Good Day Cafe: Caribbean cooking with Suzanne and Michelle Rouss - FOX 35 News Orlando

Good Day Cafe: Caribbean cooking with Suzanne and Michelle Rousseau

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Suzanne and Michelle Rousseau are sisters and authors of a new cookbook, "Caribbean Potluck."

www.caribbeanweek.com

Penne with Ackee and Coconut Cream Sauce

Serves 6

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 stalk scallion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon seeded and minced Scotch bonnet

2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus 6 sprigs for garnish

2 tablespoon chopped bell pepper

2 small plum tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced

2 cups canned ackee, drained

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup canned coconut milk

1-1/2 cups heavy cream

1 (16-ounce) package penne pasta

2/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the scallion, garlic, Scotch bonnet, thyme and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pepper is soft. Add the tomatoes, and when they begin to look cooked, fold in the ackee. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the ackee is well seasoned and all the flavors combined-don’t stir too much! Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil again, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened. Season again with salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente, according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pot over medium heat; add the sauce and half of the Parmesan, toss to combine and taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Transfer the pasta to individual servings bowls. Garnish each serving with a sprig of thyme and sprinkling with the remaining Parmesan.

Flatbread with Arugula, Prosciutto, Mango and Manchego

Yields: 8 servings

For the Flatbread Dough (or use readymade flatbread)

4 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 envelope instant yeast

3/4 cup warm water

4 tablespoons olive oil

2-3/4 cups cold water

For the Herb Oil (makes 1 cup)

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

Sea salt

For the Caramelized Red Onions

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, thinly sliced

Sea salt

For the Honey Balsamic Reduction

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon honey

Sea salt

8 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

8 ounces shaved Manchego cheese

1 cup thinly sliced mango

4 ounces arugula

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon honey balsamic reduction or to taste

8 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, torn

To make flatbread dough, in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the dough hook, mix the flour and salt until thoroughly incorporated, about 1 minute. Meanwhile, place the yeast in a small bowl and whisk in the warm water, then 3 tablespoons of the oil. Let the yeast rest until it begins to foam, about 10 minutes, then pour into a well in the center of the flour. Mix the flour and yeast solution until well incorporated. Add the cold water to the flour and mix again, until the dough pulls together in a single, unified mass.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and begin to knead, working the dough with the heel of your hand. Push outward and pull the inside edge over the top. Repeat the process over and over to create a smooth ball of dough, free of stickiness. This should take 6 to 8 minutes. Brush a clean, stainless-steel bowl with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and put the ball of dough in the bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and let rise at room temperature until it has doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the herb oil: In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, rosemary, thyme, basil and garlic. Season with salt and let sit for at least 1 hour to let the flavors develop. (You can also use a blender.)

To make the caramelized red onion, heat the oil in a medium sauté pan over low heat, then add the onion and season with a little salt. Cook slowly until the onion is caramelized and slightly sweet, 15 to 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 8 balls. (The balls of dough can be individually wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to 2 months.) With a rolling pin, roll each ball into an oval shape. Brush with herb oil, sprinkle with salt and grill on both sides until marked. Cover each grilled flatbread with prosciutto slices and top with the cheese shavings and mango slices.

In a small bowl, season the arugula with salt and pepper, then toss with the honey balsamic reduction and herb oil to taste. Mound the arugula on top of the prosciutto, mango and cheese. Add the caramelized onion and basil and serve immediately.

Twice-Fried Pressed Green Plantain with Avocado, Cilantro, and Manchego

Yields: 8 servings

For the Spicy West Indian Salsa Verde (makes about 2-1/2 cups)

1 cup chopped fresh parsley head

1/3 cup chopped fresh chadon beni (culantro or cilantro)

1 tablespoon roughly chopped garlic

1/2 cup chopped scallions

1 bunch fresh thyme, chopped

1-1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup water

6 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from about 8 limes)

2 teaspoons lime zest

1 Scotch bonnet, cut in half and seeded

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 tablespoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger

2 large green plantains

About 3 cups vegetable or coconut oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large avocado, pitted and sliced

1 bunch scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, or to taste

4 ounces Manchego cheese, grated (about 1 cup)

1 bunch chopped fresh cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup Spicy West Indian Salsa Verde

To make the spicy West Indian salsa verde, in a food processor or blender, combine the parsley, chadon beni, garlic, scallions, thyme, oil, water, lime juice, lime zest, Scotch bonnet, salt and ginger. Blend well.

Cut off both ends of each plantain and, with the tip of a paring knife, score lengthwise along the ridges of the plantain skin; peel away the skin. Cut the plantains into 2-inch thick pieces and sprinkle with salt.

Heat about 4 inches oil in a large pot over high heat. Once the oil is very hot, drop the plantain pieces into the oil and fry for about 2 minutes. Transfer the plantains to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Reserve the oil in the pot.

Spread a clean dish cloth on a work surface, place 1 piece of fried plantain on the cloth, fold the cloth over the plantain; press hard with the heel of your hand to flatten the plantain to about ½ inch thick. Repeat with the remaining pieces of plantain. Once all the plantains are pressed, heat the oil up again and fry the plantains for 3 minutes more, or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate lined with fresh paper towels to drain. Season with salt.

In a small bowl, mash together the avocado with the scallions, a pinch of salt and the lime juice.

Place some mashed avocado on top of each pressed plantain and top with cheese, cilantro and a generous drizzle of spicy salsa verde. Serve immediately.

Creamy Tomato, Garlic, Thyme and Scotch Bonnet Soup

Yields: 6 servings

1 whole head garlic

3 tablespoons olive oil

24 plum tomatoes

1 medium onion, chopped

1 bunch scallions, chopped

2 bunch fresh thyme

1/2 Scotch bonnet, seeded and chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup water

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup canned coconut milk

1 teaspoon brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Slice off the root end of the garlic, place in a small baking dish, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and roast for 20 minutes, or until the garlic is tender when pierced with a knife.

Meanwhile, with a paring knife, cut an X at the top of each tomato. Sink the tomatoes in a pot of boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, until the skin begins to lift. Remove from the water and let cool. Peel the tomatoes, squeeze out their seeds, and chop, reserving any liquid. Strain the liquid and set it and the tomatoes aside.

In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the onion, scallions, thyme and Scotch bonnet and sauté until softened. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, water and tomato liquid. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes, until the tomatoes break down.

Squeeze the garlic from its skin and mash it with a little salt. Add the garlic to the soup, then transfer the soup to a blender and puree until very smooth. Return the soup to the pot over medium heat. Stir in the coconut milk and brown sugar and simmer for about 8 minutes. Season again with salt and pepper and serve.

Brown Sugar Rum Punch

1 cup lemon juice or 1 part of something sour

2 cups brown sugar or 2 parts of something sweet (honey, simple syrup or agave)

3 cups white rum or 3 parts of something strong (vodka or red rum)

4 cups water or 4 parts of a chaser (club soda or juice)

Mix together all ingredients in a pitcher. Chill and serve over ice with a lime or orange garnish. Settle back (preferably on a lounge chair) and sip away!

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