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Many of my family and friends always told me they loved my cooking but the little girl in me always believed they were just being nice. So when the GoodTaste! Pittsburgh Next Food Star competition was announced I made the decision to go ahead and prove it to myself.

During the various cooking heat I discovered I just loved cooking in front of an audience. I was actually calmer during the cooking segment than I was waiting to go on or waiting for the judge’s decision.

So on November 5th, 2011 when well-known and award winning chefs choose my Curried Goat and Fungi dish over killer cupcake maker Meredith Blake Matthews dish. I started to cry and a light went off in my spirit that this (cooking on air) is what I should be doing.

So imagine how I felt after chef and author Mourad Lahlou told me, “I don’t know what you do for a living but if you don’t pursue this, you will regret it.” Chef Lahlou provided some tips and encouraged me to “think different” in my cooking and presentation. Maybe, I’ll be the next Food Network Star!

Caribbean dishes are flavorful and easy to make but can sometimes be confusing since each islander may call the same dish by a different name and use different techniques in achieving the final result.

Have no fear, that’s why I, your culinary ambassador, am here to guide you through the diverse landscape of island cooking. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube at OGCooking.

Curried Goat ingredients: Curry Goat, 2 pounds of goat, 2 cloves, 1 whole onion, 1 green pepper, 2 springs of thyme, salt, pepper and paprika, parsley (dry), curry, vinegar, oil and water.

Fungi ingredients: 2 cups of cornmeal, Okra (fresh or frozen AND optional), salt and two sticks of butter.

Recipe: Curry Goat

Wash the goat in vinegar then rise with water. Combine all the dry seasons onto the goat. Heat up a deep pot with oil. Place the seasoned goat into the hot pot, turning the goat over in the pot to ensure all the meat is nicely browned. When you no longer see any blood place the finely chopped garlic, onion, green pepper and thyme into the pot. When you can smell the onion and garlic, it’s time to add your hot water and additional curry. Cover and let cook for two hours.

Recipe: Fungi

If you’re cooking the fungi with okra (fresh or frozen) you need to cook this first in a boiling pot of water without salt. When the okra has separated and you can see the seeds, separate the okra with some of the water into a bowl and set aside. In the remaining hot water add four pats of butter and the dry cornmeal. Stir the cornmeal until it thickens, slowly adding the okra until it’s smooth and no lumps are visible. You’ll see the cornmeal bubbling – do not be alarm, this is part of the process. When you no longer see any dry cornmeal take a spoonful and place it into a bowl that you have placed and spread butter inside. Roll the cornmeal around the bowl into a ball.

Final dish:

Place the fungi and curry goat into a bowl. There you have a beautiful and hearty dish. Enjoy.

The master chef with Olga.

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2 responses »

  1. Olga, thanks for the GoodTaste! shout out. Have you contacted Mourad since the show?
    I love the blog. Will be in touch.
    Best,
    Dee

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