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Tag: Jamaican

Jamaican Coconut Rice

A very simple rice side for Caribbean and Jerk recipes. Serves 4 (or 3 hungry people)

  • 250g basmati rice
  • 400g can coconut milk
  • 200ml water
  • 2 bay leaves

Wash the rice until the water is clear. Place in a lidded oven proof pan on the stove, add everything and bring to a simmer. Place in an oven at 180C (fan) for 20 minutes with the lid on. Take out, fluff up with a fork and leave at least ten minutes (and up to an hour) to further absorb liquid. A very forgiving recipe! Great with Jerk Prawns.

You can also make a simple Rice ‘n Peas version. Add a tin of beans (red kidney, black or black-eyed peas) and a whole chilli with the rice and cook as above. (pictured)

Jerk Prawns and Salsa

Very quick and easy. Serves 4.

For the salsa:

  • I avocado, chopped (or frozen, defrosted)
  • 1 mango, chopped (or frozen, defrosted)
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 0.5 red onion, chopped
  • small bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
  • juice of 1 lime

Mix it all up and put to one side while you prepare the prawns.

  • 800g large raw prawns
  • 1 tbs jerk spice blend
  • 2 garlic loves, crushed
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs dark rum

Mix that lot together and leave for at least 10 minutes. Clever people will do this before making the salsa.

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 50g butter

Heat the butter and oil in a pan until sizzling. Put the prawns in the pan, reserving the marinade. Sizzle one side of the prawns for a few minutes until pink, then flip them over to do the other side. Add back the marinade and bubble away until thick and glossy.

Serve with coconut rice and the salsa.

Awesome Jerk Seasoning Mix

This looks like a lot of ingredients but an active cook will have these to hand. Nothing too exotic! Simply mix together:

  • 1 tbs onion powder
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1-2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 0.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 0.5 tsp dried pepper flakes
  • 0.5 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 0.5 tsp ground cloves
  • 0.5 tsp ground cumin

Tip #1: I didn’t have any dried parsley. Turned out fine.

Tip #2: If you only have whole spices (black pepper, cloves, chilli pepper flakes) then put whole spices all together in a spice grinder. I have a cheap IKEA coffee grinder reserved for that purpose.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

Serves four and makes a great meal alongside Rice ‘n Peas. Remember to allow time to marinade first. To make the marinade:

  • Bunch of spring onions or chives
  • 2 tbs grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 a small onion
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 4 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1.5 tsp allspice

Mix that lot to a paste, ideally using a stick blender. Coat

  • 8 skinned chicken thighs

Put in a plastic bag or bowl and leave to marinate overnight. When you are ready to cook, either barbeque low and slow or put in the oven with half a lime, covered in foil for 45 minutes at 160C (fan oven). Squeeze the roasted lime and pan juices over the chicken and serve. Add more hot sauce if you like it hotter, depending on what chillies you used in the marinade.

Rice ‘n’ Peas

Not peas actually, but beans. Here’s a quick nearly authentic version to go with any Jamaican dish. Serves four as a side.

  • Half a large onion, chopped
  • Dash of vegetable oil

Saute the onion in the oil until transparent. Add

  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and sliced

Saute a few minutes more. Add

  • 225 gm long grain white rice

Stir until coated in oil. Add

  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 900 ml vegetable stock
  • Pinch of dried thyme or a teaspoon thyme leaves

Cover and simmer for ten minutes. Add

  • 1 tin of either red kidney beans, black beans or black-eyed beans
  • Optional: 50g coconut cream

Heat for another five minutes. If the water hasn’t been absorbed, remove the lid and heat until it dries out. Add

  • Chopped coriander leaves or parsley
  • Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper

Serve as a side dish for four people. You can make this a main course by stir frying 200g pork mince with the onion at the beginning, which would serve 2-3.

Mama’s Jamaican Chicken

Serves four as a main course. One tricky part and the rest is very easy. Marinaded, seared then simmered. First make your marinade.

  • 2 spring onions
  • thyme – leaves from 3 sprigs
  • 2tbs chopped coriander leaves
  • 1tbs chopped parsley
  • 1tsp chopped ginger root
  • 2 garlic clives
  • dash of vegetable oil
  • half a lime, juiced
  • dash of Angostrua bitters
  • dash of hot chilli sauce

Blend all that with a stick blender to make a green sauce.

  • 8 chicken thighs, skin on

Marinade the thighs in the sauce for at least four hours or overnight.

  • 5 tbs caster sugur

Remove the chicken from the marinade. Scrape off the marinade and keep it. Here’s the tricky part. Spread the sugar over the base of a cast iron casserole and heat until it turns brown and smokes. If you let this go slightly too far it will burn and you’ll have to start again. At the right moment, put your chicken thighs on the pan skin side down so it sears in the hot caramel. After five minutes turn them over to sear the other side for a few minutes more. They should look nicely brown. Add the marinade you kept, and a dash of water. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes, adding more water if it is drying out and catching. When the chicken is cooked and you have a nice syrupy sauce, serve with rice ‘n’ peas.

Jamaican Pork Curry

This is a variation on the better-know goat curry, but pork is easier to source in the UK. There may seem a lot of spices but it creates a rich, deep curry with some heat but not too much. This makes enough for 6 portions. I have provided Instant Pot and conventional hob versions.

  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • vegetable oil

Saute the onions gently until translucent.

  • 6 cloves of garlic, sliced

Add to the pan and cook for another minute.

  • 1 to 1.5kg pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and skin, cubed
  • 2 tsp ground allspice
  • 3 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1 tbs ground coriander
  • 1 tbs celery salt
  • 1 tbs garlic granules
  • 0.5 tsp black pepper
  • 4 spigs thyme, leaves only

Mix all together in the pan and cook briefly. Add

  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet chilli, left whole but stabbed with a knife
  • Instant Pot – 1 can water; stove top – 1 litre water

Instant pot: cook on Meat for 45 minutes then depressurise naturally. Cooker: simmer on the lowest ring for 2.5 to 3 hours, checking it hasn’t dried out.

Instant pot – when ready, you may find it is still runny and the fat has rendered. Let it settle for a few mintues and scoop or pour the fat away. Mix 0.5tbs cornflower with a dash of water and stir in. Reheat to thicken. You can do this with the stove version if it hasn’t reduced.

Serve with Rice’n’Beans or just rice.

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