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Im Dreaming of a White Caribbean Cooking Christmas

That’s it—dreaming as I cruise the warm Caribbean. Bring out the Christmas decorations and prepare lots of wonderful food to fit the occasion. Scatter Christmas cheer around the boat with simple and beautiful decorations. For fragrance, insert whole cloves in decorative patterns in oranges, lemons and limes, and place in an attractive bowl.

Please send me your suggestions of what you would like me to write about and send any special easy recipes that you may like to share to Jan@allatsea.net. Happy holidays—and happy cooking! Jan

WINTER CARIBBEAN COCKTAIL

Preparation time: two minutes
Serves: one

1-1/2 oz vodka
1-1/2 oz cranberry juice
1-1/2 oz strawberry margarita mix

Place ice in highball glass. Pour the shot of vodka over the ice first, then add the juices simultaneously. Garnish with a lime wedge.

CHRISTMAS TREE SHOT OR SLAMMER

Preparation time: two minutes
Serves: one

1/3 oz Crème de Menthe
1/3 oz Grenadine
1/3 oz Irish Cream

Layer in a shot glass: Crème de Menthe first, then use a spoon to pour in Grenadine, and back of spoon to pour in Irish Cream. Do not mix, just drink. Merry Christmas!

CLASSIC BAKED BRIE

Preparation time: five minutes
Cooking time: two minutes
Microwave: 10 seconds
Serves: four to six

1/2 Brie cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter
1 cup almonds, sliced
1 loaf hot crusty French bread

In a small saucepan, place butter and almonds. Melt butter and heat until butter is frothy, Place Brie on microwave-safe serving platter and “nuke” 10 seconds until soft to the touch. Do not melt. Pour butter and almonds over. Serve with hot bread and plenty of paper napkins. This is delicious and messy.

SWORDFISH CARIBBEAN STYLE

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Marinating time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Serves: four

4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1-1/2 lbs fresh swordfish, cut into chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
1-1/2 cup dry white wine
1 (19 oz) can fava beans (broad beans), drained
1 bunch fresh parsley chopped

In a medium bowl mix together 2 Tbsp of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the fish and stir to coat. Marinate for 15 minutes. Remove fish and pat dry.

In a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onion until golden, then add fish. Brown the chunks of fish on all sides, remove from pan and set aside on a warm dish. Gradually stir in the white wine and add fava (broad) beans, stir and warm through. Add fish back to pan, sprinkle with fresh parsley, cover and simmer for a couple of minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.

ROCKET AND PARMESAN COUSCOUS SALAD
         
Preparation time: two minutes
Cooking time: about four minutes
Serves: four

1 cup couscous
2 cups (16 oz) chicken or vegetable stock, boiling
2 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Cracked black pepper
1/2 lb rocket (arugula) leaves, trimmed
4 ripened tomatoes, sliced
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Place the couscous in a bowl and pour over the boiling stock. Top with butter, cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand for 4 minutes or until stock has been absorbed. Stir the couscous with a fork and then stir in the parmesan and lots of cracked black pepper. Place the couscous on plates, top with arugula and tomatoes, and sprinkle with the balsamic vinegar.

SAILING CRÈME BRULEE
         
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves: six

1 quart heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1 cup vanilla sugar divided
6 large egg yolks, room temperature
2 quarts hot water
Garnish optional: vanilla bean, chocolate sail and scoops of ice cream

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Place the cream, vanilla bean and its pulp into a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean and reserve for another use.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and it just starts to lighten in color. Add the cream a little at a time, stirring continually. Pour the liquid into six (7 to 8-ounce) ramekins. Place the ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the creme brulee is set, but still trembling in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the ramekins from the roasting pan and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to three days.

Remove the creme brulee from the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes prior to browning the sugar on top. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup vanilla sugar equally among the six dishes and spread evenly on top. Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top. Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least five minutes before serving. Garnish

Note: If no blow torch is available, place dish under broiler until sugar melts, about two minutes. Watch carefully so that it does not burn.

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