Caribbean cuisine has similar ingredients to Maldivian ingredients. Similar ingredients include scotch bonnets, breadfruit, cassava and some of the greens. I learnt a lot about Caribbean food from Caribbean Pot a beautiful site that features delicious Caribbean recipes.
I like adding scotch bonnets but I just use them for the slight heat and they give a lovely perfumy aroma when cooked in curries. I am not that crazy about scotch bonnet as my mum , who I would call a chilli efanatic because her food can turn out so hot that I can almost feel the fumes come out of my ears. She doesnt like my cooking because I go very subtle with the chilli, ( I like it she would say but just add a little bit more chilli then it would taste just perfect), so I have to have a bottle of hot sauce or green chillies to spice things up for her.
This following recipe is a recipe I have seen a few times on TLC ( have seen Jamie Oliver make it with Levi Roots and also by Chuck Hughes) and on some recipe books and also on Caribbean Pot . I have never tasted the real jerk chicken but this is my version of it after looking through various books. I didnt have allspice so I left it out. The heat of the scotch bonnet is tonned down by the addition of honey and brown sugar, which also gives the chicken a nice caramelized coat when cooked. I served this with rice and peas dish and a sauce made after making creamed spinach.
Recipe : My version of Jerk Chicken ( after referring a few jerk chicken recipes)
6 chicken drumsticks or chicken thighs or 3 whole chicken legs jointed ( you have the choice of leaving the skin on or off)
1/2 scotch bonnet
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp of freshly grated nutmeg
1 small onion or shallot
2 cloves of garlic
3 slices of ginger
1/2 tsp dried thyme
3 heaped tsp of light brown sugar ( or use regular sugar if you dont have)
2 tsp of honey
a little worcestershire sauce ( about 1 tsp)
a little salt ( 1/2 tsp)
nice big handful of parsley ( flat or continental) or try with coriander if you cant find any although the taste is very different but dont use dried
juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
1. Dry the chicken pieces and cut few slashes across the flesh. Arrange in a glass dish or bowl or place inside a zip lock bag.
2. Place the rest of the ingredients in a blender of food processor and pulse you get nice smooth paste. Pour this onto the chicken and massage well into the flesh ( wear gloves !!! the scotch bonnets will burn your fingers !!). Marinate in the fridge for atleast an hour or more if you have time.
3. Preheat oven to gas mark 4, heat nonstick frying pan ( wrap a foil around the handle if you have a plastic sort of handle on the frying pan). Place the chicken pieces skin side down , (even if you dont have the skin you place the side that usually has the skin) on the hot frying pan and leave it to brown, flip onto other side cook to lightly caramalise that side then pop in the oven for about 20 minutes till the inside is cooked through. ( it might take more or less than 20 minutes, you want well cooked juicy flesh not brittle hard over cooked one). Serve with the rice and peas( recipe to be posted soon) .
Note : you can pop this on a barbecue instead of cooking it in the oven.
During the weekend I went to the Art and craft show that was held in the National Art gallery and was pretty impressed with some the stuff we saw. Took the boys along and one particular person that really impressed me with her presentation was this young artist who showed my son how she made her printed drawings.
Another that caught my eye was these beautiful cakes made by Shadins cakes and cupcakes , a real work of art.
|The sugar work was very impressive|
|I would like to eat this shoe ,|
There were other things such as ribbon work and paper work such as these beautiful bracelets made of paper.
|its hard to believe these beads were made of paper|