The long weekend is here and so is Caribana – both inspire me to get in the kitchen and try some new recipes. Caribbean cuisine is simple to execute and the flavours are so fresh and fiery. Now seems like a good time to celebrate Caribana, in your home kitchen!
Here is a roundup of some of my favourite recipes from around the internet. First up is this incredible dish, that’s like a fruit salad marinated with garlic, cilantro and scotch bonnets. It sounds crazy but it is divine, you have to taste a Caribbean Orange Pineapple Salad at least once in your life, so why not now? This Jamaican Slaw is a great recipe that incorporates agave, cilantro and habanero hot sauce. Here’s a Sweet Potato Soup packed with okra, coconut milk and black eyed peas.
When I think of Caribbean food I definitely think about fish, and this recipe for Jerk Fish is one of my favourites. Whole red snapper, flesh scored, stuffed with herbs and slathered in jerk marinade – simple and really flavourful. To make the best jerk fish, jerk chicken, jerk pork, jerk anything – is to create your own signature marinade.
If you’re not already a jerk aficionado then it is high time you dove in and start doing some research. You can pick up ready made jerk sauces at the grocery store and compare them that way or you could get out in the city and check out the restaurants where the chefs are making their jerk from scratch. One new place that just opened, Patois, offers a jerk chicken cooked rotisserie style. The chef, Craig Wong, did extensive research in Jamaica before creating his jerk recipe. Blog TO has a guide to the top jerk restaurants in the city that will help you on your quest.
Until you figure out your signature jerk here are some wonderful recipes to practice on – Jamie Oliver’s Jamaican Jerk Pork adds rum to the jerk mix. Smitten Kitchen does a lovely Tequila Lime Chicken that’s perfect for the dark meat of the thighs. You can jerk veggies too, as in this Sweet Potato and Black Bean Jerk from the BBC. We’re big supporters of the Meatless Monday movement and we highly recommend this Jamaican Jerk Tofu recipe for your dinner this coming Monday.
For dessert thoughts turn to tropical fruits and ingredients like coconut and agave. Saveur put together a collection of Sweet Coconut Recipes that includes everything from Coconut Milk Caramels to Coconut Pudding. Mangoes are divine in this recipe for Mango Lassi Yogurt Pops, and in this one for Mango Fool. A pastry made with Guava and Cream Cheese caught my eye on the Gourmet site, it looks almost too good to eat. This recipe for St. Lucian Guava Cake is super traditional.
You’ve got salads, mains and dessert. Now all that’s left to do is dig in and enjoy celebrating Caribbean culture this weekend.