Uncategorized

The Thailand Takeover

Earlier this month, I was blessed to spend almost two weeks in the beautiful country of Thailand. A relaxing vacation complete with warm beaches, good company, great local food, night market tours, elephant sanctuaries, temple visiting, and a chance to press the pause button and simply enjoy life. Each day was a new adventure as I trekked through 5 different cities exploring the culture and humbleness that embody thai people. Their food, full of robust, aromatic herbs and spices opened up your senses and satisfied every craving for thai food you’ve ever had! I was fortunate enough to visit the coconut farm and learn how sugar was made from coconut, how coconut oil was made, and of course taste the delightful nutty flavor of coconut juice. As Buddhism is the religion followed by the majority of Thai citizens, I visited intricately adorned temples, walked amongst monks, and gained appreciation for their way of life! Check out my youtube channel at that nurse can cook for my full video blog! In the meantime, enjoy some awesome pictures from my stay!

Salmon Fried Rice

Salmon Fried Rice

I couldn’t get enough fried rice while in Thailand, as nearly every meal consisted of some kind of fried rice or noodle. After a long day in the sweltering heat feeding elephants in the elephant sanctuary of Kanchanburi, we sat down for a lovely meal prepared by a local restaurant. The meal was served buffet style and the basil salmon fried rice was the only dish I went back for seconds to try! I knew then that I’d figure out a way to recreate this dish as well! Hope you enjoy!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients


For the rice:
2 cups of cooked parboiled rice
2 tbsp corn oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 green pepper diced
1/4 red pepper diced
1/4 yellow pepper diced
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp all purpose seasoning
1 tsp old bay seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
3 kaffir lime leaves
1 tbsp browning
3 basil leaves
For the salmon:
4 salmon filets
Season each with:
1 tsp ground lemon grass seasoning
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp chili paste (optional)
1 tsp all purpose seasoning
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp fish seasoning

Directions


First cook your parboiled rice and set to the side. Next, grill your salmon for 15 minutes or roast in the oven. When finished, set to the side. Use one salmon filet, and shred or break into small pieces with your hands and set aside. In a large frying pan or wok, set your fire to medium heat. Sautee your onions and peppers, and kaffir lime leaves for 1-2 minutes. Add seasonings and sautee for another 2 minutes. Add your shredded salmon next. Sautee for 1 minute and add rice. Continue to stir and add basil leaves. Lastly, add browning and stir until color is evenly distributed. Enjoy!





Sweet n Sour Fried Snapper

Sweet n Sour Fried Snapper

On my last night in Thailand, my mom, my sister, and I decided to eat local by cruising the streets of Thailand and finding a restaurant to indulge our taste buds in. We happened upon a nice, clean, restaurant adorned in traditional island décor with a modern feel. The hostess was polite, guiding us to our seats and gave us the menu. There were so many delicious dishes to choose from but we settled on the sweet n sour fried snapper to share family style. The fish was lightly seasoned with fresh herbs and spices and the sweet n sour sauce that was drizzled on top along with fresh onions, peppers, and tomatoes had us all bargaining over who would get the last bite! I knew right away I would be recreating this dish to share with you all and this came out so delicious, I guarantee you’ll love it!
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 3

The seasonings listed here are for 1 fish. Repeat the seasonings for each fish you would like to cook. The sauce recipe is enough for 3 medium sized fish, each weighing approximately 1 lb. This recipes asks for you to fry the fish. If you’re more health conscious, it is okay to put the fish in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, uncovered.

Ingredients


For frying fish:
1 cup of canola oil
All purpose flour (enough to add a light coating on each fish)
1 tsp maggi fish seasoning
1 tsp adobo
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp seafood seasoning (old bay is a good substitute if seafood seasoning isn’t available)
For the sauce:
1 whole onion chopped largely into squares
1/4 green pepper chopped
1/4 red pepper chopped
1/4 yellow pepper chopped
3 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tsp corn starch

