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Caribbean Cooking: Eat Drink and Be Merry

December is a special month for hospitality. It is a time to welcome family and friends and share the delicious food and drink of the holiday season. Decorate your boat. Go boat-to-boat caroling, admiring the lights and décor of the other boats. Then enjoy the following meal, which is tasty and time saving for serving aboard.

MENU:
PARSNIP, POTATO AND LEEK SOUP
HAM WITH COCONUT RUM SAUCE
CORN PUDDING
SPINACH & ARTICHOKE CASSEROLE
RUBY BANANAS
EGG NOG OF THE YEAR

PARSNIP, POTATO AND LEEK SOUP

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 8

2 large parsnips
1 large russet potato
2 medium leeks
5-1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 cup whipping cream
Salt and white pepper, to taste

Shred parsnips and potato. Slice leeks. Reserve 1 cup green leek slices for garnish. Place vegetables into a large saucepan; add broth, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Strain mixture, reserving liquid. Purée vegetables until smooth, slowly adding liquid. Add whipping cream. Serve hot or cold.

HAM WITH COCONUT RUM SAUCE

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes (Microwave)
Serves: 8

Cooked ham, sliced
Fruit for garnish – chopped pineapple, dried apricots and prunes

Coconut, Rum Sauce:
1/2 cup cream of coconut (Coco Lopez)
1/4 cup dark rum
1/4 cup mango chutney or apricot jam

Arrange overlapping slices of ham in 9 x 13 glass dish. Garnish with fruit. Prepare Coconut, Rum Sauce by combining cream of coconut, rum and chutney in small skillet and stirring while heating. Use a portion of sauce to baste ham. Reserve rest to serve warm in a small pitcher with a ladle. Cover and microwave the ham about 10 minutes, or until heated thoroughly.

CORN PUDDING

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serve: 6-8

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

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

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

SPINACH & ARTICHOKE CASSEROLE

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time 25 minutes (microwave 10 minutes)
Serves
: 8

2 pkgs (10 oz.) chopped spinach
1 can artichokes, hearts or bottoms
1/2 cup butter or liquid margarine
1 pkg (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 Tblsp. lemon juice
Cracker crumbs
Butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease casserole dish. Cook spinach and artichoke briefly; drain well. Chop artichoke and place in bottom of casserole. Combine spinach with cream cheese and lemon juice, blending well. Spread spinach mixture over artichoke layer. Top with cracker crumbs, dot with butter and bake for about 25 minutes or microwave about 10 minutes.

RUBY BANANAS

Preparation: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Serves:  6-8

8-10  bananas
1 can (16 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
Lemon juice
Cinnamon
Sweetened whipped cream

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Choose a shallow, oven-to-table dish. Slice bananas lengthwise and cross-wise. Arrange in the dish in a single layer, if possible. Sprinkle with lemon juice. In a separate bowl, mash the cranberry sauce, then spread evenly over the bananas. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Heat through in oven  about 15 minutes.
Serve topped with whipped cream. The contrast between sweet and tart, hot and cold, makes this dessert outstanding.

EGG NOG OF THE YEAR

Preparation: 10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Serves: 6 – 12

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

Lightly beat egg yolks with cinnamon, vanilla, salt and 1 can evaporated milk. When well mixed, add the other can of evaporated milk, cream of coconut, condensed milk and the 1/2 bottle of rum. Pour into a large jar with an airtight lid. Put in refrigerator; the longer it chills the better it gets. Serve straight up, in a chilled glass, sprinkle with a little cinnamon.  Tastes delicious; Merry Christmas!

Editor’s Note:  Capt. Jan Robinson is author of the Ship to Shore Cookbook Collection. She holds certificates from the Culinary Institute of America, The Ritz Cooking School, and the Cordon Bleu. Available at your local marine or bookstore or website  www.shiptoshoreINC.com or email CapJan@aol.com or call 1-800-338-6072. Mention All At Sea to receive your special discount.

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