Sunday, 21 August 2016

Caribbean Food Week Street Party Spread

Caribbean Food Week #CFW2016 is entering it's fifth year with the celebrations starting on August 22nd - 29th. Grace Foods, the UK'S number 1 Caribbean food and drink company will be hosting series of foodie events in Windrush Square in Brixton. They've asked food bloggers to come up with their best street party spread and Caribbean recipes using the beautiful hamper that was given. Now, living in Costa del West Midlands, the weather is not always the best. But what I love about Caribbean food is that it's perfect for the warm weather but also gives a tropical element in colder rainier climates. Anyway, I invited some of my friends round and had a light afternoon feast of some Caribbean inspired foods using some of these products. 

Jerk pork chops
Rice and Peas
Fried Plantains
Callaloo Balls
Tomato, Celery, Spring Onion and Coriander salad.

Other items that I would of have included if time permitted were saltfish fritters and festivals.

Now as my hamper contained Jerk BBQ sauce it was only right that I marinaded the pork chops with this. This was simply, a couple of drizzles on each pork chop and baked in the oven. Of course, if the weather permits use the barbecue. There are many rice and peas recipes out there on the net and via cookbooks and you need not to worry about the quality of the beans as having used Dunns River Peas and Beans they make a wonderful rice and peas. The callaloo (a wild form of spinach) was turned into a lovely side of callaloo balls, simply by adding breadcrumbs, egg yolk, Dunns River Tropical seasoning and then rolled into balls. 

I already use many of the products included in the hamper and know how wonderful and authentic they taste. If you get chance, visit your local supermarket as there is likely to be special offers on some of these wonderful products during #CFW2016. For more Caribbean Food Week inspiration check out other entries and recipe ideas via their Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer: I received the hamper for review purposes.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Caribbean Pimms and Grace Summer Drinks - Caribbean Food Week

At the time of writing this, the weather (in the West Midlands) is sunny, but I''m not sure for how long for. As documented in previous posts, summer is my favourite season and what drink is more synonymous with summer than Pimms. Pimms, the English based drink with a wonderful blend of gin, liqueur, fruit and spices is enjoyed by many, particularly on a lovely warm summers day. There are many additional ingredients that can be added to make Pimms and I have my own version which I often adapted. But, the lovely people at Caribbean Food Week have given a tropical twist to the English classic drink. Caribbean Pimms and Grace Summer Drinks is perfect for the bank holiday and carnival weekend or if you want to evoke Summer in the up and coming Autumn season.
My Caribbean Pimms is a little dark because I also used a can of Caribbean cola. I loved the combination of fruit and slight fire from the ginger beer, I found the Pimms to be incredibly moreish and was quickly gone by family. This drink is incredibly easy to make, all you now need is your flip flops and some Bob Marley music playing in the background.

Recipe for Caribbean Pimms and Grace Summer Drinks from Caribbean Food Week.
Serves 6, Preparation Time 5 minutes, cooking time 0 minutes.

250ml Pimms no1
4 cans of Grace ginger beer
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 apple, cored and chopped
1 orange, sliced
3 strawberries, sliced
1 handful of fresh mint leaves.

Optional ingredients
1/2 lime, sliced
1/2 lemon, slice
2-3 fresh pineapple, chopped into chunks.

1) Mix all the ingredients together in a large glass pitcher
2) Serve chilled or over ice and enjoy!


Monday, 24 August 2015

Ackee and Saltfish - Caribbean Food Week.

It's Caribbean Food Week ....... Yay. For those of you who do not know, Caribbean Food Week, hosted by Grace Foods is in it's third year and all things Caribbean will be celebrated with supermarket offers, promotions and mouthwatering photo on social media sites between 24th - 31st August. I'm quite glad to be honest, it's about time the wonderful, exotic and delicious dishes from my childhood is celebrated in the media and it's also a wonderful opportunity for people to see how accessible Caribbean dishes are.
The first recipe that I have decided to share for Caribbean Food Week is a the national dish of Jamaica (where my family are originally from). When people think of Jamaican cuisine, they tend to acknowledge "jerk chicken" "curry goat' and "patties". These three dishes are of course popular in Jamaica and the Jamaican dispoara but the national dish of Jamaica is ackee and salt fish. What is ackee, I hear you say and what is salt fish? Well ackee is grown on trees, it resembles scrambled egg and has a delicate taste. The salt fish is salted cod, a dish that stems from our colonial era. I would eat this for breakfast over the weekend as per traditional in Jamaica, but if this is too much for you, it also works well with for dinner. I like to serve this with fried plantains and roasted breadfruit, but this works just as well with some crusty fresh bread. Simply divine. 
Ackee and Saltfish

Gorgeous hamper for Caribbean Food Week. 
Recipe from Caribbean Food Week
Serves 4 people
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes

1 tin 540g Dunns Rivee Jamaican Ackee, drained
2 tins 125g Grace Salt Fish, drained and flaked
2 onions, chopped
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 tsp Dunns River Thyms
2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste.

1) Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the garlic, onions, spring onions, peppers and scotch bonnet peppers on a high heat for around 3-5 minutes until sweated.
2) Drain your Grace Salt Fish tins and flake with a fork directly into the pan, add your Dunn's River Thyme for 3 to 5 minutes.
3) Add your remaining tomatoes and your Dunn's River Ackee and fry for a further 1-2 minutes until al your ingredients and flavours are well-combined. When stirring the ackee, be careful to stir these very lightly as to not break up the ackee which are quite fragile.
4) Add salt and pepper to taste.

Disclaimer: I received a lovely hamper from Caribbean Food Week. I was not required to write a positive review and as always, all opinions are my own.
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