Tag: farmers market

Earth Day is every day at The Brasserie

Posted by on 20th April 2017

Tomorrow we will officially celebrate Earth Day.

Earth Day is an annual event marked across the world to show support for environmental protection.

The aim is to encourage people to do things that will benefit the Earth, such as recycling more and reducing food waste, using solar power and planting trees.

The edible garden that surrounds The Brasserie is just one example of our consistent endeavors to reduce food miles and, as a result, the fuel consumption required to carry food ‘from paddock to plate’. Our head gardener, Aide, uses the vegetable waste from the kitchen to feed The Brasserie’s “Chateau Chooks”. The egg shells she adds to the compost (along with the remaining vegetable scraps) and on the garden beds to control snails, in addition our chicken manure that is a very effective fertilizer.

The next time you get lunch from The Market, take a closer look at the plates, utensils and takeaway cups – all made from plants and 100% recyclable.

Venturing into The Brasserie’s kitchen you will see excess herbs from the garden hung to dry, trimmings go into stocks, breadcrumbs made from bread not sold after service, vinegars made from excess tomatoes and coconut water used as a brining liquid. Coconut shells are used as fodder for the caboose fire and smoker and the ashes are added to the garden compost. Stems and excess fruit are fermented, preserved and pickled to add dimension to dishes. For example, fermented Barbados gooseberries are used in the Hoisin sauce served at the Harvest Dinner. In fact, the team are currently creating a “preserving pantry”.

To celebrate all the sustainable and environmentally-friendly initiatives happening around the world, today we are offering complimentary bags of soil and coffee grounds piled high in our lovely red wheelbarrow outside the front of The Market. We will also be selling Cayman mutton pepper seedlings for $1 each and free drip coffee to anyone that brings in their own coffee mug for the day.

Earth Day is every day at The Brasserie.

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Cupuaçu

Posted by on 18th April 2017

How would you pronounce cupuaçu?

Cupuaçu is a “super fruit” that comes from South America and is extremely potent with antioxidants and other powerful nutrients.

It is the size of a medium watermelon, is related to the cocoa bean and has a name that is ineligible for trademark despite several attempts.

The creamy white or buttery yellow pulp at the centre of the large melon-shaped fruit has been a primary food source for natives in the rainforest for centuries. They become ripe from January to April during the rainy season. The large, oblong-shaped fruit with a hard outer brown shell can weigh from 2 to 4 pounds.

After falling from the tree, cupuaçu are gathered, split open, and the pulp is made into juice, ice cream and jam. The pulp contains a handful (20-30) grape-sized oval brown seeds. These can be pressed to make cupuaçu butter, rich in phytosterols and fatty acids that contain high moisturising and antioxidant properties to rejuvenate and make the skin more supple and hair more lustrous, while the vitamins along with the fatty acids protect against cardiovascular disease, memory lost, and mood swings.

Those who have eaten cupuaçu say it has a sweet fragrant aroma, a powerful indicator of the fruit’s ripeness. The moment you split the shell open your senses fill with the tropical aroma of pineapple and pears, banana and even grapefruit. The pulp has the richness of chocolate with the sweet flavours of pears, pineapple and banana.

Cupuaçu, the national fruit of Brazil, boosts energy levels but does not contain caffeine. It is one of the few cocoa relatives that does not.

There are many health benefits to cupuaçu, most of which are tied to the fruit’s extremely potent phytonutrient polyphenols and antioxidants and essential nutrients and vitamins, which are known to boost the gastro-intestinal system; in fact the inhabitants of the rain forest use it for that purpose.

This fruit offers an ample supply of vitamin B1, B2, Niacin, vitamins A and C. Being from the cocoa family, cupuaçu also has a high flavonoid content.

Its primary health benefit is stimulating the immune system while simultaneously supporting the body’s ability to fight disease.

Another huge benefit of the fruit is its extremely rich array and concentration of antioxidants. These have a large number of longer-term effects on the body including (and possibly most importantly) the neutralization of free radicals in the body’s tissues. The improved circulation and lowered cholesterol and blood pressure aid in this process of eliminating those free radicals.

To top if off, the shell of the cupuaçu fruit can be used for energy production due to its timber like characteristics.

It’s no wonder that its name is translated as ‘food for the gods’.

Oh and the pronunciation of cupuaçu is “koo-poo-wa-soo”.

