West Indian Curry Chicken & Curry Chickpea

West Indian Curry Chicken & Curry Chickpea – Candy Coated Culinista

I received a text Sunday asking “You in the office tomorrow” to which I replied yes. When I came to the office there was a package on my desk saying “Dhal puri for you”. Well now I’m excited I’m always talking about dahl puri to my Indian West Indian friends and that I can eat it just the dahl puri by itself and totally be satisfied. I almost never make Caribbean food and I have never been fond of curry or spice anything; but this gift had me running home happy to make dinner. I was so surprised that I had all these ingredients at home, yet I never ever made a curry.

Yield/Serving: 5
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Curry Chicken

• 2 tbsp coconut oil
• 4 small potatoes, cut into chunks
• 5 chicken breasts
• 2 tbsp curry powder
• 2 tsp all spice
• 1 tsp cayenne powder
• 1 tsp paprika
• 2 tsp garlic powder
• 2 tsp onion powder
• 2 tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp black pepper
• 2 tsp cumin
• 1 tsp red chilli peppers
• 1 tsp chilli powder
• 2 knobs of ginger, diced
• 1 small onion, diced
• 3 cloves garlic, diced
• 1 cup peas
• Handful chives, chopped
• Handful parsley chopped
• 1 cup chicken broth
• 1 chicken bouillon cube
• 1 scotch bonnet pepper, optional
Curry Chickpea
• 2 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
• 2 tbsp coconut oil
• 1 small onion, diced
• ½ red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
• 2 knobs of tbsp curry powder
• 1 tsp all spice
• ½ tsp cayenne powder
• ½ tsp paprika
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 tsp onion powder
• 1 tsp sea salt
• ½ tsp black pepper
• 1 tsp cumin
• ½ tsp red chilli peppers
• ½ tsp chilli powder
• 2 knobs of ginger, diced
• 1 can chickpeas, washed and drained
• Handful of grape tomatoes, halved
• ½ can of coconut milk
• Handful of spinach, stems removed
• Handful of rapini, stems removed

Assembly
Curry Chicken
1. Using a Dutch oven add coconut oil over medium high heat.
2. Add potatoes and chicken breasts and turn chicken as needed until almost cooked through.
3. Add all the spices, ginger, onion, and garlic along with peas, chives, parsley, chicken broth and scotch bonnet.
4. Turn stove down to low medium and let the curry simmer for 10 minutes to let the spices and mixture marry.
Curry Chickpea
1. In a large saucepan add coconut oil over medium high heat.
2. Add sweet potatoes, onion, red bell pepper, garlic and ginger.
3. Add all the spices along with the chickpeas and grape tomatoes.
4. Pour in the coconut milk along with spinach and rapini and turn temperature down to low medium and let simmer for 10 minutes to let the spices and mixture marry.

Tips
• Serve with basmati rice or dhal puri.
• You can use squash instead of sweet potatoes if desired.
• Pour vinegar in a bowl near the stove to lessen the curry smells in the house.
• If curry is to spicy add some coconut milk to calm it down.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I spent a good 3 hours making these two dishes and when I was done I needed to relax; but you know what this was so worth it. Funny enough I found the curry chickpea to be way more spicy that the curry chicken. It tasted great; but there was a slow burn; which I almost couldn’t tolerate. The curry chicken was much more my speed as I love a mild but flavourful curry. It reminded me of all those roti’s I’ve had but never attempted to make. I split this recipe in half and added a scotch bonnet pepper to prove that I can make a recipe truly Caribbean, even though I wasn’t planning on consuming it. I gave the peppery portion to my Guyanese gals, to see if I’m worthy of cooking West Indian and a portion to my dad to surprise him. The only thing I disliked was the fact that the curry smell was throughout the house. I was so glad I closed the bedroom doors; but upon my comment, I learned a bowl of vinegar near the stove while you’re cooking will lessen the drifting of the curry smell. My West Indian family and my Guyanese Gal’s said “it tasted great”, one commented it “tasted like my mom’s” and another said “I didn’t know you could cook Indian”. Well I’ll take all the compliments and be happy I can cook Spicy West Indian even though it is not my favourite type of cuisine. I can now label myself the girl with the Caribbean background that can cook it; but chooses not to and that’s fine by me.

