Tag: cooking

Tangy-Zesty Striped Bass with Dasheen Leaves and Asparagus

Two weekends in a row now, my trip to Salem, MA has been foiled, so to commemorate my dismay, I’ve decided to prepare a dish that I probably would’ve eaten, had I been there.

Striped Bass is native to the Northeast, specifically New England. Living out there by the water means everything to most of the population and so, fishing is a common thing. Striped Bass is plentiful just as much as Lobsters are in this region. Rather than using a well-known Striped Bass Recipe, which the Internet is saturated with, I decided to do my own thing, but still incorporating the basics when it comes to preparing fish. Here’s the list:

2 5oz Striped Bass Steaks
1 Orange
1 Lemon
1 Lime
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Dill
1/2 Tsp Cilantro
1/2 Tsp Parsley
1/2 Tsp minced Onion
1/2 Tsp Garlic n’ Herbs
1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp unsalted Butter

Preparation: mix all seasonings together in a dish first then after cleaning your fish, simply place it into the mixture. Toss it around for a bit, making sure to coat the entire fish then cover your dish and refrigerate overnight. Don’t worry about your fish drying out, it won’t! Next day, remove fish from refrigerator, place skillet on low to medium fire, add butter to the pan and then begin adding your fish. Once your fish is in, immediately add about a 1/4 cup of water, so the butter doesn’t dry up before the fish is cooked. Cover your pan and let fish cook for about 20 minutes on each side before turning it over. Tip: always remember that the steam from the pan is crucial to perfectly cooked fish. When the pan begins to dry down then you’ll know your fish is ready!

1 lbs Dasheen leaves
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Garlic n’ Herbs
1 Pinch Black Pepper

Tip: Dasheen leaves are very large, so I advise that you cut it into smaller pieces in order for it to fit into your pot. Add 1.5 cups of water to a small pot, put it to boil on low fire and while it’s boiling, go ahead and prep your Dasheen leaves. Wash the leaves out before cutting then once you’re finished, add it to your pot along with the other ingredients. Stir to mix it all in and continue stirring occasionally to ensure that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Let it cook for about 30 minutes or until it has completely broken down into a “soupy” mixture. *Add more water if needed*

1/2 bunch Asparagus
1 Pinch Salt
1/4 Tsp Olive oil
1 dash Garlic n’ Herbs

Wash asparagus and place them into pan (break them into two if your pan isn’t large enough) then add your ingredients along with 1/2 ounce of water. Toss asparagus around making sure to mix everything together then let it steam for about 7-10 minutes. Once everything is cooked, serve as usual. Enjoy!


How to Make a Simple and Easy Cheesecake

Most cooks and pastry chefs often have a favorite recipe and for me, I love making cheesecakes!

Although it’s time-consuming, the anticipation and preparation that goes into making a delectable cheesecake makes it worthwhile, especially when it’s enjoyed by the people you love. After cooking a specially prepared meal for my partner one evening, I thought, “every tasty meal deserves to have an equally tasty dessert.” I knew I wanted to make him something sweet, but I wasn’t willing to go through a tedious process, so I decided to make a cheesecake with the ingredients I had at hand. Days before, I picked up two Philadelphia Cream Cheese with a chocolate pie crust and a small container of sour cream, so I thought, “why not?” Then I looked through my pantry and saw that I had some confectioners sugar from some time ago and there, I was able to whip up a delicious cheesecake.


2 Philadelphia Cream Cheese bar

2 1/2 Cups Confectioners sugar

1 8oz Daisy Sour Cream

2 Eggs

1 Chocolate Pie Crust

1/4 Cup Coconut Flour


Make sure cream cheese is at room temperature and softened to perfection. Mix cream cheese together with sour cream, eggs and sugar. If mixture isn’t thick enough, use some coconut flour to add more texture. When all of the ingredients have been properly mixed together, go ahead and add it to your pie crust, remembering to even it out. When you’re finished, place cheesecake into the oven at 350 degrees, let it cook for about 30 minutes or until brown. Remove cheesecake from the oven, let it cool off then refrigerate over night, unless you’re like me and you absolutely can’t wait. Next day your cheesecake should be nice and firm, and you’re free to top it off with whatever you like! That particular day, I topped mine off with cream cheese frosting and garnished it with pistachio halves and coconut flakes.

