Monday, November 21, 2011

Farewell Mr. Lizard

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spaghetti In A Creamy Tomato Chive Butter Sauce Topped with Moist Chicken Cajun Cutlets

This has got to be my favorite Pasta by far. For me, it's the best of both worlds of creamy and tomato based pastas.

When I look at it, it resembles Chicken Parmesan Pasta in that the pasta is topped off with a cutlet, or thin cut of meat breaded and pan fried.  There's something about fried breaded meat on top of pasta and sauce.  I think the flavors and textures mix in so well together.  

Maybe the reason why I love it so much is because it's sort of a grown up version of Chicken Mc Nuggets and magic dunking sauce.  The cutlet on top is the nugget, and the creamy sauce is the little dunking sauce.  Hmm... Then the noodles can be the french fries?  All I know is that this pasta made me dance... and that's a pretty good indicator that it's a keeper.

How did this dish come about?  I had left over Chive Butter Spread and wondered what I should do with it since I was out of bread to spread it on.  Once again, I looked at what ingredients I had on hand (spaghetti, tomato, and chicken breast) and tossed them together.

*Note: I always bring my chicken breast to room temp before cooking it. This helps ensure that it gets cooked evenly.  I also lightly dredge them in flour and pan fry them with butter because these two steps are key in helping keep moisture in.  Butter has a lower heat capacity compared to regular oil so it's like you're slow cooking your chicken. 

Serve with garlic bread, soup, and/or salad.  As always, enjoy!  
2-3 servings; 15-25min
3 tbsp butter (I use land o lakes light, salted)
1 garlic clove minced finely
~1/3 cup chopped chives chopped
1 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp Cajun seasoning
If using unsalted butter add 1/2 tsp salt.  If using salted, add 1/4tsp or to taste.
1/4 cup lime juice from a ripe lime (or white wine)

1 tbsp cream cheese
6 tbsp evaporated milk

1 large very ripe tomato diced
splash of water
2 chicken breast
~4 tbsp flour for light dredging 
1 tbsp butter for each breast for frying
cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper for dusting breast

200g (~1/2 standard pack in Grenada) Spaghetti noodles

Cheddar cheese for topping

1. Butterfly chicken breast (lay palm of hand on top of one side and use a flat edged knife to make a cut down the middle. Tip: to start the cut, make short back and forth motions with a flat edged knife). Lay flat and cover with plastic wrap.  Take a flat edged cup or mallet and pound in a thin even layer.  Lightly dust chicken with salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning on one side only. Bring to room temperature while preparing other ingredients.
2. Sauce: Melt butter in sauce pan Medium heat. add chives, garlic, parsley, pepper, cajun seasoning, and salt. stir frequently to cook uniformly.  When mixture starts bubbling ~5 min. add lime juice. Stir to incorporate. Cook for 2 more min. Add cream cheese and evaporated milk. stir to incorporate. cook for another min and move to a separate bowl.
3. Noodles: bring a pot of salted water to a boil. cook noodles until their slighty undercooked. they will continue to cook in sauce.  One cooked, drain but don't rinse.
4. Chicken: Heat fry pan medium high heat. add 1/2 tbsp butter and wait until it starts crackling. In the meantime, lightly coat chicken in flour and shake all excess flour off.  Add to crackling fry pan and cook on one side without moving it for ~3 min. Be careful to make sure the pan doesn't smoke. Push to the side and add other 1/2 tbsp butter. once melted, flip chicken breast and cook for ~3min. to check if cooked, stab the breast- juices should run clear. repeat process with other breast. once both are cooked move to a separate plate.
5.  Don't discard chicken drippings.  Under medium high heat, add diced tomatoes and lightly salt to extract water. stir to coat in drippings. add a splash of water and cover with lid. stir occasionally and cook until tomatoes have turned into a puree ~5 min.
6. Once cooked, add creamy sauce and mix well.  Once mixed, add spaghetti. Mix well until sauce sticks to noodles. Turn Heat off and top with sliced chicken cutlets and shredded cheese and enjoy!! 

New York Bagel, Grenada- Menu

-Cuisines:  American,- Bagels, Hamburgers, Pizza, Soups, Sandwiches, Kosher 
-Location: Wall Street, St. George's 00000, Grenada. SGU Student Center. SGU behind SD5.
-Hours: On Wall Street and Truck- M-Th 7am-8pm; F 7am-5pm; Sa closed; Su 9am-8pm. 
Student Center- Su-Fr 24 hrs; Fr Close 5:30pm; Sa Open 7pm
-Phone: (473)-442-2435
-Price Range $

*Click Pictures to Enlarge

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Creamy Burger Fajita Spaghetti

I was thinking about making Fajitas-a traditional Mexican dish composed of any type of meat grilled with bell peppers and onions that's typically served with tortillas- but I didn't have any tortillas on hand so I decided to use spaghetti noodles instead.

