Home » Eat » Caribbean Cooking: Happy Valentine’s Day

Caribbean Cooking: Happy Valentine’s Day

"It is better to love and lose
than not love at all."

The most famous, wonderful, magical aphrodisiac, is still chocolate and Valentine’s Day would not be complete without a great finale.

Oysters are also known for being an aphrodisiac and are often part of the fare for Valentine’s Day. Oyster lovers usually prefer them raw. Cooked oysters have only become popular in the last few years.

How to buy oysters:

When purchasing oysters live in their shells, look for ones tightly closed.  If they are open, tap them and they should quickly close.  If they don’t, pass them up.  You can keep oysters for seven to ten days in the refrigerator.  Large oysters  have a strong flavor, while the smaller ones have a mild flavor. 

Freshly shucked oysters should be plump and have a natural creamy color and clear liquid.  Plump oyster meat is a sign of good quality.  They are available in pints, quarts, and gallons.  Frozen oysters can be purchased and kept for up to two months in the freezer.  It is not recommended that you freeze them at home; packers have “quick freeze” facilities, which are not available with a home freezer.

MENU

“Apple of My Eye”
Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

Valentine Goddess

Scalloped Oysters

Romeo and Juliet Brownies

Chocolate Fudge

“APPLE OF MY EYE”
CINNAMON RAISIN FRENCH TOAST

Preparation time:  10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

4 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup rum
2 Tblsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch salt
8 slices cinnamon raisin bread
4 Tblsp. butter
1 Tblsp. brown sugar
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced

Mix eggs, milk, rum, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt. Pour into a flat dish. Add bread and soak until egg mixture is absorbed, about 5 minutes each side.

Meanwhile, melt 2 Tblsp. butter in a heavy small skillet over medium heat. Add sugar and sliced apples. Sauté until tender, about 5 – 8 minutes. Keep warm.

Heat another heavy skillet and melt butter over medium heat. Add bread and cook until golden brown and puffy, turning once, about 3 minutes each side. Transfer to warm plates and spoon sautéed apples on top. Serve.

VALENTINE GODDESS

Preparation time:  2 minutes
Serves: 2

Ice
Midori (or other melon liqueur)
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1 oz. Rose’s lime juice
Triple Sec, Cointreau, or other orange liqueur

Mix all ingredients in a blender and serve in an attractive stemmed glass.

SCALLOPED  OYSTERS

Preparation time: 15 minutes           
Cooking time: 30 minutes     
Serves: 4

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/2 to 1 cup cracker crumbs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 pint raw oysters    
2 Tblsp. oyster liquid    
2 Tblsp. milk or cream         
2 Tblsp. sherry    
Salt and pepper
Garnish:  paprika

Preheat  oven to 400º F.  Mix crumbs and melted butter.  Put a third on bottom of oven proof shallow casserole dish.  Cover with half of the oysters and half of all liquids and spices.  Repeat.  Cover top with the remaining third of crumb mixture.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Bake  for 30 minutes.

ROMEO AND JULIET BROWNIES

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Unsalted butter for baking pan
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 Tblsp. unsalted butter
6 Tblsp. sugar
1 egg beaten slightly
1 tsp. orange zest
1/2 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. Cointreau
1/2 cup heavy cream

Heat oven to 350ºF. Line bottom of 8-inch square baking pan with foil. Butter foil and sides of baking pan. Melt chocolate and 4 Tblsp. butter in small saucepan. Cool 2 minutes. Stir in sugar till blended. Stir in egg, orange zest and vanilla. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Blend into chocolate mixture. Scrape into prepared pan. Bake until edges of brownies pull away from sides of pan, about 18 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Invert pan and peel off foil. Divide brownies into 4 equal squares. Pour over 1/2 tsp. Cointreau. At serving time, beat heavy cream until soft peaks form. Top each brownie with a spoonful of whipped cream.

CHOCOLATE  FUDGE

Preparation time: 15 minutes           
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 30 minutes    
Makes: 36

1 lb. 2 oz. chocolate (dark cooking chocolate, or White Milk)
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla essence
Pecan or walnut halves
Maraschino cherries

Break up the chocolate if using a block of chocolate. Heat the condensed milk with the broken chocolate, over low heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate has melted and the two are well blended.

If you do not have a heavy, flat-bottomed pot, stand a lighter pot in a bigger pan of water, and heat this, or combine the chocolate and milk in a bowl resting over the top of a pot half filled with water.

Add the vanilla and turn into a tin about (8-inch) square, lined with baking paper or a non-stick liner. Leave until firm then cut into 36 squares and top each piece with a perfect pecan or walnut half, maraschino cherry, or any other suitable garnish that suits you.

Cover and store in a refrigerator or cool place, for up to one week.

Small plastic bags tied with pretty red ribbons and a few flowers make attractive, inexpensive gift packs, too. Thoughtful or unusual packaging will turn your chocolate fudge into a very special gift.

Note: This recipe is very simple!

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.

Check Also

healthy food

THE DISH: Easy, Healthy Food

People think cooking healthy food takes a lot of time, looks too complicated, and they …

Leave a Reply

PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com