Monday 25 March 2019

Barbecue Tales part 10 - Pork Chops

Even though El Siboneys was calling out to me I decided I would do another day of cooking at home.  I love the novelty, and the difference of cooking outdoors on a barbecue compared to cooking at home in Ireland. And it always tastes good so absolutely no regrets.  Although I must say the lure of El Siboneys is so strong!!! Particularly because I live so near it, and omg the smell that emanates from their building as you pass...holy hell it's good!

Anyway! Pork it was!
First I prepped the pork by putting a generous lather of olive oil on it and then a lovely garlic meat rub.  At this point I also prepped the vegetables - garlic, tomato, carrots and broccoli and butter into a little tinfoil tent.  I decided to try grilling green pepper separate rather to all the other veg.

I then immediately put the wild rice on to cook.  The base for wild rice is brown rice - it is brown rice, seasoning and some veg (tomato etc) - and because of this it does need a good amount of cooking time.  A lot longer than if it was white rice.  It takes approx. 25 minutes and 5 minutes sitting time to cook according to the directions on the box which I don't really follow.

And yes I know my stove looks like it comes from 1982.  Kind of embarrassing I know.  Cousin Kasey has suggested to me that I do a blog post about the difference between Irish kitchen appliances and US appliances and all of my appliances are soooooo much better/nicer/bigger here in the US...except for this awful stove (or cooker as we would call it in Ireland)

So there we have the pork chops cooking away on the grill, plus the tinfoil tent of veg on the right.

It was very hot today and as I cooked, the sun was beating down on the back of my legs and I could feel perspiration rolling down my back.  Lol! Nice, Amy, real nice. Bet you're enjoying hearing this.  On one hand, totally gross I know but on the other hand, I have to say - I relished it.  Again so different to Ireland!

I apologise, this food/plate does not really look the best.  In real life it (a) looked so much more attractive than this and (b) most importantly, tasted amazing!  Really really tasty.  I had not cooked pork before as you will know if you have been following my "Barbecue Tales"  blog posts and it was nice that this went so well.  Pork can sometimes be difficult to cook, in a matter of seconds it can go from tender, tasty and moist to tough as leather  But this tasted so nice that pork will definitely be going on to the home cooking rotation/grocery shopping list.

Another great day out on the Salty Goat fishing boat

I wish I could report to you that this is a fish that I caught.  Alas no, this was Dan's (pictured) haul.  Isn't that amazing. It's a mutton snapper and I estimate it was around 25lbs.  What a beauty.  Well done Dan!

I am happy to report though that I had an incredibly enjoyable, and successful day.  I caught 35 fish! 35!!!  And lucky I did because including myself I had 4 people scheduled to call for dinner that night.  Imagine the embarrassment if I hadn't been able to serve fish that I had caught myself after inviting and promising a seafood supper!!

It was a most enjoyable evening of succulent fresh fish, with key lime pie for dessert, washed down with a  lovely bottle of sparkling Spanish cava.  

And a beautiful sunset of pink and blue hues to finish it all off perfectly.  Life is good.

Monday 18 March 2019

St Patrick's day 2019

I've had some pretty good St Patrick's Day over the years! A particular highlight was last year when Enid and I cycled in the Dublin parade dressed as suffragettes to celebrate 100 years of the vote for Irish women.  If you do a search of my blog using the key word "Patrick" you will get a good flavor of my celebrations over the years.

Well, this year's Paddy's day will take some beating I think!  The bar has been set.

The fiesta started the night before with the gathering I hosted at my house - a pool party on the 16th of March.  I was so happy, it went really well - read all about it by clicking here. 
Although, apparently the party was a little disappointing because someone said they were hoping the pool would be dyed green like the river in Chicago. Ahahahahahahaha

Ok. So that someone may have been Dawn pictured here in her fab green dress! She is so funny.
This photo was from a music event (singer/guitarist) up on the roof of the Waterfront Brewery.  It was lovely and atmospheric, and compared to Duval (which albeit is fun!) it felt a little calmer and dare I say it more adult.

I had made the mistake of not eating before the Brewery drinks so when someone said they would treat me to a lobster roll well I was only delighted.  An amazing TREAT indeed!  Without a doubt DJ's clamshack on Duval do the best lobster rolls.  Look at those big chunks of lobster, in the tastiest sweet brioche bread.  It's expensive but worth every single penny/ends up good value because of the quality.

I'm only posting this because it's green.  This cheeky fecker is taking serious liberties with his lounging on MY lounger.  This greeted us when we got home after the lovely lobster roll lunch.  A dousing with the water hose sent this bold fella on his way.

Finally, at 6.30pm in the eve I cycled on my bike to a friend's house where they had a fabulous spread of tacos...corned beef tacos. They were good indeed! Very "different" and very nice!

Until next year all! Happy St Patrick's!

Home made Pork and Cheddar Quesadilla

Today I had a craving for quesadillas.  Reason being is that I went to my bank to lodge (or deposit as my American compadres say!) a cheque (check!) and it is directly across from Bad Boy Burritos.  Bad Boy Burritos is pretty popular here in Key West and I really don't know why.  As far as I can tell they should drop the Boy and just call themselves Bad Burritos.  Aside from their Quesadillas!!!  OMG their duck quesadillas are divine. 

