Last weekend I had an amazing Caribbean influenced meal for lunch. I got so excited about those flavours that yesterday I decided to make my own version of this delicious meal. I was amazed how good our local supermarket was when I went to hunt some Caribbean ingredients, they had everything I needed for the jerk sauce and even a ready Jamaican jerk spice too. The supermarket had fresh pawpaws and mangoes and even plantains (cooking bananas!!!). Unbelievable! Have to give points to English supermarkets after that! By the way, don’t get too worried if you cannot find cooking bananas, use regular ones.
My mum always keeps on telling me how different my taste buds are from hers as I love sweet meals and particularly I love mixing sweet and savoury flavours together. I know this is the case. If my dear Aussie husband goes and orders an English breakfast I choose always sweet continental breakfast for myself. I rather pass the savoury English breakfast and drink only coffee instead if I cannot get my muesli or croissant with some jam.
Caribbean cuisine is something I highly admire and adore. The flavours are fresh, sweet and unusual for Western palate. I have been quite hesitant to try to cook any Caribbean at home as I am not very familiar with cooking it, only eating it. After last night’s feast I realised that in fact it is not hard at all. Some research online needs to be carried out but after that you can combine your own Caribbean meal. Here is mine: Jerk chicken, fried plantains, mango pawpaw salsa and chunky chips. I hope you enjoy it. My dear Aussie husband certainly did as I got requested to cook another one tonight!
Serving for two:
2 chicken thighs
3 spring onions roughly chopped
1cm size of fresh ginger
1 garlic clove
1 red chilli deseeded
1/2 lime (juice)
2-3 tbs vegetable oil
1-2 tbs BBQ sauce
1 tbs dark sugar
1 tbs fresh thyme chopped
1/2 tsp all spice mix
1. Put all the chopped sauce ingredients into the food processor or blender and mix well.
2. Rub the sauce on chicken thighs and let marinade for 1-2 hours.
3. Cook in the oven in 180 celsius degrees in a baking dish on the top of the foil for 30min or less if cooked through. The last 5min raise the baking dish higher so that the skin gets crispier.
Mango Pawpaw Salsa:
1/2 pawpaw cut into tiny cubes
1 small mango cut into small cubes
1 red onion chopped
2-3 tbs balsamico
1 tbs sugar
1. Chop the ingredients and mix well together. Let sit in the fridge for 1 hour or so. The salsa gets sweeter!
3-4 big potatoes sliced to chip shape with skin on
4 tbs vegetable oil
1 tbs paprika
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp black pepper
2 tsp onion granules
1. Mix together in a bowl and bake on a baking tray in 180 celsius degrees in grill section for 15-20min. The last 5min raise the temperature to the highest available degree (for me 240 celsius degrees) and cook for an extra 3-5 min to get really crunchy chips.
1. Slice the plantain and fry in oil on frying pan.
See the difference between ripe and unripe plantain. The darker the plantain and the more you see black spots the better and sweeter it will be!
Serve the Caribbean feast by setting chicken thighs, chips, salsa and plantains on the plate.