It's funny how I kept telling people that I'm not a fan of Hummus and just didn't understand the sort of current 'Hummus Hype".. until I started making my own. While Hummus may seem exotic, it's probably one of the simplest recipes to put together. There's no cooking involved, can be done in under 5 minutes and you can play around with flavors you like. In my case I like my Hummus to have a slight kick, with a subtle smoky undertone. Any excuse to put "Caribbean Sunshine" (scotch bonnet peppers) to use.
Did you get a chance to give the Caribbean Fish Stew Using Fresh Cod a test drive yet? As we continue in this #FishFrday mini-series, I've got a super simple way to do a whole fish in the oven. Using a Sea Bass (what's on sale at the fish store currently) as our main ingredient, we'll enhance things with some ginger, scallion, lemon and sliced fennel. Yea, the fennel was on sale so I was convinced by my wallet to bring it home from the grocery store. Since Fennel is not your typical "Caribbean" ingredient, you can use a large sliced onion instead.
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.
21 November 2015
Pholouire is one of those popular vegetarian street foods you'll find being sold throughout Trinidad and Tobago, alongside "Doubles" and Aloo Pies. Usually served hot out of the fryer, with a side of spicy chutney (mango | Mango chutney, tamarind sauce, coconut or cucumber) and relatively cheap. This recipe is a sort of hack version (save you time), showing how you can use a pre-packaged mix with great results. If you're looking for a 'from scratch' recipe for making pholouire, click on Recipe Index at the top of this page.
12 November 2015
One of the things my parents instilled in us from an early age, was to NEVER waste food, so growing up you'd always find containers (usually old margarine containers) with leftover food in the fridge. I love rice (brown parboiled) in just about any way it can be cooked, so having leftover rice in the fridge is like seeing the pieces of puzzle waiting to be put together. Said puzzle does not have an after picture to follow, so it's rare that my final fried rice is ever the same. This time I'm using some fresh Jamaican callaloo (called chorai bhagi or spinach in the rest of the Caribbean) from my garden.
09 November 2015
If you grew up on the islands you'd have at least one experience with cheese paste sandwiches... the go-to snack at many kids birthday parties. A zesty cheese spread made with grated cheddar, spiced with mustard and usually done in different colors so you get that sort of rainbow effect when you look at a cross-section of a sandwich. This recipe is the gown-up version of said cheese paste as we'll add some fresh vegetables to the mix and instead or grated cheese, we'll employ the use of cream cheese.
30 October 2015
I grew up with he mindset that tofu could NEVER taste appealing. My mom's cousins were vegetarians and I would always hear them speak about using tofu and soya chunks in different ways and though we were close.. I don't ever recall ever having tofu until my adult years. Caribbean culinary culture is not remotely centered around tofu as most Asian countries and quite understandably so. We don't produce tofu, so why would be be interested in it. If we were to speak about sea food, fish and ground provisions, then we could definitely shine!
15 October 2015
Breakfast was usually a grab and go routine for me as a young fella on the islands during the week, as I went to school in the city and it meant leaving our sleepy village very early in the morning. I had to take a 2nd taxi (shared) when I got into San Fernando (2nd largest city in Trinidad) to make it in time for the first bell. So weekends was when mom would go all out with whatever we wanted for breakfast. Now this sort of breakfast was never included as I only developed a liking for many of the ingredients you'll see me use, during my travels across the Caribbean as an adult.
13 October 2015
When some of your youngest fans get their mom to contact you "mom can you contact Chris to see if he can do a Caribbean taco recipe for us?" you know you have to jump into action. So the first thing I cranked out was the topping for said taco. During the summer months this also works as a great topping for grilled burgers and hot dogs. And when those cold wintry weekends kicks in and I want to brighten up my mood... I put a side of this with my eggs at breakfast! Versatile indeed!
07 October 2015
Understandably we don't automatically associate chili with the Caribbean when we envision the meals being prepared in homes across the islands. However, times are indeed changing and we're experimenting with different recipes, ingredients and flavors. Just take a peek at the many international restaurants you'll find in any capital city of any island in the Caribbean and you'll see that our dining habits are changing. Some may argue that it's a bad thing as our culinary culture is quickly losing out to these outside influences. Topic for another day!
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.
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.
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.