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Fusion food: Caribbean-Asian recipes

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Island-inspired Asian food

Ready to celebrate Caribbean-Asian cuisine with recipes crafted by Chef Carlos Jorge? Chef Jorge, chef extraordinaire of Solu restaurant at The Resort at Singer Island, just off the coast of Florida, is a master of fusion food, particularly island-inspired flavors with an Asian flair. Read on for secrets of his culinary success and a few of his sensational recipes - an easy way to enjoy the island life at home.

Fusion food recipes

All recipes courtesy of Solu and Chef Carlos Jorge
{headlinbe}Arroz Con Pollo (Chicken with Rice and Peas)Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:
1/4 cup olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons Achiote seeds (annatto seeds)
1 whole chicken cut into 8ths or 3 boneless chicken breasts cut into a 1/2-inch dice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
2 tablespoons capers
2 cups long grain rice
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1/4 bunch cilantro leaves, minced
3 basil leaves, chiffonade
1 cup green olives (pimento stuffed)
2 bay leaves
10 ounce frozen sweet peas, thawed

Directions:
1. Place 1/2 cup of olive oil in small pan and add the achiote. Heat on medium heat until bubbles form, then remove from heat and let steep. Generously season chicken with salt and pepper. Drain achiote seeds from oil (should be deep reddish-orange color). Place oil in large stockpot. Heat oil on high and sear chicken pieces on all sides until golden brown – do not burn chicken. Remove chicken pieces to a heatproof plate or platter and reserve.

2. Lower heat on pot in which the chicken was seared, and add diced onions, garlic, peppers and achiote. Saute until soft (do not burn garlic). Add capers and sweat with the onion mixture. Add uncooked rice, and stir to coat with the oil/onion mixture. Let the rice "toast" for just about a minute. Add chicken stock, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pot. Place chicken pieces back in. Add cilantro, basil, olives, and bay leaves and mix well to incorporate.

3. Check for seasoning and adjust to taste with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat, covered, until the rice is done. Add peas just before serving.

Ginger Shrimp with Coconut Milk, Calabaza and Avocado
(Camarones con Gengibre y Leche de Coco)

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Shrimp Marinade:
2 tablespoons chopped scallion
1 tablespoons chopped ginger
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and pepper

Broth:
1 medium calabaza squash
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 thinly sliced shallots
3 thinly sliced garlic cloves
1 thinly sliced lemongrass stalk
1-inch pieces of ginger, thinly sliced
3 cups chicken stock
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

To serve:
1 avocado
4 cups steamed jasmine rice

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl combine the shrimp marinade ingredients and toss to coat evenly; seasoning to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve in refrigerator while the broth is made.

2. Peel the squash cut into a medium dice. Place in a small saucepan with 1/2-cup of water and 1 tablespoon butter and cook over medium heat until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from liquid and reserve in a warm place.

3. To make the broth, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a small sauté pan over medium high heat. Add shallots, garlic, lemongrass, and ginger, cook until tender without browning. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil. Add coconut milk and cilantro and simmer an additional 5 minutes, stirring to incorporate coconut milk. Strain the broth and reserve warm. Lay shrimp out on a baking sheet and place in oven until done about 7 minutes.

4. Place 1 cup of jasmine rice into a soup bowl. Garnish the bowl with a few pieces of squash and 4 shrimp. Slice a quarter of an avocado and place on top of the rice. Ladle a small amount of the both into the bowl.

Solutini

Makes 1 cocktail

Ingredients:
2 ounces Snowqueen vodka
1 ounce Hypnotic liquor
1 ounce white cranberry juice
Splash of Blue Curacao
Splash of lime juice

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a martini shaker with ice. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with an orchid.

More Caribbean and Asian recipes


A taste of the Caribbean: Tropical Orange Waffles
Snapper with Asian Vegetables
Wontons with Pineapple Salsa

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