With my love for peppersauce (hot sauce) I'm always challenging myself to find different flavors to compliment the scorching heat of our beloved Scotch Bonnet Peppers, to add balance, depth and a unique finish. While this peppersauce is fiery, the fruity undertones of the passion fruit makes it very tasty and bearable for those of you who are not into pure heat! My mom like many from her generation, will argue that when making a 'good' peppersauce, there's no room for fruit. However with the success I've had with the 10 + fruity pepper sauces I've shared on here, that mindset can be challenged.
"Chris we want ah Jerk Turkey recipe.. tired of boring oven roasted turkey" That was the DM I received on Twitter a couple weeks back.. even before I was thinking about doing this Christmas Special. I'm not a huge fan of turkey as I find the meat boring, especially when you think about the cost of it and the time it takes to get good results. My goal with this recipe is to show you how simple it is to make a tasty jerk oven roasted turkey, using a 'cheap' turkey and in much less time than the traditional method used for roasting turkey.
Before I get to the recipe I'd like to mention that in the Southern Caribbean what we 'call' Saffron (or sorfran) is really turmeric and NOT Saffron. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the "saffron crocus". As we continue with the 5 days of Christmas recipes, chef Marc is joining us to share his take on this tasty vegan Sorfran rice (Turmeric Rice Pilaf) A lovely one-pot dish which is packed with layers of flavor, is gluten free and something you'll be proud to have on your holiday dinner table.
22 February 2015
At a recent dinner party I was challenged by friends to come up with a firecracker shrimp recipe, but with a Caribbean twist. Being that "challenge" is my second name.. I'm very competitive, a few days later I was in the kitchen loaded with ingredients to take that firecracker shrimp we enjoyed to a whole new level. They were good, but missing were a herbal note and true Caribbean sunshine (heat). Don't call something 'firecracker' when there's no actual heat but the sort of vinegar based hot sauce they market in North America. According to a pardna.."dem thing juss sour!.. no real heat".
17 February 2015
When you grow up in the 'country' areas on the islands, you're sure to have a kitchen garden where most of the vegetables, herbs and peppers you use in in the kitchen, comes directly from. My brother and I were gardeners from a very young age (not by choice.. especially when we wanted to run football and not tend to plants). Looking back, it seems we always had some sort of beans planted in that small plot of land at the back of our home. Maybe this is where my love for beans of all types originated? In this recipe we'll use two of my favorite ingredients, string beans and shrimp along with that lovely curry base, this will definitely be delightful.
12 February 2015
With the increase in demand for both vegetarian and gluten free recipes, I thought I'd take one of the most traditional dishes of the Southern Caribbean and remove a key ingredient - meat! Meat lovers can tune in here for the Chicken pelau video. This one pot dish was a must whenever we'd spend a day at the beach, go to the Oval to watch touring cricket teams and whenever pigeon peas was in season. Back then freshly shelled peas were used, but today living in North America I have no choice but to reach for the canned stuff. I assure you, you won't know there isn't meat in this dish when it's done 'bubblin' and you serve yourself a plate.
08 February 2015
One of my favorite tools in the kitchen is not a pot, pan, knife or electric appliance.. though they all make life easier, especially when you blog about food and do recipe videos for a living. My new best friend in the kitchen is the Otterbox Agility System for my iPad mini, as it allows me to not only protect my iPad, but gives me the ability to go hands-free with my favorite recipes, videos and websites. I have three daughters who are all under the Apple spell, so over the years we gone through MANY iPhones... with than experience I know how important it was to protect my iPad after I became the proud owner of one.
06 February 2015
This is as old school as a recipe could possibly get on CaribbeanPot.com. Not just the recipe but the tool and technique I'll be using. Before the days of electric blenders and food processors, we had food mills. Used to grind the dhal for making dhalpuri roti, preparing the dried fruits for making traditional black/rum cake, making homemade pepper sauces, grinding dried corn for making chilli bibbi and so many other uses in the kitchen. Luckily my mom brought a mill for me many years back and with the abundance of fiery hot peppers in my garden last summer, I thought I'd dust out the Mr. mill and share this recipe with you all. Hopefully I'll give you a glimpse into a glorious past.. something we seem to be losing touch with.
26 January 2015
(Hamilton, Ontario Canada) CaribbeanPot.com, headed by Chris De La Rosa, is pleased to announce that their first off-line cookbook, The Vibrant Caribbean Pot: 100 Traditional and Fusion Recipes Vol.2, has won a Gourmand World Cookbook award for 2014 in the category of Best Foreign – International Cuisine Book in English Canada. De La Rosa shares this award with editor Izabela Szydlo. The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, founded by, Edouard Cointreau, celebrates global cookbook and wine book publishing from over 144 countries. This award is sometimes referred to as the “Oscars of food awards”.
24 January 2015
Immediately after posting the Island Style Chicken Strips Recipe, I started receiving requests for a fish version. A fish nugget recipe which will help encourage kids and picky eaters to give fish a try. When I hear people talk about hating fish and their only experience are those frozen fish sticks heated in an oven or microwave, I'm discouraged as I know that is not a good measuring-stick for fried fish. To achieve what I believe are the ultimate fish sticks or nuggets, we'll start off with a wonderful Caribbean herb marinade, then dip the seasoned pieces of fish in a modified tempura batter, before frying them until they are golden brown.
19 January 2015
I've been fortunate to travel up and down the Caribbean island chain over the years and one of the things I find astonishing, are the many uses we have for plantains. Growing up in Trinidad and Tobago, Sunday lunch (most important family meal) always consisted of boiled ripe plantains to go along with the stewed meats, Callaloo, Macaroni Pie, Stewed Beans, Sweet Potato and other tasty treats mom would prepare. Very simple, but what a joy to eat. The English, Spanish, French and Dutch Caribbean all have their unique take on preparing Plantains (green and ripe) and I'm sure this orange brown sugar glazed plantain recipe will surely join in among other classics.
16 January 2015
Here's another dish I enjoy making when we have leftover jerk chicken (something not too common in this house). From the flavors of the residual jerk marinade on the chicken to texture of the slightly cooked vegetables, this is an ideal one-pot dish. As I've mentioned in the past, after slavery was abolished on the islands, many indentured laborers from China and India were brought in to facilitate the shortage of labor. So you'll find that our culinary culture reflect this infusion of Asian flavors and techniques in cooking. This dish is the perfect example of how the Caribbean and Asia comes together for something absolutely mouthwatering.
11 January 2015
I still recall mom always asking me to go get a piece of fever grass (lemon grass) from the old wash-tub she converted into a gardening pot, where we had a huge patch of lemon grass growing for as long as I could remember. In the dry season they would dry-down with a mound of dirt where the roots were , but with the first drizzle of the rainy season they would be back with vigorous life. It was my job whenever someone had the onset of a fever (high temperature) to go harvest the 'fever grass' so mom could make a pot of tea. Yes, lemongrass tea is used as a remedy for fevers in most of the Caribbean... and it works.