Jamaican Carrot Drink

Sep 20, 2012 by

Greetings friends of The Lovely Pantry! I have certainly been missing in action for the past few months. Mainly because I went to Jamaican for most of the summer. I usually take the time to spend with my family and my friends during the summer months. The connection is very important to me. Sometimes, you need to reconnect and rejuvenate, and that’s exactly what I did. I’ve been trying to get back into blogging but obstacles just keep popping up. Since I’m no quitter – I’m going to press on and continue what I really enjoy doing with the friends that inspire and encourage me every day. I should also try to make nice with my scale. I did not hold back when it came to food while I was in Jamaica! LOL!

A big hearty THANK YOU to my fabulous Food Blogger friends who did not hesitate to guest post for me while I was away! Sofie, Chung-Ah, Renee, Anuradha, and Sandra ~ You guys are so AWESOME!

Today’s post is a wonderful refreshing drink that is quite lovely with a Sunday dinner, or a special drink for entertaining. I got the recipe from a book given to me by the BESTIE a few months ago. I’ve added it to my growing collection of Jamaican Treasures and I’m so happy to be sharing the recipe with you here. The book is called The Real Taste of Jamaica by Enid Donaldson. I had it on my wish list for so long! I believe I had the book years go but gave it away because I wasn’t really into cooking at that time. I’m glad I have it once again! I’m keeping this copy! It has sentimental value :-)

 

Jamaican Carrot Drink – Perfect for a Sunday afternoon beverage

 

Jamaican Carrot Drink

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6

A refreshing drink made from carrots, water and evaporated milk

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Diced Carrots
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Cup Evaporated Milk (Reduced Fat)
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1/2 Tsp Grated Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Cup Ice Cubes

Instructions

  1. In a blender, add carrots and water
  2. Pulse until blended, in intervals for about a minute
  3. Strain the carrot mixture into a jug
  4. Rinse the blender jug
  5. Pour the strained juice back into the blender and add the milk, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and ice cubes
  6. Blend again in intervals for no more than a minute
  7. Strain a second time into the serving jug and refrigerate
  8. Serve cold and enjoy

Notes

Original recipe from A Real Taste of Jamaica by Enid Donaldson

I found that it was best to strain the liquid twice in order to yield a much smoother and more refined drink. I used 2 different sized strainers. The second time I used a much finer sieve.

http://lovelypantry.com/2012/09/jamaican-carrot-juice/

Jamaican Carrot Drink with freshly grated Nutmeg

 

I’m just too excited. I love books – of course photography books and the like, but I have a soft spot for Cook Books. I just can’t have enough. Here are a few books that I got on my recent trip to Jamaica (except the one by Enid Donaldson). I absolutely adore the book called Jamaican Food, that documents the origin of certain foods that are a big part of the culture and some foods/dishes that are unique to Jamaica. I’ve never had a book like this before. Clearly, I have some reading and cooking to do!

 

Lyn’s Jamaican Treasures

 

I’m happy to be back! I feel like giving my kitchen a big hug!

Take good care everyone! *Virtual Hugs for you all*

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Strawberries and Cream Popsicles, Guest Post by Chung-Ah of Damn Delicious

Jul 17, 2012 by

Today’s post is by the lovely Chung-Ah from Damn Delicious. Chung-Ah’s recipe’s often remind me of my own or something that I’d eat in a heartbeat. We pretty much like the same food. I’ve said to her a few times that we could be cook-sisters. You know, those friends who you don’t mind sharing a kitchen with? Yep, that’s her. We are a part of some really cool movements like #SundaySupper and #MuffinMonday. Such a sweet brilliant soul. I was so happy when Chung-Ah agreed with such fiery spirit to guest post for me. Take a moment and visit her blog. I guarantee that you’ll love it. Her photography is beautiful too!

Check out some of Chung-Ah’s awesome recipes! A few of my favourites are Strawberry Espresso Chocolate Chip MuffinsPancetta Fried Rice and Slow Cooker Chicken Adobo (Keeping this recipe close) 

Thank you, Chung-Ah for guest posting today while I spend some quality time with my family in Jamaica. I appreciate you!!

Please enjoy today’s post by Chung-Ah: Strawberries and Cream Popsicles

 ***

Lyn is off in Jamaica and even though I wanted to sneak into her suitcase and tag along, that didn’t quite happen as I had imagined. So here I am to provide you with a refreshing dessert option, or breakfast option for some.

