Jerk Roasted Vegetables with Black Beans, Cilantro Rice, and Caramelized Plantains by cook to love


Jerk Roasted Vegetables with Black Beans, Cilantro Rice, and Caramelized Plantains by cook to love

The jerk seasoning on the vegetables smelted so good just making it.  I couldn’t wait to see how the vegetables taste.  The wait was worth it, they were just jumping with island flavors.

The rice and black beans was also loaded with great flavors.  I just love garlic, onions and cilantro.

Now for the plantains, I am the only one in the house who likes them.  This is strange because I would rather die than eat a banana.  I know they taste different, but come on they look alike.  We also had to go and pick up some agave nectar, not something we have ever used.  Well the combination was great and I enjoyed the plantains but surprise, surprise, so did my wife.  Now I am experimenting with the agave nectar, recipes to follow.

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Puerto Rican Rice and Beans


This was an exceptional dish. Much more complex flavor than traditional Mexican rice and beans. I made the sofrito and the aroma when it was cooking was fantastic. You have to make this dish often.  I served it with a spicy grilled chicken breast.

creative noshing

A few years ago, I met a very dear friend of mine through work. She and her family are from Puerto Rico and of course, have some very lovely food traditions. As a tribute to our friendship, I prepared some sofrito earlier this week and now  I will be using it in a lovely rice and beans dish. With it’s beautifully complex flavors, this rice and bean dish is perfect for eating on it’s own or as a side to any Latin inspired meal. Enjoy!

Puerto Rican Rice and Beans

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Brown Rice with Figs and Golden Beets


Brown Rice with Figs and Golden Beets

The golden beets came from my garden and are slightly sweet and have a great texture.  I have to say that this dish is one of the tastiest dishes I have ever made.  This is one of those dishes that is created by looking in the fridge, pantry, garden and anywhere else you have food.  I really love how the dish came together.  The photo does not do it justice.

Ingredients:

2 golden beets

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup brown rice

1 tsp. black pepper

1 tsp. olive oil

4 dried figs, chopped into small pieces

2 green onions, minced

1 handful of cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Bake beets, wrapped in foil, in a 400 oven until they are tender.  Allow the beets to cool before peeling and chopping in small pieces.

Heat the chicken stock in a saucepan until it reaches boil.  Add the brown rice and stir.  Bring back to a boil, stir and reduce to simmer.  Cook covered until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is tender.  Season the rice with black pepper.

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat.  Add the onions and figs and cook, stirring often, until the onions are soft.

Combine the rice, beets, figs and onions in a serving bowl and top with the chopped cilantro

Burgers with Vegetables and Brown Rice


Burgers with Vegetables and Brown Rice

Yesterday, being Monday, I wanted to prepare an easy meal.  What is simpler that a grilled burger.  I did want to grill my burgers but to my surprise, sure, I was out of propane and really didn’t feel like going out to get any.  So, I cooked mine on the stove top.  I also know that I am using a lot of zucchini and yellow squash of late.  This is because this is what looks good at the store.  When the season changes I look forward to more variety.

Ingredients:

4 Burgers, I used 85% burger

1 cup Brown rice

2 cups Chicken stock

Olive oil

1 tbsp. Butter

1 Zucchini, chopped

1 Yellow squash, chopped

½ Shallot, chopped

2 Green onions, chopped

Salt and pepper

Directions:

In a medium sauce pan bring the chicken stock to a boil and then add the brown rice, reduce the heat to simmer and cover.  Rice is done when tender.

Grill the burgers to your desired temperature, season with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tbsp. of oil and the butter in a skillet.  Add the shallot and cook for 30 seconds.  Add the zucchini and squash and cook until tender but not mushy.

To serve, place brown rice on the plate, place the vegetables on top of the rice and rest the burger on top of the rice and vegetables.  Top with green onion.

Orange Chicken with Turmeric Rice


Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken

2          Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

2          Tbsp. Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

1 Tsp. Five spice powder

1 Med  Onion, chopped

½         Red Pepper, chopped

½         Serrano pepper, chopped

Juice of one orange

Zest of one orange

Cilantro, chopped

Directions:

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the chicken to the skillet seasoning with salt, pepper, and five spice powder.  Brown both sides.  Remove from pan.  Add the remaining oil to the skillet.  Add onions, peppers and chili to the skillet and sauté till tender.  Add the juice and use it to deglaze the pan.  Reduce sauce; return the chicken and any juice to the pan.  Cover and cook on simmer till chicken is cooked through.  Remove the chicken to a cutting board to rest.  Add orange zest and cilantro to the skillet.  Slice the chicken and serve with the orange sauce and vegetables over the sliced chicken.

Turmeric Rice

2 Cups Chicken broth

1Tbs.   Butter

1 Tsp.  Turmeric

1 Cup White rice

Directions:

Bring chicken broth to a boil; add butter, turmeric and rice.  Bring back to a boil.  Lower heat to a low simmer and cook till rice is tender.