Caribbean · Side Dishes · Vegetarian

Callaloo Rice

Callaloo is the spinach of the West Indies. I have not found fresh callaloo in the UK yet, although I saw that you could buy the seeds off eBay. When I get my own garden, methinks there will be a few stands of callaloo in there.

This is a side dish that goes well with most fish, seafood and chicken dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups unprocessed white rice
  • 1 tin callaloo
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 lemon, sliced with the peel on
  • 1 large tomato, quartered

Directions:

  1. Combine all ingredients with 11 dl (just over a litre!) of water and bring to boil.
  2. Cover the pan and simmer gently until rice is done, ie approx 30-40mins

This can also be done with processed rice, but it won’t get the same taste as the ingredients won’t get as much time to set.

Caribbean · Chicken

Chicken w Mint

Chicken is an all-time favourite in this house. A friend of mine calls it the Black Man’s Trap and says chicken is the reason why there are no black superheroes. I don’t know about that, but I do know chicken is always chicken and a touch of mint gives it a special kind of umph!

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1tsp ginger
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1tsp red pepper
  • 1 lime
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1 orange
  • 0,5 cup sliced sweet onion
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper
  • 1tbsp cornstarch
  • 2tbsp chilli sauce
  • 0,25tsp allspice
  • 0,5tsp nutmeg
  • 2sprigs (or more) fresh mint

Directions:

  1. Dice the chicken, place it in a bowl and add ginger, paprika, red pepper and zest from the lime.
  2. Place in fridge for a minimum of 15 mins, but ideally over night.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet and add sliced onions, yellow bell pepper and crushed garlic.
  4. Fry al dente (roughly 3mins) and remove from heat.
  5. Put veggies on a plate for later.
  6. Heat skillet again and fry the chicken for 3-4 mins.
  7. Add the juice from the lime and the orange, 2tsp orange zest, chilli sauce, allspice and nutmeg.
  8. When liquid comes to a boil, add the veggies and the cornstarch.
  9. Let simmer for a couple of minutes until it gets the right sauciness (pun intended!)
  10. Add mint and serve over rice.

Fish

Baked Fish w Mornay Sauce

Mornay sauce is basically a bechamel sauce with grated cheese added to it. In this recipe it gets a zesty taste from lime and white wine.

I love making this with sea bass, but any fish fillet will do. In fact, any fish will do and fish on the bone is often tastier than fillets!

Ingredients:

  • fish fillets for 4 peeps
  • 1 cup white wine
  • lime juice
  • white pepper
  • 1 cup cream
  • 3/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 4 tbs. butter/margarine
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 3 tbs. flour
  • salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the fish fillets in a baking dish and cover with white wine.
  2. Cover the dish with foil and poach the fish for about 15 minutes (until tender) in 220*
  3. Remove fish fillets from pan, carefully so as not to break the fish into pieces, and set aside in another baking dish.
  4. Save the liquid from the fish!
  5. In sa saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour.
  6. Add the fish liquid whilst stirring.
  7. Reduce the heat and add the cream.
  8. When all is well blended add the egg yolks.
  9. Season to taste with lime juice, salt, and white pepper.
  10. Remove from heat and pour over the fish.
  11. Sprinkle with cheese and return to oven until cheese is browned, around 15mins.
  12. Serve with white plain rice or Rice & Peas.

Caribbean · Side Dishes

Simple Rice & Peas

Rice & Peas is a very common and popular dish in the West Indies. The name is slightly misleading as it normally contains beans not peas. This is not just one dish as you will find many different versions of it, some even incorporating meat.

This recipe can be used as a basic guideline; choose the beans and herbs you think will work best with your main dish.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of rice
  • 1 tin of red (or mixed) beans (it’s cheaper and better to use dry ones that you let soak over night in water, but since I have a tendency to forget things like that I keep a stash of tins just in case…)
  • a few sprigs of thyme or rosemary
  • 50g creamed coconut
  • 1-4 cloves of garlic (ie to taste!)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1qt water

Direction:

  1. Put all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil, then leave to simmer until rice is cooked.
  2. This can be done in a slowcooker as well, but I find it needs more water then. Just bring it all to boil, then pour into slow cooker and leave on low for about 4hrs.