As we number down to our nineteenth organizing of the Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards slated for Thursday, May 25, 2017 we shed light on those accused of elevating our cooking to the guests to our shores. We began with Sandals Resorts International and proceed with this week in the kitchens of the Half Moon Hotel.

Cosimo Riccardi — Chef de Cuisine, Il Giardino Restaurant at Half Moon

Culinary expert Cosimo Riccardi, right now gourmet specialist de food of Half Moon’s Italian eatery, Il Giardino, has 13 years of involvement in the eatery business. His excursion began in the UK as culinary expert gardemanger before advancing toward Italy working in two-star Michelin-evaluated eateries.

Amid his residency at Il Giardino, Riccardi has presented dishes with impacts from Naples, Italy and has made utilization of the regular herbs in the herb cultivate at Half Moon, and in addition new and occasional vegetables found in Jamaica.

Christopher Golding, Chef De Cuisine, Sugar Mill Restaurant

Golding concentrated home financial matters in secondary school before wandering into the kitchen of the Wyndham Hotel as a student. Assist down to earth abilities were sharpened at the Sans Souci Resort. Enlisting at the Hocking Technical College in Ohio, US, the Caribbean Training Institute and the HEART Academy in Runaway Bay managed him the fundamental accreditations. It wasn’t much sooner than his longing for experience grabbed hold and Golding ended up on board the Premier Cruise Lines, where he put in five years as culinary expert de partie, and later as its sous gourmet specialist.

Notwithstanding working with the Premier Cruise Lines as a culinary specialist de partie and sous gourmet expert, Golding likewise worked at the now-dead The Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall Resort and Spa in St James for a long time as cook de partie, colleague sous gourmet specialist and sous gourmet expert. He joined Half Moon in 2008 as sous cook for the resort’s ocean side eatery, Seagrape Terrace.

Rudolph Bailey, Sous Chef, Seagrape Terrace Restaurant

Rudolph Bailey carries with him 19 years of involvement in the culinary expressions. Having been prepared at the HEART professional focus in Trelawny, Bailey acknowledged his first occupation at a visitor house in Fairfield, St James get ready dinners for the little number of visitors who might remain there. Before taking up the sous culinary specialist position at the Seagrape Terrace, he worked at the Sugar Mill Restaurant – granted the Norma Shirley Restaurant of the Year in 2016 at the

Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards.

Throughout the years, Bailey has built up an affection for flavors, for example, cilantro and tarragon, alluding to them as “new” and “interesting” fixings with solid flavors that function admirably with the dishes he appreciates get ready. One of his favored dishes is flame broiled sheep with simmered garlic and rosemary, taking note of that sheep doesn’t require much and the fixings are to upgrade its regular flavor.

Nicholas Castillo, Sous Chef, Sugar Mill Restaurant

Having attempted his hand at various occupations previously, including development and business enterprise, Nicholas Castillo got to be distinctly attracted to the culinary expressions. He says his secondary school culinary educator alluded to him as “a characteristic” and this propelled him to seek after the culinary expressions at the HEART Culloden Vocational Training Center before joining the group at Sandals Negril.

Roused by his mom and her cooking systems (she makes a phenomenal escoveitch angle), Castillo watched precisely for a long time and has since built up his own style, which incorporates trying different things with garlic, a most loved of his because of its satisfying fragrance and taste. He keeps on being roused and inspired by the “wows” he gets from visitors at Half Moon who discover his dishes delightful.

Gabriel Villagra, Head Pastry Chef, Half Moon

Gabriel Villagra has made considerable progress from his home in Buenos Aires, Argentina. With over 10 years of involvement in the realm of cakes, Villagra was prepared at the Institute Argentine Culinary in Argentina before going to the Ecole Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil, Paris, France. It was in the city of affection, where he began to look all starry eyed at the craft of cakes and remained in Paris to fill in as a baked good culinary expert in a bread kitchen there.

