Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tomato Jam

This was the first time that I  have made jam from tomatoes, and I was pleasantly surprised. Tomato jam is probably one of the easiest condiments to make. So far, we have pasted it unto toast and used it in place of ketchup in burgers - delicious both ways. This recipe utilizes only very ripe roma tomatoes, but I don't see why you can't use any other variety. 

1 1/2 lb very ripe roma tomatoes, diced roughly
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
zest and juice of 1 lemon

Add all of the ingredients to large pot over medium heat. Cook until thickened, about 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. You can also use a potato masher to crush the tomatoes during cooking.  Remove and discard the cinnamon stick. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Trinidad Sweet Rice (Rice Pudding)

My two sisters will be visiting us in less a week. As part of the preparation, there is a lot of discussion about food: which restaurants to try and what dishes we are going to make. Family visits are a good time to cook together, and in the past we tended to revisit many of our favorite (and admittedly indulgent) dishes we grew up eating in Trinidad. This time will be no different. One of those recipes is Trinidad Sweet Rice - our version of rice pudding or Mexican arroz con leche. In fact, to be more specific, this recipe has its origins in the Indian kheer, brought to the Caribbean in the 1800's by East Indian indentured laborers. Over the decades, the recipe changed only a little, with the omission of saffron threads and the preference for a thicker consistency in this version.

Trinidad Sweet Rice (Rice Pudding)
Serves about 6

1 cup basmati rice, rinsed well
4 cups water
3 cinnamon sticks
4-5 whole, green cardamom
3 whole cloves
1 can low fat evaporated milk (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
1 can fat free condensed milk (approx. 1 1/4 cups)
1 piece fresh ginger, about 2 inches, grated
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup roasted slivered almonds (optional)
maraschino cherries (optional)

1. Bring water to boil. Add rice, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and cloves. Cook until rice is soft, about 20 to 30 minutes, and until all of the water has been absorbed.
2. Add the evaporated, condensed milk, ginger, and raisins. Cook until thickened to desired consistency. Remember that the pudding will thicken further as it cools.
3. Allow to cool before serving. Serve topped with almonds and maraschino cherries.