If you've eaten pasta before you would've probably figured out that with every pasta dish comes some type of sauce.  Mexican Fajitas normally doesn't come with sauce.  Instead, it's topped off with a little lime juice, sour cream, and a splash of hot sauce.  With these ingredients in mind, I decided to make my own creamy sauce with ingredients I had on hand- Cream cheese, white balsamic vinegar, and eggs.  This combination probably doesn't sound so great together but I can assure you that they mix in well.  The balsamic vinegar is reduced into a nice sweet sauce and leaves behind a little acidity the help balance off the other flavors and the cream cheese and eggs bind everything together nicely.

The "burger" part of this recipe comes from the addition of ketchup.  Ground beef and ketchup?  That screams out burger so I decided to add it in as part of this dish's title.  I had so much fun making this dish and even more fun eating it.  It's such a great dinner to eat in front of a movie.  Enjoy!
1 tbsp oil
2 cloves garlic minced (~1tsp)
1 medium onion diced
1 medium potato cubed 1/4'' 
1 medium bell pepper sliced
a little under 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar or white wine (Foodfair for balsamic, IGA or CKs for wine)
1tbsp butter
1lb ground beef
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
3tbsp ketchup
1 tsp brown or white sugar

2 eggs beaten
cheddar cheese
cream cheese
dash a cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes for heat

1 pack of Spaghetti Noodles (400g or 14.1oz)

1.  Heat up pan medium high heat.  Add oil.  Add garlic and onion. Cook until translucent.
2. Add potatoes. Lightly salt and pepper.  stir to coat. cook for ~4 min.
3.  Add bell pepper amd stir fry for ~1min.  Push all ingredients to one side of pan.
4. Add balsamic vinegar on bare side of pan. Bring up to boil ~1min or until it reduces into 1/2. Add butter and stir to incorporate. Mix into vegetables.  Push to one side of pan. (turn heat down to low while you prepare spaghetti noodles)
5. Heat a pot of salted boiling water. Cook spaghetti al dente (slightly undercooked).
5.  turn heat back up to medium high. Add beef on bare side of pan in a flat layer.  Add salt, pepper, paprika, parsley on top.  Stir to incorporate and cook ~6min or until beef is cooked.
6. As soon as beef is cooked, mix in with veggies.  Add ketchup and sugar. cook for another 2min. with cover on.
7.  Place both spaghetti and noodles in separate bowls. I only mixed what I was going to eat, saving the rest for later.  Take desired amount of noodles and desired amount of beef mixture and add to pan. medium high heat. mix well. turn heat to low and add on top 2 beaten eggs, cheddar cheese, and cream cheese (for about 2 cups of noodles, I added 2 eggs). as soon as everything is mixed well together, turn heat off. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Soursop (guanĂ¡bana (Spanish), graviola (Portuguese), Brazilian pawpaw, guyabano, corossolier, guanavana, toge-banreisi, durian benggala, nangka blanda, nangka londa) Sirsak (Indian)

not yet ripe
Soursop is an evergreen tree native to Central America, the Caribbean, and Northern South America.  It is adapted to areas of high humidity and is threatened in cold temperatures.  The flavor of the soursop has been described as a combination of strawberry and pineapple with sour citrus flavor notes contrasting with an underlying creamy flavor reminiscent of coconut or banana (Wikipedia).  It is commonly eaten as is, chilled and is used to make juices, ice cream bars, smoothies, and other desserts.

When unripe, the skin is firm and looks almost impossible to get through, but don't be discouraged by the deep green leather looking skin because cutting through (ripe or unripe) the fruit is like cutting through a watermelon-easy and fun.  You wouldn't cut through it unripe to begin with but I state so just to give you an idea of how easy it is.

When ripe, its skin is yellowish-greenish, soft to the touch, and very fragrant.  I'm so glad to find a fruit that tastes as good as it smells.

The more ripe it gets, the looser its fibers will get, the more pulp you will feel with your mouth.  When eaten the moment it ripens, it will be easier to chew through.  If you're not a fan of the pulp, you can mash it with a fork until the juice separates or you can chew it up with your mouth instead and extract the juices.  Better yet, you can grind it up into a smoothie (MmmM).

Soursop is prepared the same way as a watermelon with both skin and seeds discarded. First cut it in half lengthwise, then cut smiley slices, and lastly cut the skin off while trying to retain as much white pulp as you can.  Tip: It can be very messy depending on its ripeness so stand by with a big plastic bag for disposal of the skin and a kitchen towel for all residual juices left behind. 
ripe soursop

Links to Soursop recipes:
soursop smoothie
soursop ice cream
soursop cheesecake
soursop punch

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eye Love SGU

Creamy Garlic Chive Butter Spread

It's not hard to taste the fact that butter is perfect in almost everything ahhaha.

