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Tempura Lionfish and Bean Thread Noodle Salad

A word about Lion Fish

Until the Nineties there had been no sightings of lionfish in the Caribbean or western Atlantic, but some reefs off Florida and South Carolina now harbour 1,000 per acre. Lionfish rodeos, in which spearfishers hunt down the species, frequently harvest 1,400 in a day. Numbers have doubled annually since 2010, and the invasion has spread from the United States throughout all the Caribbean islands to Venezuela, then westward through the Gulf of Mexico.

Nobody knows for sure how the lionfish got here. Some blame it on an incident in 1992, when Hurricane Andrew smashed a seafront aquarium in Florida, releasing lionfish into the wild. It’s more likely the first specimens came in the ballast tanks of ships from distant oceans or were discarded by amateur aquarists who had simply grown bored with them.Seeing them on Soufrière reef, it is hard to see how. Confident of their place in the food chain, they never dart or hide but float gracefully above the coral with their venomous spines extended like a mane and twirl slowly like ballerinas, as if to say: “Look at me.” It has clearly never occurred to them that anyone might take a potshot – pot being the operative word, since a campaign has been launched in St Lucia by the Department of Fisheries, dive operators and others to encourage fishermen to catch lionfish and sell them to local restaurants.

WHY?

The Lionfish has been a terrible plague to the Caribbean especially, being called the worst invasive marine species in history. With reefs already suffering from climate change and bleaching, Lionfish are predatory fish that feed on smaller reef fish. They’ve been known to wipe out entire reef fish populations. The problem is that here in the Caribbean, the Lionfish has no natural predators, so they’re going on eating and reproducing unchecked. Actually, it’s said Giant Grouper can be predators to Lionfish, but there are no longer sufficient numbers of them here in the Caribbean to really make a difference. The solution: Have them on every restaurant menu. The fact is they are delicious.

Ingredients yields 4 Servings

  • 6 ounces wide bean thread noodles
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2oz soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated peeled ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large cucumber julienned
  • 12 oz lionfish filet
  • 2 large carrots, peeled, julienned
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil
  • 1 cup torn fresh cilantro, divided
  • 3/4 cup unsalted, dry-roasted cashew nuts, coarsely chopped, divided
  • 1 tablespoon of cilantro
  • 2cup of tempura batter

Preparation

Place noodles in a large bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let noodles soak until tender but not mushy, 15?20 minutes; drain. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

Whisk garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, vinegar, sugar, ginger, and pepper in another large bowl. Add soy sauce, cucumber, and carrots; toss to combine. Let sit 10 minutes.

Fry the marinated lionfish with tempura pad try and keep warm

Add noodles, oil, half of cilantro, and half of cashew to bowl; toss to combine. Top salad with lionfish filet remaining cilantro and cashew.

Tempura batter

  • 1cup cornstarch
  • 14 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  1. In bowl mix first 5 ingredients;
  2. Add water and egg and then mix to a smooth creamy batter.
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Mount Gimie: St Lucia’s 8th Wonder of The World

Restaurant with a View

Next time you are sitting in our Windsong restaurant, on a clear day, take a moment to survey the southern horizon. It is hard to look at anything else ther then the unmatched view from the dining tables over the deep turquoise Caribbean sea, but the surprise is that looking south, there nisa unique view of Mount Gimie.

Breakfast munching on sweet, homegrown fruit such as bananas, pawpaw, passionfruit, pineapple, and mango whilst lazily gazing across the turquoise bay, taking in the colorful roofs of Castries, is something else. However the greening hills behind us and Mount Gimie in the distance with its peak bearing a hat of puffy white clouds, watching over the unspoiled and magnificent tapestry of nature, sits like a god from Mount Olympus.

With such surroundings, you enter the calmest state of mind. As a result, nobody fights with the red breasted finch, edging his way closer to your food and stealing morsels of the freshly baked and delicious smelling croissants.  In fact as they dip their tiny beaks into the cool, fresh coconut water, one’s calm state lends itself to helping them get whatever they desire. Luckily, none dare to challenge you for the French brewed coffee, so it stays all your own.

