From the time you set out to the time you arrive in the Caribbean you are never quite ready to absorb all that it has to offer – the beautiful white sand beaches, turquoise waters, tropical breezes, swaying palm trees, surfing, sailing, scuba diving, windsurfing, and more. There are many delicious Caribbean dishes and many different ways to prepare them – from fresh fish and burgers to Tostones!
Preparation time: 5 mins. Cooking time: 30 mins. Serves: 6 – 8.
3 unripe firm and green plantain
3 cups vegetable oil
Peel the plantains. Cut peeled plantains into one-inch pieces. Heat a heavy bottom skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and fry for five minutes, then set the plantains out on paper towels to drain and cool slightly. Smash each fried plantain to a quarter-inch thickness with a mallet or the heel of your hand.
Soak the plantains in salty water for one minute; they’ll emerge perfectly seasoned. Set them out on paper towels to drain. Fry the tostones again for five minutes until crisp; drain them on paper towels and season with a little more salt before serving. Squeeze with fresh lime juice.
VIRGIN ISLAND JERK TURKEY BURGERS
Preparation time: 15 mins. Standing time: 30 mins.
Cooking time: 15 mins. Serves: 4.
1/3 cup couscous
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 lb ground turkey
4 whole-wheat English muffins/hamburger buns, split & toasted
Red pepper hummus
4 slices tomato
4 lettuce leaves
Combine couscous and water in a small bowl; let stand for about 30 minutes, or until the couscous is tender and the water is absorbed. Heat oil in a medium-size skillet over low heat. Add bell pepper, garlic, thyme, curry powder, cumin, allspice, ginger, salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until the bell pepper is softened, about 2 minutes. Let cool.
Prepare a grill or preheat the broiler. Combine turkey, the couscous and the bell-pepper mixture in a medium-sized bowl; mix thoroughly but lightly. Shape into four 3/4-inch-thick patties. If using the grill, oil the grill rack (see below) or oil the broiler pan. Grill or broil the patties until browned and no longer pink inside, about 6 minutes per side. Place on English muffins or buns, spread with hummus and garnish with tomato slices, lettuce, and spinach leaves.
Note: To oil a grill rack; oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)
WEST INDIAN CURRY CHICKEN
Preparation time: 20 mins. Marinating time: overnight.
Cooking time: 2 hrs. Serves: 6.
6 skinless, boneless,
chicken breast halves – cut in strips
1/4 cup olive oil
1 green bell pepper, seeded & chopped
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
1/3 cup mild curry powder
1 pint chicken stock
1/2 cup raisins
4 Tbsp chutney
1 Tbsp turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
Dash or two of Tabasco
Sear chicken in 3 Tbsp oil; set aside. Sauté onions and green peppers until soft and golden brown. Stir in curry powder. Add raisins, chutney, turmeric, salt, pepper, and Tabasco. Add 1 pint chicken stock and simmer for 1/2 hour. (Let sit overnight if possible.) 1 hour before serving heat mixture, covered. Add strips of chicken and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside. Stir occasionally and make sure it does not burn – curry powder burns easily!
Serve with the Mango Chutney
Preparation time: 30 mins. Cooking time: 1 hr. Makes: about 14 cups.
3 quarts mangoes, firm,
peeled, and chopped
2 pints white vinegar
1 lb raisins, seedless
2 Tbsp. finely chopped garlic
or small onion, chopped
4 oz fresh ginger, grated
5 hot peppers,
seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbsp salt
4 oz dry mustard
3 lbs brown sugar
Put mangoes in a large saucepan with 1 pint of vinegar and boil for about 40 minutes or until mangoes are soft. In a bowl mix garlic, ginger peppers, salt, mustard and raisins. In a separate pot boil 1 pint vinegar with 3 lbs sugar until it forms a syrup, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic mixture and the sugar syrup to the mangoes and boil, while stirring, for 15 minutes.
Sterilize glass jars; fill while the chutney is still warm. Seal by pouring a thin layer of paraffin wax on top.
Note: Alternative easier method to one above: In a large heavy bottom saucepan put sugar, vinegar, and salt. Bring to a boil and boil for five minutes. Add all other ingredients, bring back to a boil and boil for 1 hour, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, cool, fill glass jars and seal.
Please send me your suggestions of what you would like me to write about and please send any special easy recipes that you may like to share [email protected] Happy cookin’ … Jan
Jan Robinson holds certificates from the Culinary Institute of America, The Ritz Cooking School, and the Cordon Bleu. Her Ship to Shore Cookbook Collection is available at your local marine or bookstore. Or visit www.shiptoshoreINC.com email [email protected] or call 1-800-338-6072 and mention All at Sea to receive a discount.