Friday, February 24, 2012

Cool Jerk

The first Friday of Lent and I realized I had nothing but chicken to cook.  Correction, I had nothing but chicken and a really nice pork roast.  Oops...the TERROR!!

Thank goodness for the Internet! saved the day!  I revised two of their recipes to make a Caribbean dinner that made me wonder if I wasn't actually in Jamaica. I used their Jerk-Spiced Shrimp and Caribbean Rice and Peas recipes to make a tropical getaway for my taste buds.

If you do not have a grill, cook the shrimp any way you prefer, but I do suggest a cast iron skillet or grill pan.  Serve with Red Stripe Light Beer, Rum Punch, or a tropical lemonade and no matter where you live, you'll suddenly be transported to a place where steel drums ring and ocean breezes soothe.

Reggae Rice
Serves at least 5 hungry folks

2 tsp. coconut oil (or olive oil)
1 small onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups brown texmati rice (or basmati)
2 & 1/2 cups water
8 oz. chicken broth
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (I used lite)
1 can pigeon peas (I used pinto, but field peas are good)
Grated zest of one lemon
1 tsp. salt
Fresh parsley, chopped

Heat oil in Dutch oven, add onions and bell pepper.  Cook until softened, about 3-5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for additional 30 seconds.

Add rice, water, broth, and coconut milk.  Simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes or until rice is tender.  Add in peas, lemon zest, salt, and parsley.

Cool Jerk Shrimps (Yes, I Said Shrimps)
Serves 4 Large Helpings


2 tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder (or 1 tsp. if not using fresh garlic later)
1 tsp. red pepper
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. allspice
1 tbsp. melted coconut oil (or olive oil)
Juice of one fresh lime (mandatory - must be fresh!)
1 clove garlic, crushed (nix if you used 1 tsp. garlic powder)
2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp
Cooking Spray (either regular or coconut cooking spray)

Combine paprika through garlic in a small bowl.  Add 1 tablespoon of seasoning to oil, lime juice, and fresh garlic.

Preheat grill.  If using grill pan or skillet, heat right before you're ready to eat.  These shrimp cook fast!  Place shrimp in a bowl after being rinsed well.  Add seasoning marinade and a pinch or two of dry seasoning.  Combine well.

Take a large piece of nonstick foil and spray with cooking spray.  Once grill has reached around 350, place shrimp on foil and transfer to grill racks.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked and plump. If using a grill pan or skillet, cook until heated through and plump.

Serve with Reggae Rice and get to jammin'!!

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