How To Make Haitian Griot.

While this is my take on the iconic Haitian Griot, it's heavily influenced by the way my friend's mom would make it when I'd find excuses to stay to play Super Mario at their apartment. Pieces of pork (usually a cheap cut with marbling of fat) seasoned with herbs, braised until tender and finally fried until golden and crisp. Back in those days playing Nintendo and patiently waiting for his mom to ask if I'd stay for dinner, my mind was never far from the Pikliz (Picklese) which automatically made it's way on the table.

How To Make Haitian Griot. How To Make Haitian Griot.

Classic Island Pepper Shrimp.

Another Pepper Shrimp recipe Chris? Yea, it's definitely one of my weaknesses when it comes to snacking. We've gone though about 4 different styles of pepper shrimp to date, but I must admit that this one is my absolute favorite. And to be quite honest, it's not only super easy to make, it's also super-quick to put together. On it's own as a snack, as a side to fried rice or stir fried noodles or on sandwiches, you'll love this shrimp recipe. You can be the BOSS when it comes to how HOT you make it.

Classic Island Pepper Shrimp. Classic Island Pepper Shrimp.

Traditional Cocoa Tea (Caribbean hot chocolate).

Did you know that any hot drink you have along with breakfast in the Caribbean is mainly refereed to as being 'tea'? That said, here's the most classic of Caribbean 'tea".. Cocoa Tea! My dad would tell me stories about when he lived with my great grandparents as the kid, on their cocoa and coffee estate in Trinidad and Tobago, and how rich and creamy his grandmother would make his tea in the morning. From the cocoa he would have helped to harvest and process the season before.

Traditional Cocoa Tea (Caribbean hot chocolate). Traditional Cocoa Tea (Caribbean hot chocolate).
Summer Chicken Chow Delight.

Summer Chicken Chow Delight.

28 September 2015

With the success of the Pork Chow recipe I shared prior to the summer, I thought I'd share a quicker version using rotisserie chicken one can pick up at most supermarkets, being that it's a great party food idea when visiting friends. As with the pork chow recipe, it's based on the traditional method of making the spicy pickle usually with mango or other tart fruits. Typically I'd classify this as 'cuttas' or drinking food, usually served alongside adult beverages, but it's just as great a side dish for your dinner.

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Caribbean Style Stewed Lamb Chops.

Caribbean Style Stewed Lamb Chops.

22 September 2015

As a young fella on the islands, I don't ever recall having lamb (had to call mom and she confirmed this). And to be quite honest, I didn't even start eating goat until my adult years in Canada after living with my aunt, who's a master at cooking it in a rich and spicy curry sauce. Today I'm not a huge fan of lamb, as I find the taste and texture turns me off a little (plus the price), but the odd time it is cooked in our home, this is my go-to recipe. Not necessarily "Caribbean", but you'll noticed a lot of flavor-adding ingredients being used as we would in the Caribbean.

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The Ultimate Fried Chicken Sandwich.

The Ultimate Fried Chicken Sandwich.

14 September 2015

Though this recipe was influenced by an image/advertising poster we saw at a local McDonalds restaurant, the manner in which we marinate, 'bread' and fry the chicken is 100% Caribbean! It's a recipe our mom would use when making fried chicken for us and not unlike many such recipes you'll encounter as you make your way up the island chain which makes up the West Indies. For maximum flavor and texture, I'll highly recommend using boneless chicken thighs, but if chicken breasts are your thing... you'll also have fun with that.

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Zesty Cucumber Chow (Salad).

Zesty Cucumber Chow (Salad).

08 September 2015

As a young fella on the islands my brother and I would always volunteer to go help dad in the garden whenever we knew cucumbers were in season. We had a stash of salt and a few cloves of garlic in the make-shift shed, where dad would take his breaks from the midday sun. With scotch bonnet pepper (congo as we'd say) and shado beni fresh from the garden.. we'd always make a huge bowl of this 'chow' with the 'baby' cucumbers (always the sweetest). Immediately after we'd hit the river to go fishing, followed by hours of swimming in the cool refreshing waters of the Guaracara river. Funny thing is dad never got our assistance, but he never peeped a word to mom!