West Indian Curry Chicken – Candy Coated Culinista

Curry Chickpea – Candy Coated Culinista

Basmati Rice – Candy Coated Culinista

Dhal Puri – Candy Coated Culinista

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Caribbean Soup … Just like my mom used to make …

Mom’s Caribbean Soup – Candy Coated Culinista

My mom passed away before I really got into cooking and she was one of the cooking types who had no recipes written down. That can be and is quite hard when I am trying to recreate those dinners that are near and dear to my heart. One of those recipes is her Caribbean soup; this is one of those dishes that I loved as a kid and I detested soup back then yet I would enjoy this soup; even with the pigtails in it – it’s a Caribbean thing. I have made this recipe twice now purely from the taste, I remember from days gone by and I have made a pretty good replication. My first attempt was closer I believe, but silly me can’t find where I put the recipe or I just never jotted it done; so here I go again and this time I made sure to write it down.

Yield/Serving: 8
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: about 1 hr.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• Turkey pieces, 4 wings & 2 legs
• Sea salt, to taste
• Black pepper, to taste
• Paprika, to taste
• Season salt, to taste
• Garlic powder, to taste
• Onion powder, to taste
• 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• 2 tbsp canola oil
• 1 litre chicken stock
• 500 ml water
• 3 Small red skinned potatoes, halved
• Dumplings (flour, salt, water)
• 3 celery stalks, chopped
• carrots, chopped
• 1 onion, chopped

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Season turkey and place in roasting pan and bake for 35 minutes.
3. In the meantime prepare the celery, carrots, potatoes, onion and garlic and set aside.
4. Using a large stockpot place garlic an oil and cook until a golden brown.
5. Add chicken stock and water and put pot to simmer.
6. When turkey is cooked, shred turkey meat into pieces and add to the pot.
7. Add in the potatoes and increase the heat to medium and continue to let cook.
8. Using a medium sized bowl make dumplings by mixing flour, a pinch of salt and water until ingredients form into a ball.
9. Add to pot and cook for 10 – 15 minutes depending on size.
10. Once dumplings are cook add the remaining vegetables and let simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
11. Serve.

Tips
• If you are going all out Caribbean, add pigtails and bread kind like breadfruit, eddoes, plantain, yam and soup seasoning. I totally forgot to add plantains, which I can readily find at my local grocery store; but the other ingredients would require a trip to the West Indian store.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was very reminiscent of my mom’s soup and this made me happy; but I know something was missing. The soup tasted much better on the second day as the flavours married. My mom’s soup however always tasted good on day one, so I know something was a touch off. Was it the extra West Indian ingredients or more likely my mom putting love and attention into the soup is what made it always taste oh so good. Probably a bit of both.

Caribbean Christmas Sorrel

Caribbean Christmas Sorrel - Candy Coated Culinista

Caribbean Christmas Sorrel – Candy Coated Culinista

This is my absolute favourite Christmas drink. Once the Christmas season is upon us I know I’m getting Sorrel and I’m elated. Sorrel is made from sorrel leaves; which are from the hibiscus family and with its deep, rich red colour it just screams Christmas to me. Not to mention all of those other Christmas spices.