Now for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Chung-Ah of Damn Delicious. I’m a recent public health graduate and I love spending time in my closet-sized kitchen, whipping up quick and easy homemade meals using fresh ingredients. With my love for food, I created a food blog over a year ago which in turn led me to meet so many wonderful foodies like Lyn. I’m definitely a big fan of hers, to say the least, and I am incredibly honored to be guest posting for her. She has the most wonderful recipes, and she never ceases to amaze me with her Jamaican favorites. I mean have you seen her Jamaican Cornmeal Pudding? I could seriously gobble that up for breakfast every morning!

Anyway, before I spend the whole day talking on and on about how I adore Lyn and how I need to try every single one of her recipes, we should get down to business and talk about these popsicles.

So I bought these cute popsicle molds from Crate & Barrel a while back and even though I had like 10 popsicle recipes lined up, these molds just sat in their box, unopened, for several weeks. I don’t know why but I have this tendency to leave brand new kitchen products in their original packaging for an indefinite amount of time. I did that with my Le Creuset dutch oven and I did it again with my KitchenAid mixer. I think that sat on the couch for like a month.

It’s a sickness really. Maybe I should see someone about that.

Anyway, when I finally managed to get the molds out of their box, I inaugurated them with this awesome strawberries and cream recipe I found over at My Baking Addiction. It’s seriously one of the easiest things to make, and the only hard part is pouring the mixture into the molds without making a mess on your kitchen counter.

Yeah, like I said, super easy.

 

Strawberries and Cream Popsicles – Damn Delicious, Chung-Ah Rhee

 

Strawberries and Cream Popsicles, Guest Post by Chung-Ah of Damn Delicious
Recipe Type: Treat, Dessert
Author: Chung-Ah, adapted from My Baking Addiction
Prep time: 20 mins
Total time: 20 mins
Serves: 6
Super easy summer popsicle, using fresh strawberries and greek yogurt
Ingredients
  • 1 cup strawberries, pureed
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1 (5.3-ounce) container Greek yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons agave
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup diced strawberries
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine the strawberry puree, milk, yogurt, agave and vanilla.
  2. Stir in the diced strawberries.
  3. Scoop the mixture evenly into the popsicle molds.
  4. Place into freezer and freeze until hard, at least 4 hours.
  5. Remove from freezer and run the mold under warm water to loosen popsicle, about 20 seconds.
  6. Serve immediately.
Notes

Strawberries and Cream Popsicles (adapted from My Baking Addiction)
Yields 6 popsicles

 

Strawberries and Cream Popsicles – Damn Delicious, Chung-Ah Rhee

 

Strawberries and Cream Popsicles – Damn Delicious, Chung-Ah Rhee

Strawberries and Cream Popsicles – Damn Delicious, Chung-Ah Rhee

 

Strawberries and Cream Popsicles – Damn Delicious, Chung-Ah Rhee

 

If you don’t have a popsicle mold, you should totally get one. The popsicle recipe options are endless, and you get to use up such fresh ingredients that bring natural sweetness to these babies, unlike the sugar-loaded store-bought ones. Plus, it’s a sure way to cool off on these hot summer days!

 

 

 

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Baked Provençal Tomatoes

May 11, 2012 by

As my appreciation for Tomatoes evolves, I like when I see recipes that dress them up a bit. So far, I quite like the seasoned breadcrumb mix on top – as seen in one of my favourite creations, Polenta with Parmesan and Parsley, Mozzarella and Tomato. Today’s recipe is a classic French dish that I adapted very slightly from Laura Calder’s version. This is an easy and beautiful side dish that goes wonderfully well any meat, I think. Chicken, Fish, Lamb, Beef…its a great side or even an appetizer if presented a certain way.

I could totally see myself going on a culinary expedition to France to learn about the food and culture. That’s one of the reasons I like watching French Food at home. Laura not only shares regional recipes, she also shares a little bit of history and culture that surrounds a certain dish or style of cooking. I’ve seen so many adaptations of this dish. Herbs de Provence has been used in the breadcrumb mix, as well as parmesan. But I liked the simplicity as well as flexibility of this version. I’m sure I’ll be making it with Parmesan or Gruyère at some point. Cheese is my friend.

