The Jamaican jerk cooks use a technique of cooking best described as “smoke-grilling.” it combines the direct heat of grilling with smoke produced by fresh pimento leaves and branches. While grilling, the meat is often covered with a piece of corrugated aluminum to keep the heat and smoke contained. This method can be approximated by using a weber-type barbecue with …
Piri Piri Oil
This interesting sauce is the Caribbean oil-based variation on the African sauce from Angola, which was transferred to the region by Portuguese immigrants working the cacao plantations in Trinidad and Guyana. Use it to spice up soups and fried fish. Pimento leaves are traditionally used in this recipe, but they are hard to find. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.
Ginger Pumpkin Bisque with Peppered Croutons
We don’t always end a holiday meal with pumpkin pie-sometimes we begin the feast with this spicy soup with its Caribbean island flavor. If you don’t want to use pumpkin, any winter squash, such as butternut, acorn or Hubbard, will do. This is an easy recipe to prepare, but if you want an even quicker version, used canned pumpkin puree or a 12-ounce package or frozen cooked winter squash as a base. This recipe is from Dave’s and my book, The Spicy Food Lover’s Bible.
Jamaican Rice and Peas
In Jamaica, Christmas carols are sung to a reggae beat and, in the small villages, Santa arrives riding in a cart pulled by a donkey, not a reindeer. A typical holiday feast would consist of curried goat, oxtails, and rice’n’ peas. Rice and peas (or beans) is a popular dish on many of the Caribbean islands. Maybe its popularity is due from the fact that rice helps tame the burn of chiles, although this version of the dish is not tame. The peas used are called pigeon peas and are about the size of garden peas and are available dried or in cans. Kidney, or red beans are also used in this dish, but during the Christmas season, only the gungo or pigeon are served in Jamaica.