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Caribbean Cooking: Sailing Into Spring

New Year Resolutions came in and went out with the tide. Something like

“It is two months after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing will fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I’d nibbled, the eggnogs I’d taste
At the holiday parties have gone to my waist….”

We now sail in with the Spring tide. People are heading for the beaches and the water, for fun in the sun with some great boating, fishing and barbecues. Now is a good time to cut down on the heavy sauces. To add extra flavor to the ribs use my Jerk marinade recipe. Set the table with brightly colored placemats and lots of napkins. Then turn on some good reggae music – dancing is good exercise!

MENU

CARIBBEAN PUMPKIN SOUP
JERK MARINADE
JERK BARBECUED RIBS
SPICY COLE SLAW
MANGO FLAMBE´

CARIBBEAN PUMPKIN SOUP

Preparation time:  15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

1 lb. pumpkin or (1×16 oz can pumpkin)
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 small celery heart stalks, chopped
1 fresh tomato, chopped
1 Tblsp. butter
1 Tblsp. flour
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground cloves (optional)
Black pepper
Pinch salt
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1 cup milk
Garnish:  chopped scallions

Cook and mash pumpkin (save stock). Or, 1 can pumpkin mashed plus 6 cups vegetable stock. In a large saucepan saute onion, celery, and tomato in butter. Blend in flour and seasonings. Add pumpkin and gradually add stock. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes. Puree in blender. Add vinegar and milk and reheat – do not boil. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with chopped scallions.

JERK MARINADE

Preparation time: 5 minutes                                             
Yields: About 1-1/2 cups

1 onion, finely chopped
3 scallions, finely chopped
1 hot pepper, finely ground
2 Tblsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 Tblsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground pimento (allspice)
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1-1/2 Tblsp. white or cider vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1-1/2 Tblsp. olive oil
1-1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce, or to taste

Mix all the ingredients together. This marinade is excellent for beef, chicken, or pork. Keep marinade in a tightly closed jar in the refrigerator; it will keep about 1 month.

JERK BARBECUED RIBS

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Marinating time: 4 hours                                             
Cooking time: 1-1/2 hours
Serves: 4

1-1/2 cups Jerk Marinade (see recipe above)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 lbs. pork spareribs
About 1-1/2 cups barbecue sauce (or your choice)

Combine the Jerk Marinade and vinegar. Pour over the ribs and coat thoroughly. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Prepare the grill. When the coals have burned down, rake the coals to the sides. Set a drip pan in the center. Place the ribs on the grill over the drip pan and cook for 1-1/2 hours, turning and brushing frequently with the marinade. Brush the ribs with barbecue sauce during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

SPICY COLE SLAW

Preparation time: 15 minutes                   
Chilling time: 1 hour
Serves: 4 – 6

3 cups shredded green cabbage
1 cup shredded red cabbage
4 scallions, finely chopped
3/4 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup  chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tblsp. sugar
1 Tblsp. cider vinegar
1 Tblsp. Dry Jerk seasoning (see recipe below)

Combine the cabbage, carrots and nuts in a large bowl; set aside. Mix together the mayonnaise, sugar, vinegar, and seasoning. Spoon over the cabbage mixture and toss well. Cover and chill at least 1 hour before serving.

JERK DRY SEASONING

Preparation time: 15 minutes                 
Makes: About 1/4 cup

1 Tblsp. onion powder
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Mix together all the ingredients. Store any leftovers in a tightly closed glass jar. It will keep its flavor for more than a month.

MANGO FLAMBE’

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Serves: 4

4 medium mangoes
Brown sugar
Butter
Cinnamon
Apricot Brandy (or a gold rum)
Garnish:  4 small bunches of black grapes

Peel mangoes carefully, then cut the meat off the stone in pieces as big as possible. Melt butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan. Very quickly saute fruit until glazed. Pour on apricot brandy and flambe. Serve immediately while flaming with a little of the sauce.  Garnish with a small bunch of grapes on each plate – makes this dish look very appetizing!

Editor’s Note:  Capt. Jan Robinson is author of the Ship to Shore Cookbook Collection. She holds certificates from the Culinary Institute of America, The Ritz Cooking School, and the Cordon Bleu.

Available at your local marine or bookstore or website  www.shiptoshoreINC.com or email CapJan@aol.com or call 1-800-338-6072. Mention All At Sea to receive your special discount.

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