Petite and pretty, cooking dynamo executive chef Latoya Panton created her culinary niche with Delicious Occasions' Catering and cooking classes.
An event caterer, she somehow finds time to cook for special-dietary-needs clients, in addition to cooking classes for children and adults. The most recent challenger in Vibes Cuisine's series of Mystery Protein Challenges, Latoya showed formidable skills in her Barbican-based kitchen, whipping up an appetising plate when Rainforest Seafoods' silver snapper steaks were unveiled.
She drew for a personal favourite preparing oriental steamed fish along with her own formula for a unique green-banana salad. She discovered banana salad while vacationing on a small island. She refined the basic premise, adding crunchy vegetables to contrast with the softness of the bananas.
Significant knife skills
As she demonstrated significant knife skills, she shared some great time-saving tips of steaming the fish steaks. How fab is that working moms and dads?
Additional flavour is injected when the hot oil is poured over the finished fish. Seriously scrumptious and so great to have a different way to enjoy a classic side. You can find out more about Latoya's Young Chef Cooking Club and lessons at deliciousoccasions.weebly.com.
Corporate chef Evrol Ebanks also dropped by the Vibes Cuisine kitchen and once again wowed everyone with his Basa Fillet Stir-Fry. This humble, charming chef's years behind the stove are evident in the quality of presentations he continues to serve up. Once you have prepped your ingredients, your family is eating this wonderful dish in under 10 minutes.
What is great for the budgets we are all watching is that stretching the protein by cutting the basa fillets allows you to feed eight persons for $650! If you choose to add rice, pasta or Chinese noodles, you could double the amount of hungry bellies you can satisfy. Not to mention that, with such low cooking time, you can save bundles on gas or electricity.
Plated in a cabbage cup, this economical meal truly dazzles with the vivid colours of the veggies and succulent morsels of fish.
We are so hooked on eating healthy seafood, we've included a brawta recipe for coconut snapper fillet, courtesy of chef Kevin Brown. Are you ready to get cookin'?
Vibes Cuisine, which has partnered with The Gleaner's Food Section to present the best offering in popular food and lifestyle, airs on CVM-TV at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays and at 8:35 a.m. on Wednesdays. Encore presentations air Sundays at 8 p.m. on Flow 100. Like our recipes? Then 'Like' Vibes Cuisine TV on Facebook.
Chef Evrol Ebanks plating his basa stir-fry into a red-cabbage cup.
Oriental steamed fish
2lbs Rainforest silver snapper steaks (fillet or whole can be used alternatively)
6 cloves garlic minced
1tbs fresh ginger minced
1/4 tsp black pepper
Scotch bonnet pepper
1/2 cup water
Red bell peppers julienned
Light soy sauce
Sesame oil (optional)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1. Season the fish with ginger, garlic, salt, black pepper and scotch bonnet pepper.
2. Place the seasoned fish in a skillet and add water.
3. Cook the fish on a medium flame with a tight-fitting lid for about 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
4. When the fish is cooked, place on a platter along with the juices in the pan and top with the julienned scallion and bell peppers. Drizzle the soy sauce and sesame oil over the scallion and fish.
5. Heat the vegetable oil until just smoking. Carefully pour the hot oil over the scallions. Spoon a few spoonfuls of the liquid from the bottom of the plate over the scallion and fish. Enjoy!
Chef Latoya's Tip: Teach your children proper knife skills and set them up for a lifetime of food appreciation.
Green banana salad
12 boiled green bananas
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup green and red bell peppers
1/4 cup celery diced
2 to 3 tbs. vegetable or olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Salt, black pepper and Scotch bonnet pepper to taste.
1. Slice or roughly chop the boiled green bananas.
2. Add all the vegetables and the oil to the bananas.
3. Stir to combine. Add salt, pepper and Scotch bonnet to taste.
Chef Latoya's Tip: Serve the above dishes with a serving of callaloo.
Coconut snapper fillet
3/4 lb snapper fillet
3 cloves garlic, minced
2tbs vegetable oil
2 onions sliced, 1 white and 1 red
2 sweet peppers, red and green, thinly sliced
1 carrot julienne
Small head of pak choi, sliced
1/3 cup chopped red cabbage
1 cup coconut milk
Juice of an orange
1 Season fish with salt, pepper and garlic. Squeeze lime over fish.
2. Heat skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil. Sear fish for 30 seconds on each side. Remove from pan.
3. Add remainder of oil, when hot add onions, peppers, carrot and stir-fry until soft.
4. Add vegetables, coconut milk and simmer for five minutes.
5. Return fish to pan and pour orange over, cooking a few more minutes until fish is cooked.
Rainforest Seafoods Basa Stir-fry
1lb Rainforest basa fillet [cut in one-inch strips]
1/2 tbs fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
3tbs vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
1/2 tsp chopped fresh ginger
2 stalks scallion (chopped)
1 small onion (julienne)
3tbs soy sauce
4tbs sweet chili sauce
1 large carrot (julienned)
1 large cabbage (chopped)
1/4 purple cabbage (chopped)
1 cup sweet corn
1 large head pak choi (chopped)
1 medium red bell pepper (julienned)
1. Season fish with lime juice, salt and pepper.
2. Place seasoned fish in a wok or sauté pan with oil over high heat.
3 Cook for 2-3 minutes; adding all the other ingredients in the order they are listed.
4. Continue cooking for a total time of eight minutes while ensuring the vegetables retain some crunch.
5. Remove from heat and serve. Goes well with pastas and white rice.
Chef Evrol's tip: Serve in a red-cabbage cup for an elegant presentation.