Miguel Ochoa, right, measures rice as Jessica Linsey assists him Friday at Central Texas College. Culinary students are serving Caribbean cuisine at this Friday's Patio Cafe.

Shon Turner | Herald

The Central Texas College Culinary Arts department will host a Patio Café Cuisine Nights Dining Experience on Friday with Caribbean cuisine.

The meal begins with a soup, appetizer and salad. The featured soup is shrimp coconut soup ($10.50 for a bowl or $3 for a cup with an entree) — a medley of garlic, roasted coriander seeds, chicken broth, lemon grass and red hot peppers brought together with coconut milk and shrimp.

The appetizer is Puerto Rican meat patties ($3.50) — ground beef seasoned with onions, bell pepper, fresh cilantro and garlic enclosed in an empanada wrapper and deep fried to a light crisp.

Diners can choose the house salad ($3.75 or free with an entree) or the grilled tuna and mango salad ($15). Honey oat rolls also will be served free with an entrée or for $1.50 each.

The evening’s entrees are grilled Caribbean chicken ($12) — chicken breast marinated in mango, ginger, lime and orange juice; Caribbean jerk pork chops ($14) — marinated in lemon juice and oil marinade and served with grilled pineapple; and grilled tilapia with pineapple plantain chutney ($14) — 6-ounce grilled tilapia brushed with honey lime juice and shallots then topped with a mixture of pineapple, sweet plantain and white wine.

Each entrée is served with a house salad, a honey oat roll, iced tea and choice of two side dishes. The side dishes are Caribbean potato curry — a vegetarian curry recipe featuring a mixture of plantains, potatoes and Bok Choy; simple Caribbean rice — a combination of coconut milk, raisins and chicken stock-infused rice; Caribbean orange-spiced carrots — baby carrots sautéed in brown sugar, ginger and mango juice; and Caribbean slaw — coleslaw with a blend of agave syrup and a splash of hot sauce.

Finish the meal with either coconut lime cheesecake with mango ($5) or Captain Morgan’s rum cake ($4.50) for dessert.

Dinner will be served between 6 and 7:30 p.m. in the culinary area of the Student Center (building 106). Reservations are required by noon Thursday. Call 254-526-1515.

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