Villagra says he is the main dough puncher in his family and is pleased with the way he has trod, which has conveyed him to Jamaica. It is here where he now shares his affection for chocolate – an adaptable fixing in a wide range of treats – and enjoys treks to Ocho Rios, his most loved place in his new home.

Source: Jamaica Observer

5 Easy, Flavorful Weeknight Meals in 30 Minutes or Less

As a mom, between work deadlines, school runs and everything else life throws your way, a home-cooked meal at the end of the day is just what you and your family need to reconnect and replenish. And it’s much easier than you think to whip up easy, flavor-packing meals, even on your busiest weeknights.

Craving Mexican food? Planning to fire up the grill? The Guide is where you can create a FlavorPrint Profile and search for recommendations for whatever mood you’re in. You’ll also find step-by-step recipes with Lawry’s seasoning and sauce pairings and time-saving tips so you can get dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less (because it never hurts to have a little extra time to spend with your loved ones).

Below, check out some satisfying dishes to add to your arsenal.

Monday: Sweet & Savory Pork Tenderloin

Tuesday: Veggie Loaded Pasta Bowls

Grilled Chicken Tostadas

Thursday: Pineapple Shrimp Fried Rice

Friday: Your Signature Burger

source –

3 Dead After Eating Tainted Ice Cream

Five patients at Via Christi St. Francis hospital in Wichita, Kansas developed listeriosis after eating ice cream products from the Blue Bell creamery in Brenham, Texas, the Associated Press reports. Three are dead.

The five patients were hospitalized between December 2013 and January 2015 for unrelated causes, hospital spokeswoman Maria Loving told the AP. Information was available for four of the five on what foods they had eaten in the month before infection. The CDC found that all four had ingested milkshakes made with a single-serving Blue Bell product called “Scoops.”

Bacteria isolated from the patients matched strains from Blue Bell products obtained in Texas and South Carolina. The FDA said that the bacteria had been found in samples of several Blue Bell products, including Blue Bell Chocolate Chip Country Cookies, Great Divide Bars, Sour Pop Green Apple Bars, Cotton Candy Bars, Scoops, Vanilla Stick Slices, Almond Bars and No Sugar Added Moo Bars.

Listeriosis is a life-threatening infection. “Almost everyone who is diagnosed with listeriosis has invasive infection, meaning the bacteria spread from their intestines to the blood, causing bloodstream infection, or to the central nervous system, causing meningitis,” according to the AP.

Blue Bell, the third-highest selling brand of ice cream in the country (according to its own website), announced a product recall for the first time in its 108-year history.

“Anytime is one too much,” Paul Kruse, the company’s president and CEO, told The Houston Chronicle. “This is the only thing we do: We make and sell ice cream. It’s who we are and we’ve got to do it right.”

Update, 4:45 p.m. – The AP has rewritten its story significantly, citing Kansas health officials who said food-borne illness linked to some Blue Bell products “maybe have been a contributing factor” in the three deaths, but also including a statement from Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokeswoman Sara Belfry said Saturday, who said that the deaths were not the result of listeriosis. The recall, however, appears to still be in place.


The No-Recipe Curry

Like most families, we have a few favourite dinner recipes that runs on repeat like old records in our home. Our spinach crepes are rotating at least a couple of times each month. So are variations of this beetroot salad, these quinoa patties and this carrot and red lentil soup. They are simple comforting recipes that everyone in our family loves and most importantly; recipes that we almost always have the ingredients for at home. I guess we could call them our family’s recipe staples. Another dish that has made it into our recipe staple list during the last year is this no-recipe curry. Not only have we been cooking it in our own kitchen, but also in kitchens in Melbourne, Sydney and on the tiny stow top kitchen in our campervan on New Zealand. A rather well-travelled dish and for a good reason. It is very simple to adapt to whatever you have at hand and therefore easily prepared, always tasty and comforting like a big, warm hug.

