YEP, FISHING/FARMING WERE ON MY MIND

In the scheme of things, it seems like the ocean and the land were great players in my pot. It makes me wonder, “Could I survive with a net and some fertile soil?” And, the answer is,  yes I could!” There goes my imagination again.

But guys, this is for real. I relied on those hardworking farmers and fisher men/women to once again place food on my table. As usual, my friendly fish monger did most of the job for me with my snapper by scaling and cleaning.

So, when I returned home, it was just left for me to score and then season fish with salt and black pepper to taste. I dried fish with paper towels and stuffed cavities with fresh thyme for added flavors. I also placed a few all spice berries or pimento inside marks.

Fish(bone-in) were pan-seared on both sides for approximately five minutes on each sides.

PAN-SEARED SNAPPERS
PAN-SEARED SNAPPER FISH

These were then placed in a spicy and aromatic brown sauce consisting of bell peppers, carrots, onions, minced scotch bonnet peppers, tomatoes, pimento, and garlic. These were simmered under low heat with a splash of vinegar/water, pinch of sugar, soy sauce and browning.

The snapper were then added back to skillet in order to soak up all the delicious and exotic flavors.

PAN-SEARED SNAPPERS AND VEGGIES SOAKING UP SAUCE
PAN-SEARED FISH  AND VEGGIES SOAKING UP SAUCE

Fish was served on a bed of Jamaican spinach (callaloo) and steamed rice and gungo peas (also called pigeon peas).(Not in pic).

 

 

 

A PICKLED MACKEREL DISH I COULDN’T RESIST ##BACK TO MY JAMAICAN ROOTS

Once in a while I like to go here; that salty and irresistible treat. It’s a delicious dish from my Jamaican ‘roots’ that is mainly served with boiled green bananas and dumplings. And if you’re a true Jamaican, you know that fried plantains and steamed callaloo(spinach) or cabbage have to be added as sides. Because it’s a bit sodium packed I consume it infrequently.

Steamed Callaloo with fried plantain
Steamed Callaloo with fried plantain
STEAMED CABBAGE/CARROT
STEAMED CABBAGE/CARROT

Pickled mackerel comes in fillet and bone-in. Both types are packed with sodium as a way of flavoring and preserving the fish. So, I secured the fillet type and went to work.

Preparation:

  1. Rinse with tap cold water for a few times.
  2. Place in stock pot, cover with cold water and boil for about five minutes.
  3. Drain and rinse. Then, repeat boil for another five minutes
  4. Drain and rinse with cold water if needed after doing a taste test for amount of salt.
  5. Flake fish and set aside.
  6. In a skillet under low to medium heat, add oil and saute chopped onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, scotch bonnet peppers and crushed all spice (pimento). Season with pinch of salt, black pepper and sprinkle of sugar.
  7. Add flaked mackerel with a drizzle of vinegar and lemon/lime.
  8. If desire add a sprinkle black pepper and finish with chopped scallion/or parsley.
  9. Serve with sides of choice.

Guys, least I forget, I never serve my pickled mackerel without a slice of nature’s butter (avocado).

NATURE'S BUTTER (AVOCADO)
NATURE’S BUTTER (AVOCADO)

 

IT’S THE MORN AFTER……DECIDED TO GO GREEN, JAMAICAN-STYLE ##CALLALOO

Early Saturday morn, I hopped out of bed with a huge smile on my face. Then, it hit me, it was the morn after.  I’ve been a naughty girl the previous night. After all, it was Friday night. Moreover, Christmas is a few days away.  A little spirit and bad/good grub were etched on my brain.The food was a wee bit salty and of course, some were sweet.

Come on guys, you know it; a combination as this is what drives our palate overdrive. With some music and a little gab with company, (good company), things can go a wee bit out of hand.  I’m afraid I had the time of my life. Mark you, I didn’t overdo it…..well, I don’t think so. Anyway, as the sun lifted its golden head through my blinds, I realized I had to go whip my derriere into shape.

Returned to base and that’s where I went to business on my chop board. You see, the previous day, I fetched yours truly some Jamaican spinach (callaloo). Love that indoor farmer’s market. The operators cater to the residents of the neighborhood. Every ethnic foods, ground provisions and other are in-house so to speak.

Chopped Jamaican spinach (Callaloo)
Chopped Jamaican spinach (Callaloo)

In a sturdy hot  skillet, a little coconut oil was drizzled. Chopped onions, garlic, tomato, scallion were softened as well as seasoned along with salt and pepper. A sprig of thyme was also added. Thank God the callaloo crop was of the tender kind. Moreover, I didn’t have to add any liquid as the callaloo emitted its own fluid.

I did a quick toss of all the ingredients and watched my dear fiber food came alive. As you can observe, it’s quite brilliant in hue. It took me virtually less than fifteen minutes to steam this amazing veggie.

And, like a true Jamaican, I served my steamed callaloo with a few pieces of fried plantain. Oh, what beautiful contrast!  And yes, I added a toasty English muffin. Ahh, I’m afraid I’ve to go there, I also added a few tiny pieces of smoked ham. Come on guys, it’s the yuletide season. I didn’t say I was a saint.

Steamed Callaloo with fried plantain
Steamed Callaloo with fried plantain

Hurray for callaloo! Any spinach will do; but, I’ve to give my dear Jamaican spinach a huge shout out. Yeah mon!

Guys, as always, be kind to your loved ones as well as your beautiful.