After yesterday’s culinary inferno, otherwise known as Fiery Roasted Jerk Potatoes, I thought I would take it down a couple notches, and Scoville units, today. The peas here are actually red kidney beans. This beans and rice dish is the one of Jamaica’s favorite comfort foods and is a common part of the Sunday meal.
This dish would complement hot and spicy jerk meats really well. The Serrano peppers add flavor but not much heat since they’re simmered whole. The creamy coconut milk also tones keeps it mild. Cheap, easy, healthy and it tastes great. What’s not to like?
Jamaican Rice and Peas
* 1-1/2 cup dry red kidney beans
* 2 Tablespoons bacon fat or olive oil
* 1 medium onion, chopped
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon thyme
* 1 can coconut milk
* 1-1/3 cup water (or chicken or vegetable broth)
* 2 Serrano peppers, whole
* 2 cups medium or long grained brown rice
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, optional
Rinse beans and cover with several inches of water in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer until beans are nearly soft. Drain beans and set aside.
In a large saucepan, heat bacon fat or olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft. Add the thyme, coconut milk, water or broth, and beans and simmer, covered, for ten minutes. Add the peppers and rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 30-40 minutes or until all of the moisture has been absorbed by the rice.
Season with salt and pepper and top with chopped cilantro, if desired.
The heat from the potatoes sneaks up on you. During the first couple bites you only notice the depth of flavor. Then, after pausing to take a break, your mouth is on fire. You take a sip of a drink to cool down. Then you crave more. The cycle then repeats itself over and over again.
These are a great break from your standard roasted potatoes. They’re loaded with colorful onions and peppers and coated with a unique spice blend.
A good friend of mine would probably be embarrassed if he knew that I’m telling you he used the words of John Mellencamp to describe the heat of these potatoes: “it hurts so good.” And so said friend shall remain nameless.
But really, you might want to pair these with a mellower main dish or, if you’re really heat intolerant, de-seed the Serrano or cut back on the cayenne.
Fiery Roasted Jerk Potatoes
6-7 medium russet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into a 3/4" dice
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 cup finely chopped sweet bell peppers
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 Serrano pepper, finely chopped (remove seeds if you’d like to lower the heat)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon Sriracha
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss well to coat. Spread evenly on a lightly greased half sheet pan. Roast for 40-50 minutes, turning the potatoes once 20 minutes in, until the potatoes are browned and crisp. For extra crispy potatoes, broil for a couple minutes at the end of the baking time, keeping a watchful eye on the oven to prevent burning.
If your dream trip to Jamaica is more cocktails by the beach and less yoga-detox retreat, this drink is for you (you other folks, check out that carrot-ginger-lime juice I posted earlier today).
I kept seeing recipes for Jamaican Calyspo hot coffee but when the temps are in the mid-eighties, that’s just not going to fly. If you want it as authentic as can be, use Jamaican rum and some Tia Maria coffee liqueur.
Frozen Calyspo Coffee
* 1 cup strong coffee, at room or fridge temperature
* 1 Tablespoon sugar
* 1 Tablespoon rum
* 3 Tablespoon coffee liqueur
* 2 Tablespoons half-and-half
* 2 cups ice.
* Chocolate syrup for garnish, optional
* whipped cream for garnish, optional
Combine the coffee, sugar, rum, coffee liqueur, half-and-half and ice in a blender and process until smooth. Pour into two glasses and top with whipped cream and chocolate sauce, if desired.
I’ve bought those half gallon jugs of Odwalla carrot juice several times but never managed to actually finish one. I wish somebody had told me the Jamaican secret to making carrot juice awesome- ginger and lime.
We had some beautiful weekend weather with light winds, which made it the perfect time to do some surfing. This was the perfect post-surf pick-me-up. If the ginger doesn’t wake you up, the color sure will.
I used my Vita-mix to make the juice but I’m sure a regular blender will work as well, though you may want to strain it to make sure it’s free from pulp. And yes, that dayglow/safety/flourescent orange is the real color of the drink. No Photoshop magic there.
* 2 cups peeled and chopped carrots, about 6 medium carrots
* 2 cups cold water
* 1 teaspoon grated ginger
* 2 Tablespoons lime juice
* sugar to taste
* crushed ice for serving
Combine the carrots, water, ginger and lime juice in a blender and process until smooth. Strain, if necessary, and and sugar to taste. Pour over crushed ice.