If you had to create a menu of delicious food for a street party, what would you make? That was the challenge Grace Foods set bloggers in the lead up to Caribbean Food Week.

Now, given that Guyana shares a lot of similarities with other Caribbean countries, you would think this wasn’t really a challenge. However there are some distinct differences between these countries, so deviating away from what I’ve always known my Mum to cook allowed for some incredible dishes. Watch my Instagram story below if you missed all the excitement in the kitchen.

So, what was in the hamper?

  • Curry powder
  • Econa pepper sauce
  • Pepper sauce number 2
  • Jerk chicken fry mix
  • Jerk marinade
  • BBQ sauce
  • Ackee
  • Coconut milk
  • Peas and beans
  • Plantain chips
  • Coconut water
  • Ginger beer
  • Aloe Vera juice
  • Pepperpot soup mix

A modern take on a Caribbean classic

Jerk chicken is an absolute must but I wanted to do something away from the norm. So I chose to adapt a classic and try some pulled jerk chicken patties.

It’s super easy. Marinade your chicken breasts with the jerk marinade, a small amount of BBQ sauce and about a tablespoon of the econa pepper sauce (I love my food spicy)

Set aside either overnight or if you’re cooking on the day, then for a few hours. Place on to a tray, into the oven and bake.

For the dough, my mum and I didn’t actually measure out quantities which I know is so redundant in a food blog. We like to live on the edge like that.

Using plain flour, add a tablespoon of the curry powder and half a teaspoon of turmeric. Cut up some cold butter and mix everything together, crumbling the butter with your hands. Slowly add some cold water and mix until the dough comes together. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for about 30 mins.

Meanwhile, let the chicken slightly cool and then shred. Feel free to add more pepper sauce and/or BBQ sauce to enhance taste if you feel it requires it. (I naturally added more pepper sauce!)

Divide your dough roughly about the size of golf balls and roll them out into a circular shape. Spoon some of the shredded chicken on one side of the circle, leaving about 1 or 2 centimeters at the edge. Fold over the other end to make a semicircle shape and using a fork, press down along the edges to seal the dough. Pierce the top of the dough with your fork, add an egg wash and when they’re all done, bake until golden.

Not a bad experiment!

Old and new dishes for Caribbean Food Week

One thing is apparent after years of watching my Mum in the kitchen. She never abandons what already works. Mixing both old and new can have some incredible results, which we found out.

Cook-up rice is a true Guyanese staple. Rice is cooked in a coconut milk and water mixture, with peas and beans added for texture and flavor.

To mix things up a bit, we used the fried chicken mix to fry some prawns. Yes… unconventional, but with the amount of chicken and prawn combinations out there, this seemed like a logical step. One that thankfully, paid off.

We soon turned to drinks to quench our thirst. Ginger beer is a bit of a hit and miss with me. However, Mum concocted a lovely ginger beer lemonade mixture that I completely approve of. Simply mix lemon juice with sugar and add your ginger beer. (Thank us later.)

In the end, we created a delightful spread using most of the items sent my Grace Foods.

Caribbean Food Week is around the corner, so why not try some of these recipes or have a go at creating your own inspired menu with the array of ingredients Grace Foods have to offer.

 

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