Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jamaican Recipes

Here are the recipes that were requested from the "Jamaican Festival" menu on the Farm Fresh Tour! I also prepared these at a cooking class that I taught the week before and they were very well recieved! Enjoy!

Calypso Beans & Rice

If buying commercial beef broth for this recipe make sure there is no msg in the broth. Most organic labels do not include msg.

8 ounces bacon, cut into 1/2 inch cubes: 2 yellow peppers, stemmed,seeded & cut into 1/2 inch pieces: 1 medium onion, cut into 1/4 inch pieces: 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped: 1 cup long grain rice: 4 cups cooked dark red kidney beans: 2 cups beef broth: 1 1/2 cups pimiento stuffed Spanish olives: 3 ripe tomaotes, seeded & cut into 1/2 inch pieces: 1/4 cup drained capers: 1 tablesppon dried basil: 1 tablespoon dried oregano: 1 1/2 tespoons ground allspice: 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce: salt & freshly ground pepper: 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions: 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves.

Saute the bacon in a large pot over low heat about 8 minutes: add the peppes, onion, and garlic. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes to wilt the vegetables: add the rice and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except the scallions & cilantro. Stir, cover and cook over medium low heat until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Add the scallions and cilantro and gently combine. Serve hot. Makes 8 servings.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

I prefer to use the dark meat for this recipe, (Thighs and legs). It tends to absorbe the marinade more than the white meat. But, this is just a personal preference!

6 scallions, thinly sliced: 2 large shallots, minced: 2 lare cloves garlic, minced: 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger: 1/2 habanero chili, seeded, minced: 1 tablespoon allspice: 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper: 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon: 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg: 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced: 1 teaspoon coarse salt: 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar: 1/2 cup fresh orange juice: 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar: 1/4 cup red wine vinegar: 1/4 cup soy sauce: 1/4 cup olive oil.

In a bowl combine the scallion, shallots, garlic, ginger, and chili. Set aside
In another bowl combine the spices, thyme, salt and sugar. Whisk the orange juice, both vinegars, and the soy sauce. Slowly drizzle in the oil, while whisking constantly. Add the sacllion mixture and stir to combine. Let rest an hour before marinating the chicken.

Quarter two chickens, 2 1/2 - 3 lbs each, rinse well, removing any excess fat, and pat dry. Marinate the chicken in the jerk sauce overnight in the refrigerator. Preheat the oven to 350*F. Arrange the marinated chicken in a single layer in a roasting pan. Bake for 45 minutes basting occasionally. (or until internal temp is 160*F) Just before chicken is done pour off excess marinade and let chicken brown.

In a saucepan on the stovetop reduce the leftover marinade until syrupy, while the chicken bakes. When chicken is done pour the reduction over the chicken. Serve alongside Calypso Beans & Rice.

More recipes anyone?

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Last Supper

Sarah & Lily ready to go: feeding Joe: happy campers: the Fashionistas: Marin County Cheeses & fresh figs.

Well, this is it. The last supper for my tribes for the season. I hope that the majority of you have enjoyed the fare throughout the tours! I definitely have enjoyed (almost all the time) cooking for you. It is such a pleasure to be able to share good food!

The last day was marvelous. The tribe peddled out to the coast and spent the day rolling up and down along the beaches. Lots of ups! The weather was mild and the scenery breathtaking. Many places along the way to stop and explore, as most everyone did.

The bakery just outside of the Casini Ranch in Duncan Mills is unexpectedly good. Fresh baked pastries featuring flaky, buttery crusts, thin pizzas with heirloom tomatoes and homemade pesto, good coffee and the best cinnamon rolls we have ever tasted. On through Bodega Bay and into Tomales for another bakery to die for! When we stopped there was a club from Santa Rose with about 25 cyclists as well as a BMW motorcycle club with about 50 riders. Popular spot! After Tomales there are the oyster farms to top the pastries off with shooters. Yummmm.
Next stop: Point Reyes Station for the Cowgirl Creamery, Bovine Bakery, and General Store. All offering delicious noshes to fuel the tribe into the camp ground. With all of the stops along the way I don't see how they could be hungry tonight!

