The New Year is here! That means the start of new resolutions. It is typical for people to exclaim a New Year, a New Me in the beginning of the year. We make commitments to improving our finances, relationship, employment and dieting. Fad diets are trends that have no proof of effectiveness. They tend to be unhealthy, recommending the exclusion of entire food groups, with hopes to stay thin. For optimal physical health, there are alternatives to tedious diets that are quick, easy and delicious. For recommendations, I have enlisted the guidance of Brooklyn’s own, The Reggae Chefs. The Reggae Chefs, Peter and Ricardo, are Jamaicans with a passion for sharing their Jamaican culture and cuisine. They have been positively recognized by Jamaican television show, TVJ’s Smile Jamaica and The National Library of Jamaica for their positive contributions to their proud country. The Reggae Chefs pair authentic and signature dishes with cultural entertainment to give their clients a taste of Jamaica right here in the USA. They offer a broad range of services such as catering events, instructing cooking classes and girl’s night out parties. They incorporate Island classics, such as a game of Ludi*, that make their guest yearn for the days of their childhood. Besides their business ventures, they participate in philanthropist efforts to better the quality of education through their charity, Legendary Readers. If you are not from the islands, it will broaden your appreciation of the rich history. Along with a daily exercise regimen this dish, Pineapple Tilapia, will make dieting less monotonous. The taste is deceptively good, but this entrée has less than 250 calories.
4-6 tilapia fillets depending on size
1 lemon (juiced)
1 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
3 Tbsp. flour (set aside 1 Tbsp.)
1/2 cup oil for frying
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1/2 of red pepper
1/2 of green pepper
1/2 of yellow pepper
1/2 of carrot
2 stalks of scallion
3 sprigs of fresh Thyme (3 tsp dried thyme)
2 cloves of garlic
1) Mix the lemon juice with cold water and rinse fish in the mixture. Remove fish from the water and pat dry. In a bowl combine seasoning salt, black pepper, garlic and onion powder mix well. Rub the mixture over the fish and set aside for 1 hour.
2) Chop red, green, and yellow pepper, carrot, scallions, onion, thyme, garlic and tomato. Keep separate.
3) Place frying pan over medium to high heat. When the pan is hot, add oil. When the oil is hot dust the fish with flour and shake off the extra flour, gently fry the fish on both sides until golden brown. Set aside on paper towel.
4) Remove most of the oil from the pan, place on a low to medium heat in the same frying pan and add the pineapple juice. When it comes to a boil add the red, green and yellow peppers and carrots. Simmer for 1 min. then add the onion, scallion, thyme, tomato, and garlic and let cook for 2 to 3 mins.
5) Add pineapple chucks/slices and butter and let simmer for 1 min. then add fish. Use the remainder of flour to thicken the sauce and let simmer for 4mins more on a low heat (add salt and pepper to taste).Once the sauce has thicken turn off fire and serve immediately over rice and or boiled dumplings.
The Reggae Chefs are a three-course experience. Their delectable food is the Appetizer, their enthusiasm for their culture is the entrée, and their handsome good looks are the just desserts.
Book The Reggae Chefs at www.thereggaechefs.com
* Ludi is a board game hence the name Ludi board. Ludi, also known as Ludo or Ludu, is a derivative of Parcheesi which is a game that originated in India and was adopted in the U.K. It was brought to the beautiful Island of Jamaica where it experienced minor changes along with the name. You can also find Ludi/Ludo many African Nations as well as the Caribbean, but not as commonplace as in Jamaica. (ludiboard.com)