Hello my fellow gourmands,
My apologies for the delay in posting. The past few weeks have been unexpectedly hectic but now that has been sorted out, I give you NOT one entry to appease the appetites but THREE mind-blowing, simple meals that can be prepared in one pot and does not use too much water. The water crisis here in Jamaica has been nothing but thorny and inconvenient. All you need for this meal is to wash up one pot, one cutting board and a knife. Each of these meals can be prepared for breakfast, lunch and dinner respectively. So no matter the lack of water from the National Water Commission (NWC), you can still prepare and serve a meal platter without compromising on taste or quality.
Here are some hints for cooking in a water crisis:
- Plan a meal schedule for the week so that you can allocate resources and ingredients ahead of time.
- Prepare meals ahead of time, so that there is less washing to do
- If you own a dishwasher, load the dishwasher completely with the plates, utensils and pots used for the day and turn it on in the evening/night. (This is both an energy and water saving benefit)
- Integrate leftovers in the next day’s meal.
- Use disposable plates, forks, knives, cups and napkins to conserve water
- Ensure that when ordering from a private water trucking company, the water is from a sanitary source
- Invest in either a whole house filter (available at Appliance Traders Limited – ATL) or a freestanding water filter pitcher for drinking purposes
- Ensure that before consuming water from the tap, sanitize it with a few drops of bleach and/or boil water before use.
- When buying bottled water, look on the expiry date (yes, water has an expiry date because it is packaged in plastic bottles and chemicals from the plastic can taint the water after a long period) and buy in bulk to save on costs
For more water conservation tips log on to: http://wateruseitwisely.com/100-ways-to-conserve/index.php
Here are some recipes below that can be done easily for breakfast, lunch and dinner respectively.
NATURALLY FRUIT-RAGEOUS SALAD (Breakfast)
2 cups Watermelon, cubed
2 cups Cantaloupe, cubed
2 cups Honeydew, cubed
1 cup Pineapple, cubed
1/2 cup Walnuts
In a large bowl, combine watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe and pineapple. Stir to combine. Add walnuts and gently stir. Serve with dollops of honey vanilla yogurt and freshly squeezed orange juice. Serves 4. Enjoy!
Fruit Salad served with Orange Juice
HONEY VANILLA YOGURT
1 cup Plain unflavored yogurt
1 Tbsp. Good natural honey
1 Vanilla bean*
1 tsp. Vanilla extract
1 tsp. Cane sugar
In bowl, place all ingredients except vanilla bean and whip until completely combined. Cut vanilla pod in half. With the back of a knife, scrape out the vanilla seeds and add to mixture. Whip to combine. Ingredients can be adjusted to taste. Can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 month. Enjoy!
*Vanilla bean pod can be placed into a container of sugar and will infuse to make tasty vanilla sugar which can substitute for cane sugar. The seeds are the primary flavorings and are more commonly used. The beans are are typically VERY expensive but a little goes a long way.
CAESAR SALAD WITH RIBEYE & RED WINE DRESSING (Lunch)
1 Romaine Lettuce (mesculin mix can also be used)
2 Plum tomatoes
6 Dates, pitted
4 slices Beef slices*
Cut the bottom off of the lettuce and separate the lettuce leaves. Cut tomatoes into wedges by cutting in half lengthwise, then cutting each half into thirds. Cut dates in half. Place all ingredients in salad bowl and using two spoons, gently mix. When ready to serve, cut and place beef strips on top of salad and pour Red wine dressing. Enjoy!
* Leftover ribeye steak sliced. Can be substituted with cooked and sliced chicken breasts or baked ham.
RED WINE DRESSING
1/2 cup Extra virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. Freshly cracked pepper
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1/4 cup Red wine
1 anchovy fillet, finely chopped (optional)
In bowl, add vinegar, salt, pepper, red wine, anchovies and mustard. While stirring, slowly add olive oil and whisk until combined and has emulsified to a purple-red tint. For a vinaigrette, leave out the Dijon mustard. Pour into bottle and store in refrigerator until needed. Can be stored for up to 3 months. Enjoy!
SPICE ENCRUSTED RIBEYE STEAK IN A RED WINE REDUCTION (Dinner)
3 1″ thick Ribeye steaks
1 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
1 Tbsp. Freshly Cracked pepper
1/2 cup Red wine
1 Tbsp. Parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. Butter
1 tsp. Flour
Preheat oven to 400°F. Pat steaks dry with a paper towel and place steaks on a plate. Sprinkle and pat down salt and pepper mixture onto steaks until completely coated. Place into oven for 8 – 10 mins for medium rare or until desired doneness. Turn steaks over halfway during cooking process. Place steaks onto a plate and cover with tinfoil. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Pour red wine into baking dish and scrape off the bits off the bottom. In a small pot, add butter and flour and stir until a light-colored roux* is formed. Add red wine pan drippings and stir to combine for 1 minute. Stir constantly until thickened and the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Add parsley and pour the sauce over the ribeye steaks. Serve with mashed creamed potato and blue cheese salad. Enjoy!
Ribeye Steaks served with white rice and a classic salad with blue cheese dressing
So there it is, a complete day of delicious, olfactory stimulating cuisine to quell the current water woes.
– The Jamaican Gourmand