It’s Christmas time, and that means plenty of getting together with family and friends … and that means plenty of wining and dining. Here are some simple recipes for classic Jamaican holiday favourites. Add your own personal flair for flavour.
Roast Chicken with a Bread Stuffing
1 whole chicken, about 5 1/2 pounds
6 cups toasted bread cubes
3 tbsps chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsps dried poultry seasoning
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
1. Wash chicken and pat dry. Cook chicken giblets in water until tender; reserve 3/4 cup of the stock. In a mixing bowl combine
bread cubes, parsley, onion, celery and seasonings.
2. Add milk, beaten egg, chopped giblets, and stock. Stuff chicken. Roast, uncovered, at 350°F for about 22 minutes per pound, to about 175°F on meat thermometer.
3. Remove stuffing to a serving dish for serving. Store in a tightly covered container – do not store stuffing in chicken.
Serves eight-10 persons
This recipe needs to be started the day before serving. (Trim all visible fat.)
Pork loin roast (3-4 pounds)
3 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup light soy sauce – omit soy sauce if you are
hypertensive and use more garlic, thyme and onion
Scotch bonnet pepper (minced)
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1/2 tsp Jamaican allspice
1 small onion
1. Place all ingredients together and blend.
2. Using a knife, pierce the pork all over and rub the spice mixture into the pork. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place pork in roasting pan and loosely cover with foil.
4. Roast for one hour and then uncover and roast for another 10-40 minutes (20-25 minutes per pound).
5. After cooking, let pork stand for 10 minutes before carving.
(165) calories approx per serving (3-4 ounces)
Oxtail and Beans
1 onion, minced
6-8 grains whole pimento
1/2 cup scallion chopped
1/2 pint broad beans (dried) or 1 tin
Thyme to taste (about 1 tsp dried
or 2 tsp fresh)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsps cooking oil
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsps ketchup
Dash of soy sauce
1. Season oxtail and allow to marinate for at least one hour in a covered container in the refrigerator.
2. Use a heavy saucepan (or pressure cooker), heat oil and brown well. Pour off oil and add water a little at a time; also add broad beans.
3. Cover and cook on a low simmer until meat and beans are very tender. (If using pressure cooker, put enough water to cover meat and beans and cook for 30 minutes or until tender).
3. Carrots, spinners (long dumplings), onions or any vegetable of your choice may be added to gravy. Do not pressure the spice (pimento) or vegetables.
4. Serve with enough gravy to cover meat.
Serves four persons.
Buy pickled mackerel that is firm to the touch.
Allow one medium size, very dry coconut for each pound of fish.
2lb salted mackerel
3pt coconut milk
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp vinegar
1 tomato, chopped
3 tbsps ketchup
6-8 pried pimento berries
1 stalk scallion, chopped
1 sprig thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Scotch bonnet pepper
Hearty serving of tender loving care
1. Having selected firm, fairly large mackerel, remove heads and wash in plenty of cold water. Use lime or lemon to help clean and flavour fish.
2. Soak in hot water for two to three hours, changing once or twice to remove surplus salt. Fish, however, must not to be too fresh or it will be unpalatable.
3. When fish is about half-soaked, prepare coconut milk in the usual method, extracting rich milk, about 1 1/2 pints for each 1lb of fish.
4. Boil milk in a thick-bottomed Dutch pot, or in a pressure cooker, the same way you would to make coconut oil, but the sauce is used just before the milk turns to oil, when a sweetish custard is formed. Add vinegar, chopped onions, tomatoes, Scotch bonnet pepper and other ingredients to the custard.
5. Flake the flesh of the mackerel and add to liquid. Dumplings made of flour, or flour and grated green bananas, can be cooked in the gravy.
5. Serve with all the gravy and garnish with green sweet pepper or as desired.
Serves six persons.
Rice and Peas
1 medium-sized can red kidney beans
1 can coconut milk
2 cups of rice
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 tbsp oil
1 Scotch bonnet pepper (whole, do not chop up)
1. Drain the liquid from the can of beans into a measuring cup and add the can of coconut milk and enough water to make four cups of liquid.
2. Place liquids in a pot with beans, onions, garlic, thyme and oil, bring to a boil.
3. Add rice and stir for a minute. Reduce heat to medium-low.
4. Place Scotch bonnet pepper on top of liquid and cover tightly for 30 minutes, or until rice is cooked. Remove Scotch bonnet pepper before serving.
Serves: Four to five
Smashed Potatoes with Garlic
Prep and Cook Time: 10 minutes
3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
3 medium cloves garlic, pressed
3 tbsps low-fat milk or dairy-free milk
beverage (such as soy or rice milk)
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1. Fill the bottom of the steamer with two inches of water.
2. While steam is building up in steamer, press garlic and let sit for at least five minutes to enhance its health-promoting properties.
