RED BEANS(PEAS) SOUP WITH ROOT VEGGIES AND HAM BONES/PIG’S TAIL

The first day of 2016 found me quite naughty in the kitchen. You see, I blame my childhood friends, Dorna and Clova.

My childhood friend Dorna devouring Red Bean soup (pig's tail on spoon)
My childhood friend Dorna devouring Red Beans soup (pig’s tail on spoon)
ME AND FRIEND, CLOVA
ME AND FRIEND, CLOVA
ME AND MY CHILDHOOD FRIENDS
ME AND MY CHILDHOOD FRIENDS

They requested a Jamaican favorite, red beans (well, we call it ‘peas’ in Jamaica) soup with pig’s tail, left-over ham bone and a medley of root veggies. I’ve consumed this soup numerous time over the years. It’s such a rich and flavorful one. Moreover, it’s loaded with great fibers,proteins, vitamins and other beneficial nutrients that are great for the body.

I couldn’t help myself. As I  fetched my left-over ham bone, I smiled. I felt rather naughty.  After all, it’s still the festive season. I figured we should go out in a succulent ‘bang’. Thus, I also included a fresh squeeze of coconut milk for added flavors and richness.

Of course, no red bean soup is one without a medley of root vegetables (carrots, celery, sweet potatoes, onions, etc.) I also incorporated yellow yam (ground provision) along with boiled dumplings made with a combination of whole-wheat flour, cornmeal and all-purpose flour.

Red bean soup was also flavored and spiced with fresh thyme, all spices (pimento), fresh ginger, garlic, diced onions, scallion, scotch bonnet pepper and dried seasonings. With a packet of noodle soup and  veggie bouillon, my soup simmered on low and came to a beautiful consistency and finish.

Oh, we were on a roll. We chowed down on left-over Jamaican fruit cake served with strawberries and mint. Of course, we had to include a little spirit. And because I feel like every moment should be a celebration, I served chardonnay in champagne chutes. Those chutes are gifts from Dorna. Yeah….I was happy.

JAMAICAN FRUIT CAKE WITH STRAWBERRIES AND MINT
JAMAICAN FRUIT CAKE WITH STRAWBERRIES AND MINT

 

 

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DUTTY GAL (DIRTY GIRL) MEAL…..JAMAICAN DISH

Don’t let the name fool you. ‘Dutty Gal’ dish is one originated in the island of Jamaica as a poor man’s dish. It’s basically a meal consisting of good omega fatty acids that are heart healthy. I really don’t know how the meal got its name. And frankly, I don’t care; because, this amazing fish (mackerel) is packed in delicious tomato sauce that is succulent.

The past week I realized my diet consisted of too much meat. Yes, the dishes were fantastic and tasty, but, deep down I knew that I wasn’t having a balanced diet. I always like to have canned fish like sardines, tuna and mackerel on hand. As a result, I  ventured to my pantry and came upon a can of Grace mackerel packed in tomato sauce. Now that was a sure winner. It brought back memories of my days in the good old JA (Jamaica). My dear nephew who was spending part of his summer with me reminded me that the dish is called “Dutty Gal”. Oh boy, he couldn’t wait to dig in.

As such, I went to work. I softened an onion in a few teaspoons of olive oil. I also added a couple chopped plummy tomatoes. I love that. I knew for sure that I was gaining  needed lycopene, lutein, beta carotene and other nutrients from my tomatoes. And of course, I added minced scotch peppers (got to have my spice) with a splash of vinegar and a squeeze of lemon. Dutty Gal was sprinkled with cracked black pepper and a pinch of salt.

I served my Dutty Gal with boiled bananas and dumplings along with fried plantains.. A side dish of kale was also added. Would’ve loved steamed callaloo (Jamaican spinach), however, kale substituted quite well. A cool and refreshing drink of lemonade completed this awesome dish. My nephew and I were over the moon. Yea mon!