Thursday, December 02, 2004

Carribean Banana Bread

Here's a banana bread recipe that takes a little more effort than the traditional BBread, but is well worth it. It makes a delicious treat for dessert, breakfast or a social gathering.

Trinidad Banana Bread

2 TBS softened butter
2 TBS softened cream cheese
1 cup sugar
1 lg egg
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana
1/2 c milk
2 tbsp dark rum or 1/4 tsp rum extract (Malibu Coconut Rum is great here)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/4 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tsp. butter
2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp dark rum or 1/8 tsp rum extract
2 tbsp chopped toasted pecans
2 tbsp flaked sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 375. Coat an 8x4-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside. Beat 2 tbsp butter
and cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer; add 1 cup sugar, beating well. Add egg; beat well. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; stir well. Combine banana and next 5 ingredients (banana through vanilla); stir well. Add flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with banana mixture; mix after each addition. Stir in 1/4 c pecans and 1/4 c coconut. Pour batter into prepared pan; bake at 375 for 60 minutes. Let cool in pan 10 minutes; remove from pan. Let cool slightly on a wire rack.

Combine brown sugar and 2 tsp each butter, lime juice and rum in saucepan; bring to a simmer. Cook 1 minute; stir constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 tbsp each pecans and coconut; spoon over loaf. Serve alone, or for added decadence, serve with whipped cream or ice cream

Using Spices

Using the right - and the right amount of - spice can make the difference between an OK meal, or a fantastic meal. Chicken is one of the most versatile meats on the market today. It's a staple in places like Trinidad, India, China, Lebanon, Yemen and many other eastern nations. Chicken is inexpensive and tasty - depending on what you do with it.

Here's a spice that takes a few minutes to combine, but once you blend it and try it, you'll see that chicken is NOT simply chicken.

HAWAISH (Spice Mix)

It is hawaish, the spice mix, that gives Yemen cooking its identity. All the spices are mixed proportionately and stored, to be easily measured out for recipes.

2 Tbs ground cumin
1 Tbs pepper
1/2 tsp coriander, ground
1 tsp turmeric, ground
4 whole cloves, broken up
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp nutmeg, grated
2 bay leaves

Mix all of the ingredients together. Store in a glass jar with a tight cover. Keep the 2 bay leaves in the mixture to keep the spices dry and clean. Do not include the bay leaves when using the mixture.

Hawaish Chicken

2 Chicken Breasts - Bone in
Hawaish Spice

Oil the bottom of a pie tin. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with the Hawaish spice, and place in oiled pie tin. Place the tin in your BBQ'er. If you have a propane grill, use the flame from only one side. Place the pie tin over the side with no flame, with the flame from the other burner on high. Close the lid. Chicken should be done in about 25-30 minutes. Serve with your favorite rice recipe, or whatever suits your taste.

Bells Poultry Seasoning

Mix 1 teaspoon of each.
dried rosemary
dried crumbled sage
dried marjoram
dried thyme
celery salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 well crumbled bay leaf

Crush together with a mortar and pestle, or grind together in a coffee bean grinder, or in a mini food processor