Paradise Kitchen | Daniel Orr

 

Bring a little culinary paradise into your kitchen.

Paradise Kitchen: Caribbean Cooking with Chef Daniel Orr

TITLE: Paradise Kitchen: Caribbean Cooking with Chef Daniel Orr
AUTHOR: Chef Daniel Orr
PUBLISHER: Indiana University Press
CUISINE: Caribbean

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Featured Ingredient: Jerk Seasonings/Spices
Yes, we immediately think Jamaica when we talk about jerk spices or seasonings. But, Michele's Scotch Bonnet and Mango Chutney. By Tom Purvesthis unique flavor combination is the basis for lots of dishes found sprinkled around the Caribbean. The two main ingredients of any jerk mixture worth its salt are allspice and Scotch bonnet peppers. After that the remaining ingredients may include, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, garlic, salt and thyme. The mixture is a natural with chicken and pork. I’ve even seen it used as a beef rub. Jerk mixes are personal. So, go ahead and put your stamp on your own unique blend today.

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First Impression
It’s a “showbook”. It’s not a coffee table book. But, its presentation is a step above the average cookbook on the market today. There are tons of bright, beautiful images inside. The fact that it’s printed on a slick, heavy white stock says someone cared enough to make a statement. The book has more chapters than you normally see. It is divided into very specific manageable pieces. That allows you to find sub-groups of recipes quickly. The ingredients to complete some dishes may be a little hard to find in some parts of the country or world.

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What’s You’ll Find Inside (aka Table of Contents)

Breakfast at the Beach
Sunrise, Shakes and Smoothies
Soups and Salads to Beat the Heat
Energize You Afternoons
Tango with Tapas
Caribbean Cocktails
Homemade Flavored Rums
Island Starters
Limiting It Up Under Pressure
Fish
Grilled Lobster
Cooking for Carnivores
Sides and Accompaniments
Bush Teas
Sunny Sweets
Recipes for the Body

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Never been to Anguilla? I guess that means you’re like most of us. I can’t get you there, but, I can give you a quick peek into what the island is like.

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Best of the Book (Our favorite Recipes)

Saltfish and Yam Cakes Kumquat and Star Anise Rum
Black Bean Soup Snapper in Chili & Ginger Broth
Anguillian Conch Chowder Pressure Cooker Goat Stew
Good Vibration Chicken Salad Grilled Potfish “en Papillotte”
Lavender Lemonade Spice Crusted Rack of Lamb
Anguillan Jerked Fresh Ham Hot Chocolate Soufflé
Soft Mofongo Crab Fritters with Lemon Zest & Parmesan

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Special Features
This book is loaded with non-traditional cookbook information. For example, one back section contains a guide on how to prepare for a hurricane. You don’t find that in every cookbook about island cuisine. Lots of people live in areas of the U.S. that are impacted by tropical storms. So, a prep list is a good thing. If you don’t happen to live in a hurricane susceptible area, it will give you a little insight on what people do to prepare.

Paradise Kitchen: Caribbean Cooking with Chef Daniel Orr

There is a boatload of valuable info on the island of Anguilla. I’ve seen the island from afar, but, have never set foot on it. There is great background for a future trip. The book also contains one of my favorite features, a bookmark ribbon. I love that.

Unfortunately, one of the special features that seems to be missing is an online resource guide to some of the harder to find ingredients. Home cooks attempting a dish that may live in an area without a Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s or Fresh Market would appreciate knowing where to obtain some of the more obscure components.

The people are a BIG part of this book. They make it special. Turn to page 91 and have a look at Lavon and the array of island drinks before him. It looks like he enjoyed making them and would love for you to sip on one. That alone makes you want to take a trip south. Or, maybe replicate the experience wherever you live.

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Conclusion
In most cases this is not an everyday cookbook. Assembling the ingredients may be a challenge for some and not everyone needs to prepare for a hurricane. That being said, the recipes are unique, flavorful and offer a great look into the local cuisine. There are spice blend recipes that you could use on dishes you create yourself. And, it’s just a fun book to leaf through and enjoy. If you’ve ever been on an island vacation, Paradise Kitchen will allow you to re-create some of the culinary experience.

Lastly, I’m a big supporter of smaller publishing endeavors. This book is published by the Indiana University Press. It represents an outlet for chef/authors to get their work into the mainstream in a non-traditional way. I wholeheartedly support that effort.

If you’re looking for that summertime dish to impress your friends at your next backyard party there are lots of great choices waiting for you here. Just open to a page and you’re likely to point to a winner.

Culinary Expertise Required: 6.5
1= Boiling Water (novice) 10= Liquid Nitrogen (expert)

Would you like your own copy of Paradise Kitchen? We can make it easy for you to get one.

Paradise Kitchen: Caribbean Cooking with Chef Daniel Orr

Links, Resources & Other Press
Indiana University Press
The Anguilla Guide
Chef Daniel Orr
Guide to Caribbean Fish

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