 

Baked Provencal Tomatoes

 

Baked Provençal Tomatoes
Recipe Type: Appetizer, Side
Author: Lyn
Prep time: 6 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 21 mins
Serves: 6
A classic French dish – a perfect accompaniment to Chicken, Fish, Beef or Lamb
Ingredients
  • 3 Tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 Cup Parsley, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400F
  2. Lightly grease a rimmed baking tray
  3. Place each half of Tomato on the baking tray, cut side up
  4. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper
  5. Sprinkle evenly on all 6 halves
  6. Sprinkle with olive oil
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown
Notes

Alternative Versions:
– Add 2Tsp Thyme, 2 Tsp Basil, 4 Tbsp Parmesan
– Add 1 Scallion – finely chopped, 4 Tbsp Gruyère, 1 Tsp Thyme, 1 Tsp Basil

 

Dressed up nicely as a salad or appetizer. Its great on its own.

Baked Provencal Tomato as a Salad

 

Its classic, its beautiful, its healthy and most of all… its FANCY looking!

 

Fancy - Baked Provencal Tomatoes

 

Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Mother’s Day to my very special and wonderful Mom and all the amazing Mothers out there.

~Lyn

 

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Tarragon Chicken #SundaySupper

May 6, 2012 by

I’m very happy to be able to participate in this weeks #SundaySupper! Todays theme is “May Flowers, Veggies and Herbs.” I didn’t  hesitate to prepare this as a wonderful spring dish. I think I may have tweeted my joy when I saw that Tarragon was available again ~ a true indication that spring has arrived! For those that are not familiar with Tarragon, it is an herb that is quite popular in French cuisine and pairs very well with chicken and fish. It is very aromatic and reminds me of liquorice! When I made this dish almost 2 years ago for the first time, I enjoyed it immensely. I decided to serve the chicken with Fennel (a vegetable with a very similar aroma to Tarragon) as well as Zucchini and Jasmine Rice.

 

Tarragon Chicken with Pan Seared Fennel and Zucchini, Jasmine Rice

 

 

Tarragon Chicken
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Lyn of The Lovely Pantry
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 40 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 4
A French dish, perfect for a comforting family dinner
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 Drumsticks, Skinless (any part of the chicken is good)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 Cup Half & Half
  • 1/2 cup fresh tarragon and a few extra for garnish
Instructions
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper
  2. In a large dutch oven, warm oil and butter over a medium-high heat
  3. Brown chicken in batches and set aside
  4. Add all the chicken pieces back to the pot
  5. Add broth, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes
  6. Take the chicken from the pot and set aside.
  7. Add shallot to the pot and soften, about 5 minutes
  8. Add wine, allow to reduce about 7 minutes
  9. Add half and half, stir to combine
  10. Add chopped Tarragon, stir and cover for about 5 minutes
  11. Add chicken back to the pot, cover and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes
  12. Serve and garnish with fresh Tarragon
Notes

Served with pan seared Fennel, pan seared Zucchini Slices and aromatic Jasmine Rice

Recipe adapted from Laura Calder’s version: http://www.foodnetwork.ca/recipes/Herbs/recipe.html?dishid=9128

 

Such a lovely herb. I love the scent and flavour!

 

Fresh Tarragon

 

Brown the chicken pieces in batches. If you used chicken pieces with the skin on, you may want to skim some of the fat left over in the pot. Not too much – since that’s where the base flavour is.

 

Chicken in Olive Oil and Butter

 

After you’ve browned all pieces of chicken, and cooked them down in the broth, set them aside while you build the Tarragon sauce.

 

Chicken, resting

 

Soften the shallots in the broth.

 

Softening the Shallot

 

Add the fresh Tarragon into the Broth and cream mixture. Simmer.

 

Fresh Tarragon in wine and cream sauce

 

The sauce should have a rich, thick consistency. Taste at this point, to see if you need salt and/or pepper. Add the chicken back to the pot to incorporate the flavour.

 

Tarragon Chicken Sauce

 

The sauce is terrific. The texture is great and the flavour is awesome.

 

Creamy Tarragon Chicken Sauce

 

Dinner is served!

 

Tarragon Chicken, Jasmine Rice, Fennel and Zucchini

 

 

Here are some wonderful spring inspired meal ideas for #SundaySupper using Herbs and Vegetables. These recipes will  inspire you to spend more time Around the Family Table!

Cocktails and Wine Pairings: 

Appetizers:

Entrees:

Side Dishes:

Dessert:

 

Happy Sunday! Enjoy quality time with your loved ones this evening.

~Lyn

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Polenta with Parmesan and Parsley, Mozzarella and Tomato

Mar 19, 2012 by

I  haven’t made polenta in some time now. A friend of mine recently asked me if I had a recipe – which I did. But because this friend is super special to me and one of my BIGGEST supporters, not only of The Lovely Pantry, but of me as a person… I wanted to do something nice and a little different. A delicate dish that was smooth, flavourful and good for the body. I think I’ve accomplished that with this recipe and presentation.

