We've grilled them, done a sort of "oven BBQ" during the winter and this coming summer I plan on doing a classic smoked/jerk over a charcoal fire, but for now I'd like to share yet another way to do pork ribs. You're free to use the short ribs type you get at the Asian markets (ones sold for making dry garlic ribs), baby-back or your regular rack of pork ribs for this recipe. Using the classic Caribbean technique of 'stewing' to start, then we'll slowly braise these ribs until they tender and packed with rich Caribbean flavor.
After posting an image of these crispy wings on Instagram a couple weeks back, the DM's we're rocking with requests for the recipe. And while this probably won't be considered a "Caribbean" recipe, I thought that it will still fit within the theme of this website. Infused with herbal flavors as we do on the islands, these wings are super simple to make and with the crispy finish.. you'll impress your family and guests. Guaranteed!
This recipe combines two of my favorite dishes into one glorious pot of comfort. After sharing the technique for roasting a breadfruit in an everyday oven, you knew I'd follow up with a recipe for putting that roasted breadfruit to use. Stewed saltfish (salted cod) is as classic as it gets when it comes to Caribbean culinary culture and in the event you cannot source breadfruit, you can use cassava, yam, sweet potato, green cooking bananas or even something as everyday as regular potatoes.
20 April 2015
As we have Caribbean Green Seasoning as the base of many dishes in most of the Southern Caribbean, in the Spanish speaking Caribbean you'll find Sofrito. An aromatic blend of herbs, garlic and seasoning peppers. A few years back while in old San Juan (Puerto Rico) I had a delightful rice dish at a small roadside vendor and she told me that the secret was all in the sofrito she started with. You will definitely find variations in the way sofrito is made as you make your way through Cuba, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic, as everyone tend to have their own specific recipe. This recipe I'm about to share is as basic as sofrito comes and a great starting point.
11 April 2015
Our mom is an expert at making Caribbean style stewed red beans and I'm still to find someone who can match the way she balances flavor, tenderness and the perfect consistency to the gravy. A recipe which calls for soaking dried beans and slowly cooking then for a relatively long time. Time is something we never seem to have much of lately, so I've come up with a recipe which will cut the cooking time tremendously and give you the same sort of feel-good vibe as if you were eating traditional Caribbean stewed beans - stuff your mom or grandma would make for you.
03 April 2015
We always seemed to have had Papaya (say paw paw or paw poi in Trinidad and Tobago) trees in our yard as kids growing up on the islands, so this punch (or call it a smoothie) as well as ice cream was always in the fridge. I still recall getting in trouble with my dad for cutting the leaves (with long stems) off the tree as we would make a sort of cave-man flute or whistle with it. In the process of breaking the leaves off, my brother and I would knock the baby Papaya off the tree and the odd time we would even knock off the more mature fruits.. yea, we didn't care as all we wanted were the stems/leaves.
30 March 2015
Kuchela is one of those spicy condiments traditionally made with green mangoes and a must-have topping for 'doubles', saheena and pholourie (street food in Trinidad and Tobago). Being that I call Canada home and green mango is not something I can go in my back yard and pick off the trees as I did for my mom when I was a young fella on the islands, Granny Smith apples are my new choice. Though sweet, the slight tartness and sturdy texture of these green apples makes an ideal kuchela when you can't source mangoes.
24 March 2015
My first encounter with this wonderful spicy pork dish was New Years Eve night (say old years night in the Caribbean) at my cousin's home. They had recently come back from Trinidad and while there another cousin of ours made a batch of this to partner the adult beverages everyone were partaking in. In Trinidad and Tobago we have what we refer to as "cuttas", as the Spanish have Tapas as sides for drinking. We have an assortment of spicy, fatty, fried and otherwise alcohol friendly foods which are a big part of our drinking culture. Chow is typically made from tart fruit (like green mangoes)and pickled with extra hot scotch bonnet peppers, lemon juice and herbs. But in this recipe we'll replace the mango with marinated pork, fried until crispy and golden.
18 March 2015
Simple, Quick and Tasty! Three words which embodies this chicken recipe. I had a request on Twitter a while back asking for a simple but tasty way to do chicken in the oven, on those weeknights when you want to eat well but not spend all night in the kitchen. Though I've shared several oven roasted chicken recipes in the past, I went into my personal repertoire, for one I do on the regular for my family. The flavor you get from that hint of ginger, allspice and the sweetness of the roasted peppers, will definitely have your family asking for seconds.
12 March 2015
The key to making traditional baigan (eggplant) choka (dip) is roasting the eggplant over an open flame and if you really want to excite the taste buds with even more flavor, you would place the eggplant on hot coals. On so many levels this is not always possible, especially if you live in temperate climates where having that fire in the middle of winter is not possible. Yes, you can always use the flame on your stove top, but if you've ever had to clean up that stove after - you'd never do it again. This baigan choka recipe is specifically for people who want the same sort of flavors, but with an easier method of achieving this. Students, you can even do this is a toaster oven.
05 March 2015
Between spinach and beans it would be very difficult for me to decide which I adore more. The edge would probably go to beans simply because as a young fella on the islands I would help my parents grow different varieties in our kitchen garden. I hated pulling out the weeds, but I did enjoy harvesting them.. each bean picked off the bushes were like little prizes to my collection in the basket. Mom would normally make this dish for us whenever she would make stewed pork the evening before for dinner and had leftovers. If you'd like to make this dish vegetarian, simply leave out the stewed pork and for more flavor use coconut milk instead of the water mentioned in the ingredient list.
02 March 2015
With the natural abundance of fruits we have in the Caribbean I'm surprised we didn't have a wider jam and jellies culture, when I was a kid on the islands. To be honest, the only jam mom would make was guava, sour cherry and Pommecythere (ambarella). However with all the artisan -like initiatives lately, we're seeing more and more creative use of our fruits. We've come to realize that we can still enjoy tropical fruits when it's out of season. If you're from the Caribbean you'll know exactly what I mean when I say we eat 'seasonally'... take sorrel for example. We only drink sorrel at Christmas time. Why? In this recipe we'll take two of the most common topical fruits and make what I believe is the perfect marriage of flavors and texture.
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".