Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Caribbean Red Spring Rolls

I’m new to the rice wrapper; I was somewhat intimidated, but no more. It’s a great way to ‘wrap’ things, particularly delicious things up.

1 cup Caribbean Red papaya (approximately 50% color with the fruit giving to a gentle squeeze.)
1 cup cucumber
½ cup baby carrots
1 tsp basil or mint
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp ginger
1 tbs rice vinegar
½ tsp bird's eye chili or other dried pepper
6 long strands of chive (optional)
6 rice wrappers

·      Thinly chop papaya, cucumber and carrots. You’ll want to chop pieces so none is larger than ½” on any dimension.
·      Finely chop fresh basil or fresh mint and combine with the produce in a large bowl.
·      In a medium bowl, combine fish sauce, grated ginger, rice vinegar and finely diced dried bird chili pepper.  
·      Moisten rice wrappers until pliable. Add filling, drizzle with sauce and roll up. Tie with strands of chive. 
·      Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.
Serves 4

Curried Chicken & Caribbean Red Papaya Salad

After years of lifelessly boring deli chicken salad, it’s time to take this salad on a different direction. The change agent being sriracha, a Thai hot sauce typically seasoned with garlic, vinegar, sugar and spices. No one will ever again say chicken salad is boring.

2 tbs mayonnaise
2 tbs plain greek yogurt
1 tsp lime juice
½ tsp curry powder
salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp Sriracha
1 cup shredded or cubed cooked chicken
1 cup Caribbean Red papaya (approximately 50% color with the fruit giving to a gentle squeeze.)
2 cups your choice lettuce

·      Mix together mayonaise, plain greek yogurt, lime juice, curry powder, salt, pepper and Sriracha.
·      Combine this dressing with leftover shredded or cubed cooked chicken and semi-ripe papaya chunks. Serve on a bed of greens.

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes

For information about chilies and peppers used in Sweet Heat recipes

Chilled Caribbean Red Papaya-Watermelon Soup

Combining my two favorite summer fruits is a no-brainer; it’s the addition of habanero pepper that defines the genius behind ‘sweet-heat’. Whatever the stove’s heat could’ve added to the taste is instead sublimely provided by the habanero pepper’s flavor acting as a catalyst in the midst of summer’s fruit.
1 cup Caribbean Red papaya, diced
1 cup watermelon, diced
½ cup coconut water
2 tbs lime juice
dash of salt
½ tsp cilantro
½ tsp finely diced habanero pepper (optional – for sweet-heat!)

·      In a blender or food processor, combine papaya, watermelon, coconut water, lime juice, salt and cilantro.
·      For a sweet-heat addition, process in finely diced fresh habanero pepper.
·      Chill until ready to serve. Garnish with cilantro.
Serves: 2

Frozen Caribbean Red Papaya Coconut-Rum Cocktail

Adding Caribbean Red papaya to your choice of coconut milk* or rum makes the summer’s heat is not that bad. But adding a hot chili pepper to take the edge off the sweltering temperature is mind-boggling. After the first sip, it all makes sense. Now that’s sweet heat!

½ cup Caribbean Red papaya, chopped
1 tbs pineapple juice
1 oz. coconut milk or spiced rum
½ cup ice
½ tsp finely mined dried hot chili pepper
dash nutmeg

·      In a blender, process ripe papaya, thinned with a little pineapple juice, spiked with coconut or spiced rum and ice.
·      To make it a sweet-heat cocktail, add just a small amount of finely minced, dried hot chili pepper, like a bird chili or something similar.
·      Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Serves: 1
Prep time: 10 minutes