Caribbean Cooking Class – Banana Salsa Recipe

Denise From GypsyWorldSpiceCafe.com @ Savory Spice Shop of RaleighLast week, I taught my first cooking class at the Savory Spice Shop in Raleigh, NC.   The theme for the class was Caribbean cooking.  

Below is the recipe for Banana Salsa.  I chose to present this recipe because it is simple, flavorful and colorful. 

Banana?

Yes!

If you like mango or pineapple salsa, you will love it. Also, bananas are SO much easier to chop than both mangos & pineapple. 

Try serving it with blue corn tortilla chips or serve alongside of either chicken or fish.

It was a big hit at the class too. Enjoy!

Denise

Banana Salsa

Banana Salsa
*Recipe adapted from Miami Spice

8 Finger Bananas, diced
1/2 cup Red Bell Pepper, diced
1 Jalapeño Pepper, diced
1 Serrano Pepper, diced
1 teaspoon ground Ginger
1/2 teaspoon Cardamom
4 Scallions, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup fresh Mint, chopped
1 tablespoon Brown Sugar
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Juice from 2 Limes
Salt & Pepper

  • Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl.
  • Adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Serve with blue corn tortilla chips, fish or chicken

Banana Salsa

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Easy as 3-2-1 -> Chocolate Coconut Water Martini

Chocolate Coconut Water? Absolutely! It is amazing.

I am a huge fan of coconut water and have it often with my lunch or after my work out. Recently, I discovered chocolate coconut water. Yum!

Below is my take one of my favorite cocktails…the Chocolate Martini.

Enjoy!

Denise

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Chocolate Coconut Water Martini

3 oz. Chocolate Coconut Water

2 oz. Vodka

1 oz. Kahlua

  • Fill your shaker halfway with ice.
  • Pour the ingredients into the shaker.
  • Cover and shake it good.

Serves 2

Note: I decided to rim my glass with equal parts unsweetened dark cocoa and splenda.

Polish Easter Bread Rolls

Putting A Twist on Tradition – Polish Easter Bread Rolls

It’s that time of year..  Spring is in full bloom and the Easter celebrations are in full force.  

Even with the hustle and bustle of the “everyday” routine, making time to maintain traditions is really important to my family.  

Making Polish Easter Bread is a family favorite.  It’s an all day event because we make several batches. 

Last year I posted my take on the “family recipe”, “Embracing In-Law Family Traditions = Polish Easter Bread”

This year I decided to put a twist on tradition and make Polish Easter Bread Rolls.     They were so cute….I  wish I had thought of this sooner!

Enjoy!

Denise

Polish Easter Bread Rolls

Polish Easter Bread Rolls

1 Batch of Polish Easter Bread Dough

Follow instructions for the making the bread with the following exceptions:

  • Spray cupcake pans with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  • Follow instructions for Polish Easter Bread Recipe.
  • Instead of dividing dough into 6 mini-loaves, divide into 48 rolls.
  • Place rolls into the cupcake pans for the second rise.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Spiced Hibiscus Granita {Spiked}

On the weekends, my husband and I like to take time to watch a movie together. This past weekend I made a dessert  cocktail for our “movie time”.

Granita is easy to make and the variations are only limited by your imagination.   Be sure to check out some suggested flavor combinations at the end of the recipe.

Enjoy!

Denise

Spiced Hibiscus Granita - Spiked

Spiced Hibiscus Granita {Spiked}

Vodka, Tea Bags, Cinnamon Stick

1-1/2 cups Water
1 two-inch Cinnamon Stick
3 Red Zinger Tea Bags
pinch of Salt
1/8 teaspoon ground Cardamom
1 cup Vodka
3-4 tablespoons Lemon Juice
3-4 tablespoons Vanilla Agave Syrup or Honey

  • Add water and cinnamon stick to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  • Remove pot from heat and add tea bags, cardamom and tiny pinch of salt to the boiling water.
  • Cover and let steep for five minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the vodka, agave syrup and lemon juice to a bowl. Stir to combine.
  • When tea is done steeping, remove tea bags and cinnamon stick.
  • Add tea to the bowl. Stir to combine.