We start out with a base of onion, garlic, ginger (heaps!) and turmeric, then add whatever vegetables we have within reach, fill up with coconut milk and add some tofu. And right when it’s done cooking, we always add fresh spinach that we quickly let wilt down without loosing its sturdiness. The result is a sweet and creamy dish with lots of vegetables and a punch of ginger and garlic. It’s a very likeable dish and easy to adapt to whatever flavors you prefer. Chili would be a good addition if you like it spicy and are not cooking for kids. We always make huge batches of this so we have lunch or dinner sorted for another day. It keeps well in the fridge and the flavours will develop even further.

We call it no-recipe curry because we improvise it slightly every time we make it. We are however giving you a specific recipe for it today. Our hope is that you will try it, tweak it and make it into your own recipe staple. We would also love to hear about which recipes you always return to? Any favourites that you want us to try?

Sweet Potato, Ginger, Spinach & Tofu Curry
Serves 6

As I have mentioned above, there are plenty of ways to tweak this recipe. Feel free to add mustard seeds, ground coriander, curry leaves or chili with the other spices if you have it on hand. Replace any of the vegetables with whatever is in season – pumpkin, zucchini, tomatoes or aubergine will all fit right in. A splash of yogurt is also nice on top if you are not vegan.

2 tbsp coconut oil or butter
1 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
1 large chunk (at least 2 inches / 5 cm) fresh ginger root
1 tbsp ground turmeric or fresh, grated
1/2 tsp ground cumin (optional)
1 tsp salt
1 large sweet potato (approx 500 g / 1 pound)
1 broccoli
1 cauliflower
2 cans (800 ml) coconut milk (or half water if you want it lighter)
200 g tofu, drained and cut into 1 inch / 2,5 cm cubes
2 large handfuls fresh spinach
1/2 lime, juice

Serve with
fresh coriander/cilantro (optional)
a sprinkle of nigella seeds (optional)
a large handful cashew nuts, pan roasted
2 cups cooked quinoa or rice

Add coconut oil to a large sauce pan on medium heat. Peel and finely chop onion, garlic and ginger and add to the pan together with turmeric and cumin. Stir and cook for a few minutes until the onion is soft. Meanwhile, peel and cut the sweet potato in 1 inch / 2,5 cm cubes. Add the sweet potato to the pan and let sauté for a few minutes. Stir around every now and then to make sure nothing is burnt. You can add a splash of water or more oil if the spices stick to the bottom of the pan. Cut broccoli and cauliflower into florets and add to the pan together with the coconut milk and tofu. Cook until the sweet potato cubes are soft and tender (about 15 minutes). Remove from the heat, add spinach and a squeeze of lime and stir around. Taste and add more salt and spices if needed.

Serve in bowls with cooked quinoa (or rice), cashew nuts, nigella seeds and some fresh coriander.

Jamaican Rum Cake Recipe Scrumptious!

This particular recipe will make you at least 3 cakes in 9 inch tins, but it’s up to you to decide if you want to make a larger number of smaller cakes. A single fruit cake is hardly ever made in Jamaica (unless it’s a really large one), as every visitor to someone’s home at Christmas time expects to be offered cake! Friends come to my house and ask pointedly “You bake yet?”

The longer you soak the fruits in this Jamaican rum cake recipe, the better the outcome. Some people soak their fruit for months, but a few hours will still give a tasty result.

Here’s my Grandma’s, and now my mother’s Jamaican Fruit Cake.

Jamaican Rum Cake Recipe

1 lb raisins, ground or chopped
1 lb prunes, ground or chopped
1 lb currants, ground or chopped
1 tsp grated or ground nutmeg
Red Label Wine (or other red cooking wine)
Wray and Nephew Overproof Rum (or other white rum)

At least a day (longer if possible) in advance, place fruit in a large jar. Pour wine and rum over fruit, so that it is completely covered. Cover jar and leave fruit to soak.

1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp mixed spice for baking
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
3 cups baking flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
finely grated rind of 1 lime (or small lemon)

8 oz butter
2 cups sugar
3 tbsp browning

12 eggs
2 tsp rose water
1/2 cup sherry or blackberry brandy (or what ever’s handy!)
2 tsp vanilla

Sift together the first five dry ingredients. Add breadcrumbs and lime rind, and mix in well.

