A few days after Christmas 2016 I was joined by my good friend Marc, who you would have been introduced to some time ago. Marc (Chef Marc) is a fellow Trinbagonian who's been knocking out the recipes and food-travel videos on his YouTube Channel "Chef Marc". This time Marc will be putting the leftover ham and turkey from the Christmas holidays for (one of) his signature fried rice. Using ingredients we already had in the fridge, Marc blazed through this recipe in a few minutes.
After posting this recipe on FaceBook someone commented "Sorrel only make for drinking" and while when I was a kid on the islands I would have agreed, seeing what creative cooks/chefs are now doing with sorrel, I know better. I've had sorrel cake, cheese cake, relish, ice cream, pudding.. even a sangria or two, just to name a few of the exciting ways sorrel is being put to use. Since sorrel plays such a huge role in the culinary Christmas landscape in the Caribbean, I though I'd rock a sorrel glazed ham this year.
Before I get to the recipe I'd like to mention that in the Southern Caribbean what we 'call' Saffron (or sorfran) is really turmeric and NOT Saffron. Saffron is a spice derived from the flower of Crocus sativus, commonly known as the "saffron crocus". As we continue with the 5 days of Christmas recipes, chef Marc is joining us to share his take on this tasty vegan Sorfran rice (Turmeric Rice Pilaf) A lovely one-pot dish which is packed with layers of flavor, is gluten free and something you'll be proud to have on your holiday dinner table.
Here's one of those classic Caribbean curry dishes done a little different, to free up your time in the kitchen. Curry Duck is a hit on the islands, especially in Trinidad and Tobago where a large part of the population is of East Indian heritage (same can be said for Guyana as well) The duck of choice when making this type of curry is the Muscovy (Cairina moschata is a large duck native to Mexico, Central, and South America), which is traditionally raised by many village folks and farms for resale.
While we use the same ingredients and for the most part cook similar dishes, you'll find that as you travel across the West Indies the technique we employ on each island differs. That is exactly the case with one of the most famous dishes coming out of the Caribbean, Curry Goat. A curry goat from Trinidad and Tobago will most certainly be different than one from Grenada and just as unique as one done in a Guyanese or Haitian home. I've shared several methods of cooking curry goat so far, but it seems we've not had a go at a Jamaican version, until now.
As many of you may know, I'm obsessed with cooking on an outdoor fire/grill/BBQ, so during the winter months I'm always looking for ways to recreate those same flavors indoors. YES I do brave the harsh Canadian winters and make use of my propane grill in the garage, but when temps hit below -40 C (with the windchill), iman not going outside. This recipe is a sort of tribute to Canada and the flavors of fall, while still delivering a unique Jamaican Jerk element.
Here's another one of those classic soups you'll find being made on a Saturday throughout the Caribbean, with each household putting their own personal twist on things. While it's loving known as Red Peas Soup, the key ingredient in most cases is usually red beans (Kidney Beans). And though in this recipe I didn't use any ground provisions (I explain more in the demo video) it's also customary to add stewing beef and/or smoked meats as well. I went pretty basic to keep it simple for you to duplicate, while giving you maximum flavor and heartiness.
This roast chicken takes me back to my childhood days visiting my godfather in Princess Town (Trinidad). His chef would usually prepare this for us for lunch... served with steaming bowls of white rice and stir-fried cabbage, carrots and bell peppers. I still remember the fear which would come over me when his massive Great Dane named "Buster" would come begging for food from me. Buster was so BIG, it's rumored that as a kid I could easily ride him like a pony.
As a kid I never had much love for this dish, but as I grew older (and moved away from home / the Caribbean), Corn Cou Cou became a fave of mine. Since mom could never convince us to eat corn Cou Cou it was rarely ever made in our home, except for the odd time she would make it for dad.. usually served with stew fish. While the corn meal and okra are the 'constant' ingredients in Cou Cou, you'll find that the technique and supporting cast of ingredients will differ as you visit kitchens across the Caribbean.
This is one fella you can take out of the Caribbean, but you can never take the "Caribbean" out of him. I've had the opportunity to dine in various countries / restaurants and while many of the dishes I've experienced we're definitely tasty, I will always head back 'home' to the islands when I need something comforting. Such is the case when I eat dishes containing yam, dasheen, green banana, eddoes, cassava and other ingredients we refer to as being 'provision'. I'll always remember weekends when mom would prepare this dish for me, my brother and dad.. my sisters we're somewhat picky eaters.