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In Trinidad, Christmas is Parang! (video & holiday recipe roundup)

In Trinidad, Christmas is Parang! (video & holiday recipe roundup)
What is Parang? Well Parang is the soundtrack to Christmas here in Trinidad. More than that however Parang is also a culture, a way of life that sweeps through my island after the lights of Eid and Divali have been put away. The What is Parang? webpage has a wonderful overview of the history and features of Trinidad Parang. ‘Parang’ is the present Trinidadian interpretation of the Spanish... 

TriniGourmet’s Top Ten Chocolate Recipes!

TriniGourmet's Top Ten Chocolate Recipes!
Feast your eyes (and hopefully more) on the following Top Ten Chocolate Recipes on Trinigourmet I can definitely vouch that you will want to make them again and again 1. Espresso Cake (recipe) Light, moist and incredibly intense in flavour this recipe for Espresso Cake hides one little ’secret’, wholewheat flour! If you’ve never tried wholewheat flour in a dessert recipe I strongly... 

Bodi in Garlic Sauce (recipe & video)

Bodi in Garlic Sauce (recipe & video)
Green beans and garlic are a classic French combination that I re-interpreted, using the very Trinidadian staple of bodi, on Episode 10 of “Sweet Han’: Caribbean Cooking with Sarina”. Also known as yard long beans, locally bodi is more traditionally curried or prepared in tomato-based sauce. This preparation however is one that is surprisingly delicate and really allows the true... 

Pasta with Roasted Grapes, Asiago & Spinach (recipe & video)

Pasta with Roasted Grapes, Asiago & Spinach (recipe & video)
This dish was part of my Valentine’s Day menu for the 7th episode of “Sweet Han’: Caribbean Cooking with Sarina”. It combines colors and textures in that multi-layered way that you may have come to realize is a favourite of mine. You get the sweetness of the grapes, tempered with the salty bite of the asiago, all combined with the crisp coolness of baby leaf spinach and the... 

Cassava Latkes (recipe & video) & Other Hanukkah Menu Ideas

Cassava Latkes (recipe & video) & Other Hanukkah Menu Ideas
Cassava latkes, an idea so simple, so obvious, and yet so left-field, that if it wasn’t for a chance comment from Ramin Ganeshram a year ago on Twitter, I may never have thought of whipping up a batch! I had been on a cassava kick, trying to see how many uses I could find for my favourite provision, besides the tried and true. I had made Vichysoisse Creole, and Cassava porridge, and then, as... 

Punch de Creme (recipe)

Punch de Creme (recipe)
This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Trini ChristmasPunch de Creme, is another of Trinidad’s traditional Christmas drinks. One thing that I really like about punch de creme (as opposed to traditional eggnog) is the use of citrus flavors like lime and Angostura bitters (which has orange extract). This gives the ‘nog’ a fruity lightness that alleviates the sweet creaminess (which... 

Trinidad Black Cake (recipe)

Trinidad Black Cake (recipe)
Like sorrel, Black Cake in Trinidad is a Christmas institution. Made predominantly of alcohol drenched prunes, currants and raisins, variations abound (and I love taste testing when we make the visiting rounds). Still, the best black cake is always the recipe that one grew up with. In this case my black cake comes from my aunt, who also uses this recipe to make grooms’ cakes for weddings (in... 

Trinidad Butter Loaf

Trinidad Butter Loaf
Butter loaf has been a Trini staple for more generations than I can count. It certainly was already the de facto sandwich bread when my 80+ year old father was a boy. Stories of neighbours passing fresh loaves over fences to each other is something firmly in our past now, however the bread remains both as a fixture in local bakeries and in supermarkets as well. The quality of bakery versions varies,... 

Jamaican ‘Tun Cornmeal’

Cornmeal based dishes are common fare in the Caribbean. Although their popularity is often challenged by rice and wheat-based compositions many are turning back to them for the added benefit that they are naturally gluten-free. ‘Tun Cornmeal’ is a rich polenta-like Jamaican recipe, which transforms into the similar themed ‘Coo-coo’ the further East one travels in the Caribbean. Traditionally,... 

Trinidad Corn Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings (recipe & video)

Trinidad Corn Soup with Cornmeal Dumplings (recipe & video)
Corn soup is a street food favorite here in Trinidad, especially at carnival time when vendors ply large pots of it that they spoon into styrofoam cups outside of fetes and clubs. It’s also popular as a Saturday lunch. Chopped pieces of corn on the cob are often included, however in the variation I prepared below I have left them out. Feel free to add them back in though if you want the added... 

