Saturday, May 31, 2008

Bananas Caribbean

For those times when too many bananas is barely enough

  • 6 medium bananas
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • grated rind of 1 orange
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup sherry
  • 4 oz butter
  • 2 tblspns rum

Peel bananas and place in a greased shallow baking dish.

Cook brown sugar, orange juice and rind, spices and sherry in a small heavy pan, stirring, until heated through. Pour over bananas.

Dot with butter and bake in a moderate oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven. Heat rum, ignite and pour over bananas.

Serve with whipped cream.

Flambe Fruit

An oldie but a goodie

  • 1 Small pineapple
  • 1/2 papaw
  • 1 mango
  • 2 Kiwi fruit
  • 1 punnet strawberries
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4lb butter
  • 1/2 cup Orange and Mango juice
  • 2 tblspns brandy or rum
  • 2 tblspns orange liqueur

peel pineapple and remove eyes, cut into chunks. Peel paw paw and remove seeds, cut into chunks. Peel and slice mango. Peel and slice kiwi fruit and remove hulls from strawberries.

Cook brown sugar and butter over low heat in a heavy fry pan, stirring all the time until sugar dissolves. Continue cooking until mixture bubbles.

Stir in juice, cook over moderate heat until mixture has reduced by half. add brandy and liqueur. do not stir. Cook for 1 minute and then set alight.

Stir in fruit and coat well with syrup. Cook fruit until heated through.

Serve with whipped cream

Friday, May 30, 2008

Mama's On the Half Shell

We tried this restaurant last night. Mama's is located in Canton Square, 2901 Odonnell St Baltimore. It is a very short walk from the Anchorage Marina. This restaurant has a pub like atmosphere and a menu dominated by seafood. We tried the Oysters in the half shell, Tuna Salad and Fish and Chips.

The Oysters were excellent, The cod was deep fried with a crispy batter and interesting variation on chips.

Worth a visit when visting Baltimore, decore is interesting and always seems busy.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Maryland Blue Crabs

Every place I have lived offers some culinary delight that is unique to the area. Here in Maryland USA the folks have a great tradition of steamed blue crabs from the Cheaspeake Bay. Come summer and the the water starts to warm up we are ready to steam-up some crabs.

During the Summer months the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus) moves into the Chesapeake Bay. This crab is found along the southern Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of America. Anyone boating in the Chesapeake Bay during summer will see thousands of crab pots, in the early morning fisherman also use Trot Lines to harvest the Blue Crabs.

As far as crabs go the blue crab is small and it is not uncommon to steam up a dozen or so crabs and white corn, line the table with paper, pour the crabs on the table and have a feast with friends.

In Maryland crabs are steamed, not boiled. My steamer is in 2 parts, water is in the lower part and the crabs in the upper part. The live crabs are placed in the steamer with generous amounts of seasoning (Old Bay, Salt, local blends are worth looking for). Bring steamer to boil over high heat and steam untill crabs turn red, around 10-15 minutes.

Line the table with large sheets of paper, pour the crabs onto the paper. This can get messy and there is a technique you need to learn to get to the succulent meat but they taste so good everyone gets into the swing of things and before long you are pickin crabs with the best of them.

Good friends, Summer, Maryland steamed crabs and ice cold beer. Doesn't get much better.

Some of our favourite Crab Houses are:

  • Harris Crab House - 433 Kent Narrows Way North, Grasonville
  • Canton Dockside - 3301 Boston Street Canton
  • Ships Cafe & Pub - Fredrick Rd, Catonsville