Sunday’s brunch was quite a Jamaican affair. I went with one of my favorites, breadfruit which was roasted the previous day. This was done in oven at 450 degrees fahrenheit for approximately one hour. Peeled the tropical beauty and sliced:
Brushed slices with a little olive oil, sprinkled with a pinch of salt and then allowed my grill pan to do the work:
Served grilled slices of breadfruit with Jamaica’s national dish, ackee and codfish with slices of fried plantains, steamed callaloo (Jamaican spinach) and a slice of nature’s butter, avocado.
N.B – History books have stated that the breadfruit plant/tree was brought to Jamaica from Tahiti in 1793. Over the years, this fruit has flourished in abundance. The young fruit is often boiled and used in soups and the mature version is ideal for roasting on an open flame (coal/wood), on stove top or oven.
Breadfruit is a great substitute for rice or bread. It is loaded with fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients.
Decided to place my staple breakfast dish (oatmeal) on a hiatus and went with eggs. These were done in an omelet form. For the filling, I went a tad out of the box and reached for salsa in a jar. Shh!!……never bought the chips. It was deliberate Love me some salsa in my omelet.
Served my oozing omelet on a bed of leftover Jamaican spinach (callaloo). And topped with nature’s butter (avocado) and fresh sliced tomatoes. For a contrasting taste, I couldn’t help myself. Toasted up an English muffin and added a sweet spread of strawberry jam.
My salsa omelet was ‘kicking’ along with a sweet and crispy taste of English muffin. All was well.
When it comes to my culinary needs, I’m pretty liberal. I allow my palate free-rein to explore. She knows what I desire and if I don’t concur initially, we often come to a compromise. Ultimately, our needs are satisfied in the long run. So, the week-end was one of those when we were on similar pages from the ‘get-go’. I didn’t resist and went with the flow.
I was in a rustic mood. There was no need to julienne and cut my root veggies for the pickles on my fried snapper fish. I was aiming for flavors and great spices. I allowed my knife and cut board to do the talking. They produced sizeable portions for my pickle sauce made up of vinegar, splash of water, pinch of sugar, salt, black pepper, pimento (all spice).
After simmering my onions, carrots, scotch bonnet peppers and other ingredients I placed these on my fried snapper fish along with a squeeze lime. My escoveitch fish stood out with their usual bold, spicy and mouth-watering flavors.
It was back to basics for my callaloo (Jamaica’s spinach). It didn’t assume a power struggle with its bold counter-part (escoveitch fish). In general, callaloo knows where it stands in my kitchen. The fact is, I could use this fiber loaded vegetable day-in day-out.
I’m always intrigued with the way it comes alive as the heat hits it. As usual, it didn’t disappoint. It held on to its green hue and even shone even brighter. After softening my onions and clove of garlic in a drizzle of olive oil, all I had to do was to administer a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste.
I combined my two dishes and they fed off each other in a beautiful way. The callaloo (spinach) was tender but was not overly cooked. Moreover, it balanced out the spicy flavors of the escoveitch fish. They provided me and my palate great satisfaction that lasted the for hours later.
Once again, surfing was on my mind. So, what do you know? I went fishing. And, look what I brought back.
I couldn’t help myself; I had to place a few scores on my big boy and made him my own. Well, scoring helps for the penetration of all the amazing spices and seasoning on this adorable specimen. So, I proceeded to season inside/out with salt, black pepper, crushed garlic, crushed pimento(all spice), thyme and finely chopped scotch bonnet pepper. Before I laid my seasoning on, I drizzled a little coconut and olive oils in the interior and exterior of my fish.
My plan was to cook in oven at 380 to 400 degrees at high temperature so as to give a roasting effect. Thus, I called upon my parchment paper. For me, parchment paper helps to lock in flavors but will also provide a rustic/roasting process.
Before that though, I sautéed onions, bell peppers, and grape tomatoes in a skillet making sure to season along with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Then I added some steamed left over Jamaican spinach (callaloo).
I used same to stuff my snapper. Well, as you can observe, it was an overstuffed affair.
Baking sheet was lined with foil paper so as to contain any spillage. Then, a generous piece of parchment paper was used to place fish. I stuffed the head and cavity of same. And boy, it spilled. Already, succulent juices was expelling from within. It smelled amazing. With the squeeze of a little lime and splash of vinegar, I added additional finely chopped scotch bonnet yellow pepper. Then I folded my beautiful parchment package and poked a few holes for some of the steam to escape.
Fish was placed in oven at 380 degrees for approximately 15 minutes. Then, I pared open my parchment package and gave dish an additional five minutes at 400 degrees. At this point, I was super-excited and so was my fire alarm. You see, the parchment paper started to singe a bit. Anyway, that didn’t stop me. I placed snapper back in the oven and look what I got.
My snapper made and emitted a delicious sauce which came from the veggies(stuffing) within. The fish was cooked just right. It was moist on the interior and slightly flaky on the outer. I served same with fried plantain to balance out the spicy flavors of the scotch bonnet peppers. Hmmm, I was overjoyed with my rustic dish.
This dish brings me back to my roots (my Jamaican roots). However, I’ve tweaked it a bit. Before I fried fish, I infused oil(combination of canola/coconut) with garlic, pimento(all spice) and thyme on low heat. Then I pan-fried fish and generously squeezed fresh lemon. Instead of a mainly vinegar-based topping of escovitch sauce, I incorporated fresh orange/lemon juice along with a drizzle of vinegar, pinch of sugar, salt and cracked black pepper. Onions,sweet bell peppers, scotch bonnet peppers were then added to sauce for a spicy and tangy finish.
In Jamaica, we have a cornmeal dish called “Turned cornmeal”. This was a staple in my household as a child. I must have consumed this dish dozens of time. There are different variations to the dish. However, it’s consisted of cornmeal, fresh coconut milk, seasoning of finely chopped onions, scallion and bell peppers. I made a slight tweak to this dish by adding shredded parmesan cheese. I guess Italy was on my mind.
For me, no dish is complete without a side of veggie. So, I served a delicious side of steamed callaloo (Jamaican spinach).A fresh ginger/apple/Jamaican rum martini completed the dish. Yeah mon!