Spice up home cooking with family-friendly recipes
For many persons, working from home has become the ‘new normal’ with the arrival of the global pandemic, COVID-19, to our Jamaican shores.
This has, as a result, put a strain on families, particularly parents who have to deal with the combination of working from home, supervising children, maintaining a relationship with a partner, and creating healthy and hearty home-cooked meals.
Balanced, nutritious meals keep us full longer and make us more productive. And for Omar Palmer, marketing manager – Consumer Division at LASCO Distributors Limited, meal prepping has been the go-to in his family kitchen, “As a working dad, I’ve found that planning my family’s meals ahead of time makes it easier to avoid the temptation of round-the-clock snacking. Keeping things interesting by using what is available to create new recipes is also a part of the fun.”
LASCO has long committed to making family meals affordable and healthy, so the next time you’re feeling hungry, try one (or all) of these tasty, signature dishes that can be prepared easily by anyone in your family.
LASCO Corned Beef Poppers
This dish is a perfect work or school snack; and with only 10 ingredients, you won’t have to break the bank.
1/2 cup corned beef (340g)
1tsp hot pepper sauce
1tbsp soft margarine
Vegetable oil for deep frying
4 cups Irish potatoes (boiled and mashed)
1 1/4 cups flour
2tsps all-purpose seasoning
2 cups panko
2tbsps onion, finely chopped
1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add soft margarine. Once margarine has melted, add corned beef. Stir until moisture is reduced, not dry, then set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine the mashed Irish potatoes, ¼ cup flour, all-purpose seasoning, onion, 1 egg and hot pepper sauce.
3. Add cooled corned beef to mixture. Stir. Then, using your hands, roll into bite-size balls.
4. Using 3 plates, place the remaining flour in one, the egg wash in one (whisk 2 eggs with 2 tbsps of iCool Water), and the panko in the last.
5. Coat corned beef balls with flour, the egg wash (with remaining egg) and then panko.
6. Deep-fry until golden brown.
Serve with tomato ketchup and a side order of your choice (fries, raw vegetables, etc).
LASCO Mackerel Lasagna
One fancy dinner on a budget, coming right up! Being stuck at home means limited food options but LASCO is bringing takeout right to your dining table.
2 cans jack mackerel in tomato sauce (425g)
2tbsps vegetable oil
1/4 tomato ketchup
1tsp hot pepper sauce
4tbsps soft margarine
9 lasagna noodles (cooked as instructed on package)
1/2 cup onion, diced
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese
4 cloves garlic, finely diced
3/4 cup Cheddar cheese, grated
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2tsps all-purpose seasoning
2 1/2 cups milk
1 pinch black pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
1/2tsp dried basil
1. In a large skillet over low heat, add vegetable oil, onion, garlic, hot pepper sauce and sauté for two minutes.
2. Increase heat to medium flame and add tomato ketchup, dried basil, all-purpose seasoning and tomato, then cook for five minutes.
3. Debone jack mackerel and crush, then allow to cook for seven to 10 minutes, or until flavours blend together. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Melt soft margarine in a medium saucepan over medium heat, then add flour, stirring constantly for 3 minutes to cook flour.
5. Slowly add milk while whisking until smooth, then add black pepper and nutmeg and continue whisking.
6. Reduce heat to low, then add ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and ¼ cup Cheddar cheese and whisk until cheese is melted, then remove from heat and set aside.
7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch Pyrex dish, then start by adding a spoon of the jack mackerel sauce to the dish, making sure it’s evenly coating the bottom. Layer three lasagna noodles, then spread jack mackerel sauce over them, followed by béchamel sauce.
8. Top with another 3 layers of lasagna noodles, the jack mackerel sauce, béchamel sauce, then cheese.
9. Add the final layer of noodles, then the jack mackerel, then béchamel sauce and the remaining cheese.
10. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow lasagna to sit for 20 minutes before serving.
LASCO Broad Bean and Green Pea Bisque
Tradition with a modern touch. If you’re craving ‘Saturday soup’ with a twist, this is the perfect choice, and one the family will love. For versatility and simply, remove the shrimp and meat sauce for a vegetarian option.
1 can broad beans (400g)
1 can green peas (425g)
1 1/2 cans coconut milk (400g) or equivalent in LASCO Coconut Milk Powder
1tbsp vegetable oil
1tbsp gourmet fish and meat auce
1 cup iCool Water or vegetable stock
1/4 cup chopped scallion
1tsp chopped garlic
1 dz jumbo shrimp
1tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shaved almonds
1. Combine green peas, coconut milk, scallion, garlic, salt and iCool Water or vegetable stock in blender.
2. Puree for five minutes or until the mixture has a smooth consistency.
3. Remove from blender to stock pot and allow to simmer for five minutes on low to medium heat, while stirring consistently to avoid burning.
4. Add vegetable oil and gourmet fish and meat sauce to shrimp and allow to marinate for five minutes, then add to vegetable oil in skillet over low heat. Sauté shrimp for 5 minutes or until cooked.
5. Using ladle, spoon 1 cup of bisque into a bisque bowl, add shrimp to its centre, then top with shaved almonds and Parmesan cheese.
LASCO Food Drink Strawberry Tart
While everyone is at home, it is important to prepare meals together as a family, as it helps maintain that spirit of support and normality that is needed in the home space during this period of uncertainty.
1/2 cup LASCO Food Drink Vanilla
1/2 cup cold soft margarine
2tbsps. cold iCool Water
1 1/4 cups All-purpose flour
1/4 cup Granulated sugar
1 egg yolk
1/4 tsp. Vanilla
LASCO Strawberry Custard
2 packs of LASCO Food Drink Strawberry (120g)
1/4 cup cold soft margarine
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups iCool Water
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2tsps vanilla
1. Grease 24 tart shell or cupcake pans.
2. Combine LASCO Food Drink Vanilla, flour and sugar, then pinch with cold soft margarine until the mixture looks like large breadcrumb pieces. Whisk together egg yolk, iCool Water and vanilla until combined. Add to the flour mixture and mix until a dough is formed. Place in a bowl and allow to chill for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F.
4. In a saucepan, combine LASCO Food Drink Strawberry, iCool Water, sugar, salt and egg yolks. Whisk to combine, then put to boil. Stir constantly to avoid burning. Once mixture is thick, remove from heat and add soft margarine and vanilla. Allow to cool.
5. Roll tart dough about ¼-inch thick and cut out three-inch circles, then place into tart or cupcake pans. Place oven-safe plastic wrap inside the tart shells and fill with rice or peas to hold their shape. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove plastic wrap with rice or peas weight and place tart shelsl back in the oven until golden brown (five to eight minutes). Allow to cool.
6. Spoon strawberry mixture into tart shells, allow to set and serve.