Antigua Dreaming

 

Now back from honeymooning in Antigua, and married over a month already, life is settling down back to normal. What a truly amazing experience it all was!
Obviously, we set out to try as much food as possible whilst we were away, and we certainly weren’t disappointed. Plenty of fresh fish and sea food which was fantastic for us!

We were staying in a picture-perfect resort called, Galley Bay. Fairly close to the main town of St. Johns. Unlike us, we actually socialised with other couples on the resort! A couple from Cleveland, Ohio, who got married and same day as us, and another couple from Rhode Island who actually got married on the beach whilst we were there. Our conversations mostly consisted of mimicking each other’s accents and then listing words that are different in the UK from the US.

Apart from the amazing food on the resort, we got to experience some truly delicious food when we went exploring the island in our hired jeep. A small restaurant right on the beach called OJ’s. Kayleigh and I ordered fresh grilled whole snapper. Wow, it was so delicious! Especially with some of the local hot sauce drizzled across the top! It was really great to be able to experience some authentic local food, but equally, we wanted to try a restaurant that Kayleigh had researched before we went. ‘Sheer Rocks’. A small restaurant and bar, located right on the rocks overlooking the beach and sea, voted the best restaurant in the whole Caribbean! It honestly was unlike anything I’ve experienced before, the setting was breath taking and the food was one of the best meals I’ve had in I can’t remember how long!

When we went to Sheer Rocks for lunch, we ordered from a tapas style menu so we got to try a few things from the menu! Giant grilled prawns, warm courgette salad, calamari, edamame beans, feta salad with watermelon martinis and banana daiquiris to wash it down! Delicious!

fullsizeoutput_d1e.jpeg

 

‘Grilled Mahi Mahi Tacos’

This was a classic dish that got served for lunch by chef Ivy, from a little beach hut by us. Mahi Mahi is a local fish that is often used.

 

Instructions:

In a small bowl add 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, ground cumin, dry cilantro, and 1/2 teaspoon of cracked pepper. Stir to mix.

Pat Mahi Mahi dry and rub spice mixture onto all sides of the fish. Set aside.

To a food processor add, greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder, chipotle pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and lime juice. Set aside.

Heat grill to medium high heat.

Add fish to grill and grill for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from grill and let side.

Add tortillas to grill and grill 1 minute per side to warm up and remove.

To assemble tacos, add one strip of grilled fish to corn tortilla, top with thinly sliced purple cabbage, sliced avocado and a drizzle of chipotle lime crema.

Optional garnish: fresh lime wedges to squeeze on top and fresh coriander

A Table of Mexican Delights

IMG_3496.JPGMexican food is definitely up there on the top of our ‘favourite cuisines’ list. We love the depth and variety of flavours associated with Mexican food. Sweet, citrus, spicy all working together to give the best experience! Since we have been enjoying such amazing weather of late, last week we decided to set up a Mexican feast outside! We decided to go completely vegan, kind of by accident, but you will find that Mexican food can lend itself to vegetarian/vegan food really easily.

We ended up going with roasted butternut squash and peppers and making little tacos with all of the other sauces and sides we made to go with it. I will leave you with a couple if simple recipes.

 

Roasted butternut squash and peppers mix:

Ingredients:

  • Butternut squash
  • Green Pepper
  • Desiccated coconut
  • Coconut oil
  • Coriander
  • Maple syrup
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Lime juice

 

 

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 200c and chop the butternut squash and pepper into bitesize chunks, marinate in cayenne pepper, coconut oil, maple syrup and season. Bake for around 20 minutes until soft but charred around the edges, at this point add the desiccated coconut to toast for around 5 minutes. Add a squeeze of lime and fresh coriander and pop in a large sharing bowl.

Chili herb dipping sauce:

Ingredients:

  • Scotch bonnet x 1
  • Coriander
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive oil 4tbs
  • Water 50ml

Method:

This is a punchy hot sauce, but it has a beautiful fruity flavour from the scotch bonnet. In a food processor add 1 scotch bonnet (seeds in) large bunch of coriander, basil and parsley with the stalks, garlic, olive oil, water and seasoning. Blitz into a smooth bright green sauce, add a squeeze of lime and pop into a dipping bowl with a spoon for the brave.

Quick & Easy pickled red onions

Ingredients:

  • Red spring onions
  • 2 limes – Juiced
  • 10ml white wine vinegar
  • Salt
  • Small pinch of brown sugar

Method:

This is the easiest way to get a pickled onion bite to a dish without boiling spices and vinegar for hours! Slice the onions (these could also be shallots or leeks if that’s all you have), cover in the lime juice, vinegar and salt/sugar. This is so tasty added to your Mexican meal to add crunch! We would recommend serving these dishes with a plate of warm soft tortilla wraps, natural yoghurt, avocado, crunchy red cabbage and some mango for added fruitiness.

 

Enjoy!

Every Little Helps

 

‘Plastic Free – Every little helps…’

IMG_3311It’s true, we are all talking about plastic waste more now, and although we may not all be aware, it’s certainly taken the spot light in news articles over the past couple months. That being said, are supermarkets really doing their bit to help? Still, every week when the Ocado order arrives, I am baffled by the amount of ridiculous packaging! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not only Ocado doing this. I get that some things currently are totally un realistic not to use plastic, but when you are receiving 1 aubergine wrapped in a plastic bag, or two lemons on a plastic tray, in a plastic package… Really? I know not everyone has the luxury of space to grow their own veg or be close to a farm shop or grocers so the supermarkets need to pull their finger out. For those of you that are local, I can highly recommend Lathcoats farm shop (Great Baddow) for fresh veg with of course no plastic! And you will be supporting a local business too.

 

 

‘Pea, Mint & Goats Cheese, Pearl Barley Risotto’

So, following on from last month’s edition talking about fresh home grown produce, we thought we would leave you with this fresh simple recipe since we had our first harvest of peas ready for picking!

Ingredients:IMG_3291

  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves of black garlic
  • 150g pearl barley
  • 200ml veg stock
  • 1 lemon
  • 150g fresh peas
  • Mint (around 6 large leaves)
  • Big sprig of thyme
  • Goats cheese
  • Parmesan
  • Spinach

 

Method:

Finely slice the shallots and sweat them down in a pan with salt and pepper. Just before they start to brown too much, add the pearl barley and ensure you give it a good mix for a couple of minutes to give all the grains a coating of oil. At this point, add your garlic.

Add stock, bring to the boil and then simmer for 25-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, blitz up the peas (keep a handful to one side) with lemon, mint, 100ml of water. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The result should end up in a paste texture.

During the last 5 minutes of you pearl barely cooking, add the pea and mint puree that you have made and mix in well. Grate as much or as little parmesan as you wish at this point too and add it to the pan along with the peas you kept to one side.

Dish up into pasta bowls, top with chunks of goat’s cheese, thyme and a drizzle of olive oil.

Enjoy!