Monday, April 9, 2018


Well, we made it through another week. We survived Easter, and a bunch of other stupid snow this week, too. Doesn’t the weather know it’s spring? It can really stop with the snow already. Oh, and there’s snow predicted for tonight and tomorrow night. Lame. 

If it's roughly the same color as goat, does it count?

One thing that’ll warm me up is Caribbean food from Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. I mixed things up a little bit by making the bread last this time. Today I started with Curried Goat, except I used stew beef because I couldn’t find goat or lamb. I seasoned my meat with a couple cloves of garlic, some salt, a little red wine vinegar, and a little bit of hot sauce (I used a Mexican hot sauce). I let it marinate for about an hour. Then I heated some oil in a skillet and stirred in my garam masala (in lieu of curry powder because I forgot I used the last of mine a while back). After it became fragrant, I added in my meat and browned it. When the meat was browned, I added in some diced onions, some ketchup, a little red wine (I used merlot), a little grated ginger and turmeric, and a few tablespoons of a coconut curry sauce (instead of the curry powder and chutney). I let this simmer for about 5-10 minutes until the sauce began to thicken, and I served this on rice. I thought this was fantastic. The kids didn’t like it as much, but it was really great. Even though I used beef, I bet it would be great with lamb.

My favorite kind of boat -- one filled with tasty food.
The next thing I made was a dish called Stuffed Sweet Potatoes. I scrubbed the potatoes and coated them with oil before putting them in a 400ºF oven for an hour and a half. When they were done, I cut them in half long ways and scraped out the middle and put it in a bowl. In a skillet, I fried up four pieces of bacon along with some diced onion and some diced ham. I also added in 1 Tbsp of butter, a little bit of frozen corn and some salt and pepper. Once I stirred everything up, I took it off the heat and added to my bowl of sweet potato guts. I mixed everything well and scooped it back into the sweet potato shells. Then I put it in the oven for another 10 minutes or so. This was so, so good. It reminded me of a dish I had when we lived in Chicago. I would definitely make this again. 

I'm glad I made two of these. One to share, and one all for me.
I found this version of Stuffed Cucumbers that I don’t think I had made before. I took 4 oz of cream cheese and mixed it with 2 oz of grated Colby jack. I added in a little bit of minced onion and a touch of pepper. Then I cut the ends of my cucumbers off and scooped out the middle. I took the cream cheese mixture and used my fingers to help lay it down the middle. When both sides were done, I put them together and wrapped them in plastic wrap. I kept it chilled in the fridge until it was time to eat. To serve this, I cut them in slices like sushi, although it was a little harder to eat that way. However, I really liked this. I’ll jus have to figure out a better way to cut them, but that’s neither here nor there.

Perhaps I should've taken a picture of it cut open. You can barely see the bloody coconut. Well, it's the same color.
And finally, I made Red Belly Bread. It’s getting harder to find recipes that aren’t too similar to something I’ve already made. I started out proofing my yeast by combining 1 package of yeast with 1 tsp of sugar and pouring in ½ c of warm water, letting it sit for about 10-15 minutes. In the meantime, I scalded 1 c of milk. Then I turned off the heat and added in ¼ c of sugar, 2 tsp of salt, and 1 ½ Tbsp of shortening, stirring until everything was melted. In a large bowl, I mixed my milk mixture with my yeast mixture and added in 5 c of flour. I added about ¾ c of water to it, working it to make a smooth dough. I turned it out on my pastry mat and had to use a little more flour to get it to that point. But then I covered it with a napkin and let it rest for an hour. While it was resting, I made the filling by mixing together 2 c of sugar, 4 c of water, 2 c of shredded coconut, and enough red food coloring to make it red. I let this boil until the water had all evaporated. After this, I kneaded it for a couple of minutes before dividing it into 8 balls (the recipe calls for 4, but I made smaller ones). Rolling out each ball so that it’s about a ¼” thick, I spread my coconut mixture in the middle and rolled it up. I thought I made sure my seams were pressed and sides tucked under, but apparently not. Some of them leaked out and looked like it bled all over my baking sheet. And the candied coconut was hella hard to clean up since it quickly became concrete. I put it in a 350ºF oven for 40 minutes. These were actually kind of good. Definitely sweet, but some of the coconut mixture got really hard and clumpy, and I could tell when I didn’t break it up before rolling the dough. I think they’d be good with some strong coffee.

Overall, I'd say it was pretty good. I probably annoyed my coworkers by bringing in curry for lunch, though.
The last three countries I’ve done have been from the Caribbean (St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines). While there are a few Caribbean countries I’ve yet to cover, I feel like I just want to start in Cuba and just island hop my way all the way to the southernmost island. I don’t think that plan will happen any time soon. But maybe one day. And I definitely wouldn’t need to worry about snow.

Up next: Samoa

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