Spiced Hibiscus Granita - Ready to Freeze

  • Transfer tea mixture to a 8×8 baking pan.

Spiced Hibiscus Granita - Ready to Freeze in Baking Pan

  • Place in the freezer for 4-6 hours. Scrape with a fork every hour to break up the ice crystals.

Spiced Hibiscus Tea Granita - Ready to Serve

  • Serve straight up (or add ice cream/fresh fruit).

Spiced Hibiscus Tea Granita - Ready to Eat

Variations

  • Coffee & Kahlua & Cardamom
  • Lemon Zinger Tea & Vodka & Basil
  • Diet Coke & Captain Morgan & Cinnamon (Note:  Just use 2 cans of soda … do not warm the soda!)

Click the Image to Print “Just The Recipe”!

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Mastic Scented Salmon

Mastic Tears

Mastic?

If you have not tried it…you need to!

Mastic will add a very unique (“in a good way”) pine-like flavor backdrop to your dish.

It is typically used for cake, pudding and ice cream recipes.

The suggested serving is 1/4 teaspoon of ground mastic for every 4 servings that your recipe calls for.

My creative cooking “take” was to make poached salmon. Below is an easy recipe that is good to have on file…especially when you need to pull dinner together quickly.

Mastic tears are harvested from the sap of the Gum Mastic tree. It is also used to cure ailments as well as have aphrodisiac qualities. (google “mastic tears” to learn more)

Be sure to look for mastic tears at your favorite spice shop or Mediterranean market.

Enjoy!

Denise

Mastic Scented Poached Salmon

Mastic Scented Salmon

1/2 teaspoon Mastic tears
1/2 cup White Wine
1/2 cup Water
2 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon dried Marjoram
1 teaspoon dried Parsley
1/4 teaspoon Hot Paprika
1 tablespoon Butter, cut into small cubes
1-1/2 pounds of Salmon
Salt & Pepper (to taste)

  • Crush the mastic tears with the 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt with a mortar and pestle; set aside.

Mastic Tears and Kosher Salt

Mastic Ground with Kosher Salt

  • Add the white wine, water and garlic to a large saucepan. Warm over medium heat.
  • Add the salmon to the saucepan.
  • Season the salmon evenly with the marjoram, parsley, hot paprika and mastic-salt mixture. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  • Top with butter cubes and bring to a boil.

Mastic Scented Salmon Poaching

  • Cover and reduce heat to a simmer until fish is opaque and firm (about 15 minutes).

Note: I served with brown rice and steamed veggies….. Delish!

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Gypsy Spiced Apple Crisp

20120220-065956.jpgThe spice Grains of Paradise are tiny, unique pyramid-shaped seeds whose flavor profile can be described as sharp and peppery with a fruity backdrop.

They look ashy when you crush them with a spice grinder or mortar & pestle.

Substitute Grains of Paradise for black peppercorns. Try seasoning your steak with crushed grains of paradise, salt and hungarian paprika. The flavor combination really works.

Look for them at your local spice shop.

My family has been requesting an apple dessert. Below is an apple dessert recipe that features Grains of Paradise.

Enjoy!

Denise

Gypsy Spiced Apple Crisp

Gypsy Spiced Apple Crisp

2 cans (20 oz) Apple Pie Filling
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 cup Evaporated Milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Grains of Paradise
15.25 oz box of Butter Pecan Cake Mix
1 cup Butter, melted

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly grease a 13 x 9 baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  • Crush the grains of paradise with a mortar and pestle; set aside.

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  • In a large bowl, mix together the apple pie filling, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, evaporated milk, vanilla and ground grains of paradise.

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  • Pour mixture into the prepared baking pan.

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  • Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the apple mixture. Drizzle the melted butter evenly over the dry cake mix layer.
  • Bake for one hour or until golden brown.

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  • Serve warm or cold.

Note: I turned the baking dish after 30 minutes. If you want, top with vanilla ice cream and drizzle with caramel.

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