Mount Gimie

Standing at 3117 ft. Mount Gimie is the tallest peak in St. Lucia. It is located in the rainforest, smack in the center of the island. For those of you in search of a true Jurassic Park style adventure (without the Raptors and T-Rex), you will experience just that. Once in the Rain-forest, if you’re lucky enough, you may catch a glimpse of the shy Lucian Amazon Parrot.

Climbing Gimie is not for the fainthearted. The mountain is covered in a bounty of interesting and beautiful vegetation: grasses, ferns and palms, rich woods (think bamboo, cocoa, mahogany), and fruit trees galore (tangerine, coconut, grapefruit, etc). Accompanying such lush vegetation is an array of waterfalls and miniature pools, presenting themselves to cool your body, mind, and spirit.

On a good day, you enjoy a clear view of all St Lucian coastlines. Along with the coastline, Gimie also provides you with a view of the Maria Islands. There too from it’s peak, Gimie provides you with a vista of its more famous cousins-Petit and Gros Pitons, standing at the gates of the Val de Piton, like two sentinels on guard.

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Calabash Cove’s White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookie Recipe

Here’s an old but simply delicious favorite to add to the recipe book

Ingredients
yields 48 cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate

 

Method
Prep 15 minutes | Bake 10 minutes | Cool 45 minutes

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. 2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. mix in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate.
  3. 3. Drop dough by teaspoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  4. 4. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown
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Kestrels at Calabash Cove

When in Saint Lucia, you’ll be struck by the variety of birdlife on the island. The more common or garden varieties such as the Grackle and the Lesser Antilles BullFinch, can be annoying ss they are inclined to steal food right from your plate. That is when you are dining al fresco, which tends to be the norm in the Caribbean. All in all though, Saint Lucia’s birds are beautiful. One of our favourites at Calabash Cove is often mistaken for a Hawk and indeed there are plenty of those as well. We like the Kestrel however.

They look similar to the average hawk and they swoop majestically through the air in search of prey just like an eagle. They are the largest native bird of prey on the island and hoteliers love them for a reason. They tend to scare away the annoying Grackles.

At Calabash Cove, their favorite perch (to take off from for long glides through the air above the resort) is the Pimento tree next to the C-Bar. In spring, they can easily be seen, while you are enjoying sundowners at the bar. If you have the patience, you can watch them put on a hunting show – chasing other birds, lizards and sometimes small critters.

Guests at Calabash Cove like them for their looks, of course.

The manager loves them for the simple fact that they make life miserable for pestering black birds. These black birds, called the Greater Antillean Grackle,  seem to be addicted to sugar, fake or real, and given the chance they love to eat right off of your plate!

Helping to keep these annoying birds at bay, the Kestrels like to plunder Grackle nests when on the hunt, which serves to keep their numbers down or to encourage them to move away altogether.

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Saint Lucia: A Dreamworld of Rainforests, Volcanoes, Waterfalls and the Caribbean Coast

The following article was featured in the latest edition of the Miami Living magazine.

The geographically and culturally-rich country of Saint Lucia is a small island nation located in the southern region of the eastern Caribbean chain of islands, just a three-and-a-half-hour direct flight from Miami.

The Setting

Blessed by nature and recognized as being a singular destination for romantic getaways, Saint Lucia has 238 square miles of rainforest-covered land and 98 miles of turquoise-watered coastlines: all in all, a stunning visual paradise that stirs the soul. Its notable topography (it is more mountainous than most Caribbean islands) and diverse natural landscapes offer unique experiences for anyone.

Explore tropical rainforests, a myriad of magnificent beaches, fishing villages, abandoned sugar plantations, coral reef diving and snorkeling spots, jungle biking and hiking trails, as well as numerous renowned tourist sites…

Read the full article here.

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