Directions


First wash your fish with fresh lime or lemon juice. Pat them completely dry and make two slits on each side with a sharp knife. Add your adobo, black pepper, fish seasoning, and garlic powder. Massage into fish. At this point add your oil to your frying pan and place on medium heat. While your oil is warming, lightly coat each fish with flour. When oil is hot, place fish into the frying pan and fry for approximately 5-7 minutes on each side. Remove and place on a paper towel to drain. Throw out the oil, clean your frying pan and begin making your sauce. Warm your oil on medium to high heat. Once oil is hot, add your sugar and sautee until sugar is fully caramelized. When sugar turns to a brown liquid, add your ketchup, vinegar, and soy sauce and continue to sautee for 1 minute. Add your water, turn your heat down, and bring to a simmer. Slowly add your corn starch by sifting. Tip: if lumps of corn starch form, simply use a strainer to remove them. Next add onions and peppers and allow them to cook for approximately 10 minutes. Now pour the sauce on top of the fish and Enjoy!


Coconut Curry Shrimp

Coconut Curry Shrimp

Curry shrimp has always been a favorite dish of mine, growing up in a Jamaican household. On my trip to Thailand I noticed that coconut and curry were often cooked together as well! I found it amazing that two completely different cultures had some similarities in their way of cooking and the spices they cooked with. I’m sharing this recipe with you all in hopes that you’ll try it and let me know how you like it!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients


1 lb of raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tbsp curry powder (more if you like a potent curry flavor)
1/2 can of coconut milk
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 onion chopped
5 sprigs of thyme
1/4 cup of chopped green pepper
1 tsp adobo seasoning
1 tsp seafood seasoning
1 tsp chicken seasoning
1 tsp all purpose seasoning
1 cup water
2 tsp oil


Directions


First begin by heating your oil in a medium sized skillet on medium heat. Sautee your onions, minced garlic, and green pepper for 3 minutes and then add your adobo, all purpose, chicken, and seafood seasoning. Sautee for 1 minute and then add curry powder. Continue to sautee for another minute. Add the water and coconut milk. Cover the pot and cook the curry for 10-15 minutes. Now add your shrimp. Cook the shrimp for 10-15 minutes, covered, until pink. Enjoy!



Cooked shrimp may be used in place of raw shrimp. Be careful not to continue to cook the precooked shrimp or else shrimp will become rubbery!





Crab Fried Rice

Delicious, buttery crab meat with seasoned fried rice

Ingredients


-1/2 cup crab meat
-1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables
-1 1/2 cup of cooked parboiled rice
-2 tbsp corn oil
-1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
-2 tbsp onion, finely chopped
-1 tbsp dried sweet basil
-1 tsp garlic powder
-1 tsp onion powder
-1 tsp adobo seasoning
-1 tsp chili powder
-1 tbsp browning
-1 tsp hot sesame oil (optional)


Directions


Cook your parboiled rice first. Once your parboiled rice is cooked, set it to the side. Next, place your wok or frying pan on medium heat. Next add your butter to the pot and melt. Add your crab meat and sautee until butter is completely absorbed. Remove the crab meat and set to the side. Now add oil to the wok or frying pan. Wait for oil to heat and begin by adding finely chopped onion and garlic. Sautee for 2 minutes, taking care not to burn the onions or it will result in black marks in the rice. When you are done sauteeing, add your adobo, chili powder, garlic and onion powder, and dried sweet basil and continue sauteeing for 2 minutes. Now add your frozen mixed vegetables and sautee for another minute. Once you are finished sauteeing everything, add your rice and crab meat. Continue to stir until everything is evenly distributed. Add your browning and stir until all rice grains are evenly colored. Optional step: add hot sesame oil. Tip: Be careful with the sesame oil! The flavor is powerful and it’s very spicy so use with caution! Let me know in the comments what you think!




About Me

Welcome to my food blog! I’m Helena! I’ll be sharing my love for the vibrant and robust flavors of caribbean cuisine with all of you. My passion for cooking developed at the age of 15 and I’ve spent years perfecting my craft. One look at my blog will transport you right into my kitchen as I share recipes full of traditional herbs and spices native to the caribbean. I also happens to be a registered nurse at a top ranked children’s hospital in the heart of New York City.  When I’m not saving the lives of children, I’m creating delicious, home cooked island food, and healing souls, one meal at a time.