Dry Pigeon Peas Rice (vegetarian)

This is one of those recipes I associate with my grandmother who would always have dried pigeon peas stored in re-purposed glass ketchup bottles, in a dark corner of her smoky kitchen (she cooked with an open wood fire - called a coal pot). While she would save hers for making stew peas and pelau, the odd time she would make this rice dish, it was a bit different than what I'm about to share. If you have a pressure cooker you can cook the peas in a much faster time, but I quite like this slow method.

Dry Pigeon Peas Rice (vegetarian) Dry Pigeon Peas Rice (vegetarian)

The Ultimate Jerk Burger.

Last weekend I was asked "what's your specialty?" in reference to what I cook and without hesitation I said it's not so much a dish or category of food, but technique. As we continue July's Month Of Grilling, I'm sure you can tell that I quite enjoy working with the raw heat of the grill. The essence of the fire changes the overall dish in such a manner that's almost impossible to duplicate on a stove or oven. While we're not using pimento wood to give the burgers that unique "Jamaican Jerk" depth, I assure you that you'll be amazed by what a simple jerk marinade can do to basic ground beef.

The Ultimate Jerk Burger. The Ultimate Jerk Burger.

Island Style Drunk Grilled Chicken.

Yes, it's time again for the annual July Month Of Grilling and we're kicking things off with one of the best chicken recipes I've ever shared. Growing up on the islands, grilling/BBQ was never really something we'd have at home. BBQ at home wasn't common (I don't ever recall seeing a propane grill), so the odd time we'd have anything close to bbq, it would be takeout or the times we'd have village bazaars, where it would also be on sale. However when we were treated to bbq takeout.. what a feast!

Island Style Drunk Grilled Chicken. Island Style Drunk Grilled Chicken.
Pina Colada Ice Cream.

Pina Colada Ice Cream.

22 September 2016

I grew up on classic Caribbean ice creams which were homemade and usually flavored with many of the fruits that grew at the back of our home in Guaracara Trinidad. Coconut, mango, sour soup and barbadine (Giant Granadilla) were the flavors of the day. Unless it was the odd time mom would bring home Flavorite (brand) from the grocery store, where we'd get a taste of chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and the odd time .. rum and raisin. After having a superb pina colada in old San Juan (Puerto Rico) a few years ago, I knew I had to give this a spin in my ice cream maker.

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Caribbean Salted Beef Soup.

Caribbean Salted Beef Soup.

12 September 2016

One of my favorite soups to look forward to on "Soup Saturdays" was when mom would have a massive pot of saltbeef (salted beef) soup, packed with ground provisions bubbling away on the stove. Due to the price and the fact that sourcing 'good' salted beef was difficult, we didn't have saltbeef soup often. I still get a chuckle when I do thick heavy soups during the summer months here in Canada and people would say "isn't it too hot for soups?". For the most part the Caribbean is always hot and it's tradition throughout the Caribbean that on Saturday's we enjoy a piping hot bowl of soup.

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Dry Pigeon Peas Rice (vegetarian)

Dry Pigeon Peas Rice (vegetarian)

09 September 2016

This is one of those recipes I associate with my grandmother who would always have dried pigeon peas stored in re-purposed glass ketchup bottles, in a dark corner of her smoky kitchen (she cooked with an open wood fire - called a coal pot). While she would save hers for making stew peas and pelau, the odd time she would make this rice dish, it was a bit different than what I'm about to share. If you have a pressure cooker you can cook the peas in a much faster time, but I quite like this slow method.

Read the full recipe…

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Jerk Chicken Stirfry.

Jerk Chicken Stirfry.

29 August 2016

After sharing a pic of this Jerk Chicken Stirfry on Instagram, I had someone comment "what is leftover jerk chicken?" I do agree, there are many Caribbean dishes which always seems to be gone by the end of the meal. Keeping in mind that I make additional dishes with leftover jerk chicken (chicken salad, fried rice and stirfry) I purposely make extra every-time I make jerk chicken (same can be said about Stew Chicken as well). This an absolute WINNER in my home and I'm sure it will make a delicious impression on you and your family.

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Apple Carrot Orange Smoothie.

Apple Carrot Orange Smoothie.

24 August 2016

In this the final smoothie in our "Week of Smoothies", I thought I'd round off things with one that's not only very simple to make, but it mimics a popular drink we enjoy in the Caribbean, Carrot Punch! With orange juice and diced apples, it's packed with health benefits and so refreshing. While smoothies are not something we traditionally make in the Caribbean (as I've mentioned before), you'll find that it's becoming very popular the past few years. And while we normally reach for tropical fruits, apples are widely available - to be honest I've had better apples in the Caribbean (imported) than in Canada.

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Cantaloupe Cucumber Kale Smoothie.

Cantaloupe Cucumber Kale Smoothie.

21 August 2016

If you've been keeping score you'll realize that we're up to day 4 or simply the 4th smoothie recipe is this the first annual Week Of Smoothies at CaribbeanPot.com. While you won't automatically associate Kale and Cantaloupe with the Caribbean, the last few times I was down on the islands I saw them both readily available. I assume the same way we can get any tropical fruits and vegetables in North America, you're seeing the reverse on the islands. Luv it!

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Refreshing Watermelon Berry Smoothie.

Refreshing Watermelon Berry Smoothie.

18 August 2016

We always looked forward to watermelon season when I was a kid growing up on the islands, but having the patience to not prematurely pick the massive melons dad grew in his garden wasn't the easiest thing for a kid. Pops has his own technique for telling when the watermelons are perfectly red inside and while he never passed that tip on to me, I do get a chuckle when I see people tapping, scrutinizing, holding them up to the light and do other weird things to them at the grocery store. My tip.. go to where they have the cut slices for sale and if they are red and look perfect, chances are the whole ones on sale will be good. After-all, that's where that cut piece came from.

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Jackfruit Smoothie.

Jackfruit Smoothie.

17 August 2016

As we continue with this week of smoothies, it's time to use a very common but ignored Caribbean (tropical) fruit, Jackfruit. A sweet (like refined sugar) tasting fruit, with a sort of custard-like texture, but the scent can be a bit overpowering when it's fully ripe. We had just driven through Fern Gully, Jamaica and had stopped for 'refreshments' at a road-side bar, when I gazed on a Jackfruit tree on the side of the building laden with some of the largest fruits I've ever seen. It's funny how whenever I think about Jackfuit, it takes me back to that Jamaican trip and the roadside bar where I enjoyed some of the most refreshing Guinness I've ever had.

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Simple Energizing Green Smoothie.

Simple Energizing Green Smoothie.

15 August 2016

When I was a kid on the islands smoothies wasn't a 'thing", however we did have 'punches'! With milk (in most cases) as it's base, they included many of the exotic tropical fruits we are blessed with in the Caribbean. Today you can still see many punch vendors (known as the "punch-man") in all the major cities and towns, but smoothies are just as common and many people include them as part of their daily breakfast or workout regime.

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Curry Shrimp With Pumpkin.

Curry Shrimp With Pumpkin.

11 August 2016

Pumpkin and shrimp are two things mom struggled to get us to eat as kids, but as an adult I can't get enough. Looking back I wish I had started eating pumpkin from a younger age as the pumpkins mom would use came directly from the small garden we had at the back of our home in rural Trinidad. Grown organically and under the brilliant Caribbean sun... I still recall mom commenting "gosh this pumpkin cook real gud" every time she made a pumpkin dish.

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