Jamaican Red Pea Soup

You will need the following ingredients to prepare enough red pea soup for 4 people:-

  • 3 cups of kidney beans, soaked overnight in water or 2 tins of canned beans
  • 1 1/2 litres of water
  • 2 regular onions
  • 2 scallion (spring onions may be used as a substitute)
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme
  • 1 hot pepper (ideally scotch bonnet)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (ground)
  • 1/2 lb potatoes
  • 1/2 lb yam
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • Flour, water and a pinch of salt to make dough for spinners

Optional ingredients
Pork bones
Chicken back

See Directions for Preparation With Illustrations

Jamaican Olympic Gold Medalist Usain Bolt

When you say Usain Bolt, you may as well say… history.  He is the likes of super star Olympian Carl Lewis but to running enthusiasts and

The Bolt

country called Jamaica, he is “The Bolt”.  A legend in his own time,  exuding with charisma.  He has that pose that dazzles the spectators and the sports photographers alike.  The excitement surrounding Jamaica’s gold medal winning Olympian could not be more perfect with the 50 Years of Independence of Jamaica marked on the same day he trail blazes into history. READ MORE

Spice History & Use For Caribbean Cooking

This is a repost of the “Know Your Spices” article from popular Simply Trini Cooking website-Spices are an important trading commodity for many countries, such as India, Philippines, China, Grenada, Mexico, Uganda etc. Spices can be traced to the ancient world. In the bible spices were given as gifts. When the Queen of Sheba visited Solomon and tested his wisdom she rewarded him with a royal gift of spices of Arabia. The wise men from the East traveled with a gift of spices for the baby Jesus. And, Joseph was sold by his brother to a spice merchant. curry_powder

Also, the want of spices encouraged the opening of the sea route by Vasco da Gama around Africa. The spices also brought conflict and wars between countries even up to the nineteenth century. Islands were ruined because of the fight to monopolize the trade of spices.

 

 

Spices are derived from dried roots, seeds or barks and are used in the preparation of food, and even herbal medicines, scented oils, perfumes, and cosmetics. They are used either crushed or whole or in the form of a powder. Because of their strong aromatic scent or taste they are used sparingly in the preparation of food. Many spices have an antioxidant effect in preserving the food, such as clove and vanilla.

Here is a list of spices used in Caribbean cooking and their common uses:

1. Allspice. (Pimenta dioica) Savory sauces, marinades, and meat dishes.
2. Black pepper. (Piper nigrum). Used to flavor meat and savory dishes.
3. Bay Leaf. (Laurus nobilis). Used in many ways to flavor soups, stews, sauces, condiments, and baked goods. However, the leaf is removed after cooking.
4. Chinese five spice. A mixture of star anise, anise pepper, fennel, cloves, and cinnamon. Used in Chinese cooking.
5. Cinnamon. (Cinnamomum zeylanicum, C. aromaticum, C. Burmanii ) Comes from the bark of a tree and used in wines, cakes, pies, breads, and biscuits.
6. Clove. (Syzygium aromaticum) These are flower buds from the myrtle tree. Used for sauces, stewing meat and baking meat like hams etc.
7. Coriander. (Coriandrum sativum) These are seeds and leaves. Used for curries, and spicy dishes.
8. Curry powder. A mixture of several hot spices. Used in meats, vegetables, soups and savory dishes.
9. Ginger. (Zingiber officinale) The root is used in the form of a powder, crystallized, or grated. Used in savory dishes and dishes of Chinese heritage.
10. Mustard. (Sinapsis alba or Brassica nigra) Served with meat and cheese, and as a salad dressing.
11. Nutmeg. ( Myristica fragrans) Available in a powdered form as well. Generally it is purchased whole and grated. Used in cakes, breads, sauces, custard, and puddings.
12. Paprika (Bell Pepper). (Capsicum annuum) Ground sweet red pepper, usually not hot. Used as a garnish and meat dishes.
13. Tumeric. ( Curcuma longa) Made from the root of a plant. Used in curries and colouring for rice.
14. Vanilla. (Vanilla planifolia) Use as an essence or dried whole seed pod. Used in cakes, pudding, etc.
15. Mauby Bark (Colubrina reclinata) A bitter bark used with other spices in making the beverage Mauby.
16. Cumin (Cuminum cyminum ) Locally called geera, is used in meats and cooking of East Indian heritage. A favourite dish of ours is Geera Pork
17. Star Anise ( Illicium verum) An important ingredient in chinese five spice, it is also important when making Mauby.

