Simple Heirloom Tomato Salad.

Even as a child on the islands (I was told) I had an affection for tomatoes. While most of the stuff we get in the grocery stores today lack any sweetness or flavor, and even something as basic as the scent we associate with tomatoes, when I come across Heirloom tomatoes.. they come home with me. You won't find any two looking the same, their shape will be somewhat weird (at times) and they may not be that uniform red color you've been programmed to associate with ripe tomatoes. My favorite way to enjoy such beauties.. raw a salad!

Simple Heirloom Tomato Salad. Simple Heirloom Tomato Salad.

How To Cook Curry Pigeon Peas (from frozen).

As a kid growing up on the islands you never really understand/appreciate what you have, especially when it comes to our local produce. I remember giving mom a difficult time during 'peas season' (usually from Dec to mid-June), as it would make it's way on the dinner table too often for my liking. We had a kitchen garden so many of the meals prepared came directly from that small plot of land behind our home. Today I'm stuck using the stuff from the can and the occasional time I can find it in the frozen section of the supermarket. Being based in Canada, the options are slim.. rare is the time you'd get fresh pigeon peas.

How To Cook Curry Pigeon Peas (from frozen). How To Cook Curry Pigeon Peas (from frozen).

Classic Caribbean Beef Pelau.

During those cold and nasty winter days in January and February I always try to add a little Caribbean sunshine in our home/kitchen in Canada, with a big pot of bubbling Pelau. A delicious one pot dish packed with ingredients and flavors of the Caribbean which immediately takes me back to my childhood on the islands. However back then it was the dish of choice (usually the Chicken version) for those days at the beach.

Classic Caribbean Beef Pelau. Classic Caribbean Beef Pelau.
Screaming Fruity Peppersauce (Hot Sauce)

Screaming Fruity Peppersauce (Hot Sauce)

04 October 2016

Every summer I try to plant many of the herbs, vegetables and peppers I use in the recipes I share, in the little garden I have at the back of our home. Nothing gives me pleasure than knowing what went into growing my food and there's always a sense of accomplishment as well for me. Every year I try to plant a variety of HOT peppers, ranging from the insane stuff to mild and flavorful. This homemade pepper-sauce is not about the mild - unfortunately. We're going for raw heat with the peppers I'll be using, However with the addition of the frozen berries things will balance off naturally.

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Fry-Dry Curry Shrimp A Family Classic.

Fry-Dry Curry Shrimp A Family Classic.

28 September 2016

This is definitely one of those dishes that takes me back to my childhood. Seafood was our mortal enemy (with the exception of fried King Fish) of ours when we were kids, however this fried dried curry shrimp was something we always requested from mom. Normally served with hot-out-the oven coconut bake. Unlike traditional curry shrimp where you'd normally have a gravy or sauce and sometimes you'd find pieces of potato in the mix, this curry shrimp is all about that rich and intense curry flavor.

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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.

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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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