Caribbean Food Week is on from the 22nd – 29th of August, tying in with all things Island from Carnivals to street parties. Thanks to Grace Foods and their amazing hamper I was able to throw together a few recipes. These are a mix of family favourites and my own experiments. There’s something to drink, something to snack on, a main and something sweet (and a few more bits!).
Red Island Cocktail
- 2 shots Rum
- 1 shot Vodka
- 2 shots Grenadine
- 1 squeeze of a half of lime
Fill a shaker with ice, all the ingredients and shake it well. Pour into a tall glass (dip the rim of the glass in sugar if you like) over ice, about 2/3rds of the way and top with ginger beer. Garnish with a couple of lime wedges!
Easy BBQ Jerk Chicken
Marinade the chicken in jerk seasoning (powder or liquid). Splash a little hot pepper sauce on (as much spice as you can handle!) and grill.
Choose drumsticks and thigh, and make sure the chicken is thoroughly cooked thoroughly.
If it’s a bit too spicy for you, serve with a cool dip (e.g. sour cream).
Fried Plantain 3 Ways
Plantain is a sweet fruit, similar to a banana but a whole world of flavour. Look for overly ripe plantain for the sweetest. most more-ish flavour.
- Slice and fry in a little oil for a few minutes on each side – serve warm.
- Run a knife along the “seam” and wrap loosely in tin foil. Leave on the grill or on the bbq until you’re ready to eat.
- Boil the plantain (skin off) as though you are cooking a potato, once at the boil, reduce the heat and simmer until mushy. Drain the water and mash it up. You can mix it with ordinary potato or sweet potatoes for a yummy side.
Grilled Lamb Chops
Grab half a kilo of lamb chops from the butcher. Add a teaspoon of Grace’s all-purpose seasoning, and two large tablespoons of Lamb Seasoning (find this in continental supermarkets or in the world foods aisle). Rub the seasoning into the meat WELL! Pop under the grill, turning half way cooking until grilled to your liking. Alternatively. you can fry or BBQ these.
Callaloo and Grain
Callaloo is a Caribbean vegetable, much like spinach. I grabbed a can of this, and some beans (both from grace foods) and created a side dish, in the vein of rice and peas (with a twist!)
- 1 tin Dunn’s River Peas & Beans
- 1 tin Dunn’s River Callaloo
- Enough water to cover beans
- 1 tbsp all-purpose seasoning
- Pinch salt pepper
- 220g cooked mixed grain
Drain the beans (leave a little water) and pour into a pan. Drain the callaloo and add to the pan, make sure there is just enough water to cover both. Stir in a pinch of salt and pepper, and a healthy serving of all-purpose seasoning. Bring to the boil, then simmer and cover for 10 minutes. Drain, then add your mixed grains. Turning the heat off, trap the steam by placing the lid back on the pot.
Jerk Chicken Burgers
It’s hot and everyone loves a burger, so if you like a little spice and something a bit different try this! If you don’t fancy grilling ’em, you can fry them or BBQ them.
- 1/2 kilo minced chicken
- 1 tsp all-purpose seasoning
- 1 tsp Dunn’s River Chicken Fry Mix
- 2 tbsp Dunn’s River Jerks Seasoning Marinade
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs (use more if needed)
Mix all your ingredients together, beating the egg into the dry mix. Add breadcrumbs, and continue to add until your burgers begin to bind. Chill for at least half an hour, then pop under the grill till entirely cooked through. Serve with some Grace Jerk and BBQ sauce, in buns with a little salad.
Passion Fruit & Strawberries with Mango Cream
After a heavy Carribean meal, I never fancy a stodgy dessert, so I made something light and refreshing, almost a palate cleanser. Best of all it’s easy and delicious! You could set the cream with gelatine, for a whole new dessert.
Just blend together 400ml mango pulp, 200 ml coconut milk and 200ml natural yoghurt. Add strawberries and two halves of a passion fruit and serve!