In Jamaica, the term “Polenta” is rarely used however, I believe Jamaicans are becoming more aware of the term. Polenta is quite like a dish we call Turn Cornmeal or “Tun Cornmeal” – which is a dish of a similar consistency but includes ingredients such as coconut milk, escallion, garlic, thyme and of course, scotch bonnet pepper. Just like Polenta, Turn cornmeal can be served in a variety of ways and with different meats or sauces. Personally, I don’t like my Polenta mushy. I prefer it crispy on the outside and soft but firm on the inside.

Todays dish is meat free and fabulous. I hope to make more dishes like this. I believe this could be a snack, a breakfast or an appetizer. What do you think?

 

Parsley Polenta with Mozzarella & Tomato

 

This is basically how I make my polenta but you can certainly make variations. If you don’t have parsley, chop some spinach or kale. Add some sweet corn. Get creative! I have made polenta using water and I’ll never do that again – too bland. I will always add a broth because I find it to be more flavourful that way. I decided to dress up my polenta with mozzarella (more cheese, I know!!) and broiled tomato slices topped with a seasoned breadcrumb mixture.

 

Polenta with Parmesan and Parsley, Mozzarella and Tomato

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 53 minutes

Polenta, a dish so versatile it can be had in so many ways. Made with yellow cornmeal, chicken broth, parmesan cheese and parsley

Ingredients

  • 6 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth (or Vegetable Broth)
  • 1 3/4 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
  • 3 Tbsp Butter
  • 4 Slices Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese + 1 Tbsp
  • 1/2 Cup Parsley, finely chopped + 1 Tbsp
  • 1 Tomato, firm
  • 1/4 Cup Breadcrumbs
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, bring chicken broth to a boil
  2. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal, removing any lumps that may form
  3. Reduce heat and cook until the mixture thickens, stirring often for about 15 minutes
  4. Add parmesan, stir to combine
  5. Add butter, stir to combine
  6. Finally, add parsley and stir to combine
  7. Pour into a shallow dish about an inch deep. Use a spatula to spread into the corners. Allow to rest and firm up
  8. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 1 Tbsp parsley, 1 Tbsp parmesan. Mix to combine.
  9. Remove the top and bottom from the tomato and cut into 4 slices
  10. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly grease with cooking spray
  11. Place tomatoes on the tray and sprinkle each slice with a pinch of salt and pepper and then the breadcrumb mixture
  12. Drizzle olive oil over the breadcrumbs on each tomato slice
  13. Place in broiler for about 5-8 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Set aside when done
  14. Using cookie cutters, cut out 4 circles about 2-3 inches in diameter from the cooled polenta
  15. In a hot skillet, spray with cooking spray, brown polenta about 3-4 minutes on each side, until crispy and golden brown. Set aside.
  16. When the polenta and tomato are cool to the touch, place a slice of mozzarella on each polenta disc then top with a slice of tomato
http://lovelypantry.com/2012/03/polenta-with-parmesan-and-parsley-mozzarella-and-tomato/

Looks a lot like cornmeal porridge here!

 

Yellow Cornmeal being cooked

 

I love the splash colour that parsley adds.

 

Add the parsley to the cornmeal

 

Spread the polenta evenly into the baking tray as best you can. It is quite thick at this point and needs “encouragement” to get into the corners.

 

Spread the polenta in a rimmed baking tray

 

I used a cookie cutter only because I wanted to stack with other ingredients that were round. Otherwise I would have just used a sharp knife and cut square pieces.

 

Cookie Cutter

 

So here’s the thing. I don’t love tomatoes. But I’ll eat them like how I’ve prepared them here – with breadcrumbs. I know, I know. Weird. I’m trying to eat more though. So good for you.

 

Tomato Slices

 

I loved the smooth and creamy texture that the mozzarella added to this combination. You don’t need too much, since the flavour is very mild.

 

Parmesan Polenta, Mozzarella, Tomato with breadcrumbs

 

Picture perfect Polenta!

 

Polenta, Mozzarella, Tomato

 

 

And there you have it! A tasty way to make polenta.  Left over polenta is awesome pan-fried for breakfast with some maple syrup. Its like the breakfast of champions!

To my friend, Nicky – Thank you!

 

Happy Monday to you all!

 

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