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.
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.
Island life is closely connected to the ocean as well as the land on so many levels. Like the fresh herbs,vegetables and fruits we're blessed with, the Caribbean Sea is packed with some the most delicious fish and seafood known to man. However when it comes to Salmon, it was more of a Good Friday dish and usually the salmon came in the form of a can (or "tin salmon" as it's known). But if you've ever had stewed or curry salmon (yes the same stuff from the can) done the Caribbean way.. lets just say you'll be amazed! Living in North America means fresh salmon is readily available in most supermarkets, so this is one of my go-to recipes when Tehya (shes the only one who really deals with the fish and seafood) and I get a hankering for baked salmon.
In the Caribbean we have an abundance of wonderful seafood in our waters, including some of the most tasty shrimp you'll ever enjoy. Sadly, I don't recall this dish ever being made by mom or as a matter of fact.. I had never seen it done on the islands when we were growing up. However this is a go-to recipe for me when I need my shrimp fix! The natural sweetness of the garlic and the creamy texture you get when you add the chilled butter, is just outstanding.
As a child of the Caribbean, fruit juices was my thing. We always had a jug of passion fruit, sour sop, barbadine, freshly squeezed orange or other citrus fruit juices in our fridge. Since I don’t do the sugar thing any longer…but oh how I crave those juices I grew up on. I still have a weakness […]
This past summer our annual Month Of Grilling was a huge success with fans around the world. One of the featured recipes this year was the grilled stuffed peppers, where I played around with some classic “Caribbean” ingredients to achieve what I believe is a delightful way to do stuffed peppers. Though this recipe was done on […]
Curry wasn’t cooked often in our home when we were growing up (dad was not a fan of curry), especially pork. Mom’s go-to recipe when it came to pork was either stewed (stewed pork recipe) or roasted in the oven. When I moved to Canada and started living with my aunt (mentioned her in my cookbook), […]
It’s one of those soups you really have to try before passing judgement. Like so many traditional dishes from the Caribbean (and globally), you’ll find people will be cautious and at times have negative comments, even though they fail to give it a try. You’ll notice that in the Caribbean we tend to use most of […]
As I’ve discussed in my Cookbook, there’s much debate in the Caribbean when it comes to callaloo. In the southern Caribbean it’s a delicious soup-like dish made with young dasheen bush leaves, flavored with crabs (for the most part) and simmered in coconut milk. However in Jamaica, callaloo is the bush or plant (amaranth) which is […]
Collard Green or collards is not native to the Caribbean, so it’s not something we would refer to as being traditional. However, with our love for dasheen bush, spinach, Jamaican callaloo (chorai), Bok Choi and just about every other green there is, it’s natural that collards will find a loving home in my kitchen. If I […]