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Caribbean Cooking: A Special Christmas Meal

The finest holiday meals are enjoyed with family and friends. Begin with a bottle of wine that you have been saving for a special occasion or a delicious eggnog. Set a beautiful table, whether on a boat or at home. Relax and enjoy!

PONCHE COQUITO

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Chilling time: the longer, the better

Serves: Many

6 egg yolks
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
2 cans evaporated milk
2 cans Coco Lopez (cream of coconut)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 bottle white rum

Lightly beat egg yolks with cinnamon, vanilla, salt, and 1 can evaporated milk. When well mixed add the other can of evaporated milk, Coco Lopez, condensed milk, and the 1/2 bottle of run. Pour into a large jar with an airtight lid. Place in the refrigerator. The longer it chills. The better it gets. Serve straight in a chilled glass.

Note: Tastes like an eggnog, only better

GOAT CHEESE BRUSCHETTAS

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 2 minutes

Serves: 4-6

1 baguette sliced or toast rounds
1 cup Basil or tomato pesto
3/4 cup (6 oz.) goat cheese
1 small jar of pimentos, sliced
Garnish: 1/2 lb seedless grapes
1 apple, cored and sliced

Toast baguette slices until lightly browned. Spread with pesto, crumble on goat cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is slightly browned. Top with pimento slices for color. Serve with grapes and apple slices.

AVOCADO ORANGE SALAD WITH ORANGE VINAIGRETTE

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4-6

4 oranges

ORANGE VINAIGRETTE:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. cumin, ground
1/4 tsp. Tabasco

2 ripe avocados
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 (16 oz) bag of mixed baby greens
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Grate zest from one orange and set aside. Cut peel from oranges (over a bowl to catch juice, save for dressing). Slice orange into rounds.  Combine vinaigrette ingredients in a jar and shake well. Peel and cut avocados into sections and sprinkle with lemon juice. Arrange greens on plates and top with avocado slices, orange rounds, red onion, and almonds. Drizzle with vinaigrette.

Recipe from Chef Frances Johns

PORK CHOPS WITH COCONUT RUM SAUCE

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4

4 (1-1/2 inch thick) pork chops
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup peanut oil
4 Tbsp. butter

COCONUT AND RUM SAUCE

1/4 cup Cream of Coconut (canned)
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup mango chutney (or substitute cran-orange relish or apricot preserves.

Garnish: Chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Heat skillet to medium high heat. Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Add peanut oil and butter to skillet and sear pork chops until golden brown on both sides (about 5 minutes). Transfer pork chops from skillet to baking dish and put in oven for 10 minutes, or until done to your likeness.  In a small skillet, combine cream of coconut, rum, and chutney, stirring constantly while heating.  Pour over pork chops. Garnish and serve.

EASY CORN PUDDING

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 6

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup Wondra flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste
2 cups milk
1 can cream style corn
1 can whole kernel corn, drained and rinsed
3 eggs, separated

Preheat oven to 350ºF. In a saucepan over low heat melt butter, add flour, and stir until smooth. Add sugar, salt, and pepper. Add milk slowly, stirring all the time, to make a white sauce. Stir in both cans of corn then egg yolks. Beat egg whites until stiff, and fold into mixture. Pour into a shallow 9 x 13-inch pan and bake for an hour. Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes before serving.

SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE CASSEROLE

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes (or microwave 10 minutes)

Serves: 6

2 ( 10 oz.) pkgs. frozen spinach
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese, softened
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 can artichokes (hearts or bottoms), drained and chopped
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
Progresso bread crumbs or cracker crumbs
Butter

Preheat oven to 35ºF. Cook spinach according to package instructions. Stir butter and cream cheese into hot spinach. Place mixture into 1-1/2-quart casserole; season to taste. Add artichokes and lemon juice; mix in.  Top with bread or cracker crumbs. Dot with butter. Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Recipe from Chef Ann Glenn on Encore

CHERRY CHOCOLATE LUNACY

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Serves: 8-10

1 (22.5 oz) pkg brownie mix, baked, cooled, and crumbled
1/2 cup Amaretto
1 (3.9 oz) pkg chocolate pudding mix, prepared
1/2 cup caramel sauce, warmed
1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter, warmed
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
1 (8 oz) tub cool whip

Garnish:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup shredded toasted coconut

In a trifle bowl place 1/2 crumbled brownie mix. Drizzle ½ cup amaretto over mixture. Layer 1/2 prepared chocolate pudding mix. Combine the caramel sauce with the peanut butter, mix well. Layer over the pudding mix. Layer 1/2 of cherry pie filling and top with 1/2 the cool whip. Repeat layers (except caramel/peanut butter layer).  Garnish.

Note: This recipe is from Chef Shelly Tucker on Yacht Three Moons.

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