So I was craving a duck and cheese quesadilla.  But I also didn't want to spend any money on food. Lol.  I sound stingy (or cheap as the Americans say).  No seriously, there is a ton of food in my fridge at the moment, it would be a sin to eat out.

So I went home and pulled out some pork from the back of the freezer and stuck it on a pan - low and slow to keep it soft and moist.


I then placed a tortilla on a large pan.  Sprinkled the tortilla with shredded STRONG cheddar cheese. And then the pork.  Topped with another tortilla, I flipped it over in the pan.

I don't actually know if this is how you make a quesadilla but look it worked for me today!




Spa day (ish)

It's so important to take care of your feet!  Well that is what my twin sister Enid always says.  And this from a girl who has fantastic feet!  So funny, but considering we are identical twins there are some things that are different between us....feet being one of them...poor old Amy's feet are much more sensitive to the weather than Enid's.  In the Winter the cold weather makes my feet dreadfully dry, and then in Summer, guess what, the heat makes my feet dreadfully dry.

Enid is always advising me and buying me good products for them, and the dear girl even bought me the most amazing (lite rider) crocs flip flops as a gift before leaving Ireland.  And I am happy to report that my feet have been feeling in tip top shape while wearing those babies over the last few months.

But suddenly, over the last week they went kind of very dry and started to ache a little (dry and cracked heels are not fun I tell you!).  Eeek! So I figured I better do something to counter them getting any worse.

I spent a lovely afternoon today, on the sofa watching Dateline on tv with my little crubeens slathered in this fabulous cream and wrapped in my lovely cotton therapy socks. I am happy to report they feel (and look) better already! I will do this over the next few evenings and I will be set up again for the Key West sun and heat.

Sunday 17 March 2019

St Patrick's Day in Paradise

I had a wonderful day yesterday hosting a little get together celebrating St Patrick's day here in Key West.  I hope the photographs below capture the fun of the afternoon/evening.

Food! An important component of any party.  I don't want to show off but I was pretty happy with the cheeseboard/charcuterie I put together (top left pic).  We also served lots of chips and dips (guac, salsa, blue cheese).  And up in the pic up the right, top of the pic is my famous sweet chilli philli dip - let me know if you want details of it, it's seriously amazing.  Bottom right is the Guinness chocolate cake by the talented Ms Sheila Cullen.  Thanks Sheila!

Look at all that green! Seriously cool outfits and effort made by everyone

There's my work colleagues in the bottom right.  We all threw on a pair of sunglasses for fun for the pic :)

I've no photos of all the great beverages.  Mandy and Roberto bought a hot hot hot jalapeno margarita drink which everyone enjoyed.  Then we had the usual beer, wine etc.  And I made Falling Water cocktails - which is a zingy vodka, cucumber infused refresher.

I don't have a photo of the large pizzas either.  But as my sister Enid says, yeah Amy we know what pizza looks like.

Such a fun celebration. Thank you everyone who brought their fun self to celebrate a little bit of Irish life with me!

Wednesday 13 March 2019

"Entertaining in Singapore"

I may or may not have pulled this book out of some trash that my neighbor had ready to be collected and dumped.

It's an absolute gem! 

Published by the American Women's Association of Singapore - seems to be expat diplomat's wives from what I can make out.

I cannot find a year anywhere on it.  Judging from some of the photos I would say it was printed/self published around the early 1980's
I myself, had the page boy hair style of the child on the left around 1982.

Fish moolie sounds good!

Decorated sugar cubes sound only delightful!

Anyone out there in interwebs world recognize any of these women??  Get in touch!

Sunday 3 March 2019

Brunch at home - Kedgeree

Today I cooked something I have never cooked before in my life! I made kedgeree!  

And even better, I am happy to report it was a terrific success!

Not pictured are the eggs, fish and rice (I used wild rice, some recipes say basmati). I set the eggs and rice cooking while I chopped and prepped everything else. The fish was left over in the fridge from the previous eve's barbecuing so I just needed to flake by lightly forking and we were good to go.

I melted the butter in a pan, Kerrygold of course.  I then added the onions and cooked them down until they were soft and succulent, and nicely browned.  To this, I added the cherry tomatoes and allowed them to cook down a little too.  Next I added the ginger and garlic, and then the all important CURRY POWDER.

Curry Powder is a vital component.  Kedgeree is a British Indian dish which originated in Britain from the time that India was part of the British Empire.  While eating it, I felt the eggs made it breakfasty, while the curry felt like lunch.  Hence  it is a great brunch dish in my opinion!

To the lovely flavoursome mix of veg etc I added the rice, eggs and flaked fish.  And that was it!  How simple was that.  And satisfying - almost therapeutic - while cooking.  All  that chopping, adding, stirring felt great!

Et Voila!
You guys!!! I made kedgeree!!

It tasted amazing.  I was so happy with how it turned out.