/Fruits & Veggies

Island Ratatouille Pie

Spring is here and nothing quite puts the season on the plate like a batch of ratatouille.  If you've never had it, it's a vegetable dish usually made with onions, zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers. The veggies are sauteed or roasted with a little oil until they've softened and released their juices. Ratatouille can be served hot or cold or in a Disney movie prepped by the cutest team of rodents ever. Traditionally, ratatouille is accompanied by a few slices of crusty bread to sop up its savory sauce. I wrapped my ratatouille with a pie crust and dressed it with an herbaceous lemon ricotta to create a one-pot dish [...]

#IslandFlavor: Abuela’s Rice and Beans

There's nothing I love more than getting messages like this one: My name is Jamie and I watched you on MasterChef and I just saw you on The Kitchen. My mom is from Puerto Rico and her mom used to make "the best" rice and beans. She doesn't know how to make it, she's not a good cook and she's been in America for a very long time. Do you happen to have a good traditional recipe for rice and beans? It seems simple but I wouldn't know where to start with seasonings. Thank you!!! Jaime, one of the biggest reasons I focus on Puerto Rican flavors is that they [...]

By | 2017-12-19T00:37:22+00:00 July 26th, 2016|#IslandFlavor, Fruits & Veggies, Recipes, Uncategorized|0 Comments

#IslandFlavor: Coconut Hot Fudge Sundae

July 25th is National #HotFudgeSundaeDay. It also happens to be Danger's birthday (he's turning seven) which makes this day one of The. Biggest. Days. of the year for me. What better way to celebrate than with a tropical, coconut hot fudge sundae! My little man Danger loves sweet fried plantains (he may not have been born on the island but that kid is Puerto Rican I tell you!) and he loves chocolate, so I combined those flavors with one of our favorite things in the world: vanilla ice cream. This is a really easy quick sundae but if you don't have sweet plantain, you can substitute a ripe banana or [...]

By | 2017-12-19T00:37:22+00:00 July 23rd, 2016|Desserts, Fruits & Veggies, Recipes, Sauces, Uncategorized|0 Comments

#IslandFlavor: Simple Sofrito

When it comes to building flavor, the french have mirepoix (onions, celery, carrots) and creoles have the holy trinity (onions, celery, bell peppers).  Puerto Ricans have sofrito.  While it is the base of hundreds of Puerto Rican dishes, sofrito is derivative. You see Puerto Rican cuisine is the original fusion cuisine, with influences from Africa, Europe, and Asia. Much of our food is adapted from different cultures and sofrito is no different. This powerhouse of flavor was brought to the island by Italian immigrants that relocated in the 1800's during the Second Industrial Revolution. The Italians (along with other Catholic immigrants from Ireland and Corsica) were granted land after swearing loyalty [...]

#IslandFlavor: Limbers (Frozen Fruit Pops)

It doesn't matter where you are in Puerto Rico- your block, your school, or in a downtown plaza- someone will always be selling frozen fruit juice pops called limbers. My Abuela Alicia lived in a tenement building in Rio Piedras and had a neighbor that would sell them out of her apartment. My brother and I would hand her fifty cents through a gap in her wrought iron door and in return we would get two little dixie cups filled to the top with frozen sweetened coconut milk. It was the tastiest way to stay cool in a world with no air conditioning. These frosty, refreshing treats are named after [...]

#IslandFlavor: Tropical Coconut Mug Cake

I developed this microwave coconut mug cake for Food Network's The Kitchen. If you're anything like me  (impatient, with a sweet tooth so big it rides shotgun) this is an awesome recipe to keep in your back pocket. This cake is ready so fast you can make it during a commercial break. Plus you can substitute the tropical fruit with almost anything your heart desires. (And yes, for me, that will almost always mean chocolate.) A big thanks to Katie Lee, Jeff Mauro, Geoffrey Zacharian, Marcela Valladolid and Sunny Anderson for having me on their Stove Free Summer episode! Ingredients 1/3 cup  angel flake coconut sweetened 1  egg, [...]

By | 2017-12-19T00:37:23+00:00 July 8th, 2016|#IslandFlavor, Desserts, Fruits & Veggies, Uncategorized|2 Comments

#IslandFlavor: Tropical Shrimp Salad

I think Glenn Frey put it best when he said, "The heat is on." When the fever of summer hits,  the last thing I want to do is spend an extended period of time in front of my stove. Which is why this fourth of July weekend I'm bringing a tropical shrimp salad to the BBQ. Not only does it make for a cool and refreshing side, shrimp cook quickly.  If you work it right you can leave the kitchen without breaking into a full sweat. Of course, quick cook times can be a double-edged sword. Just 30 seconds over can leave you chewing on a rubbery mess.  But I’m [...]

#StopFoodWaste: Pickle Juice

An empty pickle jar is a TREASURE. You can use the left over juice to quick pickle other cucumbers or soft veggies like radishes, green beans and garlic. You can even pickle hard boiled eggs! My favorite way to use pickle juice is to slice an onion and put it right in the jar to soak up all that yum. These onions are great on sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs, you name it. My soundtrack for this preparation is Skankin' Pickle's I Missed The Bus. Americans waste over 40% of the food that comes into our homes. Be a part of the solution and #StopFoodWaste. Don't miss the bus! Join me [...]

#StopFoodWaste: Asparagus Ends

OMG you guys!! Asparagus is FINALLY here!!! The appearance of the vibrant green stalks on market shelves means spring (I.E. Foodie Christmas) is just around the corner. It's the most wonderful time of the year. (That last sentence should be sung in your best caroling voice.) Asparagus is ridiculously easy to prepare. Rinse the stalks and then bend them til they break. They'll magically snap exactly where the tough woody end and the tender spear meet. Isn't nature glorious? Of course the tender part is the best part, but that doesn't mean you have to throw out the woody ends. They have just as much flavor and only need a [...]

#StopFoodWaste: Jam Jar Dressing

As far as I'm concerned jam's whole razon de ser is to be in my belly.  Which is why when I'm faced with an almost empty jar I don't waste it. I use it to make an unforgettable vinaigrette. Jam dressing is as crazy easy as the first question on Celebrity Jeopardy.  All you need is 3 parts oil, 1 part acid, herbs, spices and BOOM. I had an almost empty jar of peach apricot jam and paired it with balsamic vinegar and the most amazing extra virgin picual olive oil. Hollywood and I found Rio Bravo Ranch olive oil at the Atwater Farmer's Market. The family behind it has [...]

By | 2017-12-19T00:37:25+00:00 March 7th, 2016|#StopFoodWaste, Fruits & Veggies, Recipes, Sauces|0 Comments