World Cuisine: Caribbean

Culinary tour of the world continued this week with a short stop-off in the Caribbean. Fresh fruits, blends of allspice and nutmeg, seafood and jerk seasonings all turned themselves to an ideal warm weather meal.

Purple kale was a surprise but welcomed visitor to our planned menu, and we massaged the leaves in a heat-free preparation with salted orange zest, lime and garlic.

Bright citrus and shaved fennel married grapefruit’s acidity with the sweetness of anise to create quite the stunning couple. I could truly eat my weight in this salad. And with a chilled pinot grigio on a sunny patio table… Colorado might just complete with your favorite Caribbean island.

Two interpretations of spicy black bean soup were entirely different but both well balanced and garnished with house made tortillas, cilantro creme fraiche, avocados, tomatoes and wedges of lime.

Jerk marinated mahi mahi and chicken met the grill for a bit of char and the oven for a moist finish. Plantain chips provided starchy crunch, while ancho chili and rum-soaked grilled pineapples sweetly sealed the deal. Bold flavors and lighter fare… bring on the warm days of summer.

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28 thoughts on “World Cuisine: Caribbean

    • Yay- I’m so glad! Incredible flavors, and usually light enough you don’t feel bad after eating it ;) Hope you have gotten/will get some soon! Thanks for stopping by :)

  1. Looks amazing yet again! I’m not familiar with this type of cuisine but I’m enjoying the visuals as always :) fennel & citrus is so perfect for summer, I think we’re seeing the last of fennel in the shops now as we near winter (brrr…) purple kale eh, yet another thing to look out for in my great veggie hunt!

    • Ahhh… nearing winter. You make me want cinnamon and nutmeg, pumpkins and apples… some comfort dishes :) Enjoy the last of your fennel. Wish I could mail you a farmers’ market sampler :D

    • Very, very good point, SL ;) Some of our dishes are simple to post, and with others we take such ‘creative liberty’ in the kitchen that I wouldn’t know where to begin ;) Anyone particular you’d like, let me know and I’ll see what I can do :D

    • Hi tks :) I made up the kale as I went along, but it wasn’t difficult at all. We had two large bunches of purple kale. I made a vinaigrette with a few finely chopped garlic cloves, zest of an orange and about a Tbs of juice, Tbs of vinegar (I had cider vin handy), juice of half a lime, few ounces of salt, about a Tbs of brown sugar, and maybe an ounce of evoo. I pulled the leaves from the tough stems of the kale and added the vinaigrette to them in a large bowl. I massaged the greens with my hands until they were tender, and they decreased in size by a little more than half. You don’t have to be gentle here, either.
      Hope this helps- it was pretty easy and I’m sure quite forgiving with flavors :) Agree that the spices of Caribbean food are wonderful! Perfect for a sunny Cali afternoon I think ;)

  2. I’m so hungry now! I love the citrus fennel salad. Yum! Did I spot some patacones? We love those and eat them all summer with a tuna cilantro salsa.

    • You are awesome, Karista…. YES you did spot patacones :) I love that a plantain has such a different flavor profile/starch-sugar makeup from green to yellow to brown. And I’m thinking these would be PERFECT with your tuna cilantro salsa… I’m coming over ;)

    • Hi Sandra! It’s a simple but powerful marinade :) Here is a recipe making about a cup of dry rub (it’ll keep just fine), and you can make it moist by adding any citrus juice. It works well to coat lightly before cooking, or to marinate and then brush away excess as it is pretty potent :) I hope you’ll enjoy! I like to pair a jerk meat with sweet fruit… :D
      Jerk Spice Mixture:
      4 Tbs ground allspice
      4 Tbs dried or ground dried thyme
      3 Tbs ground black pepper
      1 Tbs nutmeg
      1 Tbs ground cinnamon
      1/4 cup salt

  3. It is so exciting to see fresh kale, I love it! Never have had Caribbean cuisine but it sure sounds wonderful. As always I really enjoy following your posts and the wonder photography!

    • Thank you so much for following! When you get to school, you’ll already know what’s coming ;) Fresh kale is delicious, and Caribbean cuisine was quite a refreshing treat. Have a fantastic weekend~

  4. I just love plantain! Those chips look tasty – we have them at a Caribbean restaurant here that we ave gone to for years – never made them at home though! Everything looks great! :)

    • Agree with you- I love them too. I don’t usually fry at home (ok, I suppose I don’t ever) so plantain chips will probably be a restaurant treat for me too ;) This was definitely a day of a little less (butter) and a little more (fresh flavor) :)

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