Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Papaya Pie

Papaya Pie tastes a lot like Peach Pie. Make sure the papaya is nicely ripened before cutting it open.

Cut papaya in half and remove seeds of 2 medium sized ripe papaya.
Peel the outer shell and slice pieces into small squares.

In a medium sized saucepan combine:
Sliced papaya
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Coat for 10 minutes before heating.

Next, on medium heat, bring papaya and juices to a simmer and lower heat. Cook for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and add:
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp salt

Remove from heat and let cool before adding:
1 large egg beaten.

Season with extra maple syrup and brown sugar if necessary to taste.

Pour into pie crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Let cool and serve.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Lemon Squares

The lemon tree is very pretty on the way to the dry waterfall. And in the middle of winter, it displays the largest, most beautiful lemons I have every seen. Next year I will have an electric citrus juicer to make life easier; this year I managed by hand.

Lemon freezes very nicely in ice cube trays which you then take out and freeze in freezer bags. That way when it comes time to make lemon squares, they're ready for the asking..

Lemon Squares made with Montserrat Lemons:

Butter an 8"x8" glass baking dish

Most lemon square recipes call for confectioner's sugar, which would be great if I had a Whole Foods Market because I refuse to use white sugar in my recipes. Ashok's happened to have brown sugar that was finely ground. If you are not so lucky, you can take regular brown sugar and blend it in your blender to a finer consistency before use.

Mix in a food processor (my favorite way to bake these days)
3/4 cup of white flour
1/4 cup of finely ground brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Add 6 TBS of barely softened butter, 1 TBS at a time on high speed to a pea-like consistency. This time, my pea like consistency looked more like little ping pong balls.. they work anyway.

Now firmly press this mixture into the bottom of your baking dish and bake at a preheated oven at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes. While the crust is baking...

In the same food processor, combine on high speed:
3 large eggs
1 cup of finely ground brown sugar

To this mixture quickly process on low speed
1/2 cup plus 1 TBS fresh lemon juice from lemon tree

Now add 2 TBS of flour and just barely mix on very slow speed.

Stir to make sure sugar and flour are properly combined and then pour over crust

Bake at 300 degrees for about 40 minutes until the lemon and eggs have set.

Let cool and put in refrigerator for an hour. It's best to serve at room temperature after cooling. Delicious!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fresh Pineapple Upside Down Cake

It's easy to find fresh pineapple on island. The hard part about this recipe is finding something appropriate to bake it in. Luckily I had a skillet with a metal handle that acts like a pie plate when necessary...

Slice the top and bottom from the fresh pineapple. Slice down the sides to the fruit below. Cut in rounds avoiding the hard centers. Slice the fruit in small junks. (Feed the hard centers to the chickens and agudis!)

Coat the bottom and sides of a medium sized skillet with a little butter.
Now add:
1/2 stick butter with
2/3 cup raw brown sugar less 2 TBS (I find 2/3 cup is just a bit too sweet for my taste buds.
and melt together over low flame.

After they have melted together, turn off the heat and
Add enough pineapple junks to cover the bottom tightly

Now make the cake:

In a food processor add:
1 stick of soft butter
2/3 cup of raw brown sugar less 2 TBS (a full 2/3 cup is still too sweet)
Process until creamy

Next add 2 large eggs and process until creamy again
Add 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract and
Just under 3/4 cup of Vanilla Silk Soy Milk
Blend again until creamy

Add to the creamed mixture:
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
Process for a second

Now add 1 TBS at a time:
1-1/2 cups of flour until all is blended together.

Use a rubber scraper to scrape the sides of the bowl and blend for another second to mix.

Pour the batter over the pineapple mixture, making sure it covers the whole mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean in the center.

Cool for a few minutes. Put a plate over the top of the skillet and turn it upside down so the pineapples are now on the top. Perfect!

Strawberry-Banana Crepes

This is Bill's favorite breakfast! And frozen strawberries and fresh bananas are "almost" always available on island. Make sure the bananas are very ripe for best digestion. This recipe serves 2 people.

Start by making the filling:
Slice 2 cups of frozen strawberries. It's easier if they are just beginning to thaw.
Slice 2 ripe bananas

In a small saucepan, melt 2 TBS butter.
Add the sliced fruit along with:
1/4 tsp salt
2 heaping tsp of raw brown sugar
1/4 tsp of cinnamon
Add more sugar to taste if necessary.
Cook on low heat until softened and the juices flow. Turn off heat and let sit.

