In researching Jamaica, I learned that it was it was originally called Santiago and was a former colony of Spain (no surprise, I guess-what territory in the New World wasn’t?) It was seized by the British in 1655 and did not become an independent member of the Federation of the West Indies until 1958.
95% of the population is of African or partial African descent and nearly the whole population is Jamaican-born. They speak English and an English-Creole language derived from their African roots, called Patois. It’s a very colorful language with some real fun sayings. Ya, mon!
Wha sweet nanny goat a go run him belly [meaning you can't have too much of a good thing. Come see the good thing I made for this stop on the tour.]
Most notably, Jamaicans are known for “jerking” meats, a process involving a seasoning of hot peppers, onions, garlic, thyme, allspice, ginger and cinnamon and slow cooking. They also eat a lot of fresh foods – seafood fished from the Caribbean, fruits and vegetables. That’s definitely the direction I wanted to take. I looked at quite a few recipes but just wasn’t finding ‘the one‘ so, undaunted, I made up my own. I am a food blogger, after all.
Jerked Fish Fillet with Tropical Melange and Coconut Rice + PeasRed Snapper was encrusted in mix of ground almonds, garbanzo flour, FOODalogue seasoning plus some Jerk flavors of red chili flakes, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Fish was fried skin side down till crisp and finished in oven.
Tropical Melange contained green plantain and sweet potato (Ipomoea batata), both boiled, then cooled off. Mixed with red onion, avocado, scallion, cilantro, olive oil, fresh lime juice, S+P, splash hot sauce.
Coconut Rice was supposed to be cooked in coconut cream but when I opened the can, I didn’t like the way it looked (probably in the pantry too long) so I sauteed scallions and cooked the rice plain, adding peas toward the end and topping with toasted coconut.
Each component of this dish was DELISH…if I must say so myself, ya mon!
Round-Up: Wednesday, February 24
Next Stop: Haiti, March 1