Tag Archives: caribbean

Day-off Dining

I love those lazy days off from work where I can, at my discretion, knit, nap, read, and most importantly, cook. I always have veggies in the house, but today I noticed that some of them needed to be used as soon as possible – you know how veggies get that sad, dull, almost-but-not-quite-squishy look to them, begging to be eaten or cooked. Yep, I had quite a few of those.

Take cherry tomatoes, for instance. I bought them last week at a local farmer’s market; a tiny, but heaped-up basket full – and down to about 10 or so today, they were looking a little wan. I also had an uncut  green pepper who needed attention as well, so I chopped those guys, along with some elephant garlic, and started a tasty sofrito that will be used in some black beans and rice. Sofrito – the homemade kind -adds a wonderful flavor to Caribbean dishes. Skip over the jarred stuff and make our own – trust me. It smells awesome while it’s cooking.

Last week’s leek greens and kale stems had been saved, along with some mushroom stems and onion bits. I’m of the mindset that you pay (sometimes dearly) for produce; you should get every bit out of it that you can. I save things like stems and inedible parts to make pure vegetable stock.  Kale makes amazing stock. I let my bits boil away for two hours, and the result is a hearty stock that forms the base for many soups, such as this shell pasta/veggie soup I made today as  well. Yum. Good comfort food for a lazy day off!

Jamaican me curious…

There is a Jamaican restaurant less than a mile from my house, in a run-down strip mall, that has been there for years. On Labor Day, I was at the strip mall and I smelled curry, so I thought, what the heck? What the heck is real Jamaican cuisine, and…yum, curry! So, I went inside and asked for a takeout menu.

It was shabby chic inside…lots of 60s blue naugahyde, loud ethnic tunes blaring, and suggestively posed women gracing Jamaican travel tourism posters. Perfect, I thought. The tiny place smelled of curry and fish.

I took the menu home, and studied. Not much on there for a veggie to eat (Beef feet? Curried goat?) but there is a veggie option that comes with a side of peas and rice. Sounds awesome. Think I’ll sneak back there soon, get the veggie stew option, pop open a Red Stripe, and dream of being on Island time.