It was absolutely one of the best cheesecakes I’ve made and as much as we’ve enjoyed it, I am positive that you would too. It’s one of the simplest things you can do to show someone you care and without forgetting to mention, just how delightful it is to have a sweet treat when you’re stressed out with work and family, so go on and try this cheesecake recipe!



Recipe: Spicy Herb Lamb with Saffron Rice

There’s a special feeling you get whenever you’ve managed to concoct a meal with little to no direction. It isn’t celebratory, it’s a “man, I’d love to share this delicious dish with someone else besides my family” kind of feeling. This was how I felt after preparing this recipe and I hope you get the chance to do so.

What you’ll need:

3 lbs. Boneless lamb shoulder

1-2 cups “Par Excellence” Yellow Rice with Saffron

1/2 cup Apple cider vinegar

6 tbsp. Greek yogurt

2 tablespoon Olive oil


1 tbsp. Turmeric

1 tbsp. Garlic powder

1 tbsp. Cumin

1/2 tsp. Black pepper

1 tbsp. Salt

1 tbsp. Cayenne pepper


1/4 Yellow pepper

6-8 cloves Garlic

1/2 Yellow onion


3 stems chopped Thyme


1 stem chopped Rosemary

3 leaves chopped Mint

1 stem chopped Green onions

While attempting to emulate certain traditions of Ramadan, I decided to cook some lamb while still incorporating my love of Spanish rice and so, my intuition lead me straight to this delightful meal. I made sure to cube my boneless lamb shoulder first and then, to really make sure it’s cleaned well, I washed it in some apple cider vinegar laced water. That way, you cut out some of the aftertaste most people complain about. Personally, I’m not fazed by it. Anyway, once you’ve cut and cleaned your meat the next step is to properly season it. I used a combination of turmeric, garlic powder, cumin, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Once I’ve added the spices, I proceeded to massage it all into the meat making sure to coat each piece. Then I put it aside on the counter to rest for about 10 minutes and after the time was up, I added Greek yogurt and tomato paste to the mix and once again, I made sure to coat every piece of lamb.

When my meat was all seasoned and ready to be added to the pan, I added half teaspoon of olive oil to prevent it from sticking to the bottom, then I went ahead and threw in all of my herbs: yellow peppers, garlic, onions, cilantro, thyme, parsley, rosemary, mint and green onions. I made sure to dice the herbs before putting it into the pan, and then I added my seasoned lamb along with two and a half cups of water. On very low heat, I left it to cook for about an hour and a half, still stirring occasionally. Once it started bubbling, I moved on to the rice, which is relatively very easy to prepare.



First, I added two and a half cups of water to a medium sized pot on low-medium heat, and then I added one and a half tablespoons of olive oil to the water. I left it to boil for about 10 minutes before adding the rice (this way allows the pot to form a nice coating in order to keep the rice from burning). Once the water comes to a boil, add two or more cups of rice according to the number of people you’re cooking for and remember that you can add more water to the pot as you see fit. Some people like their rice firmer than others, which is why I highly recommend tasting your rice in order to get your desired firmness. I prefer my rice to be a little softer, therefore I taste it often and add water as needed. Tip: if your rice is sill too firm for your liking, cover the pot all the way and let it steam for a few more minutes instead of adding more water. Typically, this rice will be cooked within 35 minutes. Salad choice is all up to you, as for me, I chose spring mix. Dish feeds up to six. Enjoy!





History of the Dish-Oil Down

In my last article, I introduced you to the national dish of my birth country, Grenada. This time around, I’m taking the opportunity to give you a little history on where the dish, Oil Down, originated. Never mind that it’s loaded with flavor and nutrition, it has also brought people together and helped to pass on traditions to the young. The origins of the ingredients also show how diverse we are as a people.

Through research, I’ve realized the historical context on the process of making Oil Down. You see, slaves who were brought to the island to work on plantations also brought with them their culture and traditions. This is the typical meaning of the phrase “it takes a village,” and it definitely took a village to come together to create this delicious one-pot meal. Although we have evolved, there are still reminders of what used to be; such as the way people live, the music they create, the costumes they wear during carnivals and the plantations where some of the island’s cocoa and spices are still being harvested. These plantations around the island are commonly referred to as “estates.” In fact, my family still owns theirs. I’ve never visited its location and as far I know it’s being used to grow and harvest crops. My mother has shared her fond memories of spending time there. It’s one of those places that rarely gets talked about because of its historical significance, however, this estate known to my family as “Shadow,” bears little resemblance to slavery. In the mid to late 1800’s, my Scottish side of the family settled in Grenada just as slavery was abolished in 1834, and there my great grandfather met my great grandmother, who had immigrated to the island from St. Lucia. The rest was history.

