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.
Glazed Gammon (South African Glazed Ham)
Christmas is celebrated in South Africa much the same way as in other countries except that for them it occurs in summer instead of winter. Families gather for a large Christmas feast with ham, in a variety of forms, as a very popular entree. The most popular is gammon, which is a Chinese type of cured ham that is uncooked and very salty. Since it is not readily available, probably Smithfield and Virginia hams are the closest we can come to a true gammon. If an uncooked ham is unavailable, you can alter the cooking time in this recipe and still have an elegant entree to grace any holiday table. After lunch, families then visit the homes of friends to exchange a “Christmas box” of food.
Cajun Fried Turkey
Done correctly, this process produces a very succulent turkey with a wonderful Cajun flavor.
Tacchino alla Porchetta (Herb-Scented Roast Turkey from Nereto)
This is turkey as it is served on Saint Martin’s Day, November 11, in Nereto. Carol Field advises: “Do not use a light hand with the rosemary or garlic.” I skipped the part about cutting the turkey in half and it didn’t seem to make any difference. I didn’t stuff the turkey with my usual cornbread-green chile mixture because I wanted it to be as traditional as possible. That said, I did add some spicy smoked paprika to add a little heat because I’m a capsaicin addict.
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