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Caribbean Cooking to Reach the Heart Via the Stomach

Pave your way to your lover’s heart via the stomach. Enjoy a romantic Valentine’s Day evening with an intimate affair—music, flowers, wine, chocolate, candlelight, and a delicious, sensuous, dinner. Want to heat up things earlier? Invite your “someone special” into the galley, pour a glass of champagne and have fun creating the menu together.

BROILED OYSTERS ON THE HALF SHELL
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 2 minutes
Serves: 2

12 fresh oysters, in shell
Freshly ground sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 lemons cut in quarters
Melted butter (optional)

When you buy oysters in the shells, make sure they are tightly closed. Wash off the outside of the shells and dry them. Open and remove the upper shell, lay them on a broiler and broil over a clear, hot fire, or under a gas flame. As soon as done, put small bits of butter on each one, dust with a little salt and pepper, and serve in the shells with quarters of lemon.

To broil without opening: Wash the shells, lay them on a broiler, and put them directly on a bed of hot coals. As soon as the shells pop open* they are done. Serve with melted butter and lemon juice. Note: throw away shells that do NOT pop open when cooking. 

LAMB FOR LOVERS
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 7 minutes
Serves: 2

1 (7 bone) rack of lamb, trimmed, fat reserved
2 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
2 Tbsp olive oil
Mint Sauce (a good brand is Crosse & Blackwell)

Preheat oven to 450ºF. (230ºC). Place a cast iron or oven-proof skillet in the oven, and preheat. Rub lamb with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic. Coat with panko breadcrumbs. Carefully remove the heated skillet from the oven, warm 2 Tbsp olive oil in the skillet, and sear lamb on both sides, 2 minutes. Return the skillet with the lamb to the preheated oven, and continue cooking 5 minutes, for medium-rare. Serve with mint sauce.

OVEN ROASTED RED POTATOES
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves: 2

1/2 pounds small new red potatoes (about 8), scrubbed and dried
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Pare a narrow strip of peel from the middle of each potato. In a large bowl mix the oil, garlic and rosemary; add the potatoes and toss well. Transfer the potatoes to a shallow baking pan and roast until potatoes are tender when tested with the tip of a knife. Serve hot. Hint: These can also be chilled and served with fried chicken or ham.

GREEN BEANS AMANDINE
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: 2

1/2 lb. fresh green beans
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp sliced almonds,
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper

Trim beans and rinse. In heavy saucepan, place green beans in cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes until crisp tender. Drain well and set beans aside. (You can also use frozen green beans cooked according to package directions.) Melt butter and olive oil in saucepan and add garlic and almonds. Cook, stirring constantly, until almonds begin to brown. Add beans along with lemon juice, salt, and pepper and toss gently to coat.

 

HOT ICE CREAM WITH STRAWBERRIES
FLAMBEED IN VODKA
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Chilling time: 1-1/2 hours
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Ingredients

2 large scoops vanilla ice cream, softened
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup white sugar
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
2 fluid ounces vodka
  
Stir together the vanilla ice cream and hot pepper sauce in a medium bowl. Place in the freezer until firm. Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Stir in the sugar until dissolved, then add the strawberries. Cook, stirring occasionally until the strawberries are hot. Pour the vodka over the berries, and carefully light with a match. Let the flames burn off, then remove the pan from the heat.
Scoop the hot ice cream into two bowls, then divide the strawberry vodka sauce between them. Serve immediately.

 

Capt. Jan Robinson holds certificates from the Culinary Institute of America, The Ritz Cooking School, and the Cordon Bleu. Her Ship to Shore Cookbook Collection is available at your local marine or bookstore. Or visit www.shiptoshoreINC.com, email CapJan@aol.com or call 1-800-338-6072 and mention All at Sea to receive a discount.

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