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! 

Raw Eggplant Salad

Here's a delightful light spring salad with raw goodness. 

The longer it marinates the better. Excellent for feeding a lot of people and hold well chilled or at room temperature.

Here's what I used:


1 large eggplant peeled & diced
1 small red onion diced
1/4 fresh basil chopped
1 med red pepper diced
1 large tomato diced (or 1 c grape tomatoes chopped 


1/4 c balsamic vinegar 
1/2 c good extra virgin olive oil 
1/4 tsp black pepper 
1/8 tsp dry onion flakes *optional


In a small bowl whisk vinaigrette ingredients together and set aside.

In a medium bowl add all your chopped eggplant, tomatoes, onion, basil and red pepper. Now add the vinaigrette and toss to coat evenly. Cover with Saran Wrap and chill for at least a half hour. The more it marinates the better. 

This salad can be made ahead of time. It is excellent salad to serve chilled or at room temperature.   

Plate and serve. 

Bon Apetit! 


Monday, March 31, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate chip cake cookies

Craved cookies, pies and cake today. This is what I came up with. A yummy treat that remind me of all three. Chocolate chip cookies, pumpkin pie and rum bunt cake without the guilt. 


2 c gram flour (coconut or almond flour if you like)
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg 
1/4 c coconut oil
1 c natural sugar crystals
2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 c chocolate chip morsels
2 tsp organic vanilla extract 
1/2 goji berry powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 c pumpkin purée
1 tsp coconut milk 

Mix dry ingredients flour, cinnamon, goji berry powder, baking soda, salt, baking powder sift and set aside. 

In another bowl add purée, egg, milk, oil and sugar. Whisk well then add to dry ingredients and mix. 

Once well mixed add chocolate chips and extracts. Fold to mix them through well. 

Place spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet and bake them for ten minutes. 
Let them cool on a cookie rack before storing them away. 

Voila! This batch make 24 large cookies. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Iceberg Arugula Mango Zucchini Salad

1/2 c iceberg lettuce shredded 
1 c arugula
1 c ripe mango sliced 
1 tbsp mango chopped 
1 tbsp reconstituted dried cranberries
1/2 c zucchini sliced thin
1 plum tomato sliced 
1 tsp chives chopped


Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil 


In a small bowl add lemon, salt and pepper and whisk the oil. Set aside. 

In a salad bowl add you iceberg, arugula, tomato, zucchini, mango, cranberries and chives. Toss or display as you wish then coat with vinaigrette.   

Plate & serve. 

Bon Apetit! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Stuffed mushrooms

I've made these with weight watchers cream cheese as well as lighter sour cream cream , ricotta and Cabot reduced fat cheeses. They turned out just as delicious. But this round of stuffed mushrooms grocery list was not gathered by me. 

This way or the lighter version are just as addicting. So be prepared to woof these down. 


1 8 oz container of white mushroom
4 oz Philadelphia cream cheese at room temperature 
1/4 c Ricotta cheese
1/4 c sour cream
1 tbsp Monterrey cheese shredded
1 tsp whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 c green onions chopped


Preheat oven 350.

9 inch round baking dish line with aluminum foil set aside. 

With a damp paper towels wipe the mushrooms to remove any left soil.
Remove the stems from the mushrooms. Diced the mushrooms stems set aside. 

In a medium bowl add cream cheese, ricotta, sour cream. diced mushroom and green onions. 

Spoon the cheese mix into the mushrooms. 

Sprinkle a little bread crumbs and a top it with shredded cheese. 

Bake till cheese melts. 

Serve and enjoy!

Bon Apetit ! 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Chicory green vegetable juice

1 full head of chicory greens
1 large cucumber
2 extra large celery stalks
1/2 lemon
1 inch of ginger root

Feed them all through the omega juicer and store in mason jar with lid. Drink w/in 72 hours. 

May garnish with chia seeds, cayenne pepper and or turmeric powder. 


Friday, March 14, 2014

Black bean fritters

Lent is here and Fridays we avoid eating meat products. I thought of a bean fritters for dinner. I'm so glad they turned out so good and filling. Definitely will be doing these tasty treats again. 


2 cups of soaked beans or 1 16 oz can
2 green scallions chopped (both white & green parts)
1/2 c red peppers
1/2 c green peppers
2 1/2 tbsp of Sofrito
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 small onion diced
2 large garlic cloves grated 
3 tbsp bitter orange
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c fresh cilantro chopped
1 tsp goji berry powder 
1/2 to a cup of gram flour ( keep at hand extra)
1 tbsp of chopped jalapeño pepper *optional 

Citrus Garnish

1/2 c cherry tomatoes halved
1/2 c onion chopped
1/2 c flat Italian parsley chopped
Juice of a lime


Soak beans overnight. Rinse them. In a medium cook them in chicken stalk or 3 to 4 c of water for about 45 minutes or till tender. 

