It's only natural that after posting the Sofrito recipe a while back, I'd have a way for you to put such a classic ingredient to use. Sofrito is basically a seasoning base made in the Spanish speaking Caribbean which is added to enhance the overall flavor of meats, stews, soups and other dishes. In this recipe I'll show you how simple it is to take something as boring as chicken breast and pan roast them on your stove-top for what I believe is the most juicy (and delicious) way to enjoy a part of the chicken notorious for being overly dry and bland.
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.
That bone chilling cold is back and with a vengeance. Over the Christmas holidays it was relatively mild by Canadian standards, but this morning the mercury dropped to -28 C (-18.4 F). Like a true son of the Caribbean soil, I'm battling back with a hearty beef with sweet potato and pumpkin soup to warm up the mind, soul and body! We'll start off by roasting the pieces of beef (with bones) in the oven, something which is not traditional in Caribbean soup making, but that roasted flavor will elevate this soup to a HIGHER level! Then we go in with pieces of pumpkin and sweet potato, followed by fresh herbs and other flavor ingredients.
Most people who are new to Caribbean cuisine at one point or the other, always end up trying to make Jamaican style rice and peas (peas and rice?). Sadly if you're not seasoned at making rice and peas, it can be a bit challenging. You always risk ending up with rice which is overcooked and soggy. With this in mind, I decided to share a fool-proof way of cooking Jamaican rice and peas, with the same flavors and texture you'd get from the conventional method of cooking this dish. However we'll employ the use of a rice cooker!
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.
This being the holiday season I thought I'd take a classic recipe for making saltfish buljol and put a little festive spin on it, to serve at your holiday party or to take with you as you visit family this holiday season. We'll follow the same basic rules of making traditional saltfish buljol (basically a fish salad) and add a few other ingredients to help balance and brighten up the overall flavors of this classic dish. You'll notice that I did post this under the gluten free recipe section, but do keep in mind hat you'll need a gluten free bread or cracker to serve these on, to meet with your complete gluten free dietary needs.
I was recently challenged to put together a coconut rice recipe, however the recipe must be foolproof. According to the person who emailed me, they have a difficult time cooking rice as it usually ends up a messy mush in the pot or under-cooked. They were looking for perfectly cooked coconut rice, grainy in texture and rich in Caribbean coconut flavors. Being a rice dish I thought it would be a good time to also have it appeal to vegetarians and friends on a gluten free diet at the same time.
Every July I go in search of smoke, fire and flavors with our annual month of grilling. And in doing so I usually get a number of emails from people without a grill/bbq pit who are in search of that sticky goodness you get with grilled meats. Here's my take on doing bbq pork ribs during those cold winter months, in the oven. Remember if you're doing this recipe gluten free, you will have to use your favorite gluten free bbq sauce for the finishing touches near the end.
This recipe takes me back to my childhood days when my brother and I would go scavenging for conch (small and large black snails) in the rivers and ravines surrounding our small village. So to be clear, these are not the ocean conch that's turned into salads, soups and stews, especially in the Bahamas. It was like a treasure hunt for us, looking between roots, rocks and all the debris in the water to find these. Good Times!
Having leftover rice is quite normal in our home as I purposely make extra and store it in the fridge for making quick and tasty fried rice dishes. However when it comes to having 'extra' jerk chicken.. let's just say that we're true carnivores! With our girls off in college, sometimes I tend to forget and end up cooking the same amounts as if they were still living at home. Thus the extra jerk chicken in this case.