Friday, April 29, 2011

Scrambled Eggs al Caribe: When there's no food in the pantry, or the fridge, or...anywhere.

I know what you're thinking - "That has a disturbing resemblance to my dog's breakfast."

I made one mistake: oregano (green) + paprika (red) = brown color aka the dog food quality.

I love! oregano and paprika together, and when using it on chicken or another meat, the darker color is not something you think about as "gross" as you might with scrambled eggs.
Lesson learned - for this dish, you can leave out the oregano, or add it in the end as a garnish.

On Thursday, I was thinking about dinner and I realized there were not a lot of options. Eggs, which I mostly eat for lunch as a protein booster; left over potatoes from the night before; a questionable piece of red pepper that had been there for a week or so; an onion hidden in the back of the pantry; and finally, a 1/2 lime that was on its last leg.

Together, this Scrambled Eggs al Caribe was absolutely delicious, regardless of the color it adopted. I call it "al Caribe" specifically because of the lime juice at the end because here in the DR we use lime on and in EVERYTHING - salads, drinks, alcoholic drinks, vegetables, meat dishes, etc. etc. etc.

And also because living in the Caribbean provokes the "what the hell are we going to eat" situation more often than not.


Scrambled Eggs al Caribe

3 eggs
1 lb. (approximately) of potatoes, already boiled and cut into cubes
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 small tomato, sliced
cilantro, diced finely
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 lime (or just lime juice if you are not in a place where limes are rampant!)
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt to taste

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan, and then add the diced onions and red pepper. Let them cook for about 3 minutes, and then add the potatoes. Now add the oregano, paprika, and a dash of salt, and move everything around so all the elements are covered with seasoning. Scramble the three eggs in a separate bowl and add them to the pan, mixing the onions, potatoes, and red pepper so it is all distributed evenly in the eggs. Do not stir immediately! Wait until the eggs begin to set, and then stir until there are no runny parts left of the eggs. Once they are cooked to your liking, squeeze your 1/2 lime evenly over your almost finished meal, and stir again.

Serve Scrambled Eggs al Caribe with diced cilantro on top and sliced tomato on the side. Serves 2 with leftovers for snacking!

a buen tiempo!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Salmon Pesto and Hot Green Bean Salad

Because I'm not sure the photograph gives justice to this creative, delectable dish, I'll share a little bit about how I felt as I ate each melt-in-your-mouth bite.

"Wow, I'm so proud of myself for choosing fish and vegetables for lunch today. That's right diet - I win this battle! But the salmon tastes so....light and, delicate like butter. Wait, is that...yes, yes it is... a sun dried tomato pesto, freshly made from scratch? ohhh And, oh, oh, oh, do I taste coconut in my green bean bite? With a hint of spice???....I do, I really, really do..."

If that personal moment isn't convincing, I don't know what is.


Pan-Seared Salmon Pesto:

2 fillets of salmon
1/2 cup of cilantro
1/2 cup of sun-dried tomatoes
1/3 cup of almond slices
3 tablespoons of olive oil
salt to taste

Prepare the pesto by putting all the ingredients, except for the salmon of course, in some sort of food processor. Don't worry if you feel like your cooking is limited because you might not have what some would consider the basics in food preparation supplies - I made my pesto in a blender!

Cover one side of each of your salmon fillets with your pesto. Place 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in your pan and wait until it is thoroughly heated. Add your salmon and cook each side for 5-7 minutes. This time is based on an average thickness - not too thin, not too thick. You may have to adjust this time depending on the thickness of your filet. Serves 2.

Hot Green Bean Salad

12 ounces of green beans
15 ounces of whole mushrooms, cut in half (They don't have to be fresh! The kind I buy are canned - Roland whole button mushrooms)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup of shallots, diced
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 tablespoons of paprika
1-2 tablespoons of oregano
1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper
1/3 cup of cream of coconut (It comes in a can by Goya, 15 ounces)
1/2 lime

Blanch the green beans for about 10 minutes. While they are boiling, add oil and the shallots into a pan. After a couple of minutes, add the garlic. After a minute, add the mushrooms. Once the green beans' time is up, add them to the pan with the three spices. Take the 1/2 lime and squeeze the juice into your almost complete hot salad. Let the mixture cook together on low heat, covered, for about 15 minutes. Finally, add the cream of coconut. Taste the hot green bean salad, and add salt to taste! Serves 2, with a little bit of leftover for snacking!

a buen tiempo!

P.S. Don't worry, the first improvement to my brand spankin' new blog will be its FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY! Everyone has to start somewhere, right?

Starting Again

About 2 years ago, when I first found out I was moving to the Dominican Republic, I started a blog that was supposed to follow my life throughout the one year I would be spending in the DR. A year later, it had a grand total of 2 whopping entries - both of which I had slaved over each and every word, terrified about how each one might sound to an outside reader.

Now, a couple of years deep living in Santo Domingo, DR, I'm ready to start over again. Mostly, I'll be writing about my adventures in cooking and living abroad - 2 always-changing parts of my life that have developed simultaneously. This ain't no joke y'all, and it isn't changing any time soon.

As much as I have started to find happiness in cooking, there is so little time (and when I say time, I really mean money) to be able to make what I want, when I want. So, the recipes I'll be showing are meals on a budget that anyone can make. AND! to make things even less complicated, I am currently cooking without the availability of an oven.

a buen tiempo!