Yield/Serving: 9 cups
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 20 to 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 cup sorrel leaves
• 9 cups water
• 1 hand of peeled ginger, cut into pieces
• 1 cinnamon stick
• A few cloves
• 2 star anise
• 1 cup cane sugar, to taste
• Lemon to taste

Assembly
1. Place all the ingredients except the sugar and lemon into a large pot and bring to a boil covered.
2. Reduce to low heat and let simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Remove from heat to allow to steep for a few hours.
4. Strain away the solids and add sugar and lemon to taste.
5. Chill and serve with ice.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have tasted two types of Sorrel: the Bajan (Barbados) way; which I am accustomed to and more recently the Jamaican way which a lot of the time has Rum added to it; but I have only enjoyed the rum-free version to date. Both islands ways taste great in their own right; the Bajan having more of that Christmas smell and so dark and dense when the drink is put up to the light, no light is getting through. On the other hand the Jamaican way has a lot more ginger and the addition of orange peel and the drink is not as dense. So when I made my first attempt at this I did a combination of both recipes. This tasted alright to me I was really hoping for it to taste like the originals; but it tasted like a Caribbean Canadian version if you will. I think I watered it down too much. I did get my Bajan & Jamaican recipe originators to taste it and they said it tasted good. I will say it tasted better over the next few days as the ingredients blended more and I will definitely add less water next time.

T.O. Food Fest 2014

T.O. Food Fest - Babi & Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

T.O. Food Fest – Babi & Co. – Candy Coated Culinista

Date: Sunday August 11th 2014
Place: Chinese Cultural Center, Scarborough, Ontario
Website: http://www.tofoodfest.com

For a third year I was invited as media to attend the T.O. Food Fest. This year there was a nominal fee to attend of two dollars or bring a non-perishable food item, as they were teaming up with Second Harvest. I loved this idea so much. So many people are attending this event to eat and gorge themselves, why can’t we then in turn bring some canned goods in for the less fortunate. I happily brought mine and picked up my media pass.

The Food

When I was checking out the vendors I noticed many repeat vendors; which is always a good sign like: Babi and Co., Bricks & Mortar, Buster’s Sea Cove Food Truck, Dutch Frites, Gala’s Peppersauce, Ice volcano Ice Cream, Liko’s Hawaiian BBQ and Lemonade.

Liko’s Hawaiian BBQ
Website: http://www.hawaiianbarbeque.ca
Served here today was pork skewers, pineapple soda and pulled pork on a bun. They were grilling on a large BBQ and it smelt and looked delicious. A secret BBQ recipe that has been passed down from generation to generation is used on the meat. No shortcuts are made as they want a quality dish sent out every time.

For the first time I tried the pork skewers and yum. There really isn’t a part of the pig I don’t like and this was perfectly barbequed with a cube of pineapple on top of the skewers. The stand is hard to miss as it looks like a tiki hut with lei’s and Hawaiian hibiscus shirts/dresses and bright yellow tee shirts are all around.

New Vendors for 2014

Blue Donkey
Greek – Canadian street food like calamari, souvlaki, gyro sliders, feta fries. I enjoyed their feta fries last year at the CNE Food Truck Frenzy.

Hot Bunzz
Website: http://www.hotbunzz.com
Oven baked brioche-style buns stuffed with international flavours, catering is available for any event. On the menu today was: Surf & Turf, St. Lucia Jerk Wild Boar, Buddah’s Bacon Butter Chicken, Ontario 5-Cheese, Mushroom & Spinach

Island Oysters Shuck Bar
Island Oysters started 2 years ago and can be typically found at farmers markets in the G.T.A.
Kusshi – British Columbia, Il de Magdalen – Ontario & Little Neck Clams – PEI. Two types of hot sauce were for sale – Habanero Xtra hot sauce and Jalapeno Xtra hot sauce.

Kanto by Tita fl!ps
Website: http://www.kanto.ca
A soon as I saw Tita I knew I was in for some Filipino food. Today they were serving
Palabok – Cornstarch noodles in shrimp gravy topped with hard-boiled eggs, shrimp, crushed pork rinds, tofu and green onions; SigSig – Fries Pork jowl and ear with french fries and Halo Halo – a dessert with an assortment of fruits, sweet vegetables, ice cream etc. These dishes looked so delicious, but I couldn’t eat everything I will be visiting storefront as I have to try the sigsig fries and hopefully find some tocino or lumpia there.