The same way that the island is considered a melting pot with immigrants from all over, Oil Down too, is a melting pot. As a matter of fact, most of the ingredients used in Oil Down are also imported. With the combination of callaloo or dasheen leaves, which are “indigenous to the Caribbean and were cultivated by Grenada’s earliest Amerindian inhabitants,” green bananas, which were brought in by European settlers from Asia and salted pork tails and nose, which were also imported by European settlers, Oil Down has something for everyone. Back then on the plantations, slaves brought in from West Africa had one thing in common: passion for building their communities, even though life was still so very rough. Making Oil Down was not just a way of nourishment and saving time, but making sure that their neighbors were involved and also being fed. They would each bring something to add to the pot, ensuring that there would be their “piece of the pie,” and because of the sheer quantity of ingredients, no one person could collect it all. In other words, whatever they could salvage from their master’s home was what they brought to add to the pot. Anyway, once they each brought what was needed, they would begin the sometimes tedious process. When the food was cooked, everyone received his or her share and all was well. This tradition stayed in Grenada and became the country’s national dish. On most days, anywhere you go, there’s a high chance of passing by a family’s home and smelling the aroma of an Oil Down in progress. It gets its distinct smell from the mixture of spices along with the flavorful milk of dried coconuts. It’s vastly intoxicating.

According to my cousin and island native, Antonia Frederick, “no two oil downs are the same, everyone adds his or her own touch.” Antonia grew up making the dish with her maternal grandmother, who like everyone else, cooked for the entire family. When asked, most people are open to discussing the bonds and relationships they’ve developed all through cooking Oil Down with their neighbors and grandparents. I too, have very fond memories of cooking Oil Down with my mother and Grandmother, and I will cherish these memories as I plan on passing them on to my future children. In the end, it’s really all about families getting together to enjoy a delicious meal.

Jasmine Brown Rice with Organic Chicken pilaf

There are many variations of this dish, but this is the one I love! The spices make all the difference, so make sure your chicken or meat is well-seasoned. It’s simple and very easy to master!

Maggi is a staple in my kitchen because it makes everything better, from a simple sauce to soup, it adds a ton of flavor! Another hidden gem not featured is a green seasoning mixture that I’ve blended together and that gives a wonderful flavor to any dish. I blend a mixture of fresh thyme, celery, oregano, red and green sweet peppers, onions, garlic, basil, American and Italian parsley, cilantro and green onions, all together then add vinegar and water to dilute. Last but not least, saffron shreds-great color with many health benefits!

After eating red meat for most of my life, I’ve finally made the decision to cut it out of my diet and I’m very happy I did. Organic chicken and fish dominate my freezer and I couldn’t be more pleased because through this lifestyle change, I’m forced to be a bit more creative with my meals.

Now that I’ve shared the ingredients with you, let’s proceed with directions:

After washing your chicken with one part vinegar and one part water, season with spices: 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp paprika, 1 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp turmeric, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt and my favorite green seasoning (fresh thyme, celery, oregano, red and green sweet peppers, onions, garlic, basil, American and Italian parsley, cilantro and green onions). Let chicken sit for a while to soak up the seasonings. While you wait, add about 1 1/2 cups of water to a pot along with two Maggi cubes and let water boil. I also added a few shreds of saffron (not featured) to the water. When the pot starts bubbling, go ahead and add the seasoned chicken (you might need to add a bit more water to ensure that the chicken is all covered in mixture). Turn your burner down to its lowest level and let chicken slow cook. The time varies on how tender you want your chicken to be, so use your discretion. When chicken reaches your level of tenderness, add about 2 tbsp olive oil along with 2 cups of rice. Keep burner low, occasionally stir pot to keep rice from sticking and let your pilaf cook to perfection. Bon appetite!

Leave a comment to let me know all about your pilaf!