CARIBBEAN - Summer 2022 (Jul-Sept) Cuisine of the Quarter

Looks fantastic!


I had to do jerk something at some point, so last night I made jerk kebabs. I used the jerk marinade from Jerk: Barbecue from Jamaica, by Hellen Willinsky. I make it as written, with the exception of using a small amount of Carolina reaper paste instead of the single chile called for. It takes very little of that paste to get a very hot marinade, but I love the flavor (yes, the flavor) of the reaper. I’ve used this marinade in the past on soy curls and other meat substitutes to good effect. Last night I decided to try it with the Daring chicken that I’ve been playing with this summer. The Daring chicken pieces were thawed in the marinade in a ziploc, then skewered (I alternated some grape tomatoes in there because I need to keep up with what’s coming out of the garden and CSA box), and they went on the grill. These were delightfully spicy and smoky from the grill.

I served with some leftover okra with scotch bonnet and coconut, which is described upthread. While the texture became very soft upon reheating, the flavor actually improved, as the coconut was coming through more. A fresh batch of rice on the side.

Here’s a link to the Amazon previewfor a newer edition of the Jerk book. I have the old 1990 edition, but the recipe is the same, and you can see it in the book preview if you scroll.


I heated up some leftover arroz con gandules for dinner, with veg and fried maduros (ripe plantain) with a little sour cream.

Also applied a little bit of pique that I started making last week. Recipe:


Bought some green plantains for tostones.

Now trying to figure out what else to make with them!

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This pasta dish comes from Caribbean Potluck by Michelle and Suzanne Rousseau (the same ladies who wrote Provisions). It is supposed to be a pasta salad, but I ate it warm. You roast chunks of eggplant with tomatoes and onion, all tossed in olive oil, fresh thyme, cilantro, and Scotch bonnet peppers. This gets tossed with pasta, and finished with feta and more cilantro. It’s kinda like pasta alla norma with a Caribbean twist. It was good, although I can’t say I would make it again. I let time slip away from me and it was an easy way to get dinner on the table quickly.


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Finally got around to making doubles. These were highly anticipated by Mr. MM, who had seen some of my cookbooks open to doubles recipes and kept wanting to know when we were having them. Well, some life things and a migraine delayed it a few days, but here we are. I didn’t follow any one recipe. I looked at the recipes (there are several) on Trini Cooking with Natasha on YouTube, and the recipe in Wendy Rahamut’s book, and Taymer Mason’s, and the one in Culinaria: The Caribbean, and a few others. I ended up doing something in between YouTube Natasha’s and Taymer Mason’s. And of course I had to convert the bara to be gluten-free.

So starting with the bara, I noticed that Taymer Mason’s recipe and the one in Culinaria both called for split pea flour, and since I was leaning towards using it anyway, I did. My other flours were brown rice and tapioca, twice as much of each of those as the pea flour. I wanted a slack dough, so I used half as much psyllium powder as I normally do for a pizza dough, and a couple tablespoons more water. Also used a little bit of sugar, which I don’t usually do, but most of the bara recipes called for some. All the recipes have in common that they use both yeast and baking soda. They usually have some turmeric or saffron or curry powder in there for color. I went with a small amount of curry powder. The Natasha videos on YouTube were very helpful in understanding the technique. My dough was very slack and sticky, and even on a well-oiled surface it was difficult to get it up and into the oil without it falling apart. I found it easiest to just shape the dough with my well-oiled hands and drop it in. I was extremely happy with the way the bara fried up. They were puffy, soft, and flexible, with a light interior. They tasted great too - almost buttery, even though there was no butter involved.

For the filling, I cooked the chickpeas in the Instant Pot, unseasoned except for salt, then finished the dish on the stove. I mostly used Natasha’s seasoning - she uses green seasoning and amchar masala, or at least she does in one version. I had made up the green seasoning a couple days earlier, and had everything to make amchar masala. I did include sautéed onion and garlic, which Natasha doesn’t use, but other recipes do. I made much less filling than any of the recipes, as there are only two of us (I also scaled down the bara). The amchar masala ends up being dark in color, so my chickpeas might look darker than some versions. The chickpeas simmered in the seasoning for a good long while, and were very soft by the time we ate.

My accompaniments were cucumber chutney and green mango chutney. For the former I used the most recent of Natasha’s recipes, and for the latter I used Wendy Rahamut’s.

