So it is that time again…Caribbean Food Week is upcoming (22-29 August 2016) and I was gifted with this hamper full of goodies. I was so excited to see different products (compared to the hamper I received last year). The products which are the same as last years are: the chicken fry mix, jerk seasoning marinade, Grace hot sauce and calalloo. To see how I used these ingredients see the recipes below:
This year is based on a street food concept. So I got my thinking hat on and came up with a fusion of Mexican & Caribbean. To find out what was made, please see below:
Tortilla Baskets filled with Rice & Peas, Hot Caribbean Chicken Curry & Refreshing Guacamole
Serves 6 people
- 6 Chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 tbsp Dunn’s River Jerk spice
- Heaped tablespoon Dunn’s River Curry powder
- ¼ scotch bonnet, cut thinly
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 heaped tbsp natural Greek yogurt
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp garlic salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp black pepper
- ½ scotch bonnet, sliced thinly
- 1 heaped tbsp. curry powder
- ½ can coconut milk
- 3 tblspoon olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 2.5 tsp soft brown sugar
- 1 cup of chicken stock, 2 cups water
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped finely
- ½tsp minced ginger
- ½ of a lime, juiced
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- ½ tsp allspice
Ensure the chicken is cleaned with lemon and salt, cube and put int a big enough tub to start the marinade process. Add everything but the yogurt and mix. Once the mixes are evenly combined, mix the yogurt into the chicken, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for up to 6 hours (24 hours max).
After a minimum of 6 hours, it is time to start the curry. In a big pan, on a medium heat, add the oil, when it is hot, add the chicken and brown sugar and cook for around 10 minutes, occasionally turning the chicken pieces over so they cook.
After 10 minutes, add the onions and garlic. The onions are cooked once they are translucent (around 5 minutes).
NB: If there is some water at the bottom of the pan after frying the chicken, put the gas on a high heat until it is evaporated, and add 2 tsp more of olive oil then add onions and garlic
Once onions are done, add the ginger, thyme, coconut milk, curry powder, all spice, scotch bonnet, lime juice, black pepper and salt. Mix
Boil some water and dissolve a chicken knorr stock cube in 1 cup of water, then add the remaining cups of water. Have the gas on a medium to high heat, if you find it is VERY watery (mine was at first), the trick is to add corn starch (NOT corn flour), by mixing 2 tsp and a bit of water until a paste is formed. You then add this paste to the curry to thicken it up. Give it a few minutes and judge whether you need more. To add a bit of colour, add the tomato paste, mix and switch the gas off.
Rice & Peas
When I started the chicken curry, my sister (the sous chef) made the rice and peas. She used the recipe from African Bites but some ingredients were altered, but the method was the same:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ garlic clove, minced
- ½ medium onion, sliced
- 2 cups uncooked Tilda Basmati
- half a can of Dunns River coconut milk
- 1 can Dunns River Peas & Beans
- ½ tsp salt, to taste
- 3¼ cups water
- 1/2 scotch bonnet pepper, chopped
- 1 teaspoons paprika
Also, the tortilla baskets are optional but are so EASY. I have basket shaped tins and put the tortillas in the oven for 5 minutes until crispy and light brown (not dark brown otherwise it tasted burnt). However, if you do not have basket tins, please see this link on how to make Tortilla bowls.
When plating up in the bowls, add in the rice, followed by the pieces of chicken and drizzle on the curry (on the rice, not the bowl otherwise it will become soft). Add guacamole to finish off.
If you would like to omit the tortilla basket, you can plate up the rice and beans and the chicken with the guacamole! All presentation styles are shown below.
Ginger Beer Mojito Mocktail
Serves 1 person
To pair the meal with a drink, I made a ginger beer mojito mocktail using 10 mint leaves, 1/4 lime juice, and a can of Grace ginger beer, 5 ice cubes, if you would like to make an alcoholic version add in dark rum 😉
Although this curry looks like a Korma it is very misleading, it was hot therefore, if you do not want it to be too spicy, only add half of the scotch bonnet in each of the dishes. I made a quick guacamole to cool our palates. This was made with cherry toms on the vine, fresh coriander, lime juice, two avocados, and a bit of onion. It paired perfectly.
Also, a smoothie was made he following day with the Grace Aloe Vera water (mango flavour). I added an apple, two oranges, 1 frozen banana and a handful of mango chunks with some water. It was a lovely breakfast drink.
I absolutely loved this assignment. I enjoy getting creative and making up cuisines. I really hope this post inspires you to try out my recipes.
How are you going to celebrate Caribbean Food Week? I would love to know your thoughts.