Spices are truly important in Caribbean cuisines. Spices not only add flavor to food and beverages, but they also help preserve food as well. Some of these spices can be grown in your backyard garden. Most are dependent on sunshine and good drainage. They also serve a dual purpose for the garden enthusiast. Plants, such as the bay leaf, can be decorative plants and they can be placed in pots in patios.

For Trini Recipes Visit: http://www.simplytrinicooking.com/

Ackee and Saltfish Recipe

On two separate occassions on the red carpet celebrities with Caribbean roots or relatives fondly expressed a love for Ackee and saltfish.  The beloved food is Jamaica’s national dish.

Since the 1700s people from the island of Newfoundland brought dried and salted cod (salt cod) for the Jamaicans in order to trade for Rum. Salt cod is now one of the main ingredients for ackee and saltfish.

To prepare the dish, salt cod is sautéed with boiled ackee, onions, Scotch Bonnet peppers, tomatoes, and spices, such as black pepper and pimiento. It can be garnished with crisp bacon and fresh tomatoes, and is usually served at breakfast alongside roast breadfruit, hard dough bread, or boiled green bananas.-(Wikipedia)  This recipe is a bit Americanized.  If you want to share your recipe contact us.

 

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Caribbean Food History

The Arawak, Carib, and Taino Indians were the first inhabitants of the Caribbean islands. 

 Carib, Island Carib, or Kalinago people, after whom the Caribbean Sea was named, live in the Lesser Antilles islands. They are an Amerindian people whose origins lie in the southern West Indies and the northern coast of South America.

 These first inhabitants occupied the present day islands of British Virgin Islands Cuba, Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, Trinidad, and Jamaica. Their foods consisted of vegetables and fruits such as papaw, yams, guavas, and cassava.  The Taino started the process of cooking meat and fish in large clay pots. The Arawaks are the first people known to make a grate of thin green wood strips on which they slowly cooked meat, allowing it to be enhanced by the flavor of the wood.  This grate was called a taken from this early Indian cooking method.The Carib Indians added more spice to their food with hot pepper sauces, and also added lemon and lime juice to their meat and fish recipes.

Check out Caribbean Recipes and history at :  http://multiculturalcookingnetwork.com/regions/caribbean.html

Jamaican Beef Patty Recipe

Photo Credit: Jamaican-slang.com

 

 

INGREDIENTS:

Below is a delicious recipe for Jamaican Beef Patties:

 PASTRY

2 cups Flour
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
1/4 cup Solid shortening
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine
1/3 cup Cold water

Sift the flour, curry powder and salt into a large bowl. Cut in the shortening and margarine until crumbly. Add the cold water to make a stiff dough. Lightly flour a wooden cutting board and roll out the dough until about 1/8-inch thick. Cut out 8-inch circles. Cover with wax paper or damp cloth until ready to use. You can place the dough in the refrigerator overnight. If you do refrigerate, remove the dough at least 15 minutes before using.

MEAT FILLING

 tablespoon oil
1 Small white onion, Finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon Chopped Scotch Bonnet pepper
1/2 lb. Lean ground beef
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Curry powder
1/2 teaspoon Dried thyme
1/4 cup Breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Beef or chicken stock
1 Egg, beaten
1/4 cup Water

In a heavy skillet, melt the margarine and sauté the onion and Scotch Bonnet Pepper until they become limp. Add the ground beef, salt, pepper, curry powder and thyme and mix well. Brown the meat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the breadcrumbs and stock and combine all the ingredients well. Cover the skillet and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When all the liquids have been absorbed, the filling is ready. It should be moist but not watery. Remove the skillet from the stove and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Uncover the dough circles and place 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling on half of each. Moisten the edges of the dough with water and fold the dough circle over the meat filling. Pinch the edges closed with a fork. Lightly brush the pastry with a mixture of the egg and water. Bake on a lightly greased baking sheet for 30 to 40 minutes or until the pastry are golden brown.

Serves: 10 Patties 

For More Jamaican Recipes Visit: http://eatjamaican.com/recipes.html