Taste and Tell Recipes

Taste and Tell
Easy enough to make ... Good enough to eat!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri or chimmichurri is a green sauce used for grilled meat, originally from Argentina.

Not to be confused with the Dominican dish chimichurris.








Chimichurri is made from finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, and white vinegar. Additional flavorings such as paprika, cumin, thyme, lemon, basil, cilantro, oregano and bay leaf may be included. In its red version, tomato and red bell pepper may also be added. It can also be used as a marinade for grilled meat.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large bunch Italian parsley
  • 1 large bunch cilantro (I prefer culantro)
  • 3-6 cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons  white distilled vinegar
  • Kosher salt and red pepper flakes to taste

 

Preparation:

  1. Pulse the garlic and onion in the food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Add the parsley and cilantro, then pulse briefly, until finely chopped.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a separate bowl. Add the olive oil, and vinegar, stir to combine. (Adding the liquids outside of the blender gives the chimichurri the correct texture. You do not want the herbs to be completely purée [we are not making pesto], just finely chopped).
  4. Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste. 
  5. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Trinidad Dhal

Dhal is a Hindi word meaning lentils, it is regularly eaten over boiled rice as a gravy and sometimes with roti.













Ingredients
3-5 cups water
8oz dry yellow split peas
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon whole cumin (geera)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste (I used 1 1/2 tsp plus a pinch)

Optional Ingredients:
1 whole scotch bonnet or habanero pepper
1/2 small diced onion
1/2 small diced tomato


Before cooking the yellow split peas (dhal), inspect them carefully, remove bad peas and any excess dirt or debris then rinse under water several times.

Soaking the yellow split peas for an hour before cooking is optional. 

In a deep pot on medium-high heat, combine water, Dhal, turmeric and optional ingredients.  Continue to boil until the Dhal is tender enough to puree (30-45 minutes).  Meanwhile, skim off any froth that may surface.

I prefer to use a hand blender, but a counter top blender can be used if one is not available.  Whichever method works for you, the goal is to puree the dhal until you have a thick soup consistency.  Then return the Dhal to it's original pot and continue to simmer on low.

In a separate small pot, on medium heat add the oil.  Once the oil is hot, add the whole cumin (geera), cook until it turns brown then add minced garlic.   Once the garlic has browned, slowly add the geera/garlic to the Dhal .  Be extremely careful not to get burned, as the oil and water will cause it to splash.


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tomato Choka a West Indian recipe

Traditionally, this is a breakfast dish eaten with sada roti, although I eat it anytime of day.  It is believed to be tastier when the tomatoes are roasted on a chulha (fireside).

The term "choka" means vegetable roasted or boiled then pounded with spices.








Ingredients
8 ozs boneless, skinless salted cod fish also known as saltfish or bacalao
4 large ripe tomatoes, chopped and seeded approx 1 pound
2-3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
1/2 large onion, sliced
1 sprig thyme
3 tbsp vegetable

Start by preparing your ingredients, rehydrate the saltfish by soaking it in warm water.  Discard of the water several times to remove most of the salt.  I prefer to boil it for just a minute, this method removes more salt.

In a pot, on medium-high heat sauté the saltfish and onions in the vegetable oil.  Stir and cook until onions become translucent. Add the garlic, tomatoes and thyme to the pot.  Continue to cook on medium-high until the tomatoes start to soften.  Lower the heat to low-medium, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally. Towards the end, remove the cover and cook until all liquid as evaporated.

Note: to make this a vegetarian dish simply leave out the salted fish.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Moolahlah’s Trinidad Green Seasoning

Green seasoning or seasonin’ is a blend of herbs and other aromatics, a quintessential element of Caribbean cooking. We use green seasoning as a marinade for meats, seafood, stews, curries and one-pot rice dishes to enhance the flavor. Not only does it enhance flavor, but it's also loaded with nutrients! This green seasoning is to Trinidadians, what pesto is to Italians and Sofrito is to Hispanics.

(This is my version of green seasoning, it can be tweaked to your liking).

 
Ingredients
1 bunch of scallions (aka green onions)
1 bunch thyme (remove very thick stems)
1 bunch long stem cilantro (aka bandhania or shado beni) or 1 bunch cilantro
1 bunch Italian parsley
1 head of garlic, peeled
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
10 stalks of celery
1 red bell pepper, seeded
1 green bell pepper, seeded
1 hot pepper (habanero or scotch bonnet)

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor, then puree until fine. Water is not required, scrape down sides and pulse until smooth.


 
Place 1 cup of the green seasoning in a glass jar, close tightly and store in the refrigerator (will stay fresh up to a month). The remainder can be pour into ice trays and frozen. Remove the frozen cubes, place in a zip lock bag and store in the freezer, until ready to use.


The color will vary depending on the combination of ingredients used.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Turkey Burgers
















Ingredients
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
1 1/2 tablespoons plain bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons ground almonds
1 teaspoon chile past
2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions
Combine ground turkey, breadcrumbs, almonds, chili paste, garlic, ginger, salt, garam masala, lemon juice, yogurt, and cilantro; mix thoroughly with a spatula or clean hands.

Shape ground turkey mixture into a ball and divide in 4 even pieces; refrigerate for 1 hour. Form each piece into a patty with damp hands.

Preheat grill to medium heat and refrigerate turkey burger patties until the grill is hot. Grill turkey burgers until patty appears to be cooked about half way up the side and then flip, grilling each side for about 4 to 5 minutes. Burger is done when surface is cracked and juices start to rise to the top.

(Store in freezer: Be sure to place parchment paper in between each patty, then tightly wrap them in clear wrap making sure to remove all air).