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Sunday 15 September 2019
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Meaty meals

MEAT remains the star of at least one meal per day as Trini’s and by extension Caribbean people. Fish is not consumed as often as it used to be or should be, many persons choose frozen imported fish which is more convenient but sadly questionable with respect to nutritional profile. Chicken remains the most consumed meat at the moment, not highly favoured if they are commercially reared chickens because of the hormones, antibiotics and steroids that may be contained in the meat. Beef and goat are consumed on a regular basis with goat consumption in Trinidad leading the way in the Caribbean.

Choose your meat wisely, if you can buy freshly caught seafood, our fish markets are still your best bet for fresh seasonal fish and seafood. Chicken should be eaten less regularly and if you can, use free range or yard fowl. Lamb and goat are more flavourful and much healthier if their country of origin is New Zealand and Australia. Most health gurus are preaching a plant based diet which is better for us and for the planet, however it is difficult to swap out a heavy meat based diet for a plant based diet. But, you can try to lessen the amount of meat you consume on a daily basis and supplement meals with an added vegetable or legume.

Here are some new and traditional ways to prepare our beloved meats

Jerk chicken kebabs with mango salsa

2 lbs boneless chicken pieces cut into 1½ inch pieces

4 tbs jerk marinade

2 tbs vegetable oil

8 wooden skewers soaked in water for 4 hours

For the chicken:

Combine jerk marinade with oil, add chicken and combine, let marinade for about 2 hours in the refrigerator.

Preheat gas grill or barbeque, or broiler.

Thread chicken onto skewers and place onto preheated grill or broiler.

Grill for about 10 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

Serve with mango salsa, and a rice pilaf.

Mango salsa

2 mangoes, half ripe, preferably Julie mango or any large smooth textured mango

1 clove garlic minced

½ hot pepper finely chopped and seeded (more or less to taste)

1 tbs fresh lime juice

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

¼ cup cilantro finely chopped or chadon beni

Combine mangoes, garlic, pepper, lime juice, salt and pepper.

Let stand for one hour before serving. Add the cilantro last.

Makes about 3 cups

Shepherds pie with cheesy mashed potatoes

2 potatoes, peeled

¾ cup milk

2 tbs butter

¾ cup grated cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tbs vegetable oil

1 medium onion chopped

2 pimento peppers seeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbs ground chive

1 tbs fresh thyme

1 19 oz tin tomatoes, drained

1 tsp salt

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

Cook potatoes in boiling salted water for 30 minutes until cooked, drain and mash with milk, cheese and butter. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Set aside. Combine beef with chives and thyme.

Heat oil in a sauté pan, add onion, garlic, pimento, cook until translucent.

Add beef and brown, add tomatoes and break them up with a fork.

Bring the mixture to a boil and add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Taste and adjust seasonings.

The mixture should have some sauce.

Preheat oven to 400F.

Butter a 9 inch by 13 inch heat proof casserole, transfer meat mixture to dish, spread mashed potatoes on top and bake for 30 minutes until potatoes begin to brown.

Remove.

Serves 6

Curried chicken

1 3½ lb chicken cut into small pieces

2 tbs local herb seasoning paste (chives, thyme, garlic)

1 tbs wine vinegar or lime juice

salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tbs curry powder

1 small onion, sliced

2 tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp chopped ginger

1 tsp chopped garlic

1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped

¼ cup water

2 tbs chopped chadon beni (optional)

Marinate chicken in herb paste, vinegar, salt and black pepper.

Heat oil in large sauté pan or large iron pot, add ginger, garlic and onion.

Stir add hot pepper, sauté until fragrant and onion is tender.

Combine water with curry powder, stir.

Add curry paste to pot and let it cook, stirring well until most of the water has evaporated.

Now add the chicken pieces one at a time, making sure you stir well to cover the chicken with the curry.

Cover pot and let chicken release some water, stir if chicken appears to be sticking add only a small amount of water at a time to prevent sticking. Continue cooking in this manner for about 30 minutes. When your curry sauce in the pot seems to be slightly separating from the oil, your chicken is ready. this may not happen but after 30 minutes your chicken should be ready.

Taste and adjust seasonings.

Sprinkle with chadon beni, and serve.

Makes 20 meatballs.

Stewed lamb with rosemary

6 New Zealand lamb shoulder slices cut about 1- inch thick

2 tbs olive oil

1 cup tinned tomatoes

8 cloves garlic, finely chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tbs chopped fresh rosemary

Marinade:

2 tbs unflavoured yoghurt

2 tbs minced chives

2 cloves garlic minced

Marinate lamb slices in yoghurt marinade for 2 hours or overnight.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet and brown lamb slices on both sides until meat is nicely browned.

Add the tomatoes and garlic, and sprinkle rosemary on top of meat.

Cover and simmer for 1 hour or more adding a little water at a time to prevent sticking.

Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Serves 6

Wendy’s Cooking Classes:

Roti workshop

August 24

Call 357-0927 to register

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