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Recipe: Caribbean Pasta with Shrimp

Caribbean Pasta with Shrimp

INGREDIENTS:

4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 1/2 cups tomato – peeled, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice berries
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup brandy-based orange liqueur (Grand Marnier? )
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons chile paste

8 ounces rotini pasta
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp – peeled and deveined
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

PREPARATION:

In a small bowl, combine garlic, shallots, ginger and oil. In another small bowl, combine green pepper, tomato, curry powder, allspice, chicken stock, Grand Marnier, soy sauce, brown sugar, cornstarch, and chile paste. Cover and refrigerate both until ready to use.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
Heat a large saute pan over high. When hot, add garlic-oil mixture. Saute until garlic begins to sizzle but has not browned. Stir the tomato mixture, then pour into the saute pan. Bring to a rapid boil and cook until it begins to thicken, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the shrimp, and toss until they become pink, about 2 minutes. Immediately add the pasta. Stir and toss until well combined and pasta is heated through. Taste and adjust seasonings, especially salt.
Transfer to a heated platter and sprinkle on the cilantro. Serve at once.

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Culinary Traditions Of The Caribbean Islands

Willow
Source: Flickr


Authentic Caribbean cuisine is truly an excellent representation of all the cultural influences the Caribbean Islands have experienced since Christopher Columbus’ landing in the late 1400’s.
With a fine mixture of French Island and African recipes, Caribbean cuisine is widely prepared and enjoyed by people of all nationalities, in many areas of the United States and the world.

Caribbean food and culture was forever changed when the European traders brought African slaves into the region. The slaves ate mostly the scrap leftovers of the slave owners, so not unlike the slaves in the United States they had to make do with what they had. This was the birth of the more contemporary Caribbean Cuisine. The African slaves blended the knowledge of spices and vegetables they had brought from their homeland and incorporated them with the precious fruits and vegetables of the Caribbean Islands, as well as other staples to be found in the area. This created many one-of-a-kind dishes, because many of the produce on the islands at the time was too fragile to make it through the exportation process. Fruits most often found in Caribbean cuisine include yams, yucca, mangos and papaya fruits. Among the produce that is too fragile to be exported is the tamarind fruit and plantains (a fruit grown on a tree that is similar to the banana).

Caribbean food, while spicy, is one of the healthier options among culinary traditions from different regions. As discussed, the lush Caribbean islands are chock full of vegetables and fruits for healthy living. In addition to that, America introduced beans, corn, chile peppers, potatoes and tomatoes to the islands, broadening their palate.

When slavery was abolished on the islands, slave owners had to look else where for help. Bringing in labor from India and China, different types of dishes using rice or curry were introduced and blended into mainstream Caribbean cuisine. This is how the Caribbean favorite curry goat was born.

The Caribbean islands are in a prime location for one of their specialties–seafood. Salted codfish is a specialty on the Caribbean islands. It is usually served in a salad or stew, or at breakfast in scrambled eggs. Lobster, sea turtle, shrimp, crab, and sea urchins are also specialties on the islands. They are used to make such exotic, spicy Caribbean dishes as Antillean crab pilaf and curried coconut shrimp.

Desserts are an integral part of the Caribbean culinary experience. Sugar cane is one of the area’s chief products, so there are always an abundance of cakes, pies, and dumplings. Caribbean natives incorporate dessert into almost every meal. At Caribbean restaurants you may notice the emphasis they put on their desserts; in their culture, dessert is just as important as the main course.

Caribbean cuisine incorporates flavors from all of the different cultures that have ever graced the shores of the islands, from Africa to China to India. The flavoring in Caribbean cuisine is intense and rich, strikingly similar African and Creole food.

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Recipe: chicken breasts with sour cream and jalapenos

Chicken Breasts with Sour Cream and Jalapenos

Servings: 8

1 fresh jalapeno or 1 (4 ounce can diced chiles)
1/4 pound Monterey jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 cup sour cream
4 whole boneless chicken breasts
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Pound chicken breast to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thickness.

If using fresh jalapeno, wash and pat dry; seed and remove ribs, if desired. If using canned green chilies, rinse, seed and pat dry. Chop chile. Shred enough cheese to measure 1/4 cup.

In small bowl, combine cheese with chile, chopped cilantro and sour cream. Set aside.

Preheat broiler. Line broiler tray with aluminum foil and set aside. Sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine butter and oil in large heavy-gauge skillet over medium-high heat. Saute chicken breasts, 2 at a time, about 5 minutes per side, or until brown. Transfer to broiler tray. Top each chicken breast with a generous spoonful of sour-cream mixture. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heating element about 5 minutes, or until topping bubbles. Transfer to platter and serve immediately.

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Recipe: John Wayne Casserole

John Wayne Casserole

Chinese VT4 tank testing in Pakistan
Source: Flickr

INGREDIENTS:

8 ounces canned, diced green chiles
1 pound Monterey jack cheese, coarsely grated
1 pound Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
3/4 cup evaporated milk
4 eggs, separated
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

PREPARATION:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Mix chiles and cheeses and put into a buttered shallow casserole.

In a small bowl combine milk, egg yolks, flour, salt and pepper.

In a large bowl beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Gently fold whites into the yolk mixture. Then pour the mixture over the cheese and chile mixture and carefully blend. Bake for 30 minutes.

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English Teaching in China

“If you wanted to have challenges galore in your teaching portfolio, look no further than Teaching English in China. The demography of China combined with the factor that less than 5% of their population would be able to speak or write English with any degree of fluency is only an introductory challenge thrown at you. Brace yourselves up for a lot more as you get going with your English teaching jobs that deal with teaching English in China.

Mandarin is the local dialect in China. Please note that Mandarin is one of the toughest national languages to learn in the world. That said, people in China have grown up reading and writing it with ease. Today, if you go to China you will find that people would be able to communicate in Mandarin much more fluently than you would do in English.

Does that teaching English in China difficult?

The Chinese government has woken up to the reality that knowledge of English is a must for them to compete with the global economy. With China opening its trade borders to most of the West, it has become imperative for most of the people in China to converse and communicate well in English. For starters, teaching English in China has reached the Economic Free Zones. This is not where it stops as English has spread its tentacles to schools, universities and the more popular coffee shops.

As for statistics, here is a stunner! Close to 600 Million citizens of China are understanding English at some level. Compare that with the population of United States of America. It would not take a smart man to understand that more than twice of population living in United States of America is reading English in China. This makes your teaching English in China much easier than what it was a couple of decades ago.

This is only the tip of the iceberg

Those statistics only reveal half the picture. The true picture is that close to 40% of the Chinese population is still unaware of learning English as a Second Language. Now, that’s where your desire of teaching English in China comes to the fore. Being one of the most challenging English teaching jobs, your teaching English in China would be highly recognized at all levels. If not for anything else, your role in transforming a local economy to a global economy would be greatly appreciated.

All in all, teaching English in China is one of the opportunities that every qualified or certified teacher must look up to. Taking up English Teaching jobs in China is just an added credential for an English Teacher.”