Saturday, August 23, 2014

Shrimp scapece and pigeon peas rice - "escabeche de camarones en salsa arriba arroz con guandules"

Scapece pronounced "escapeche" is a pickling method using vinegar or citrus juice to conserve seafood or vegetables. Usually is served cold but can also be served warm. 

Scapece is commonly used many ways in Latin America, The Caribbean & The Mediterranean and prepped in different forms. 

Growing up I remember my mother making all types of scapece with fish and/or seafood during Lent.

Today in my kitchen I created my version by lightly steaming shrimp and using lemon juice instead of vinegar in a warm tomato sauce base. 

Here is what my dish called for:



1 1/2 pound of raw, peeled and deveined shrimp lightly steamed
1 dry bay leaf
2 fresh basil leaves
1/4 tsp coriander *optional
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/2 tsp chopped chives (reserved the 1/2 tsp for garnish)
2 tsp tomato paste
1/4 c of lemon juice
1 tsp of butter
Pinch of sugar
1 c of water 


1 can of Goya pigeon peas 
1 tsp of Spanish olives w/ tsp of its brine
4 tbsp of Goya extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion chopped
4 garlic cloves grated
2 tsp of homemade Sofrito  
1 tsp Dominican dried oregano
2 mild Scotch bonnet peppers (remove steams/seeds)
1/2 of a medium Red pepper seeded
1/2 of a medium Green pepper seeded
1 chicken bouillon powder envelope
1 Sazon con achiote powder envelope
3 cups of water
3 cups of long grain white rice washed/


Steam your shrimp lightly and set aside.

In a saucepan on medium heat add butter,lemon juice, tomato paste, cumin, salt/pepper, coriander, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, bay leaves, basil leaves, paprika, 1 tsp chives. With wood spoon stir to dissolve the tomato paste well . Once mixed throughly add the steamed shrimp. Stir cover and and turn off heat. 

In Dutch oven on medium high heat add oil, onion,garlic and sofrito. Stir and let cook for about a minute then add the beans, rice, bouillon, Sazon, red/green and Scotch Bonnet peppers, oregano, brine, Spanish olives and water. 

Because I'm using my Dutch oven I am not going to wait for the liquid from the rice evaporate. I covered it immediately and just lowered the heat to its lowest temperature. 

Let cook undisturbed for 20 minutes. Then removed the lid and stirred the rice with wooden spoon and covered again for another 10 minutes. 

Returned removing lid after the 10 minutes and fluffed the rice with a fork. 
Turned off heat and served. 

Warm the scapece before serving. 

Plate & Serve. 
Garnish with chives and marinated red bell peppers. Yum!!

Bon Apetit! 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Oxtail Stew - Dominican Style

This is dangerously delicious stew. I made this for mom because for weeks she's been craving this dish and she loves how I make it. 

It was a bit pricey ($5.99 a pound) but its ok because it was my birthday weekend and she was coming over to help me in the garden. 

As you can see I didn't even get to take more pictures. Between the garden and cooking I remembered when all was gone lol. 

Yup, like I said was dangerously delicious. 


4 1/2 of 1in thick oxtail sliced
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 cubits de pollo
6 Scott bonnet peppers seeded
1 1/2 bottle of Goya cooking wine
2 Sazon achiote y 
2 tbsp Spanish olives with some brine
2 tbsp of naranga Agria
2 tbsp Dominican dry oregano
2 tbsp powdered oregano
1 tbsp of thyme
1 medium onion
1 medium green pepper seeded
4 large garlic cloves grated
1 4 quart Dutch oven
Tabasco hot sauce (I added added about  10-12 drops, but you can always add more or less)
1 tbsp of pure olive oil 
Large bowl
Saran Wrap 


Wash oxtail and rinse. Remove extra access visible fats. 

Season with powdered oregano, bitter orange and one bouillon and one  Sazon. 
Cover with Saran Wrap and refrigerate for at-least an hour. 

Preheat at low/medium your Dutch oven to slowly heat the pan throughly and evenly. 

As you heat you pan prep your onion, peppers and lay out the other spices and ingredients on your counter. 

Drizzle oil in your pan and raise the heat now to medium high heat. Remove meat from fridge, uncover and set aside. 

You are now ready to braise your meat on both sides. Do this in batches. Once you have all the meat braised and colored on each sides and set aside in a large bowl. 

Add a tomato paste stir into the hot oil, and bring back the meat to the pot to finish cooking. Add the remaining ingredients except the wine and stir to mix throughly.

Now add 1/2 the the wine let cook for about 5 minutes then add enough to cover all the meat. 

Place lid slightly. Don't cover all the way, leaving just a bit of an opening. 

Let simmer for for about 2 hours or until meat is fork tender. Check and stir occasionally. Add more water if needed. And add wine 30-45 minutes before done. You may also add fresh herbs at the ends

Remove access oil at the end. You can do this through out but if so you may also be removing the delicious seasoning. So I would wait till the end. 

Serve hot over a bed of white rice and a slice of avocado. Don't want rice you may also serve it over a starchy vegetable like boiled green plantains or cassava. 

I like to try this in the slow cooker sometime in the future. When I do I'll sure post an update on how it turned out. 

Bon Apetit

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Crustless Spinach Potato Quiche

Quick, easy and one dish delicious breakfast. 