Today, I decided to make a spread that would go great with soft bread rolls (along with some sort of pasta dish).  Before the idea came about, I was reminiscing about the days when I'd visit Boudin and request 6 extra pats of butter to go with whatever I ordered (usually Clam Chowder in a sourdough bread bowl MMMmmmmMMm).  Of course I didn't consume all pats of butter at one time (though I came close one time) I always left happy knowing that my stash in my refrigerator back at home would get bigger.  If I could describe Boudin in two words, well, maybe three, it would be Sourdough Bread and Butter. In light of my fond memories, here's a delicious butter spread recipe that will more than likely leave you and your stomach smiling. 

This creamy spread is delicious on top of toasted bread rolls, cutlets, fried foods, hamburgers, chicken burgers, and can be made as a base for pastas. Stay tuned for a pasta recipe that I recently made using this spread.
3 tbsp butter (I use land o lakes light, salted)
1 garlic clove minced finely
~1/3 cup chopped chives
1 tsp dried parsley
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cajun seasoning
If using unsalted butter add 1/2 tsp salt.  If not, no need to add salt.
1 tbsp cream cheese
6 tbsp evaporated milk

1. Melt butter in sauce pan for fry pan Medium high heat.
2. add butter, chives, parsley, pepper, salt, pepper, and cajun seasoning as soon as butter is melted. Turn heat down to medium low heat to prevent burning garlic, creating a bitter taste.
3. Stir frequently for ~5 min or until mixture starts bubbling.
4.  Add cream cheese and evaporated milk.  Stir in with other ingredients.  Once uniformed, cook for another min or so.  Turn off heat and immediately transfer into a container and cover.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Rick's Cafe- Great Pizza, Homemade Ice Cream, and More

Business Information
delivery available; T-Su 6pm-9pm. Minimum order of 40EC for delivery.
-Cuisines: American-burgers, fries, ice cream, pizza, BBQ, sandwiches, beer
-Location: In Grand Anse Shopping Centre.
-Hours: M closed; Tu-Sa 11am to 10pm; Su 4-9:30pm
-Phone: (473) 444-4597
-Price Range: $-$$
How to Order
1. Place order with person behind register (where menu boards are located)
2. Obtain your ticket if ordering pizza/ receipt for anything else.
3. If you ordered a pizza, pick up across of register. Don't forget to show your ticket. If you ordered ice cream, show lady in back of ice cream station your receipt and tell her what flavor you'd like.

Order Here First
If you live in Grenada, you'll know that most businesses close early (5-7pm).  Of the very few (literally) that close late, fortunately, is the notorious Rick's Cafe.  This late night cafe is known for their home made rich ice cream that comes in a wide array of flavors, both traditional and tropical.  They're also known for their pizza.

  I have a friend that's been living here for almost 2 years and she's gotten a taste of just about everything in Grenada.  Of all the places she has eaten at, Rick's has landed as her favorite when it comes to pizza and ice cream.

Personally, I also love their pizza and ice cream, but I have nothing to compare both of them to since I haven't had the chance yet to expose myself to other restaurants.  I ordered the "Presidential Pizza," 2nd to the largest available (sorry, I forgot the diameter), choose any 6 toppings, $58EC.  It's a thin crust pizza, packed with toppings, and coated with tomato sauce that's a little sweeter than your usual pizza sauce in America.  I highly recommend their pizza.

Their ice cream is on the creamy side, rich in texture with a nice balance of sugar.  So far, I've had their Nutmeg ice cream. It's so delicious, a must try.
Pick Up Pizza Here

Some of their flavors include:
-strawberry cheesecake
-chocolate ripple
-Rum Raisin
-Peach Melba
-After Eight
-Strawberry Ripple
-Cherry Vanilla

Rick's a great place for food, dessert, and hanging out with your friends. There's also plenty of little shops nearby to peruse.  A grocery store (Foodfair) is right next door too if you need to go Grocery shopping.  Don't forget to check out the Koi fishes located in a man made pond right in front of Rick's. They're so beautiful and you can feed them too!

Getting there:
From SGU bus terminal, Take the Mont Tout Bus (C). Stop in front of Grand Anse Shopping center across street from Scotia Bank (past round houses). Or you can take local bus #1 St. George's. It also stops at the same place. 

Rick's pizza has landed as my 3rd favorite pizza place next to Prickly Bay (#1) and La Boulangerie (#2).  But it's the greatest bang for your buck!!! I also just had their burger and it was a lot better than Grill Master's burger located in Spiceland Mall, but Umbrella's has the best burger by far in my eyes.  Their onion rings are to die for and their sorbets are so light, cheap, refreshing, and so darn cute.  I tried grape, coconut pineapple, golden apple, and punch.  Their flavors vary from day to day.  My all time favorite is Coconut Pineapple.