Next come the crepes:

To mix the batter, combine the following in a blender and blend:
1/2 cup Silk Vanilla Soy Milk
1 large egg
2 TBS water

While the blender is turned on, open the top cover and add 1 TBS at a time:
1/2 cup of white flour until it is nicely blended. The mixture should be a little on the wet side.

Now you are ready to make the crepes.
Melt on low heat in a small saucepan:
1 TBS of butter

Heat two medium skillets on the stove top. Brush each one with the melted butter just enough to coat them. Once heated, while holding the skillet in your left hand, pour a circle about 3" wide in the center of the skillet. Immediately begin to twist the skillet so the batter is circling around the outside of the center causing the crepe to become thinner and thinner as you go.

Do the same in the second skillet.

Cook the crepe on medium low heat until light browned (about a minute or so). Turn over and lightly brown the other side, which should take half the time as the first side.

Line a dinner plate with a paper towel and store 3 crepes side by side on the plate. Cover with another paper towel, and add 3 more crepes on top.

When the crepes are done, fill each one with a thin layer of the fruit saving the juices to pour over the crepes after they are filled. Serve immediately. Pure maple syrup can be added but is often not necessary.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Banana French Toast

Sometimes it seems like bananas are abundant, especially when we hike into the rainforest and come back with bundles. What does one do when they all ripen at the same time? Eileen has taught me that I can fry them in a little butter and freeze them. Then when needed, it's easy to pull a bag out of the freezer to be used for delightful recipes, like this one for Banana French Toast:

In a food processor combine:

1 sliced ripe banana (or frozen banana that has been thawed overnight)
2 eggs
1/4 cup vanilla soy milk
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Process until combined. Pour batter into a 8x10 baking dish. Soak both sides of whole grain bread in the batter for a few minutes.

Heat 1 TBS butter in a skillet on medium heat. Grill each slice of soaked toast until lightly browned on each side (adjust heat as necessary) .

Serve hot with butter and pure maple syrup. (Makes 4 slices)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Island Pizzas

Making breads is easy on island. The stores stock all the necessities. So pizza has become a main staple for me and Bill.

To make the best Pizza Dough:

In a medium sized bowl combine:
1 cup of warm water
1 tsp brown sugar
1 TBS yeast

Put into the oven to keep warm for 20 minutes to ensure the yeast is good. It should be bubbly after 20 minutes.

Add to the yeasty water:
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup of white flour at a time mixing between each addition.

When the dough begins to form a ball in the bowl, empty it onto a floured cutting board or counter top. Begin needing, adding small amounts of flour as necessary until it no longer sticks to your hands (about 5 minutes).

Clean out the bowl. Add 1 TBS extra virgin olive oil to coat the inside of the bowl. Put in the ball of dough; cover with a light towel and put back in the oven to rise approximately 50 minutes. When doubled in size, take it out of the oven, punch it down and knead for another few minutes until all the air is out.

Cut the dough in half and begin to roll it out to fit on a cookie sheet. Add your favorite toppings (see below) and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom.

Favorite toppings:
Recently, Rams had baby portabella mushrooms. Needless to say, this pizza had sauteed onions, red peppers, portabella mushrooms and about 2 TBS of salsa. Season with salt and pepper and your favorite herbs; top with goat cheese. Delicious!

Another favorite is sauteed scallions, spinach, and olives seasoned with salt, pepper and herbs.
Topped with goat cheese of course.

Pizzas can be topped with just about anything... ground chicken; potatoes; fresh tomato and basil...let your imagination take you there!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

White Bean Hummus with Mango

Our hikes into the rainforeset usually allow us to "shop" along the route. The hike to the cot is lined with gardens beaming with bananas, cabbage and mango trees. A recent hike allowed us to scavenge some small mangoes that had fallen and a few were ready to harvest. With limited resources I managed to combine white beans and mangoes to make a wonderful dip to share at a party that evening.

In a large food processor combine:

1 can of drained white beans (save the juice for later)
2 TBS of fresh lemon juice (this came from our own lemon tree)
3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
6 large cloves of roasted garlic
1/4 cup chopped mango (optional)

Whiz all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Add a TBS of reserved bean juice if more liquid is necessary for consistency.

Serve as a side dish with chips or crackers or you can use for sandwiches or salad topping.