As what I would consider a truly amateur food blogger, it’s always a lovely surprise when I’m contacted by anyone asking me if I would like to review their product/book/restaurant, and as long as it fits in with the content of my blog I’m happy to do it.
The only problem is, sometimes I end up with just too many things to post about and not enough time, which means it can take a little longer than I’d like to write up the posts.
I have what I think of as a guilt chest – all the things I know I should do, and feel terrible about not doing, but just haven’t quite go around to doing.
The biggest dose of guilt in it is for a cookbook I was sent months and months ago – and actually love – but until now hadn’t blogged about.
World Food Cafe: Recipes from a Vegetarian Journey has been written by Chris and Carolyn Caldicott, who run the World Food Cafe in London’s Covent Garden.
The book contains more than one hundred veggie recipes, literally from all around the world. It’s split into sections by country – Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burma, Chile, Cuba, Japan, Laos, Helsinki & Lapland, Namibia, Syria and Vietnam – each with the story of Chris and Carolyn’s travels in that country, and lots of notes about the traditional dishes accompanying the recipes themselves.
Part of the reason it’s taken me so long to write this up is that I made loads of the savoury recipes straight away, but wanted to wait until I’d baked something sweet to post the recipe for. I couldn’t let it drag into the new year though, so now is the time to get rid of the guilt!
I love South American food so immediately gravitated towards Cuba to make the Huevos Habaneros (eggs from Havana) and the Sweetcorn and Caramelised Onion Tortilla de Papa, both of which were delicious.
After cooking my way around some of the other countries, I returned to Cuba to make these Caramelised Rum and Coconut Pina Asadas. I have to say, I think they would taste a million times better sat on a beach on a sunny evening in Cuba than they did in my kitchen on a cold December evening, but regardless it was a delicious dessert that I will definitely make again.
A big part of the reason I loved this recipe is the generous glug of dark rum involved – I love rum in general, but paired with pineapple, coconut, cinnamon and lime, it really is like tropical heaven.
My photos absolutely don’t do this dish justice, it was so good and I will definitely make it again. I also plan to keep trying new recipes from the World Food Cafe cookbook, as there are so may that sound amazing – the only slight downside is that a lot of them use ingredients I suspect most people don’t already have in their store cupboards, but if the ones I’ve tried so far are anything to go by it’s worth stocking up.
Caramelised rum and coconut pina asadas
- 1/2 medium pineapples, sliced into 4 rings
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp dark rum
- juice of half a lime
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp demerara sugar
- grated coconut
- vanilla ice cream to serve
Melt the butter over a low heat, then add the rum, lime, cinnamon and sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves. Pour over the pineapple and leave to marinade for half an hour.
Heat a griddle pan and lay the pineapple slices in it. Sprinkle the coconut on top, and baste with the leftover butter mixture. Once the underneath has caramelised, flip over to cook the other side and sprinkle with more coconut and baste with more butter.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream – and a perhaps a side of rum if you have any going spare…