JUICED @ THE WICKET CUPUAÇU BOWL

Ingredients

½ cup cupuaçu pulp
½ a small banana
2 strawberries
2 small pieces of pineapple
a splash of agave nectar

Method

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. Top with granola, coconut shavings, bee pollen, hemp seeds and banana and strawberries. Enjoy.

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Watermelon

Posted by on 7th April 2017

There’s nothing quite like eating refreshingly cool and juicy watermelon on a hot day at the beach.

Why? Watermelons are about 92 percent water, making it a healthy and hydrating snack that helps you feel full for longer. The fibre and water content in the sweet pink flesh is also important for healthy digestion.

This refreshing fruit is soaked with nutrients. Each juicy bite has significant levels of vitamins A, B6 and C, lots of lycopene, antioxidants and amino acids. There’s even a modest amount of potassium. Plus, this quintessential summer snack is fat-free, very low in sodium and has only about 40 calories per cup. That’s lower than even “low-sugar” fruits such as berries.

Several nutrients in watermelon have specific benefits for heart health. Studies suggest that lycopene may help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Watermelon’s high levels of lycopene are very effective at protecting cells from damage and may help lower the risk of heart disease. Also, the fruit’s concentrations of citrulline and arginine are good for your heart. Arginine can help improve blood flow and may help reduce the accumulation of excess fat. The lycopene in watermelon makes it an anti-inflammatory fruit.

Two vitamins in watermelon, A and C, are important for skin and hair health. Vitamin C helps your body make collagen, a protein that keeps your skin supple and your hair strong. Vitamin A is also important for healthy skin since it helps create and repair skin cells. Without enough vitamin A, your skin can look dry and flaky. Both lycopene and beta-carotene may also help protect your skin from sunburn.

Watermelon-loving athletes are in luck: drinking watermelon juice before an intense workout helps reduce next-day muscle soreness and heart rate, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. This can be attributed to watermelon’s amino acids citrulline and arginine, which help improve circulation.

Like other fruits and vegetables, watermelons may be helpful in reducing the risk of cancer through their antioxidant properties.

Over 1,200 varieties of watermelon are grown worldwide, so you’re definitely spoiled for choice. In China and Japan watermelon is a popular gift to bring a host, so remember this next time you go to a friend’s place for dinner.

In the meantime, visit the Brasserie Restaurant to taste our delicious ‘Cayman Watermelon Salad’ (pictured above).

CAYMAN WATERMELON SALAD
Serves 6

Ingredients

Citrus Vinaigrette:
1 cup watermelon juice
½ cup fresh orange juice
¼ cup lime juice
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the salad:
1 bunch fresh basil
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup hazelnuts
2 pounds watermelon, cubed
4 cups mixed greens, slightly torn
½ pound cucumber, cubed
½ pound java apples, shaved
3 radishes, shaved
½ pound French feta, crumbled
kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
Cayman Sea Salt

Method

To make the vinaigrette, blend all the ingredients until combined. Place in a clean container until ready to use.

To create the salad, blend the basil and olive oil for about 3 minutes. Strain the oil through a fine mesh strainer but do not force through the mesh, you just want the oil to drip out, leaving the solids behind. Once the oil has drained, discard the solids.

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the hazelnuts on a sheet pan lined with parchment  in an even layer. Toast for 6-8 minutes, or until gold brown. Take care not to over toast. As a general rule of thumb, if you can smell the hazelnuts’ toasted fragrance while the oven is closed, then they are most likely burnt. Once toasted, allow to cool and lightly crush.

Place the watermelon in a vacuum sealable bag and add ½ cup of the vinaigrette. Vacuum press the watermelon until compressed. This will depend on the system you have but vacuum pressing the watermelon is optional.

Combine mixed greens, cucumbers, shaved java apples, and shaved radishes in a mixing bowl and dress with the vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper. Divide the dressed salad between the plates. Place the compressed watermelon, French feta and hazelnuts onto the salad. Drizzle the basil oil over the salad and finish with Cayman Sea Salt.

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Tomato

Posted by on 5th April 2017

Tomato Salad 1  SUPERFOOD SERIES: Tomato

There is so much to talk about when it comes to tomatoes. Are they a fruit or a vegetable? Why do some people not enjoy eating raw tomato but love it when cooked? Should we store tomatoes in the fridge or at room temperature?

To begin, tomatoes originated in the South American Andes around the area of modern day Peru and were first used as a food by the Aztec’s in Southern Mexico.

Scientifically speaking, a tomato is a fruit. True fruits are developed from the ovary in the base of the flower, and contain the seeds of the plant. Blueberries, raspberries, and oranges are true fruits, and so are many kinds of nuts. As far as cooking is concerned, tomatoes are often called a vegetable because they are used in savoury rather than sweet cooking.

