Going to Jamaica made me really crave the foods that I grew up with but that I’ve since sworn off since going gluten-free. I loved having saltfish fritters growing up, but I hadn’t eaten it in years because it wasn’t gluten-free (it’s made with a batter).
I thank my lucky stars that I was able to change that!
Here it is, in all of its gluten-free fabulosity. In my next trick, I’m going to try and see if I can make these babies paleo!
The Huffington Post recently published an article saying that “goat meat could save our food system, but we’re too afraid to eat it.” We who? 😂
Goat meat is popular in many cultures — including the Caribbean — but I realize that not a lot of people are familiar with goat meat or mutton.
So today I’m inviting you into my humble kitchen to show you one popular way that goat is often eaten in Jamaica 🇯🇲: #currygoat. I talk about where to buy it and even show you how to clean it — as well as cook it of course. 😊
Ahhh Christmas… One of the most beloved holidays in the world, but ever so special to Jamaicans. Christmas for Jamaicans means good conversations, gifts, time spent with family, and, most importantly, a full spread of food – curry goat, curry chicken, rice and peas. No Christmas, however, would be complete without sorrel.
I call this my “Ras” “Mas” sorrel because it’s a play on words as opposed to saying “Christmas.” “Ras” is short for “rasta” or someone with dreadlocks (“dreads”). “Rass” can also be the short form of a Jamaican expletive (which I will not type here but you can Google, lol). “Mas” is the equivalent of “Mr.” and is used as a courtesy. So, instead of Mr. Jones, it’s Mas Jones.
A more accurate name for sorrel would be “roselle drink” because sorrel is made, in effect, from the sepals of the roselle flower, which is a type of hibiscus plant. The drink, especially if made with rum, is quite strong. But it is festive. This recipe features stevia, which is a 0 calorie sweetener and can be helpful for those watching their sugar intake. The red petals of the sorrel are indicative of the high vitamin A content, which makes this drink nutritious. Ginger in a recipe typically acts as a digestive aid. The spices used add a wonderful accent and make the drink smell (and taste) heavenly.
This recipe can easily be adapted for those who would prefer a virgin drink.
1 ½ cups filtered water
1 cup dried sorrel petals
1 cup of peeled, sliced, ginger
1/4 cup orange peel (optional)
¼ cup whole cloves
3 cinnamon sticks or ground cinnamon
¼ cup pimento berries or ground allspice
½ tbsp maple syrup or strawberry syrup or ½ tsp stevia
Rum extract (to taste)
How Fi Mek Eeit:
Bring sorrel, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, and pimento berries to a rolling boil for 5 mins. In this recipe in particular, I would recommend you use the whole spice as opposed to the ground version because it makes straining the sorrel easier. You can add more ground spices to the finished product (the strained juice) as you see fit. Cover and let steep for at least 4 hours. Overnight is better and 24 hours is best.
Once steeped, strain the sorrel liquid through a mesh strainer or cheesecloth. Sweeten with maple syrup, the strawberry syrup or stevia. Add 1 tsp lime juice and/or a sprinkling of rum if you see fit. Serve with ice.
The Jamaican patty. The most well-known Jamaican culinary export. Flaky crust. Beef that oozes into your mouth. Lunchtime favourite. Roadside snack. It would be almost a travesty if the patty were not accessible to everyone — and especially those who follow a special diet. But such has been the case for years.
Vegan patties are slowly making their way into the market, but I couldn’t find a gluten-free patty for the life of me. So I set out to create my own.
Jamaican patties typically have a beef or vegetable filling. But anybody who’s ever had a Jamaican patty knows that they can be filled with pretty much anything — from curry goat to ackee and saltfish.
Below, my friends, is the Jamaican patty with options for vegan and non-vegan fillings. I invite you to be creative and try conjuring up some fillings of your own.
You’re welcome. 🙂
2 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1 Baking Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp curry powder or turmeric
1/2 cup coconut oil (cold/solidified is best)
1 cup to 1 1/4 cup ice-cold water
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp thyme
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 stalks scallion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 scotch bonnet peppers (de-seeded), optional
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
Saute beef with onion and salt (I typically don’t add oil when I’m cooking ground beef because the beef has enough fat already. I let it cook in its own fate). Add other seasonings. Cook until there is no more “pinkness” visible.