Thursday, August 30, 2012

Zucchini Cakes

Zucchini cakes are very light and has a slight taste to crab cakes without the crab meat, its perfect for a meatless weeknight dinner of served on the side of a salad. 

 2 ½ cups grated zucchini
 1 egg, beaten
 2 tablespoons butter, melted
 ¾ cup bread crumbs
 ¼ cup minced onion
 1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper corns
1 teaspoon pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
 ¼ cup all-purpose flour (for dredging)
 ½ cup vegetable oil for frying

  1. Peel and Prep zucchini, using a grater or food processor
  2. To get rid of the excess water, I squeezed the zucchini in batches through a cheese cloth (if you don’t have a cheese cloth, any clean piece of fabric can be used to get the water out.
  3. In a large bowl, combine, egg, melted butter or margarine, all seasonings, minced onion and mix well
  4. Add in zucchini and breadcrumbs and combine thoroughly
  5. Shape mixture into patties and dredge in flour
  6. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat until hot.
  7. Fry patties in oil until golden brown on both sides.
  8. Remove and place on paper towels to drain
Serve with your favorite sauce

**Heath wise:
I scaled the recipe down abit, I omitted dredging the patties with flour, only added ¼ cup of wholewheat breadcrumbs , 1 tablespoon of smart butter and used a coconut spray to grease my frying pan instead of frying n oil.  Either way both versions taste amazing J
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Guava Pastry (Pastelitos de Guayaba)

1 Pkg. Pepperidge Farm Pastry Sheets
1 can Goya Guava Paste
1 Egg
Preheat oven at 425 degrees F.
 Pastry Prep:
1.       Remove Pastry sheets from freezer.
2.       Remove them from the bags and let it thaw for 20 or 30 minutes.
3.       (Shouldn’t be totally thawed, should be good to handle but on the cold side)
4.       Layer a cookie sheet with parchment paper (easy clean up and no guava sticking)
5.       Place one of the pastry sheets flat on the parchment lined cookie tray
 Guava Prep: (hot guava can cause severe burns, please use caution when doing this step)
1.       Cut the guava in two and place only a half in a microwave safe container
2.       Add 3 tablespoon of water and microwave on high 1 minute at a time until soft
3.       Remove from microwave and mix thoroughly to slightly thin the mixture to a spreadable consistency. (You will have to move quickly or guava will get cold and harden again)
Putting Together:
1.       Spread guava puree on pastry sheet
2.       Once the entire sheet is covered with guava puree, carefully layer another pastry sheet on top to make a sandwich
3.       Using a pizza cutter or knife, cut up the entire pastry sheet into small squares, the sheet is already divided in 3 sections; you can cut the 3 columns lengthwise and then 4 or 5 rows across
4.       At this point guava should already be cooled enough to handle, make sure to add alil bit of space in between each square.
Note: I used a fork to slightly crimp the edges (optional)
5.       Make an egg wash by beating the egg with 2 tablespoons of water
6.       Lightly brush each pastry square with egg wash.
7.       Bake at 425 degrees F for 10 - 15 minutes, or until they begin to brown.
8.       Remove and let cool for about 20 minutes. 
They will be puffy and oh so Yumm!

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Friday, August 24, 2012

Ensalada de Pulpo (Octopus Salad)


1 small Octopus
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼  teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon adobo seasoning
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
½ chopped onion (red can be used)
½  chopped green bell pepper
½ chopped red bell pepper
1 medium diced tomato
8-12 sliced olives (calamata & Spanish)
1 tablespoons each of chopped fresh parsley & cilantro


Note: I picked up this little tip along the way (if you put a cork in the pot with the octopus it will help with tenderizing, crazy but it works)


1.       Rinse the octopus, place in a large pot and cover with cold water.

2.       Add salt (and a cork if you like) and simmer for 45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. Drain in a colander.

3.       With the octopus still warm, under running water, rub the dark skin off the tentacles and discard along with the gut and beak.

4.       When cleaned, cut into largish pieces

5.       Place in a bowl and in olive oil and the rest of the ingredients

6.       Top with parsley and cilantro, then toss to combine.

7.       Cover and refrigerate for couple hour to chill or even overnight



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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Salted Mackerel (Jamaican Style)



2 cup water
2 lbs pickled boneless mackerel
1 large onion, chopped
3 stalks scallion, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon Black pepper
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 level teaspoon dried time leaves
1 Scotch Bonnet pepper (keep whole to get the best flavor, then remove after cooking or use a third of a pepper chopped finely without the seeds)  OPTIONAL


Soak the mackerel in water overnight to remove the salt.
If the mackerel is still very salty, boil in a pot of water for about 20 minutes.
Drain the mackerel and cut it into small pieces.
Heat 3 tablespoon of oil in a skillet on medium heat
Add the onion, garlic, and let cook for a few minutes
Add tomatoes, scallion, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme and stir letting it simmer for 3 minutes
Add in the mackerel pieces, black pepper and paprika
Toss to combine with other ingredients
Lower the heat and simmer for 10 more minutes.

Best served with boiled green bananas, yam, cassava, sweet potatoes and cassava or just dumplings.
(perfect saturday morning breakfast)
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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Feta & Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast

3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoon lemon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
A sprinkle of sazon (for color on top)
1 ounce feta cheese
 2 cup Frozen Spinach (thawed)
1 teaspoon black pepper
Dash of pepper flakes
2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon all-purpose seasoning
1 teaspoon of salt
Non stick cooking spray
1.       Using a nonstick spray; evenly coat a skillet and place on medium heat.

2.       Add thawed spinach, black pepper, paprika, pepper flakes, minced garlic and salt, cover and let it cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, turn off stove and in feta cheese, toss and remove skillet from heat and let cool down enough to handle

3.       Wash and dry chicken and trim off any fat. Lay one of the chicken breast at the edge of a cutting board. Cut a horizontal pocket in the breast, splitting it open, taking care not to pierce through it too much. Do this with all 3 pieces.

4.       Add all the seasoning in a small container and mix thoroughly.

5.       Sprinkle chicken on both sides with the seasoning mix

6.       Place enough of the spinach and cheese mixture unto the chicken and carefully roll it up, lay it seem side down in a glass or ceramic baking dish coated with nonstick spray, cover with aluminum foil.

7.       Preheat oven to 370 degrees.

8.       Place baking dish in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until desired doneness

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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tofu and Bean Sprout Ginger Stir-fry


1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
1/4 cup ginger dressing
1 block firm or extra-firm tofu, well pressed and cut into 1 inch cubes
Non stick spray
1 teaspoon pepper flakes
1 bunch broccoli, chopped (Frozen or fresh)
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup snow peas
1 onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, any color, sliced
3 green onions (scallions), sliced

1.       In a large shallow bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, lemon juice and ginger.
2.       Marinade the tofu cubes in this sauce for at least 30 minutes to one hour.
3.       Spray Wok or large skillet with nonstick cooking spray.
4.       On Med to high heat, cook tofu to a slight crisp stirring quickly and frequently, then remove from pan
5.       Add broccoli, onion and bell pepper, to the pan, stirring frequently.
6.       Add bean sprouts, ginger dressing and pepper flakes
7.       Add the snow peas, green onions and extra marinade from the tofu.
8.       Add in cooked tofu and allow to cook for just a few more minutes.
9.       Make sure the vegetables are tender but not soft.
10.   Remove from heat and serve with slices of avocado (avocado optional)

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