Certain key taste receptors are responsible for preventing some people from appreciating the rich, sweet, meaty flavour of raw tomatoes that others adore. Tomatoes have something on the order of 400 volatile compounds and who knows which one of those (or combination thereof) might be responsible for the harsh reaction some experience in response to raw tomatoes.

While cooking tomatoes for just two minutes may decrease their vitamin C content by 10 per cent, whether you roast them slowly or make a cooked sauce, this also helps to break down the plant cell walls allowing us to better absorb the antioxidant lycopene. All these nutrients help to safeguard our cells from environmental damage, may protect us from certain cancers and are heart-friendly.

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. These vitamins, also called antioxidants, are known to fight off the effects of free radicals, known to cause cell damage in the body.

Tomatoes are an excellent food for aiding in vision improvement due to their high concentration of vitamin A. Tomatoes also contain a high amount of chromium, which has been proven to be helpful in controlling your body’s blood sugar level.

The presence of potassium and vitamin B help to lower high cholesterol levels and blood pressure. This can aid in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes.

Store fruits like tomatoes at room temperature rather than in the fridge to optimise the ripening process and increases the levels of that valuable lycopene.

The Brasserie’s Head Gardener Aidé Davila has been busy harvesting tomatoes from our garden for Chef Thomas to create this deliciously fresh tomato salad (pictured above) that currently features on the Restaurant menu.

CAYMAN TOMATO SALAD
Serves 6

Ingredients

Black Garlic Vinaigrette:
5 cloves black garlic
1 tablespoon thyme, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
½ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Balsamic Reduction:
1 cup balsamic vinegar

For the salad:
1 pound local slicing tomatoes, sliced into wedges
1 pound local cherry tomatoes, cut in half
½ pound arugula
½ cup basil leaves
3 burrata mozzarellas
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Cayman sea salt
fresh ground pepper

Method

In a small sauce pot set over medium high heat, bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to low. Carefully reduce the vinegar for about 10-15 minutes. Be careful as it will burn easily. When it is able to coat a spoon, then it should be thick enough to use. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before pouring into a container.

Gently toss the tomatoes, basil and arugula with ½ cup of the black garlic vinaigrette, season with salt and pepper. Divide the salad between 6 plates. Cut the burrata in half and place on half of each burrata on the salad. Season liberally with Cayman sea salt, fresh ground black pepper and olive oil. Carefully drizzle the balsamic reduction on the plate.

SUPERFOOD SERIES: Açaí Berry

Posted by on 20th March 2017

When next walking through the Amazon rain forests, look up, and you’ll see açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-EE) berries growing in huge clusters near the tops of the palm trees. Similar in appearance to a blueberry, açaí berries contain many health properties; an exciting discovery given that many associate the flavour of açaí with dark chocolate.

The açaí berry is a good source of fibre, antioxidants and heart-healthy fats. Açaí has more than double the antioxidants of blueberries and nearly ten times that of grapes. Antioxidants strengthen our immune system and aid in neutralising damaging free radicals. For that reason, these berries should be part of a healthy diet.

The fibre found in açaí berry skin and pulp can aid digestion, help prevent or relieve constipation and may help support a healthy cardiovascular system. Açaí berries contain amino acids, which help promote muscle performance, boost energy levels, endurance and strength. If that’s not enough goodness, this superfood contain as much vitamin C as blueberries and they are also a source of Vitamins A, B1, B2, B3 and E, as well as a source of calcium, magnesium, zinc and copper.

Harvesting açaí is hard work as the trees have no branches and each cluster of berries needs to be cut and brought down manually in order to preserve the fruit and pulp. The fruit, which is the size of a small grape, is delicate, which means that transporting it is difficult. To add to the expense of açaí, it’s best if the berries are freeze-dried within 24 hours to keep their nutritional profile intact.  That’s why you are most likely to find the açaí berry as an ingredient in smoothies, juice or in our refreshing and delicious Açaí Bowl on the menu at Juiced @ The Wicket.

JUICED @ AÇAÍ BOWL

Ingredients

½ cup frozen açaí pulp
a splash of orange juice
½ banana or a small cup of strawberries
a sprinkle of coconut
a sprinkle of granola
banana and strawberries, sliced, for topping

Method

Blend the açaí pulp, orange juice, strawberries and banana together. Pour into a bowl and sprinkle with coconut and granola, and top with fruit.