3. Cut potatoes into 1/2-inch cubes, leaving skin on.
4. Steam potatoes for 10 minutes.
5. Mash potatoes with olive oil, garlic, and milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Christmas Veggie ‘Tun’ Cornmeal
7 cups of water (reserve a cup)
2 sachets Miracle coconut milk, (mixed according to
1/2 lb cubed pumpkin
1 packet cock soup
2 stalks of scallion, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 small cabbage, shredded
1 can Miracle mixed vegetables
6 okras, cut into rounds
1lb Miracle refined cornmeal
1. Bring water to boil in a medium-sized heavy-bottom pot. Add coconut milk, pumpkin and seasonings. Cook for approximately three minutes.
2. Mix in cornmeal with the 1 cup of reserved water and add the coconut milk liquid. Stir rapidly, in a circular motion until cornmeal is cooked, about 10 to 15 minutes, or until cornmeal is a pale yellow.
3. Stir in vegetables and allow to steam.
Serves three to four persons.
Gungo Rice and Peas
1 cup gungo peas
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
2 cups rice
3 sprigs thyme
2 stalks escallion
3 cloves garlic
1 Scotch bonnet pepper
5-10 pimento seeds
A small piece of ginger
Salt to taste
1. Wash gungo peas and drain.
2. Place gungo and garlic in a large pot then cover with water. Bring to boil until tender, topping up water as necessary.
3. Add coconut milk, thyme, escallion, pimento seeds, garlic, salt and let boil for about five minutes.
4. Then add rice, margarine and whole pepper, cover pot, turn down the heat and let rice simmer slowly for about 25-30 minutes.
5. Do not open or stir rice during this process or it will become sticky.
6. Serve hot.
Crunchy Sweet Potato Wedges
4 small sweet
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp extra virgin
1. Wash, peel and parboil potatoes. Cool. Cut each potato into eight wedges.
2. Combine the bread crumbs and paprika.
3. Toss potato wedges in a bowl with the oil until coated. Add bread crumb mixture and toss again.
4. Spray baking sheet with no-stick spray. Spread wedges on sheet. Bake at 475°F for 25-30 minutes or until crisp and golden brown. Turn occasionally.
Makes four servings
Saturated fat: 1g
Note: leave the skin
on for extra fibre.
1lb butter or margarine, softened
1lb dark brown sugar
1 doz eggs
2 tsps vanilla extract
2 tsps baking powder
2 tsps baking soda
2 tsps burnt sugar
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste
1/3 cup rum
2 fruit mixture
1. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until pale yellow.
2. Add two eggs at a time, mixing well after each addition.
3. Add vanilla and burnt sugar. In a medium bowl, sift together all dry ingredients. Add slowly to the large bowl, mixing well.
4. Add about two cups of the fruit mixture. Mix well. Pour into well-greased and floured cake tins.
5. Bake at 350°F for about an one hour, or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.
6. Once the cake is cooled (do not remove it from the tin), pour approximately 1/4 cup of rum over it. Cover tightly with aluminium foil.
2 cups grated sweet cassava
1 1/2 cups grated coconut
2 cups granulated sugar
1 tbsp McLas vanilla
1 tsp McLas almond flavouring
2 tsp McLas rose water
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cups raisin
1 tsp marmalade
1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Pour mixture in a 10-inch buttered baking dish.
3. Bake at 370°F for 50 minutes, or until inserted knife comes out clean.
Serve warm or cold.
Jamaican Rum Punch
4 cups water
1 cup lime or lemon juice
3 cups strawberry-flavoured syrup
2 cups Jamaican white rum
1. Mix all ingredients together in a punch bowl. Serve over ice cubes with a piece of lime or lemon.
2. Water and rum may be added to weaken or strengthen as needed
1/8 tsp ground allspice (pimento) or about 12 whole allspice (optional)
6 oz dried sorrel
2 rounded tbsps dry ginger
8 cups water
2 1/2 cups water for redraft
1 1/2 cups white sugar
Yields 8 1/2 cups of drink
1. Spread the sorrel on aluminum foil or a white cloth, which will make it easy to spot and remove any debris or unfit sorrel pieces.
2. After you have cleaned the sorrel, pour it into a large cooking pot with eight cups of water. Add the two rounded tablespoons of ginger.
3. Boil the mixture for 10 minutes after it begins to boil. Remove immediately and pour through a strainer into a suitable container.
4. Return the remains from the strainer to the cooking pot and add two and a half cups of water. Bring to a rapid boil again and remove after 10 minutes.
5. Strain the mixture and discard the residue.
6. Sweeten with one and a half cups of white sugar, or to taste.
7. Cool then serve over ice.
Refrigerate the remainder.
Sorrel and Grape Juice
(Full of heart-healthy antioxidants)
2 lb sorrel
1/2 lb ginger root
6 whole cloves
4 dried grains of pimento
5 pints boiling water
3 cinnamon leaves
1/2 gallon Welch’s grape juice
1. Cut sorrel sepals from seeds and wash well.
2. Put sepals in crock jar with ginger cloves, pimento and cinnamon leaves.
3. Pour on boiling water and cover with a cloth. Set aside for 24 hours.
4. Strain and add Welch’s grape juice at the end.
5. Add a little lime and/or rum if desired.
6. Bottle and chill.