

What to do

Season chicken with salt, pepper, green seasoning, minced garlic, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and ketchup.  Heat oil in a large heavy iron pot or skillet.  Add sugar and allow to burn until brown.  Add seasoned chicken and stir until pieces are well coated with burnt sugar; brown for 5 minutes.  Add rice and turn often until well mixed.  Cook for 3 minutes more.  Add onion, sweet peppers and peas and cook for a few minutes, stirring a few times.  Add salt, hot pepper, coconut milk and broth.  Bring to the boil, lower heat, cover and simmer until rice is cooked and all liquid is evaporated (about 20 to 30 minutes).  Add more liquid if rice is still hard and continue to cook for a few minutes.

My adjustments

I used whole grain brown rice instead of parboiled white rice to up the fiber content.  I also added chopped carrots for some colour.

Pelau is traditionally served with a side of coleslaw but unfortunately I had no cabbage!  Next time for sure!



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