Caribbean Hot Sauce

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One 1-pint bottle dark rum

5 to 6 whole fresh or dried red bird peppers or small Scotch bonnet chilies

6 whole cloves

4 whole allspice berries

3 whole black peppercorns


Caribbean Hot Sauce



Pour 1/4 cup rum out of the bottle into a measuring cup. Place the peppers, cloves, allspice, and peppercorns and spices into the bottle of rum. Top up the bottle with the remaining rum. Tightly cap the bottle.

Let the pepper rum “ripen” for at least 2 weeks, preferably 1 month, before serving. The pepper rum will keep at room temperature almost indefinitely.

Sprinkle a few drops into any dish/recipe as desired.


Spiced Rum Variation

If you want to make this hot sauce even spicier and add dimension to the heat, substitute Captain Morgan or another spiced rum for the regular rum.

Sweet n’ Spicy Caribbean Hot Sauce

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This sauce is wonderful on grilled chicken and firm fish like salmon. Use it as they would in Trinidad to spice up a fried shark sandwich. If you are using whole spices, grind them in a mortar or in a spice grinder. Allspice berries can be found in Latin and Caribbean markets, as well as specialty food stores. Note: this recipe requires advance preparation.


  • 3 dried chipotle peppers

    3 dried allspice berries, ground (or 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice)

    1 tablespoon mustard seeds, ground (or 1 tablespoon mustard powder)

    1 clove, ground (or a pinch of ground clove)

    1 teaspoon turmeric

    1/2 teaspoon red curry powder

    1 teaspoon ground black pepper

    1 tablespoon canola oil

    2 cloves garlic, minced

    1 shallot, chopped

    1/2 inch piece ginger, peeled and chopped

    5 habaneros, finely chopped

    1/2 mango, chopped

    2 tablespoons white vinegar

    3 tablespoons light brown sugar

    1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses

    1/4 cup pineapple juice

    Salt to taste


Soak the dried chipotles in warm water for 1 hour. Drain the chipotles, reserving the soaking water. Remove the seeds, finely chop the chiles and set aside. Combine the allspice, mustard seeds, clove, turmeric, curry powder and black pepper in a small bowl and set it aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the garlic, shallot, ginger, chopped chipotles and spices. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine them. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Check the consistency. If you want a thinner sauce, add more pineapple juice or the chipotle soaking water. Remove the pan from the heat. If you have an immersion blender, put it directly into the saucepan and blend. I like a chunky texture for this sauce. If you are using a regular blender, be sure to leave the air hole open so steam can escape. Hold a dish towel loosely over the hole and blend to the desired consistency. Transfer the sauce to a jar and store in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Caribbean Crab-Stuffed Deviled Eggs

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Stuffed eggs are the most obvious (and delicious) ways to use up left-over Easter eggs. There are any number of variations of the old standard, but these are special enough for an hors d’oeuvres party table. Because older eggs are easier to peel, be sure to use them when you need a smooth, clean egg. Use a pastry bag and pipe in the filling for a fancy presentation.


  • 8 hard-cooked eggs, peeled

  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise

  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

  • ½ teaspoon habanero hot sauce

  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon-type mustard

  • 6 ounces flaked crabmeat

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  • Garnish: Finely chopped fresh parsley

  • Instructions

    Cut the eggs in half lengthwise and remove the yolks. Put the yolks from 5 of the eggs in a bowl and mash them with a fork. Sprinkle the vinegar over the yolks and toss to combine.

    Add the mayonnaise, thyme, hot sauce and mustard and mix to combine. Mix in the crab and season to taste with salt and pepper. Allow the filling to sit for 15 minutes so flavors can blend. Adjust the seasoning before filling the eggs.

    Mound about 1 tablespoon crab mixture in the cavity of each egg-white half. At this point, the eggs can be covered and refrigerated for future use. To serve, arrange the filled eggs on a platter and garnish with the parsley. 

    Caribbean Salsa

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    The combination of fresh fruit and chile produces a salsa that goes well with lighter fare such as grilled chicken or fish. This will keep for up to a week in the refrigerator.


    • 1 cup diced fresh mango

    • 1 cup diced fresh papaya

    • 6 serrano chiles, stems removed, minced or substitute 2 habaneros

    • 1/2 red bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, minced

    • 3 green onions, sliced, including some of the green

    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

    • Chopped fresh cilantro


    Combine all the ingredients and allow to sit for an hour to blend the flavors.


    Caribbean ‘Crayfish’ with Tasty’s Wet Rub

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    I was served what the Anguillans call crayfish, but they’re considerably larger than the Louisiana kind yet smaller than a spiny lobster. Don’t ask me their scientific name. Substitute large lobster tails for them if they don’t live in your neighborhood. The wet rub or marinate is from Dale Carty at Tasty’s and it’s quite unique. The yield is about 1 cup.


    • 1/2 cup freshly chopped basil

    • 1 1/2 inch long piece of ginger, peeled and grated

    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

    • 1 teaspoon thyme

    • 1/4 cup olive oil

    • 2 tablespoons Scotch bonnet or habanero hot sauce

    • 2 large lobster tails, removed from the shell


    In a bowl, combine all the ingredient for the rub. Add the lobster tails to the rub and coat well. Marinate for at least one hour in the refrigerator. Grill over medium heat for about 7 to 8 minutes a side, turning once. You will have to re-coat the tails with the rub when they are on the grill.