Cream butter and sugar in a very large mixing bowl. Add browning. Add 4 cups of soaked fruit, stirring in with a large wooden spoon.

Beat eggs until light and frothy (10 to 15 minutes). Add rose water, sherry and vanilla.

Add egg mixture to butter mixture, fold in well. Fold soaked fruit into this mixture. (Any left over fruit can be left to soak until the next time you bake!)

Gradually fold in flour mixture. Test to see if the wooden spoon can stand upright in middle of the mixture. If not, add some more flour until the mixture can support the spoon.

Grease baking pans and line with grease paper. Grease and flour lined pans. Pour mixture into tins and bake for 2 hours in a slow oven, 300F. Place a pan of water in the bottom of the oven to ensure cakes do not dry out.

Check cakes from time to time, as baking times may vary. Cakes are ready when a toothpick or skewer inserted in centre comes out clean, or almost clean.

This is a traditional Jamaican Rum Cake Recipe. It takes a little effort, but the outcome is absolutely delicious. To store the cake for a few weeks, keep moist by pouring Red Label wine on the top, and wrapping tightly in aluminium foil.

You can experiment with the flavours and spices used, as well as cut down the quantities if you need less cakes. I believe you’ll need more cakes, not less!



Imperial Punch Royale

This Prosecco punch has a delicious fruit (pineapple, lime, cherry) flavor and a holiday-perfect red color. Timing note: You’ll need to start this recipe one day ahead.

12 servings
  • PREP: 30 minutes
  • TOTAL: 24 hours



  • 1 3 1/2- to 33/4-pound pineapple, peeled, cored, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 cups brandy
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 oranges
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup tawny Port (such as Quinta do Infantado)
  • 1/4 cup maraschino liqueur (such as Luxardo)
  • Large block of ice with orange slices and lime slices
  • 2 cups chilled Prosecco or other sparkling wine
  • 1 cup (or more) chilled sparkling water (optional)
  • Ingredient Info

    Luxardo maraschino liqueur is available at well-stocked liquor stores and from
  • To Make Ice Ring

    Layer orange and lime slices in the bottom of a Bundt pan. To keep the fruit slices from floating to the top, weigh them down with a few handfuls of ice cubes. Fill the pan with water and freeze overnight.


  • Place pineapple pieces in large bowl. Pour brandy over; cover and let pineapple soak at room temperature at least 10 hours or overnight.
  • Place sugar in medium metal bowl. Using vegetable peeler, remove peel from oranges in strips (orange part only). Add orange peel to sugar and mash with muddler or handle of wooden spoon until sugar is soft and moist and turns light orange color, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup boiling water and stir until sugar dissolves. Strain mixture, reserving orange syrup. Discard orange peel.
  • Strain pineapple mixture into large bowl, reserving brandy. Discard pineapple. Add 1/4 cup reserved orange syrup, lime juice, Port, and maraschino liqueur to brandy. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.
  • Just before serving, transfer punch mixture to punch bowl; add block of ice to bowl. Stir in Prosecco. Add 1 cup (or more) sparkling water, if desired, and serve.


A Soulful Thanksgiving!

The Juiciest Turkey Ever!

If there is one thing that people cannot tolerate, it’s a dry bird on Thanksgiving! The worst thing a cook can do is mess up the Thanksgiving Turkey! You will never live it down. No matter how much gravy you try to use, it will still be dried if it is not cooked just right. Most people often cook their turkey way, too, long; allowing the bird to over cook.

Defrosting a Turkey

Most people buy a frozen turkey. It is not only best, but safest to thaw turkey in the refrigerator. For a 10 pound turkey, defrost for two and a half days in the refrigerator. For a 20-22 pound bird, defrost for five and half days in the refrigerator. Safety first; especially when working with poultry. Make sure it is in a leak proof dish or pan, on the lowest shelf in refrigerator.

