I have to say I have a new favorite food or, rather, spice mixture - jerk seasoning. This was the first time that I have ever tried “jerked” anything and I am thoroughly satisfied. Then again, I’m not really surprised that I like it. The warm earthy flavors such as cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, etc. are my absolute favorites, which is why I think I enjoy Indian food so much. I’ve also discovered that Middle Eastern cuisine requires similar spice mixtures.
Cuisine of Jamaica, and the tropics in general, provide a refreshing mix of tropical and spicy tones. The banana salsa was spectacular and the potato salad was delicious! Then again, I think any potato salad is good. Y’know, those Scandinavian genes scream with delight whenever I eat potatoes. My new kick is the Japanese sweet potato which is just too damn good for words. I’ve also discovered that red potatoes are so have more nutrients than your generic baking potato and since they’re in a convenient size for me to add in combinations with curries and small needs, it’s a win-win situation by far.
I ended up making more Jerk marinade than I originally intended but, heck, I might just slather some of it in a sandwich or spread it on French toast for an interesting kick. Or..well, I’ll save it for another post. For now, here are a few recipes from my delectable Jamaican dishes.
Jamacian Sweet Potato Salad
1 medium-small Sweet potato (Or regular)
¼ cup peas, fresh (or defrosted)
½ cup corn, fresh (or defrosted)
1 scallion/green onion, chopped
1/3 cup tofu mayo, regular mayo, yogurt, etc.
½ tbsp margarine
Cilantro springs, torn
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and leave in the refrigerator for the flavors to blend for about 30 minutes to an hour. Serve over a bed of fresh cabbage or coleslaw mix garnished with more cilantro.
4 oz catfish
1 ½ tsp garlic powder or 1 cloves of garlic
4 dried red chilis
1 tablespoon oregano (traditionally, thyme but I didn’t have any)
1 bunches scallions/green onions
2 tsp maple syrup
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoon Braggs
Combine all seasoning ingredients in a food processor and blend until you get a smooth paste. Careful - the aroma is quite pungent upon first sniff.
Slather the catfish fillet with the paste and let sit for at least an hour.
Preheat the broiler. Line a baking sheet or flat pan with tin foil then lightly spray with cooking spray. Place down the catfish on the foil and spray the top as well. Place under the broiler for 5-6 minutes per side. You’ll know its done when you smell the spicy aroma - trust me.
½ banana, diced (Best if under ripe to have a sturdy texture)
1/3 cup bell peppers, diced (use different colors for a better presentation)
1 scallion, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
2 teaspoons powder ginger
Cilantro leaves, torn
Pepper flakes & salt to taste
Combine all ingredients, store in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the flavors to marry.