Here's another one of those dishes I hated as a kid growing up on the islands. Both the smoked herrings and the cabbage were etched into my don't eat list, but as an adult they're two ingredients I not only use on the regular, but crave. The scent of dad roasting the smoked herrings (back then the choice were whole fish) on an open flame to give it extra flavor and to help remove the skin and bones, wasn't pleasant. That said.. even when using the fillets as I'm about to do, know that it will impart a distinct scent throughout your kitchen/home.
Dasheen Bush is basically the leaves (usually the tender ones) of the Dasheen plant (Taro) which is used mainly in the Southern Caribbean for making Callaloo or as in this case, stewed down on it's own like you would spinach or any other 'greens'. With the aid of coconut milk and a few simple ingredients and what you'd think is a simple vegetarian dish, is something very tasty and in my case, quite addictive. It's was one of the few vegetarian type dishes mom never had a hard time serving us as kids. With Sada roti, flour dumplings or with split peas dhal and rice... iman was in heaven.
Rundown is yet another stew type dish where there are several variations as you make your way across the Caribbean. From the ingredients used to the technique, you'll find that as you go from island to island, you'll encounter subtle (delicious) differences. This recipe was shared with me many moons ago when I first came to Canada and I became friends with the only other Caribbean family who lived the the same apartment building we called home the early years in Hamilton. My friend's Jamaican grandmother was a general in the kitchen and from time to time she would share some of her secrets with me... she saw the curiosity in my eyes!
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ve noticed the past few months that there’s been an incredible amount of requests for more vegetarian and gluten free type recipes. As you may or may not know, a vast majority of the food we cook in the Caribbean are naturally gluten free and with the abundance of fresh vegetables, we’ve mastered vegetarian cooking […]
Yet again, this is one of those dishes that our mom couldn’t even beg us to eat as kids. There were two ways we would ever be convinced to eat cabbage (except for in chow mein) and they both included adding meat of some sort. First there’s the corned beef with cabbage and left over […]