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Caribbean Cookout To Escape Winter

Winter getting you down?

Why not escape to paradise -- by cooking up dishes enhanced by some Caribbean flare?

Celebrity chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin in New York showed how on The Early Show Wednesday.

He'll be on Grand Cayman Island this weekend, heading up the Cayman Cookout, where top chefs and wine experts will wow the palates of everyone lucky enough to attend. The cookout will feature tastings, demonstrations, tours and dinners.

On the show, Ripert dished out recipes for some of the island cuisine he'll be preparing.


Shrimp Ginger Curry

Serves 6

The Ginger Curry Sauce:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon garlic, thinly sliced
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 stalk lemongrass, chopped
2 ½ pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 ½ cups chicken stock, reduced slighlty
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 cup coconut milk
4 sprigs of cilantro
Fine sea salt to taste
Freshly ground white pepper to taste
1 lime

The Garnish:
4 ounces hearts of palm, julienned
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon lime juice

To make the curry, melt the butter in a small sauté pan and gently sweat the garlic, shallot, ginger, lemongrass. Add the shrimp and sauté until opaque. Season with sea salt, curry and pepper. Add the chicken stock and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 5 more minutes Remove from the heat and infuse with the cilantro. Strain through a fine chinois and reserve.

When ready to serve place the hearts of palm in a bowl and drizzle with lime juice and season with salt and pepper. Divide the shrimp curry between six bowls. Place the hearts of palm on the shrimp curry and serve immediately.

Tropical Salad

Makes 6 servings

The Vinaigrette:
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 cup canola oil
fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients in a stainless steel bowl and whisk well. Reserve.

The Salad:
1/4 pound haricorts verts, ends trimmed
1/4 pound baby carrots, halved
12 grape tomatoes, halved
2 avocado, peeled and diced
1 mango, peeled and diced
1/2 pound mesclun greens
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper

Place two pots of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the haricorts verts and baby carrots into separate pots. Cook haricots verts and baby carrots until tender, but still a bit crisp. About 4 minutes for each. Plunge the vegetables in an ice water bath to stop the cooking.

Place the greens and vegetables in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper, toss to combine. Divide the salad equally on six chilled plates. Serve immediately.

For more recipes, go to Page 2.

Snapper Ceviche

Makes 6 servings

20 ounces of snapper fillet, skinned
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
3 tablespoons julienne cilantro
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno
3 limes
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground white pepper

Slice the snapper as thinly as possible on the bias (2-inches long by 1-inch wide). Reserve slices in refrigerator.

Immediately before serving, place the snapper in a large bowl and add red onions, cilantro and jalapeno and toss to combine. Generously season with salt and pepper. Squeeze the limes over the snapper and toss to combine. Marinate the ceviche for 2 minutes to allow juices to be extracted from the snapper.

To serve, divide the snapper evenly between six chilled bowls. Serve immediately with warm toast.

Caymanian Rum Punch

Makes 1 quart or about 6 cocktails

6 ounces white Cayman rum
6 ounces dark Cayman rum
8 ounces fresh orange juice
8 ounces fresh pineapple juice
2 ounces lime juice
1-1/2 ounces Grenadine, or to color
2 ounces Domaine de Canton
Freshly ground nutmeg

Mix the two rums, the juices and Grenadine well in a pitcher.

Place ice in cocktail glass and pour the punch over the ice. Splash each cocktail with Domaine de Canton and freshly grate nutmeg on top.