BEING a "foodie" I love to celebrate occasions with food, so I cook of course. Yet I am still puzzled when I realise that everyone is not like I am, and many do not share the same enjoyment that I do when I cook. For me cooking frees the senses and baking is pure magic. I’m not ashamed to admit that while many are out liming I can be found testing a new recipe or trying to perfect one. By all means I am not a culinary geek.
Easter is no different, this long weekend I will bake hot cross buns yes, but I will also cook a lovely Sunday lunch, and would have cooked blue dasheen and salt fish on Friday.
I will also dabble in the pastry department, like I tell my students at my pastry classes, for this particular art, practice makes perfect.
For those of you who delight in food as I do I am sure you have your menus planned for this weekend. However, if you want to try something new, why not stuff a fish, roast some veggies and finish it all up with a moist and luscious carrot cake, the choice is yours.
Baked stuffed snapper
You can try this fish with smaller snappers if you like or try it with any type of fish you may prefer, any way its great!
1 4-lb whole snapper, cleaned
2 tbs minced chives
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs melted butter
2 tbs butter
½ cup finely-chopped onions
½ cup finely-chopped sweet pepper
½ cup finely chopped chives
2 pimento peppers, finely chopped
1 tbs fresh thyme
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup soft bread crumbs
2 tbs capers or olives
1 egg beaten
⅓ cup grated cheese
Combine chives with garlic and olive oil. Rub mixture over fish and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until ready for use.
In a large sauté pan melt butter and add onions, peppers, chives, garlic, thyme and pimento. Sauté until fragrant.
Add breadcrumbs and stir to combine. Add capers or olives.
Combine beaten egg with cheese.
Add to mixture, combine and cool.
Stuff fish with stuffing.
Close cavity and hold together with metal skewers.
Brush fish with melted butter, sprinkle with freshly-ground black pepper.
Place in foil and tent.
Bake at 350 for about 40 to 45 minutes until fish is cooked.
Serves 4 to 6
Garlicky oven roasted vegetables
1 broccoli, cut into florets
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into wedges
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced on the diagonal
2 onions, peeled and cut into eights
12 white mushrooms
1 cup chopped assorted fresh herbs, basil, dill, parsley, cilantro
1 tbs minced garlic
½ tsp hot pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
½ cup virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 425F
Line a baking tray with parchment.
Place the vegetables into a mixing bowl.
Combine garlic, pepper flakes, salt and olive oil.
Pour over vegetables, toss well, spread onto baking sheet.
Roast for about 15 minutes turning once, until tender.
Remove from oven and add fresh herbs.
Serves 4 to 6
Carrot pineapple cake
2 cups, sifted, all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp grated nutmeg
1½ cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup vegetable oil
3/4 lb carrots, peeled and grated
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 8oz tin chopped pineapple, drained
Preheat oven to 350F
Grease. Line and flour a 9-inch by 13-inch cake pan, or 2 nine-inch cake pans.
Sift together flour, baking soda and spices.
Beat eggs with sugar until light and tripled in volume, add vanilla, with beater on medium speed slowly pour in vegetable oil, and beat for one minute.
Reduce mixer speed to low, and add the flour mixture, beating just until incorporated.
Fold in carrots, walnuts, and pineapple.
Pour batter into prepared tin/tins.
Bake for 45 to 50 minutes for large cake, or 35 minutes for smaller cakes.
Remove from oven cool and frost.
Makes 1, 9x13-inch cake or 2, 9-inch round cakes
Cream cheese frosting
1 lb cream cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup butter
2½ cups icing sugar, sifted
1 tsp grated orange zest
2 tbs milk
Cream butter with icing sugar until creamy, add cream cheese and stir to a creamy consistency, add a few drops of milk at a time if needed to bring batter to a spreadable consistency.
Stir in orange zest.
Will frost and fill 2, 9-inch round cakes or 1, 9-inch by 13-inch cake
Wendy’s Cooking Classes:
April 27 - Mediterranean Cuisine, 9 am-12 pm
Call: 357-0927 to register