But, they were! We started the appetizer hour with three choice wheels of cheeses from the Marin County Cheese Company; a hand made blue, Marin French Blue, a cows milk double cream cheese lace with streaks of blue; the Yellow Buck Camembert; as well the amazing soft goat chevre. I understand the some Costco's carry these cheeses during the holidays, as well as most fine cheese shops. The cheeses from the Cow Girl Creamery are pretty darn good as well. We treated ourselves to a wedge of Humboldt Fog Blue Cheese for an afternoon snack. YUMMM!
Dinner tonight: spicy cabbage salad, apple and green salad with a cranberry poppy seed cream dressing, grilled salmon with a mango salsa, white bean puttanesca, steamed brown rice, fresh carrots & green beans, and peanut butter bars for dessert. It was a fine last supper.

The tribe finished up the evening with a map meeting and awards ceremony. Our great Chief Kevin presented some pretty funny awards! (Sarah: I really think I learned a lot about how to dress fashionably as a cyclist! Some new looks that I must try out.) Kevin did a fabulous job running his first tour. He had a great support staff with Joe as mechanic, Sue as marker supreme, Jerry and Tina on lunch and water stops, and Keith on luggage. A good job done by all.

We had a long night before the last breakfast and a long drive home. We knew that there is a quite large raccoon population at this camp and planned accordingly, or so we thought. Mr. Raccoon really loved the dark chocolate bar that was in Jack's luggage. He also was inclined to open every cooler in the park, including the beer. He managed to rifle through just about every one's luggage and bike packs that were left outside. He was kind enough to leave a granola bar at Joe's doorstep: must of thought I wasn't feeding Joe quite enough this week. (Joe is about 7 feet tall and thin as a rail and I keep trying to fill him up on these tours, but it doesn't seem to happen!) Mr. Raccoon was kind enough to keep us up from about 2am. He was bold enough to come up behind me and steal a loaf of bread as I was making sandwiches! Quite a sight to see, Jack chasing the raccoon with the hose.

The morning was a race to get everyone fed and on the road. Us as well; we have an 18 hour drive straight home. I am sad to see everyone go....can't wait until next season I hope to see many of the tribe again next year if you'll let me cook for you. I promise to use only real butter & peanut butter with no hydrogenated vegetable oil, I will give in and use real maple syrup, I promise to provide a wider variety of snacks at the water stop, and will gladly serve 1/2 and 1/2 with your coffee. And, I will try to be nice. Most of the time. Till next year!

Riding along the Russian River

The Hop Mill Winery; Mo & Jason taking a break; grapes!

What a glorious day for a bike ride! The temperature dropped as the tribe traversed towards the coast: no more 103*F days in sight! The terrain along today's route was so so beautiful! We rolled through the end of the Napa Valley, the Alexander Valley, then the Russian River Valley. I thought the wine country was just the Napa Valley: some of the greatest wineries are located elsewhere! We stopped at the Hop Mill Winery for a quick tour; it is on the historic register and is really quite a place! The roads through the valleys are steep and winding with little shoulder, yet it is a cycling mecha! We passed many, many cyclists all day long.

The tribe lunched in the Redwoods then dropped along the Russian River out to Casini Ranch. This is a working cattle ranch with a HUGE campground. The water for the ranch comes from a natural spring on the hill above the ranch and is so good that the ranch owners having a bottling plant to sell the water!

As the tribe rolled into the ranch so did the fog. It's a pretty erie sight to see a fog bank rolling up the valley and engulfing the camp. It is nice to be out of the heat!

We had a nice clubhouse to use tonight, complete with a kitchen! So tonight's new menu was a go! YEAH! And the tribe loved it: Jamaican theme! Jerk chicken, calypso beans and rice, grilled patty pan squash, steamed fingerling potatoes and Aaron's chocolate pudding surprise! The jerk chicken was amazing; I will post the recipe as asked by many!

The tribe took advantage of the indoor facility and stayed up way past their bedtime. This has been a great group: I am beginning to get a little melancholy about having this be the last trip of the season. Looking forward to some time at home, but I will miss feeding my tribes!