Juiciest Bird Ever

Brine is the best solution (no pun intended) for the juiciest bird. A brine is an easy sugar and salt solution, that you soak your turkey in for at least 12-24 hours before cooking. Depending on the size of your bird. For a 20+ pound bird, 12 -24 hours. For a 10-12 pound bird, 12 hours. Be sure your turkey is completely thawed and cleaned, and you have room in your refrigerator. Be sure to use either a stainless steel pan, glass, or a plastic container. (I used my roasting pan with a plastic cooking bag inside)

Brine Solution

1 cup of kosher salt for every gallon of water.

½ cup of sugar to every cup of salt.

Any herbs you may desire: sage, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, peppercorns.

Be sure salt and sugar are thoroughly dissolved.

Place turkey breast down in chosen container. Now, pour brine liquid over turkey, and cover, placing in refrigerator for at least 12-24 hours.

After brining, pour off liquid and pat turkey dry, and prepare to roast. Your bird is now flavored inside and out!

How Long Should You Roast A Turkey?

Knowing how long to cook your turkey is the first step to ensuring a moist and juicy bird that everyone will be clamoring over for seconds. The timing is based upon how many pounds the turkey is.

If you have a large family, as I grew up with, to feed approximately 8 adults and 8 children, you should have a 20-22 pound bird. (This alloss for seconds and leftovers). It will take approximately 3 ½ to 4 hours at 325 degrees, roasted uncovered. If you stuff the bird, add an additional hour to the cooking time. So that would be 4 ½ to 5 hours for a stuffed bird.

Please note: your Turkey will be done when an inserted cooking thermometer reads 180 degrees in the thigh of the turkey, and 165 in the center of the stuffing, if stuffed.

If you like, you can cook two smaller turkeys if you have the room. Try two 10-12 pound turkeys to cut down on time. For a 10-12 pound turkey, the cooking time at 375 degrees is, 2 ½ to 3 hours. Stuffed, 3 ½ to 4 hours.

Always allow your turkey to rest for 15 minutes before removing stuffing or carving, to allow the juices to redistribute.

Now on to the good stuff!

Sage Roasted Turkey

Serves 14+

Pre-heat oven to 325°

Large roasting pan with rack

18-22 pound turkey, thawed and brined

Fresh sage leaves (2 bunches) divided into three

Kosher salt

Fresh cracked, black pepper

1 stick of softened unsalted butter


1. Pat turkey dry from all moisture. Salt and pepper the cavity. Pin the wings behind the turkey. Julienne Sage (cut into thin strips). Loosen the skin on the breast to create pockets. Create pockets also within the thighs.

2. Take two tablespoons of softened butter, and spread under the breast skin. Now, take some of the sage strips, and place them, as well, under the breast skin, being sure both sides are even. Take some of the sage, and place them under the skin of the thighs.

3. Turn the turkey breast side down, and season with salt and pepper. Turn the turkey back over, place the rest of the sage leaves in the cavity. Tie the legs with butcher twine, and place in roasting pan.*

4. Take the remaining softened butter and liberally massage turkey, being sure to cover the entire birds breast and thighs. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Place turkey in preheated oven, and roast for 3 ½ to 4 hours.**

6. Allow turkey to rest for at l5 minutes before carving (or removing stuffing if stuffed)

* If you’re stuffing the bird, now would be the time. For a 20-22 pound bird, you will need approximately 10-12 cups of stuffing. Do not pack tightly.

** An additional 1 hour is needed for a stuffed bird (4 ½ to 5 hours)

Sage Gravy

32oz of low sodium chicken broth

3 sage leaves, finely chopped

1 small white onion diced

2 cloves of minced garlic

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 tablespoons of flour

½ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon of black pepper

In a medium saucepan heat oil and butter. Add onions and garlic and fresh sage on low heat until onions are translucent. Add flour until a thick paste. Slowly add chicken broth while continuously stirring. Gravy should start to thicken. Add salt and pepper. Stir for five minutes reducing heat. Allow to cook for at least fifteen minutes. For added flavor, omit salt and pepper, and olive oil, and use a four or five tablespoons of drippings from the turkey pan. Also, cornstarch may be used to thicken gravy instead of flour. Omit flour, cook everything the same, add broth after onions are translucent. When broth comes to a boil, add three tablespoons of cornstarch that has been dissolved in three tablespoons of cold water. Stir consistently, allowing to simmer until ready for use.