Korribbean
Two cultures wrapped into one delicious jumbo dumpling. The husband is from Trinidad and the wife is Korean. The jumbo dumplings served are made from 100% local organic beef, pork & chicken
The menu included -Classic (beef & pork), Jerk (beef & pork) Curry Chicken (Chicken) , Curry Potato (Vegetarian) which is served with a side of pineapple coleslaw and soy sauce or mango chutney dipping sauce. I tried the Koribbean iced tea (Sorrel) as I couldn’t resist this as Sorrel always reminds me of Christmas. It wasn’t too sweet and quite refreshing.

Meatwagon
Website: http://www.meaventures.com
Meat, meat and more meat, a carnivore’s paradise: Flavours from around the world are found here. There was bacon brulee & tocino sliders & Korean pork belly, which had me looking for the Filipino running the show and I was correct the owner is Canadian with Filipino and Iranian parents.

Mon K Patisserie
Baked treats that are not commonly found in Toronto are served here. Its French treats with an Asian twist. I of course bought Macarons and had the Cassis, Earl Grey, Banana Chocolate, Green Tea, Raspberry and Salt Caramel. Not too sweet and quite yummy and I even shared with the hubby.

Moo Milk Bar
Website: http://www.moomilkbar.ca
A milk & cookies bakery. Today there was a selection of their yummy cookies and cookie mix in a jar. I haven’t had a flavour I disliked yet from Moo Milk to date.

Penny Lou Lou Sweets & Treats
Website: http://www.pennyloulou.com
A cute and exciting, yet simple twist to the dessert scene and items on the menu all contain the word “Penny” in it. The food is Hong Kong style bubble cake – that has a crispy, golden-brown outer shell, and a soft and chewy center. The bubble cake is used to create, sammies, cake with fruit or nutella, cake wraps with a filling inside, and even filled with chicken and vegetable for a more savoury treat.

Pimenton
Websitehttp://www.pimenton.ca
Spanish & Mediterranean Fine Food like chicken paella with saffron, chicken & seafood.

Pure Leaf Tea
Websitehttp://www.pureleaftea.ca
Simple pure & uncomplicated iced tea with no preservatives, no added color and no artificial flavouring. It’s just real-brewed tea made from tea leaves picked fresh from the best plantations around the world.

The Saucy Pierogi
Website: http://www.saucypierogi.com
A pop up vendor serving pan fried Pierogi’s with a twist. I have only had pierogi’s two times before, one frozen from the grocers and another at a wedding as Hors d’oeuvres. These were how I think they should taste, fresh, not to doughy and with great toppings. On the menu was Jerk Chicken Pierogi’s with Jerk sauce & slaw, Cheddar & Potato Pierogie’s, Kimchi Sauerkrat Pierogie’s topped with Kimchi, Pork Schnitzel Plate with garlic mash & sauerkraut slow.

Stuffed & Co.
Stuffed chicken wings… yes please. How can a person resist with such an interesting idea. I have only heard of stuff wings one other place and that’s out of North Carolina with the 2 fat 2 fly stuffed chicken wings. Today there was Cheesy Mac, Wonton Bomb & Yaya Wing which I tasted it had jambalaya filling with sriracha aioli & creole seasoning. I choose the Yaya Wing as it was a limited flavour and it wasn’t spicy and it was well balanced.

