Monday, 5 February 2018

Tropical treats

Image result for images martinique food

My daughter has just arrived in Martinique.

This was no ordinary arrival though- she came all the way across the Atlantic from Cape Verde with a crew of just 3 others- on a catamaran.
And this is no ordinary tourist trip.
You can read all about it on their Facebook page

In their honour we broke out the rum and coke - and I made a Caribbean themed meal.

To celebrate the food of Martinique I am making a Chicken Colombo with vegetables, a Baked Banana Tart and a Flan Coco-Anis, along with links to other Caribbean themed recipes previously on the blog. I also used the leftover Colombo in a tagine.

Colombo spice is a mild curry powder, made from cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek and  paprika- you can make your own with a teaspoon of each of these plus a teaspoon of madras curry powder- or you can buy a Colombo spice mix (readily available in France- and the Levi Roots Caribbean spice powder is an acceptable alternative in the UK).

To serve 2 (with leftovers) you will need- 2 chicken breasts, 1chopped onion, 1 tsp chopped garlic, 1 tsp chopped red chilli, 1 courgette, 1 sweet potato, 1 carrot, 2 bay leaves, juice of 1/2 lime and 3 heaped tbsp of Colombo powder plus 500 ml vegetable or chicken stock .
Begin by preparing your veg-  part-peel and slice the courgette and chop the carrot into batons,then steam until just tender.
Stripey peeled courgette
Bake the sweet potato ( 5 minutes in the microwave ) in its skin- then peel it and slice it.
Fry the onion, garlic and chilli until the onion is translucent, then add the spices. Next add the chicken and brown it lightly.

Brown the chicken, onion and spices
Put the meat and veg into a casserole dish, along with the bay leaf.
Deglaze the pan with the stock and pour over the meat.

Ready for the oven
Cook for 2 hours until everything is tender. Finally add the lime juice and adjust the seasoning.
You can thicken it with cornflour if you wish- I left it runny to soak into the rice.

Chicken Colombo with Rice
You can make different versions with whatever meat or vegetables you have to hand. Here are a veal and aubergine version, and a pork and potato version.

Veal Colombo with Veg
Pork Colombo with Potatoes
The leftovers were mixed with some chopped tomatoes, leftover mango and apple chutneys and sultanas ( soaked in a little Earl Grey tea to plump them up) to make a tagine served with couscous.

Now, here are two puddings to complement the main course.

Flan Coco-Anis

Heat 1 400 ml can of coconut milk with 100g of sugar and 3 star anise
When the sugar has dissolved, put to one side to infuse and cool a little.
Beat 4 eggs with a tsp of cornflour until smooth.
Discard the star anise ( or keep them for garnish) and pour the milk onto the eggs, whisking all the time.
Whisk the infused coconut milk into the eggs
Pour the mixture into 6 ramekins (lightly oiled in preparation with a neutral veg oil)
Custards ready for the oven
Put the ramekins into a baking tray, half filled with hot water to make a bain-marie.
Bake at 200 degrees for 25 minutes and then 170 degrees until set. (Another 15 minutes or so).
Leave to cool and then serve either turned out of the moulds onto a plate - with a fruit salad on the side- or glazed with vanilla sugar and blow torched or grilled to make a crème brulée.

Flan Coco-Anis Brulée
Baked Banana Tart

First bake a pastry case blind and leave to cool.

Blind baked pastry case- you can tidy it up later!
Take 2 bananas- slice one thinly and mash the other one with a fork.
Spread the banana mash onto the pastry case then beat 3 eggs with 60g of sugar, a splash of milk or cream and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Pour the custard into the pastry case and then arrange the sliced banana in the custard.

Carefully place in the sliced banana
Grate some nutmeg over the top and bake in a moderate oven (170 degrees) until the custard is set.
Sprinkle with vanilla sugar and serve with ice cream

Tarte à la banane / I.G.
Baked Banana Tart

And served with ice cream

A couple of other ideas from the blog- Pina Colada Crumble
Pina Colada Crumble

 and good old Ginger Cake.

Ginger Cake

I hope this tropical post has brightened up a dull February day for you- and has you dreaming of warmer days to come.
Who know where in the world my culinary odyssey will take me next.

That's up to Mission Ocean!