Many times you hear the Captain speak of enjoying a meal of Jerk Chicken and Rice and Peas on my radio shows. It’s no joke mon.I’d give up quite a few things before you could pry that plate from my hands! Just add a Red Stripe, reggae, and a smile and nice up the area…
Tonight during my radio show VACATION RADIO FROM PARADISE, I started thinking about sharing some of the wonderful food of Jamaica.
Here’s how I cook it…
Jamaican Marinade (Jerk)
6 scallions, greens only, thinly sliced
2 large shallots, finely minced
2 large cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon seeded, ribbed and finely minced Scotch Bonnet pepper (or 2 Jalapeno peppers)
1 tablespoon ground allspice ( I use whole allspice berries, lightly toasted in a skillet, then ground fine)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
In a bowl, combine scallion greens, shallots, garlic, ginger, and Scotch Bonnet pepper. In another bowl, combine allspice, black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, nutmeg, thyme, dark-brown sugar, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly. Whisk in orange juice, vinegar, lime juice, and soy sauce. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking constantly. Add the reserved scallion mixture; stir to combine. Let rest at least one hour.
Wash chicken, fish or pork and pat dry and put it in a bowl. Add your sauce and rub it in well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Before cooking, scrape the marinade off the meat. Wash your hands thoroughly though, scotch bonnet peppers are the hottest in the world and you should wear gloves as you handle it. Unpleasant consequences await you otherwise upon a visit to the lavatory. Trust me. The scotch bonnet stays on your hands all day and into the next…
Washing your hands incessantly won’t help.
You can grill over charcoal but adding water-soaked allspice berries to the coals gives it additional smoke and additional flavor.
Jamaican Rice and Peas
This traditional Jamaican dish can be eaten as a side dish or as an entree. It is often amongst the poor a special dish served as a “Sunday meal”. It gets served once a week or when it can be enjoyed as a luxury. If I could, I would feed every Jamaican rice and peas any and every day they desire! No one should be denied their own nation’s staple!
1 cup dried small red beans
2 cups canned unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups long-grain rice
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely diced
1 large clove garlic, finely minced
1 whole Scotch bonnet pepper, or a 1-inch long whole
habanero or any other very hot whole chile pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pour beans into a colander; pick over them and discard any pebbles, debris or deformed beans. Rinse beans thoroughly with cold running water. Put the beans in a large pot and soak them overnight in enough water to cover.
Drain beans, return them to the pot, and add 4 cups of water. Bring the beans to a boil, covered, over medium heat. Lower the heat and simmer the beans until they are not quite tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, rice, diced onions, garlic, chile pepper, thyme, salt and pepper. Simmer the rice and beans, covered, until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Throw away the chile pepper and serve immediately…and enjoy!
Here’s the link to Vacation Radio From Paradise from 12/31/10
You’ll run to the market for ingredients once you’ve heard this show!