Caribbean Flavor: Fun Island Recipes09.20.12
This month, we want you to try something exotic at the dinner table. That’s why Cotton Candy food editor Chef Evelyn Paul is sharing her signature Caribbean style dishes to everyone looking to spice up things. Born in St. Lucia, West Indies, Chef Paul spent her youth on the exotic islands of the Caribbean before carving out her successful career as a private chef here in the United States. Now she’s divulging her seamless integration of striking island flavors and culture in these unique, healthy recipes.
Clams Steamed in Coconut Lime and Tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp coconut oil
½ cup white onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 plum tomatoes, chopped
14-oz unsweetened coconut milk
½ cup white wine
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp cilantro leaves, divided
4 green onions, thinly sliced and divided
1 habanero, finely chopped
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
3 lbs fresh Manila clams, scrubbed and rinsed thoroughly
Combine olive oil and coconut oil in a large heavy saucepan. Add onions and sauté until translucent, about two minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add tomatoes and continue to cook for five more minutes. Add coconut milk, white wine, 1/4 cup cilantro, 3 green onions, 1 habanero, 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice and bring to a boil. Add the clams. Cover and cook until the clams open, shaking the pot occasionally. Ladle the clams and broth into heated bowls and garnish each bowl with the remaining cilantro and scallions and serve.
Quail Braised with Rum Lemongrass and Ginger
8 quails, cleaned and trussed
3 tbsp olive oil, separated
2 celery stalks, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 stalks lemongrass, white only, crushed and minced
1 large thumb ginger, sliced
1/3 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves plus 1 tablespoon, divided
1 cup dark rum
1 cup chicken stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
(Click the photos below.)
Season the quails with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a Dutch oven, and brown the quails on all sides over medium-high heat. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Add the onion, celery, garlic, lemongrass and ginger. Sauté until fragrant, about two minutes. Add the quails back to the pan and pour the rum over them. Let the rum evaporate and then add the chicken stock. Add the 1/3 cup of cilantro and bring to boil. Once it is at a boil, reduce to a simmer and let cook for 30 minutes. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve hot.
Spiced Breadfruit Fries
*1 large breadfruit, cut in large matchsticks 1/4″ x 2″
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chile powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
Preheat oven to 425° F. Toss breadfruit and olive oil in a large bowl. Combine salt, cumin, chile powder, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl. Add spices to breadfruit and toss to coat. Arrange breadfruit in one layer on baking sheet. Bake in oven on lowest rack until undersides are browned, 12 to 15 minutes. Turn breadfruit with a spatula and bake 10 more minutes and serve hot.
*Breadfruit can be found at Caribbean food markets or international farmers markets
Mango Lime Tart
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
¼ tsp salt
8 tbsp cold butter, divided
3 tbsp (more as needed) ice water
Lime Pastry Cream:
1 cup whole milk
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tbsp unbleached flour
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp grated lime peel
1 tsp dark rum
2 medium ripe mangoes, peeled and thinly sliced
Equipment: You will need an oblong tart pan for this recipe
To prepare the crust:
In a food processor with knife blade attached, combine flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt. Pulse until the mixture is blended. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 1 tbsp of ice water at a time, pulsing until moist clumps form. Form dough into a ball and flatten it into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400° F. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface. Use to line the oblong tart tin, pressing it well into the base and up the sides. Lightly roll the pin over the top of the tin to remove the excess pastry. Refrigerate tart shell for 10 to 15 minutes to firm dough slightly before baking. Line tart shell with foil and fill with pie weights. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and weights, and bake about 15 minutes longer or until golden. Cover the rim of the tart with foil if it is browning too quickly. If center of crust puffs up during baking, gently press down with back of spoon. Cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes.
To prepare Lime Pastry Cream:
In a 2 quart saucepan, heat milk on medium until it is simmering. In a small bowl, whisk yolks and granulated sugar. Mix in flour until smooth. While constantly beating with wire whisk, slowly pour half of simmering milk into egg-yolk mixture. Pour egg-yolk mixture into remaining milk in saucepan and cook, whisking constantly to prevent lumping, until mixture boils and thickens, about 1 minute. Boil 1 minute while stirring. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in butter and lime peel and rum. Transfer pastry cream to small bowl. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming, and refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour.
Spoon lime pastry cream into baked tart shell and spread evenly. Arrange mango slices on top. Remove tart from side of pan. Place tart, still on the pan base, onto a serving plate. If not serving tart right away, cover and refrigerate up to 2 hours.
Watermelon Rum Sparkler
2 ½ cups watermelon chunks
2 tbsp lime juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
¼ cup agave nectar
2 ½ cups seltzer, chilled
2 oz white rum
Using a blender, pulse the watermelon until smooth. Push it through a fine-mesh sieve. You should have at least 1 1/4 cups of watermelon juice. If not, repeat with more watermelon.
In a pitcher, combine watermelon juice, lime juice, lemon juice, and agave nectar and stir. Refrigerate until chilled. Pour the watermelon and rum mixture into a tall highball glass filled with ice. Stir to combine.
Yield: Makes about 4 ½ cups.