For Giblet Gravy, omit the sage. Clean and boil the turkey gizzards and liver in lightly salted water (4 cups). Take giblets and chop finely. Return to water. Add a packet of onion soup mix. Add salt and pepper, garlic powder, bring to slow boil. In a cup, add four heaping tablespoons of flour and some water to make a thin consistency, but not to watery. Should resemble a very thin batter. Slowly pour into giblet mixture, stirring slowly until thickened. Cook for about twenty minutes, and simmer until ready to use.

Healthy Thanksgiving Sides and Dessert Recipes

Wow everyone at Thanksgiving dinner by bringing a healthy, flavorful side dish or dessert to share with friends or family. These nutrient-rich salads, side dishes and desserts are delicious twists on the rich, heavy choices traditionally offered. High-impact flavors like fresh herbs, prosciutto, ginger and seasonal fruit eliminate the need for gobs of butter, cream and salt. With these healthy recipes you can eat well and enjoy all of the wonderful flavors of Thanksgiving.


Meringue-Topped Sweet Potato



This lightened-up take on the classic Thanksgiving sweet potato casserole is spiked with crushed pineapple and toasted pecans. We top it with an airy, slightly sweet meringue. You can pipe the meringue to make it look fancy or simply spread it neatly with a rubber spatula.



10 servings, about 1/2 cup each

Active Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 1/4 hours

2 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3 medium), peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup low-fat evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple, undrained
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted (see Tip)
4 teaspoons dried egg whites (see Note), reconstituted according to package directions, or 2 large pasteurized egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar

Place sweet potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a food processor. Process until smooth.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat an 8-inch-square (or similar 2-quart) broiler-safe baking dish (see Tip) with cooking spray.
Whisk whole eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, oil, evaporated milk, vanilla and salt in a large bowl until smooth. Add the sweet potato; whisk until smooth. Stir in pineapple and its juice. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with pecans.
Bake the casserole until heated through and the edges are bubbling, 35 to 45 minutes. Set aside while you make the topping.
To prepare meringue topping: Position rack in top third of oven; preheat broiler. Beat egg whites in a medium bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until soft peaks form (see Tip). Beat in granulated sugar in a slow, steady stream. Continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Spoon the meringue into a gallon-size sealable bag. Seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Cut a 1/2-inch hole in one corner. Pipe the meringue onto the casserole, making marshmallow-size dots. (Alternatively, use a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch tip or spread the meringue over the casserole as if you were frosting a cake.) Broil until lightly browned, watching carefully to prevent burning, 30 to 90 seconds.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 4; cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat, covered, in the microwave on High, before finishing with Steps 5-6.
Tips: To toast chopped nuts, place in a small dry skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant and lightly browned, 2 to 4 minutes
A broiler-safe baking dish is one made of metal or earthenware. Glass baking dishes, such as Pyrex, may shatter under the broiler.
To make soft peaks, beat egg whites with an electric hand mixer until they are stiff, but still soft enough to curl over when beaters are turned upside down.
Note: Pasteurized dried egg whites are a wise choice in recipes that call for uncooked egg whites. Look for brands like Just Whites in the baking section of most supermarkets.
Per serving: 196 calories; 7 g fat ( 1 g sat , 3 g mono ); 46 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrates; 10 g added sugars; 5 g protein; 3 g fiber; 194 mg sodium; 361 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (281% daily value), Vitamin C (23% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 other carbohydrate, 1 fat


Sauteed Brussels Sprouts

With Bacon & Onions



Fresh herbs, onion and bacon pair beautifully with Brussels sprouts. This vegetable loves the cool weather of fall and early winter. If you can find them still attached to the stalk, don’t be intimidated—buy them, as they’re likely more fresh. All you need to do is slice off each sprout with a paring knife. However you find them at the market, this is a delicious way to prepare them. (Recipe adapted from The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.)