Sweet Pop – Gourmet Dessert Popcorn
Website: http://www.sweetpopgourmet.com
A two month old business that came upon by just saying: “let’s just do this and see what happens.”
With a long time baker at the helm cookies & cream, s’mores and birthday cake gourmet popcorn is being sold. The popcorn was sweet and not soggy and was the perfect sweet pop in my mouth. (I also tasted leaps and bounds better then the chocolate coated popcorn I attempted to make for Valentine’s Day. It is definitely harder than it looks)

Vegiterra – Worldy Vegan Flavours
Website: http://www.vegiterra.com
Upon reading the name I think vegan, vegetarian and of the earth. This is a pop up vegan restaurant that began as a food, travel & culture blog. They offer flavours inspired by their travels, lifestyles and things of interest. Peanut Stew Empanada, Crispy Sweet Potato Gnocchi, Yam Burger, Jhal Muri, Lemongrass Basil Juice & Jasmine Coconut Iced Tea was served today.

Other vendor today were: Twisted, Toben – food by design, Best Gushi Chicken, BBQ Squid, Hakka Bao, Asian Sliders, Grilled Mini Eggs and Snow Ice.

I had another great year at the T.O. Food Fest and spoke to some great vendors with some very tasty and interesting foods. Every year this event is running more and more smoothly and it’s great to see that the organizers are learning ever year and making the T.O. Food Fest a better experience fro all. I can’t what to taste some more foods next year.

Pimeton - Candy Coated Culinista

Pimeton – Candy Coated Culinista

Liko's Hawaiian BBQ - Candy Coated Culinista

Liko’s Hawaiian BBQ – Candy Coated Culinista

The Saucy Pierogi - Candy Coated Culinista

The Saucy Pierogi – Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Stuffed & Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

Stuffed & Co. – Candy Coated Culinista

Stuffed & Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

Stuffed & Co. – Candy Coated Culinista


Koribbean Dumplings  - Candy Coated Culinista

Koribbean Dumplings – Candy Coated Culinista

Kanto - Candy Coated Culinista

Kanto – Candy Coated Culinista

Kanto - Candy Coated Culinista

Kanto – Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Mon K Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Twisted - Candy Coated Culinista

Twisted – Candy Coated Culinista

Twisted - Candy Coated Culinista

Twisted – Candy Coated Culinista

Island Oysters Shuck Bar - Candy Coated Culinista

Island Oysters Shuck Bar – Candy Coated Culinista

Gala's Peppersauce - Candy Coated Culinista

Gala’s Peppersauce – Candy Coated Culinista

Little Tomato Catering - Candy Coated Culinista

Little Tomato Catering – Candy Coated Culinista

Pure Leaf Iced Tea - Candy Coated Culinista

Pure Leaf Iced Tea – Candy Coated Culinista

Bricks & Mortar - Candy Coated Culinista

Bricks & Mortar – Candy Coated Culinista

Mama K Satay - Candy Coated Culinista

Mama K Satay – Candy Coated Culinista

Okinomiyaki - Candy Coated Culinista

Okinomiyaki – Candy Coated Culinista

Okinomiyaki - Candy Coated Culinista

Okinomiyaki – Candy Coated Culinista

Meatwagon - Candy Coated Culinista

Meatwagon – Candy Coated Culinista

Hot Bunzz - Candy Coated Culinista

Hot Bunzz – Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. – Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. – Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. – Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. - Candy Coated Culinista

Babi & Co. – Candy Coated Culinista

Dutch Frites - Candy Coated Culinista

Dutch Frites – Candy Coated Culinista

Dutch Frites - Candy Coated Culinista

Dutch Frites – Candy Coated Culinista

Dutch Frites - Candy Coated Culinista

Dutch Frites – Candy Coated Culinista

Sweet Pop - Candy Coated Culinista

Sweet Pop – Candy Coated Culinista


Mom K Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Mom K Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Mom K Patisserie - Candy Coated Culinista

Mom K Patisserie – Candy Coated Culinista

Island Oyster Shuck Bar - Candy Coated Culinista

Island Oyster Shuck Bar – Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra - Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra – Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra - Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra – Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra - Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra – Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra - Candy Coated Culinista

Vegiterra – Candy Coated Culinista

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