Put it all together and the doubles were delicious. I would tweak the bara dough a bit for next time. I would increase the psyllium back to my normal amount, but would keep the liquid the same as I used this time.


@MelMM as always, you inspire! Those doubles are gorgeous, both restaurant- and magazine-worthy. If they tasted half as good as they look you had an awesome dinner!


I have spent much of my vacations since high school in various parts of the Caribbean. A good part of it sailing. Most people in the US think of the Caribbean as being either Spanish speaking like Puerto Rico and Cuba or English as in Jamaica or the British Virgin Islands. There’s also a lot of Dutch and French with a smattering of smaller outposts of places like Denmark and Sweden. So the food is remarkably varied. My preference is for the French islands because the food is just so incredibly good. At a little restaurant that’s basically not much more than a cafeteria behind a strip mall sandwiched between a parking lot and a road I can get something like this -

Mahi mahi tataki with perfectly cooked frites. Cost me about $15.


Which islands have a Danish or Swedish element?

I know Curacao, Aruba and St Maarten have a Dutch colonial past.

Jamaica has at least one German village in the Blue Mountains, afaik.

I lucked out with good food in Grenada and a week of home cooking in Barbados.

When I was researching islands that had resorts with good food, Antigua was especially recommended for its food.

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I looked it up. Didn’t know St Croix , St John & St Thomas had been colonies of Denmark at one point.

And, I didn’t know St Barts had been a Swedish colony.

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A google search is a helpful resource. First went to the USVI many years ago. The supposed reason you drive on the left side of the road is due to the danish legacy. Doesn’t make any sense but that’s the story I was told.

Many of the islands have had multiple changes in colonial rule. St Barts being an example. While there are some elements from Swedish rule around, it’s primarily French these days though arguably the most famous bar keep and restauranteur on the island had the name Marius. There is a great story about the Cheeseburger in Paradise sign in front of Le Select.

Saba and Statia are also Dutch along with the ABC islands and St Maarten. SXM is often referred to as the dining capital of the Caribbean because of the concentration of good restaurants. Grand Case is packed from end to end. Anguilla also has some really good food.


My best friend in high school was from St Croix. She lived there because her dad was working for a Canadian bank that has branches throughout the Caribbean. Over his career, he and his family lived in Aruba, St Croix, St Thomas, St Lucia and Barbados. My friend married an American who was from NJ/ St Thomas. I was a bridesmaid at their wedding in Barbados.

My friend’s family is Bajan, and they might have been living in St Croix for 5 years, until Hurricane Hugo ripped the roof off their house, and my friend came to Canada to finish high school. Understandably, the past history re: the Danish colonizing St Croix never came up in conversation.

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Anyone made / eaten hudutu?

This was an interesting article.


I had an interesting appetizer at a Jamaican restaurant, Kingston Kitchen at the Village Inn, on Mackinac Island a couple of weeks ago. I’ve never had anything quite like them, in or out of the Caribbean - they called them Boom Boom Cheese Balls. Basically they were a deep fried ball of a breadcrumb-based mixture, well seasoned and with a strong cheddar flavor despite no visible bits of cheese. They served them with a jerk dipping sauce, heavy on the black pepper. Maybe an Americanized invention, but still delicious! Their jerk chicken and oxtail stew were also legit.



I thought this was delicious, although I think fish is maybe not the ideal protein (not sure it needs an animal protein at all, to be honest). Heavy on the Jamaican curry powder, lots of potatoes with onion, garlic and ginger, and the leftover fish. I used cod. My family doesn’t like flaky white fish, and I try to sneak it into dishes with lots of other stuff going on - one of them loved it, the other didn’t. It’s basically a big, spicy potato pancake, and not especially photogenic, so no picture.


It sounds like something that would be made with saltfish. I can see that working.

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It would work, but I don’t think it really needs that extra flavor.

Interestingly, in Barbados, I had a dish my friend’s family called Fish and Egg, made with leftover fried flying fish and eggs, and it was essentially a hash. They ate it in the morning.

She told me years later that it was a family recipe, not something other families necessarily ate. I can’t remember if potatoes were added.

Here is another fish cake, but made with sweet potatoes.

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Sounds tasty, even without the fish!

Reminded me of Pateta par Eeda ie Parsi eggs over potatoes — don’t know if you cale across or made that dish when My Bombay Kitchen was COTM?

My usual use for leftover fish is fish cutlets / patties which have mostly the same ingredients but need to be formed and fried — this is a clever way to get to a similar outcome with less fuss, so I will have to try it!

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