I just love the variety of exciting and scrumptious dishes you can find as you work your way up and down the islands that make up the Caribbean. To date I’ve not been to Jamaica, even though my friends who hails from there have extended several invitations the past few years. Hopefully I can make the trip down the next time they plan a vacation and finally get to see “jerk” done the traditional way. Until then, I’ll keep making my homemade marinade/sauce and hopefully you’ll give it a try. Beware! You won’t go back to the bottled stuff you get in the grocery store once you do though. You won’t believe how simple this is.
5 scallions (green onions)
5 sprigs of fresh thyme (about 1 tablespoon chopped)
2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 scotch bonnet peppers
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup orange juice
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon grated ginger
Notes: If you’re using dried thyme, use about 1/2 table spoon. This makes about 3 cups of marinade and it can be stored in the fridge for about 1 month.
Basically all you’ll be doing is making a puree with all the ingredients I mentioned above. So you’ll need a blender or food processor.
Rough chop the scallions, peppers, garlic, onion and thyme and place in the food processor to make it easier to puree. Remember when working with these hot peppers to wear gloves (the natural oil is deadly). Also note that most of the heat is within the seeds and the membrane that surround the seeds. So to control the heat, discard those. However, for that true authentic Jamaican feel.. keep the entire peppers.
Now add all the other ingredients and pulse to start. Then run the puree speed for about 2-3 minutes until everything breaks down to a smooth consistency.
For best results use this sauce immediately, but marinate your pork, chicken or fish (haven’t tried beef yet) for at least 2 hours before grilling or roasting in the oven. The next recipe I post I’ll show you how simple it is to use this marinade/sauce to make the Ultimate Oven Jerk Chicken. Stay tuned.
In the coming months I’ll also show you a secret ingredient I use to give this a Canadian twist.. I can’t right now as I’m sending off a challenge to Bobby Flay (he’s taking entries for a new show he’s working on). Wish me luck.
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BTW, as we “Trinis” do… you can always add our signature to this by adding a couple shots of rum (I would use a dark rum), a little shado beni and how could we forget a drop or two of Angostura bitters.