If you are using can beans you can skip the instruction just above. 

In food processor add beans, oil, Sofrito, bitter orange, goji berry powder, black pepper and salt. 

Transfer to a bowl and add red & green peppers, cilantro, garlic & scallions. Stir with spoon to mix well.Test taste for balance. Be advise that this mix is delicious alone and excellent served as a dip with tortilla chips. 

But today we are frying them in pure olive oil. 

As you can see my mix was a bit wet so I added a bit more gram flour. 

Now I was able to handle the mix better. 

Meanwhile, heat your skillet to medium/high. Add olive oil. Then begin to shape your fritters.

Flour your palms with gram flour. Scoop a spoonful of the bean mix on to your hands then carefully lay them into the hot oil. Do not disturb them. Let cook tilll golden brown on each side for about 3-5 minutes. Then careful flip on to the other side and do the same. 

Don't over crowd your skillet so you have enough space when you turn them over as well as you don't want to cool your oil too much. You want your fritter to be crunchy on the outside. 

In a small bowl add tomatoes, onions, lime juice and parsley. Mix. 

Drizzle some of the citrus garnish mix over the hot fritter. 


Great as an appetizer or as a side dish. 

Fried or not this bean mix is yummy. 

Bon Apetit! 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wheat crusted chicken sandwich w/ sriracha-mayo, krab salad & tabbouleh

Spring is in the air and so are my quick light meals. I love crab salads with real crab meat, but at times my budget don't allow me so I found this imitation crab meat and called Krab salad because its not the real deal. I don't always buy processed stuff but sometimes I have to improvise because of my budget so this one of the items use, as I do with can goods.

 Fresh fish is on my shopping list to buy but I didn't because here in New York (if you haven't seen on the news) we have a bad scare with contaminated fish at our big fish market in China town. Just days ago my daughter and her friends ate fish downtown and came home with food poison. 

That scared the heck out of me. Until they announce more on what's exactly contaminated these fresh fish and what coast are they fishing them from. Canned, dry salted cod and this imitation crab will have to do for the time being. 

Serves 3 - 4 
6 to 4 in sandwiches can be made. 
Salads can be served seconds or store for lunch the next couple days. These salads hold well for up to 5 days in the fridge. 


1 boneless chicken breast thinly sliced
Garlic salt
Black pepper
1 c 4C plain whole wheat bread crumbs 
1 tbsp of wheat flour
1/3 c Olive oil 
Paper towel
 2 loaves of Artisan bread of choice (eg. Italian, Cuban, French, grains, oats or wheat etc.)
1/2 c baby spinach
black pepper
Rice vinegar
Small bowl
Hellmann Mayonnaise 


Rinse chicken breast under cool water. Pat dry with clean paper towel. Slice lengthwise very thin so cooking time is super quick. 

On a shallow plate add you wheat bread crumbs, wheat flour, black pepper and set aside. 

In a medium bowl add you chicken and season with garlic salt , lemon and a little black pepper.

Now heat a skillet on meadium high heat. Add olive oil. Test that the oil is hot enough by sprinkling a bit of you crumb/flour mix to the oil. If it sizzles its ready. Dip one fillet of your raw chicken to the breadcrumbs/flour mix and coat each side. Shake off access and gently place in the hot oil. 

 Don't over crowd your pan. Add no more then two fillets at a time. You don't have to cool the oil to much. 

Because you sliced the chicken very thin they will cook quickly. About a minute and a half on each side. Keep close eye they can burn easy. 

Transfer them to soak on plate lined with a clean paper towel like so. 
Continue the process with the remaining chicken. 

Assemble your sandwich. Spread mayo and drizzle sriracha on both sides of the bread. I did not whisk these in a bowl because some of my family member love hot, spicy and some perfect it more mild. So I adjusted the sriracha-mayo according to who I was serving it for. 
Add your breaded chicken, fresh spinach and drizzle some rice vinegar on top of the greens. 


1 c bulgur wheat
Water to soak wheat in
A medium bowl
1/2 c red pepper diced
1/2 c green pepper diced
1/2 c onion diced
1 c grape tomatoes halved
1/4 c extra olive oil
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp of Italian parsley

Let it soak over night. 

As you can the bulgur wheat consume all the water. Fluff it with a fork and now add the peppers, onions, balsamic vinegar, parsley and oil. Cover and store it in the fridge till ready to plate and serve.

Krab Salad

1 pk imitation crab (Louis Kemp)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A medium bowl


Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Refrigerate till serving. 

Plate and serve your sandwich with the salads. Enjoy! 

Bon Apetit!