Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Smoked Paprika Mango-Jicama Salad

This is a simple and fresh summer salad, using a few of my favorite ingredients. It's super easy to put together and very flavorful. What makes this salad so delicious is the use of the smoked paprika. Smoked paprika is used a lot in Spain and it really is a whole different flavor profile than regular paprika. It has a smoky, charcoal like aroma. It adds an almost grilled flavor to the food its added to. Please go on a treasure hunt and search for smoked paprika in your city and I promise you it will be well worth the effort.

Mango-Jicama Salad
Serves 4
  • 1 mango, very small dice
  • 1/2 small jicama, very small dice (about 9 oz.)
  • 1 stalk celery, very small dice
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Combine mango, jicama, celery, cilantro and paprika in a large bowl. Mix well.

In a small bowl, combine salt, honey, lemon juice and vinegar. Whisk. While whisking continuously, slowly add the olive oil and then the sesame oil.

Pour dressing into the large bowl and stir to combine.
Serve on its own as a healthy snack or as a first course appetizer.

You can also use scoop chips (I used corn chips, but tortilla chips can also be purchased in the scoop shape) and fill them with this salad to make the perfect party food snack.

...linking to Souper Sundays & Hearth & Soul

Chef Mireille

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Chicken Lokri

Sint Maarten - St. Martin is a unique Caribbean island under two different governments. One side of the island is Dutch and the other side is French. There is a lot of European influence on the island and there are many German and Italian restaurants, in addition to the local French creole cuisine that is so popular (similar to the cuisine of Dominica or Guadeloupe).

There is only one cookbook ever published on the unique fusion cuisine of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, which comprises the Dutch Caribbean. It was first published the year I was born. It is out of print and took a lot of research for me to acquire it and was so excited when I did to learn more about the extended Dutch Caribbean and not just Aruba and Suriname, where my Mom's family is from. The cookbook is called Asina Nos Ta Cushina - This is the Way We Cook in Papiamento, the local fusion language we speak in Aruba & Curacao, a mixture of English, Spanish, Dutch, French and Portuguese. It includes recipes from Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, Saba, Sint Eustatius & Sint Maarten. I've had to guard this cookbook fervently whenever my extended family comes to visit to safeguard the book finding its way into one of my aunts' pocketbooks.

This is a special dish from the Dutch side of Sint Maarten, served at holidays and special occasions.

Chicken Lokri
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs (about 22 oz.), cut into bite size pieces
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 head small cabbage, chopped
  • a few dashes of hot sauce
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large pot and brown chicken pieces. Add sugar and tomato paste. Continue to cook on high heat for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Add celery, tomatoes, garlic, onion, Worcestershire and thyme. Add 1/4 cup of the water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
Add remaining water and salt. Bring to a boil.
Add rice. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until rice is cooked through.
Meanwhile, heat remaining butter in a skillet and saute cabbage for about 3-4 minutes, until softened.

Add cabbage and a few dashes of hot sauce to the rice and stir to combine.

This is similar to the Pelau common on British islands, except for the use of Worcestershire is something unique in this version.

This is the perfect one pot dish and would be served with fried plantain - our all meal accompaniment - in the Caribbean.
Sint Maarten, Saint Martin

Until you make it to the beautiful Caribbean island of Sint Maarten, you can at least enjoy your lunch - Sint Maarten style!

This meal can be easily adapted by Vegetarians by simply replacing the chicken with soy chunks.

This post is for the CC Challenge of the month

Chef Mireille

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Celeriac Parsnip Soup

Both celeriac and parsnip are used a lot in European cuisine, but non existent in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. Even here in America, they are under used. Parsnips are a little more common than celery root/celeriac, which I usually have to go to an Eastern European market to find unless I want to pay the ridiculous prices at Whole Foods or other gourmet chains like Food Emporium. I'm lucky to have a large European market just 15 minutes from my house.

I like both of these vegetables a lot. If you grate celery root, you can make a delicious slaw with it, as long as you have a dressing that has some vinegar in it to soften it. It also makes a great mash when combined with potatoes.
Parsnip puree is absolutely delicious. Just boil until very soft and puree. Virtually no additional seasoning will be necessary because of the natural sweetness.

Here is a delicious soup with these two under used vegetables.

Celeriac Parsnip Soup
Serves 8
  • 1 pound celeriac/celery root (weight after peeling), chopped
  • 1 1/4 pounds parsnip, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 6 1/2 cups water
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
Heat oil. Add onion, garlic and ginger. Saute for a few minutes until softened.
Add celeriac, parsnip and 6 cups of the water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a high simmer and cook for 30 minutes, until vegetables are cooked through. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, puree well.
Return to heat and add coconut milk, remaining water and the rest of the ingredients. Cook for another 5 minutes on low heat.

Serve warm.

...linking to Souper Sunday

Chef Mireille

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