Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Caribbean Jerk Chicken

             I wanted something different, I felt the need to explore a flavour profile that I had pretty much ignored.  I wasn't sure exactly what until I saw a celebrity chef selling us some processed packaged stuff that paled in comparison to the real deal.  So I played around with this and came up with a quick simple marinade that tossed over some free-range chicken made for some seriously tasty chicken.  With flavours reflecting the Caribbean how could it not be a winner the zing of fresh lime and ginger, the warm undertones of earthy spices, a hit of chili and rum and all mellowed out by dark treacly muscovado brown sugar.  Served along side sticky coconut rice this chicken is a winner.

Caribbean Jerk Chicken

1/2 onion
4 cm piece of ginger
2 cloves garlic
2 tspns cinnamon
2 tspns all-spice
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 limes zest and juice
50 mils Dark rum
1 Tablespoon oil
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
chili to suit (I used two long red chilies  In the Caribbean they favour scotch bonnets)
1 tsp salt
Chicken pieces
Blend all the ingredients together in a liquidiser.  Toss chicken in marinade and leave for as long as you can 1 hour or better yet over night.  For the best flavour cook on the barbecue on a slow to medium heat and get some nice char flavours.  Otherwise roast pieces in oven until the juices run clear.
Sticky Coconut Rice
Simply cook rice as you would normally but replace the water or stock with coconut milk.





Thursday, February 14, 2013

Summer  Harvest

             This summer I traveled cross country several times as I moved from city living to small town coastal living.  As I drove you couldn't help but notice an abundance of road side stalls some of them completely reliant on an honesty box and some organised enough to be manned and offering eftpos!  With each trip I would notice stalls I hadn't noticed the first time it was foodie heaven.  There was an abundance of fresh plums, peaches and nectarines just perfect for eating with their juices dripping down your face after every delicious bite.  As January changed to February new stars emerged watermelon, fresh ears of sweet-corn, tomatoes, basil, courgettes and eggplants.  There are only so many times that a person can eat sweet-corn on the cob slathered in butter (no really there is) before you begin to want something a little different.  This salad is the one...... imagine the sweetness of corn, the fresh hit of lime from the dressing, the bite of chili, and the slight aroma of anise from freshly cut basil.  How you use this beautiful combination that's up to you.  I served this recently with Caribbean Jerk Chicken and some gorgeous sticky coconut rice.   (recipes to follow)

Sweet-corn, Tomato and Basil Salad.

4 corn on the cob (still in husks)
1 punnet cherry tomatoes (halved)
1 red capsicum (small dice)
2 spring onions (thin slice)
1 large handful basil leaves
1 red chili (finely chopped

3 limes zest and juice
100mls olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tspn honey

Soak the corn in water for 30 minutes.  Place on an oven tray and roast in a oven pre-heated to 180c for 1 hour.

Oven-Roasted Corn

Extra sweet cooked in the husk

When the corn is cooked using a sharp knife remove the corn from the cob.  Toss through with tomatoes, capsicum, spring onion, basil and chili.  
Combine the lime, oil, honey, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk until combined.  Drizzle over salad and serve.