Looking back I think I originally documented this recipe late summer, early fall last year.. when my garden was loaded with the 'spinach' I'm about to use in this recipe. I'm using the word 'spinach' a bit loosely, as I'm really referring to several types of greens when I do. I'm a HUGE fan of greens so I usually plant several varieties in my garden every year. I'm told that as a kid on the islands my favorites (bhagi aka greens) were Dasheen Bush (tender leaves of the dasheen plant), Pak Choi and Chorai (Jamaican Callalloo)... mom never had a problem with me eating when she would cook those dishes.
You'll notice that I'm referring to all the 'greens' as spinach in this recipe, so kindly bear with me. I had good crops of Swiss Chard, Jamaican Callaloo (chorai bhagi) and Kale in my garden this past summer, so it was only natural that I did this dish.A dish mom would make for us, however she would use dasheen bush (tender leaves of the dasheen plant) and there were times she would add a bit of cooked yellow split peas to the mix (she had a name for that dish which I can't recall at the moment).
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.
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.
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 […]
One of my favorite dishes growing up on the islands was when mom would make pak choi with leftover stewed pork. The slight crunch from the pak choi (not over-cooked) combined with the flavors brought to the game by the tender pieces of stewed pork with hints of ginger.. I may have to get that […]
To avoid the “check yourself emails” let me make my Trinbagonian people happy and say “bhagi rice” instead for spinach. Now on to a recipe which I try to make on those cold winter days when I crave the bright Caribbean sun and long for the days when I can be back down in my […]
With both Jamaican callaloo (aka amaranth, callaloo, chorai or bhagi) and Swiss chard both in abundance in my garden this summer, I thought I’d combine them both for a delicious vegetarian recipe. Here’s the thing, DON”T for one minute think this will be a bland or petty recipe since you heard me use the word […]
You knew I’d be ending this year’s month of grilling with a truly wicked recipe.. one that’s very dear to me. This grilled stuffed fish is one of those dishes we try to make at least once a year (summer) when my best friends and I meet. One from Dominica, another from Jamaica and myself […]
I must mention that I used chicken broth in this recipe and you’ll find it’s listed under the vegetarian section of the website so please use vegetable stock to make this fully vegetarian as I didn’t have any left in the pantry when I was putting the recipe together. If you can’t source Jamaican callaloo […]