Friday, January 8, 2016

Jerk Fish

Tonight's Menu
Jerk fish
Fried plantains
Jamaican Coleslaw

Jerk style of cooking means Jamaican BBQ. Traditionally chicken and pork are cooked with the jerk seasoning which gets its distinctive taste from allspice and scotch bonnet peppers. Jerk seasoning could be made as a dry rub or a wet marinade and uses several spices as listed below. Traditionally Jerk meat was cooked in smoked pit fires imparting a distinctive smokey taste. Over time this technique evolved and oil barrels were used as smokers to save time.
You can use jerk seasoning to marinate any kind of meat. The longer the meat sits in the marinade the better it tastes. But fish is a delicate meat, so marinate only for 15-20 minutes.

Jerk Fish
4 fish fillets (any firm fish)
I used Basa fillets
1 small onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic
2 scotch bonnet peppers (or less as per your spice quotient)
1 stalk green onion, chopped
1 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp vinegar
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp allspice
1 tsp dry thyme
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ground ginger
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Take all the ingredients for marinade in a food processor and blend to form a smooth paste. Add a splash of rum (optional) and mix well.
  2. Marinate the fish fillets for a minimum of 15 min.
  3. Grill on medium high, turning once till cooked through and crisp.
  4. I baked these in the oven at 450 F for 10 minutes, without turning. After 10 minutes got rid of the water that collected in the tray. Cooked for another 5 minutes till sizzling.  

Jamaican Coleslaw
The vinaigrette dressing for this slaw is tangy and sweet. No mayonnaise is used so the slaw remains crisp. The longer the salad sits with the dressing, the better it gets.   
Ingredients: (serves 4-6)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp cider vinegar/white wine vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp granulated sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 small green cabbage, shredded
2 small carrot, shredded
1/2 large red onions, thinly sliced
Handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
  1. In large bowl, whisk together the first five ingredients.
  2. Add cabbage, carrot and green onions; toss to coat
  3. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. 

Fried plantains
Green plantains are starchy and taste like potatoes, but as they ripen they become yellow and soft and sweet. Fried sweet plantains are commonly served as a side to savoury dishes such as fish. Trick to making delish fried plantains is to know how to choose them. If you want sweet crisp dish then choose the riper bananas - the more beaten up and black the skin looks, the riper and sweeter they are.

Ingredients: (serves 4 as side dish)
2 Green plantains
Vegetable oil
Salt to taste (optional)
  1. Heat oil in a pan to medium high heat (about 340 F).
  2. Peel plantains and slice crosswise into 1/4 inch slices. 
  3. Carefully add plantains to oil and fry until golden yellow in color, about 2-3 minutes per side.
  4. Be careful to not burn these. The riper the plantains are the easier they are to burn. Just make sure to watch them and turn them as needed.
  5. With a slotted spoon, remove the plantains from the pan into a dish lined with paper towels, and sprinkle with salt, if desired. Serve immediately.

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