Trinidad Macaroni Pie (recipe)

Trinidad Macaroni Pie (recipe)
Trinidad Macaroni Pie. I had often wondered if there is such a thing in a definitive sense, however I have gotten so many hits with that as a search term that I now have to believe that there is. Coupled with the fact that my Jamaican mother does not make this dish more than once a leap year (and when she does she does in a -very- different manner) and I have to believe that Trinidad Macaroni pie... 

Shavuot: Festival of Milk and Honey (menu)

Shavuot: Festival of Milk and Honey (menu)
Gnocchi Pomodoro (recipe linked below) Shavuot is an annual Jewish festival of dual significance. Agriculturally, it commemorates the time when the first fruits were harvested and brought to the Temple, historically, it also celebrates the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. To mark Shavuot I always prepare a dairy-based menu that incorporates honey in some form or fashion. This year Shavuot is... 

Chocolate Sablés (recipe)

Chocolate Sablés (recipe)
These sablés are dangerous! No, it’s not because of their bittersweet chocolatey goodness. And no it’s not because of the chocolate chips strewn throughout that provide bursts of sweet creaminess. And no, it’s not even their brownie-like denseness that makes me issue this indictment. No, what makes these chocolate sablés so worth of a public warning is their miniature bite-sized... 

Dominican Coconut Rum Punch (recipe)

Dominican Coconut Rum Punch (recipe)
When Trinidad was all abuzz with preparations for the Summit of the Americas I got the wild idea to feature the foods of the member nations as part of a buildup to the actual event. Except for one entry unfortunately that didn’t happen as things got unexpectedly busy on my side. I did however cook up a storm though and those regional specialties will eventually all see the light of day on here... 

Cassava Porridge (recipe)

Cassava Porridge (recipe)
As long-time readers of Trinigourmet would know, I am something of a porridge junkie. My own particular affinity is for cornmeal porridge, however that doesn’t mean that there aren’t a wide array of others that are familiar to the Caribbean home. In recent months I have had requests for green banana porridge (coming soon!) and in the last week I had my first experience with Cassava Porridge!... 

Fudgy Chocolate Cake ‘Brownies’ (recipe)

Fudgy Chocolate Cake 'Brownies' (recipe)
I adore brownies, and I definitely don’t make them often enough. Although there are now dozens of variations on the brownie theme (even blondies), for emotional satisfaction I still find that nothing surpasses the simple all-chocolatey goodness of the original. This simple recipe from Everyday With Rachael Ray has stood the test of the time as I have made it several times since first posting... 

Eggplant Cutlets: Cotolette Di Melanzane (recipe)

Eggplant Cutlets: Cotolette Di Melanzane (recipe)
This post was first published February 8, 2009. It has been updated twice since then. What do you get when you combine Fried Eggplant with the skill and experience of a world class chef? These out of this world ‘Eggplant Cutlets’. Like many of the Mario Batali dishes that I have tried, this recipe provides rich flavour and a satisfying contrast in textures, through what appears as relatively... 

Tiramisu Cake

Tiramisu Cake
This cake is Dorie Greenspan’s take on tiramisu, but, as the title alludes, in cake form. When I first baked this dessert, back in 2009, it was also the first time that I’d worked with mascarpone. I instantly fell in love. It’s so light and smooth and reminds me clotted cream (a rather unhealthy indulgence of mine ) Like all of Dorie’s recipes, that I’ve tried to date,... 

Wholewheat Bake (recipe)

Wholewheat Bake (recipe)
This post was originally published on October 13, 2006. It has been updated twice since then. Bake is a popular breakfast bread here in Trinidad. Hearty by nature, its heavy crumb keeps you feeling satisfied for hours. Especially when taken with a savory topping. My version here, raises the fiber content through a healthy dose of wholewheat flour. Be sure to pay attention to the resting time and... 

“Blanched” Basil Pesto (recipe)

Writing is a funny thing. Some days the words seem to flow effortlessly and other days it’s a struggle. I’ve spent the last few hours hemming and hawing around beginning this post and it really isn’t anything that complex or profound. If it wasn’t for the fact that it’s for an online event that ends today I probably would just leave it with the 1000+ drafts that I currently...