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Breakfast Sausages With Bell Peppers.

Breakfast Sausages With Bell Peppers.

02 September 2015

Your typical Caribbean breakfast is usually laden with ground provisions, dumplings, porridge, curries and roti (depending where in the Caribbean you are) and usually some sort of stewed salted meats (salted cod in most cases), so this recipe will not rank among those traditional type recipes. However, if you're looking for something with wonderful flavors, brilliant colors and textures, you'll be quite impressed with this dish. I'll be using pork (bratwurst) sausages, but you're free to use any sausage you like (I know some people are into turkey sausages.. just not my thing).

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Gluten Free Vegetarian Callaloo Recipe [creamy spinach soup].

Gluten Free Vegetarian Callaloo Recipe [creamy spinach soup].

23 August 2015

Callaloo, the delicious soup-like dish of the Southern Caribbean is traditionally made with the inclusion of fresh ocean crabs for it's unique and rich flavor. If one cannot source that wonderful 'blue' crab, we then look for that layer of flavor from salted meats like pigtails and beef, and I've seen some people use smoked meats on some occasions. I must point out that the traditional recipe for making callalloo (not to be confused with Jamaican Callaloo) are the tender leaves of the dasheen or taro plant. However, sourcing those in Canada is almost impossible, so we'll be using baby spinach with brilliant results in this vegetarian version of Callaloo.

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Pepper Shrimp Recipe – Memories Of Korea.

Pepper Shrimp Recipe – Memories Of Korea.

18 August 2015

Tehya and I had the pleasure of being hosted by the City and Mayor of Seoul Korea a couple years ago and it was one of the most amazing culinary and cultural experiences we've ever had. You know a trip is starting off on a good note, when on your 14hr flight your first meal comes with a tube of peppersauce (Gochujang)! A rich, deep pepper paste with a hint of fermentation, balanced by the gentle heat of the peppers and an undertone of soy (sauce). This recipe is in memory of the beautiful people f Korea and the way the City of Seoul catered to our many senses and opened the door for my awareness of the rich culinary culture of Asia.

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5 Tips For Perfect BBQ or Grilled Chicken.

5 Tips For Perfect BBQ or Grilled Chicken.

11 August 2015

It's not strange to see me in a parka, winter boots and full "blizzard" gear during the coldest of Canadian winters, tending to my grill with loving care and admiration. Ever since I started playing with fire and smoke on the $15 charcoal grill from Canadian Tire about 25 years ago at the back of the basement apt we rented in one of the most run-down areas of town, I've been a huge fan of bbq and grilling. Yes, there is a difference (so the "experts" will have you believe), but this post is not about the differences between BBQ and grilling, but rather the basic idea of getting the most flavor and best texture from chicken on your grill.

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Stewed Turkey Wings Recipe.

Stewed Turkey Wings Recipe.

10 August 2015

I'm not a huge fan of turkey, especially when it's done the traditional North American way - roasted in the oven. I much prefer getting the cheaper cuts like the necks (Curry Turkey Necks) and in this case, wings. Though a bit tougher than chicken wings, I find that they hold up well to the Caribbean way of stewing and the outcome is quite delightful. Tender pieces of meat, with a wonderful gravy which is excellent on rice, potato, dumplings, roti or ground provisions. The key is in the way we'll season, marinate and finally braise these turkey wings in a process which is most traditional to the Southern Caribbean.

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Coconut Curry Oxtails In The Oven (or slow cooker).

Coconut Curry Oxtails In The Oven (or slow cooker).

07 August 2015

As a new immigrant to Canada, I remember the days when oxtails were just about the cheapest cut of meat you could get at the grocery store / butcher (they were practically giving the stuff away). Along with liver, gizzards, trotters, chicken feet, snouts and other parts of meats which were considered undesirable by the major part of the buying public, we reveled in the prices. In the Caribbean nothing goes to waste, so what most people refused to use, we had already perfected recipes which brought out the natural goodness of these cuts. Today, with oxtails hovering between $8 and $11 a pound, its now become something you buy for a special occasion or when you have a serious craving.. as in this case with me today!

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