5 eggs
1/2 c milk (of choice)
1 boiled small potato
1 small onion chopped
1/2 c of thawed & squeezed spinach
2 slices jarlsberg Swiss cheese chopped
1/2 c Cabot reduced cheddar cheese grated 
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
Sriracha *optional 
9 inch baking dish
Cooking spray 
Olive oil 
Med bowl


Preheat oven at 350 degrees 

Spray the 9 1/2 inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. 

In a small skillet add oil, onions and potatoes. Heat through till onions are translucent. Turn off heat and let cool. 

Meanwhile, in a bowl beat eggs then add milk, salt, pepper, spinach and cheeses. Add the potato and onion that has cooled to the egg mixture and stir to incorporate. Pour mixture to buttered baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes. 

Let cool before cutting quiche to serve. 
May drizzle sriracha on top. 


Bon Apetit! 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Eggplant Beets Veggie Juice


2 large beets
1 lb carrots
1 lb celery stalks 
3 in ginger root
1/2 lemon
1 medium eggplant peeled
2 cucumbers


Wash your produce. Peel the skin of the non-organic vegetables. Feed them through your juicer. 


Juice on!

Bon Apetit!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Herb filled turkey burger w/ mushroom onion on a kaiser roll

Such tasty combination. Give it try!

Serving for 2
Recipe makes 4 to 6 burgers
* I only used 4 patties and froze the other 2. 


1 lb Ground turkey meat (90% white meat 10% dark meat)
1 c watercress rinsed & chopped 
1 tbsp dried chives
1 tbsp garlic powder
Salt/black pepper to taste
1/4 c wheat bread a crumbs 
2 tbsp gram flour
2 tbsp Sofrito 
1 plum tomato sliced
1/2 c arugula 
2 slices of Jarlsberg Swiss cheese
1 tsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil 

2 kaiser rolls
1 tsp mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard


4 white button mushrooms sliced
1 small onion thinly sliced
1 tbsp Goya bitter orange
1 tbsp Goya red cooking wine 
1 tbsp olive oil 


In a medium bowl add ground meat, garlic and sofrito. 

Then the herb (watercress), chives, salt/pepper, gram flour & wheat bread crumbs. 

Mix with fork so you won't over work the meat mixture but to toss evenly. Cover and set aside until ready to shape.

In the meantime, heat a skillet under medium heat and add oil, onion, mushrooms. Cook till onions are just about translucent. Then add the wine and the bitter orange. Stir with wooden spoon, turn off heat and set aside. 

On a medium skillet under med/high heat adding oil and butter. 

With clean hands begin to shape your burgers to the size of bread buns you are using. I shaped mines to my palm size and 1 1/4" thick which where small for my kaiser rolls. If you feel your meat mixture is too wet add more bread crumbs and gram flour. 

Lay your burgers into the skillet. Undisturbed for about 2 1/2 minutes. Then carefully, using a spatula flip your burgers and repeat same method. * you may drizzle just a bit of water to help steam the burgers through out and speed on cooking time. 

Meanwhile, begin to plate and dress your kaiser rolls. Coat each side of the buns with mayonnaise and Dijon mustard.

On the bottom of the bun lay the arugula and tomato slices and sprinkle some black pepper. 

Heat your mushroom and onions for about a minute. Stir then turn off your mushroom/onion mix as well as the burgers.

Now transfer the burger w/ cheese on top of the tomato and arugula and then spoon the mushroom/onion toppings on top of the burger/cheese. 

** Be advised I improvised by doubling the burger patties to each kaiser roll to help cover the width of the buns. 

Voila! You have here a ridiculously delicious juicy herb filled turkey mushroom & onion burger. A true WINNER!!

Bon Apetit! 

Infused Yerba Mate, Peach , Green Tea w/ Red Ginseng Royal Jelly

I've been experimenting different tea brews lately and found this concoction quite delicious. So far this is a favorite. 

I added Yerba mate but sometimes leave it out. Either way its delicious. If you enjoy a more stronger tea then add the Yerba mate. 

Give it try. 


1 32 oz Ball Mason jar with lid
1 twinings Peach cold brew iced tea bag
1 Twinning Green Tea decaf 
1 Trader Joe's Yerba Mate 
1 tbsp honey *optional
1 vial Red Ginseng Royal Jelly
1 rubber band
Tea kettle
Water for boiling


Boil water in your tea kettle. 

Meanwhile in a mason jar drop the Yerba mate (if you are using it) in the jar, use a rubber band to hold the other two teas like so: 

Once your water has boiled add it to your mason jar w/ teas. Be very careful for the jar will now be very hot. 

While this tea is hot you may add your honey (or sweetener or choice).

Let this tea blend cool a bit at room temperature. 

Once it's cooled add the red ginseng royal jelly. Place lid and refrigerate over night for a stronger brew or keep it as is. 

Discard tea bags once done. 
Serve chilled over ice. 

Bon Apetit. 

Strawberry Blend Smoothie

Refreshing and delicious. 


1 c frozen strawberries
1 c frozen cantaloupe
1 16 oz blueberry Greek yogurt
1 16 oz coconut water
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp organic vanilla ( because I love this vanilla I added another drop once I served it- lol but you don't have to.)


Add all ingredients into a blender. 

Pour into a glass. 
Serve immediately. 

Bon Apetit!