British Virgin Islands 2018

There's that one particular harbor…

Eating Caribbean Style!

We are always looking for ways to temporarily “escape” to the islands without leaving home. It’s not easy to do, but we had a meal last night that came close. Below are the recipes and instructions. Enjoy!

Caribbean Jerk Chicken
This isn’t nearly as much work as it sounds like. Just make sure to marinade 24 hours and you’ll be fine.
6-8 Chicken Breasts
1 TBS Cracked Black Pepper (I used our black peppercorn grinder)
3/4 tsp Grated Nutmeg (Try to grate it fresh if you can find it)
1.5 tsp Ground Allspice
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Ground Cloves
1/2 tsp chili powder (calls for diced poblano peppers, but I don’t like that much heat)
1 TBS Ground Thyme
1 TBS Salt
1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar
2 or 3 cloves Minced Garlic
1 tsp Ground Ginger
1/2 Cup Oil (I used vegetable)
4 TBS Real Lime Juice
1/4 Cup White Vinegar
1/2 Cup Dark Rum
Combine all ingredients.
Trim and Score Chicken.
Place marinade and chicken in ziplock bag and toss to coat.
Remove air and seal ziplock.
Marinate 24 hours or so.
Grill over charcoal.

Rice and Peas
“Peas” in the Caribbean are actually beans. I will say one thing about Rice and Peas. It’s such a staple in the Caribbean that no one who makes it regularly ever thinks anyone else’s recipe is good enough. Just try googling “Rice and Peas Recipe” and see! I’m a stickler for authentic, and despite the ingredient list below, I was pleased.
3 cups Cooked Rice (see cooking instructions below)
3/4 cup Non-sweet Coconut Milk
Ground Thyme to taste (I did about three good shakes)
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 TBS Vegetable Oil
Salt to taste
1 Can Red Kidney Beans (drained)
Cook Rice: Use 1 cup of Basmati. Rinse the rice several times in cold water to get rid of the starch. Bring the water (1.5 cups) to a boil with a little salt. Add rice and bring back to a boil, letting it boil for about 2 minutes. Cover and set heat to lowest setting. Leave it for 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 more minutes without heat.
Heat your skillet
Add oil
Once oil is hot, add garlic and saute for about 30 seconds
Immediately add coconut milk, thyme, and beans with some salt and bring to a boil
Boil until coconut milk is reduced by about half
Remove from heat
Add rice and stir until all oil and coconut milk are absorbed.
Add salt to taste (don’t miss this step…it will likely not have enough salt by this point)

Fried Plantains
1 bottle vegetable oil
2 plantains (not green or black, but sort of yellow-black)
1 clove garlic, minced
Black Pepper Grinder
Chili Powder
Ground Red Pepper
Some helpful utensils: A cooking thermometer that goes up to 350 degrees F and something large and flat (I used the bottom of a small frying pan)
Heat oil to between 325 and 350 F
I use enough oil to completely submerge the plantains…an inch to an inch and half should do it
Peel plantains (cut ends off and then slit the peel from end to end on two sides, then peel it away)
Cut each plantain into quarters on a slant (so the pieces aren’t too tall)
Put them into the hot oil for 2-4 minutes (until they are golden with a few brown spots starting to form)
Remove and drain and let them cool just a bit
I then flatten a piece part way and put the seasoning on it (all except the red pepper)
Then finish flattening the piece so the seasonings are pushed into it
Make sure not to flatten more than 1/2 inch thick…3/4 inch is better
Return to hot oil (it will have cooled even if you didn’t remove heat, so check your temp)
Give them a minute or two on each side and remove
Place on paper towel to remove excess oil
Serve with ground red pepper for guests to use at will

Key Lime Pie
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lime juice
6-8 oz cool whip
Graham Cracker Pie Crust
Mix condensed milk and lime juice until consistent
Fold in cool whip
Pour into pie crust and refrigerate for at least several hours, overnight is better.

That’s it! We ate all the plantains at the first sitting, but had left over rice and peas and chicken, and both reheated just fine.

Serve all these up with half a lime to squeeze over all three items as desired, and either a Corona/Carib/Landshark with a lime wedge or a Red Stripe. Play some steel drum music or Jimmy Buffett in the background.

I’ll try to add photos the next time we make these!


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