10 servings, about 3/4 cup each

Active Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

2 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed
4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 sprigs thyme or savory, plus 2 teaspoons leaves, divided
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. If sprouts are very small, cut in half; otherwise cut into quarters. Cook the sprouts until barely tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, until brown but not crisp, 3 to 6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel. Pour out all but about 1 tablespoon bacon fat from the pan.
Add oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until soft but not browned, reducing the heat if necessary, about 4 minutes. Stir in thyme (or savory) sprigs, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high, add the Brussels sprouts, and cook, tossing or stirring occasionally, until tender and warmed through, about 3 minutes. Remove the herb sprigs. Add the bacon, thyme (or savory) leaves and lemon juice, if using, and toss.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 1, rinse with cold water; store airtight in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Finish with Steps 2-3, 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
NUTRITION 81 calories; 3 g fat ( 1 g sat , 2 g mono ); 4 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 3 g fiber; 333 mg sodium; 432 mg potassium.
Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 1 fat

Nutrition Note: Vitamin C (130% daily value), Folate & Vitamin A (19% dv).



Cooking with Chef Marcus Samuelsson: Cauliflower Curry Recipe


Curries are a mainstay in my kitchen. When in doubt, I bust out a curry and all is right in my world. Hubby emphatically agrees. Whether it be a coconut curry, a tomato based one or just a simply spiced affair, curries have long been my salvation when I need something quick, tasty, and relatively painless.

While it may look like a very long list of ingredients I can assure you this is not a complicated or lengthy recipe and one of the best things about it is that most of these items will most likely already be in your kitchen. Aside from perhaps a few of the spices, this should be a go-to meal for most people – show me a person who doesn’t stock potato and cauliflower on a weekly basis.

The only slightly unusual addition is the fennel. I would heed an educated guess that there are a number of you out there who’ve not yet experienced the greatness of this rather strange looking bulb.

I avoided fennel for years. To be perfectly honest, I hadn’t a clue what to do with it or which dishes I should be using it in. Then I discovered it was fantastic for bad circulation (from which my Husband suffers) and I made the decision to brave the bulb and use it in a curry – after all, I’d been using fennel seeds in curries for years anyway.

Since then I haven’t looked back and now freely use fennel in a multitude of dishes including warm salads. It lends a beautifully fragrant, yet not overpowering, taste to any dish in which it is used and for this particular curry it is a vital component. Just remember to slice it as thinly as possible (this is key!) – it should play a supporting role, not the main feature.

I’d be bold enough to say this dish is in my top five curries and for anyone wanting to exchange meat for vegetables this Meatless Monday, this, in my humble opinion, is as good at it gets.

Cauliflower Curry Recipe

1/2 onion
1/2 fennel bulb
2 garlic cloves
1/2 large chili
thumbsized piece of ginger
4 or 5 salad potatoes
1 head cauliflower cut into florets
1 heaped tsp garam masala
1 scant tsp tumeric
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp vegetable bouillon granules
4 leave of cavolo nero or kale
small punch finely chopped flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper

Click here for more….


Hot Jamaican Pepper Shrimp

A Jamaican delicacy that whets the palate, whether it is purchased on the road side or at the Wyndham Hole in Kingston. Here are the ingredients to make tasty pepper shrimp.


5 lb. shrimps (left in shells)

2 cloves garlic

1 cup cooking oil

2 tsp. salt

2 scotch bonnet peppers

2 tbsp. vinegar

3 pimento seeds (crushed)



1. Put oil, garlic, salt and pepper to heat in a dutch pot.

2. Add shrimps and stir for 5 minutes.

3. Sprinkle crushed pimento seeds to mixture

4. Add vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Serves 6-8