Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Blueberries...Jamaican Style!

This recipe is inspired by my recent vacation in Jamaica, the land of jerk chicken! Jerk seasoning is a combination of spices and herbs that includes Scotch bonnet peppers, allspice, thyme, cloves, cinnamon, scallions, nutmeg, garlic, and more pepper. It can be made in the form of a dry rub or as a wet marinade. You see it most commonly on chicken and pork, but you can jerk anything - shellfish, beef, even tofu!

My challenge was to create a savory dish with blueberries, and as I pondered I thought that the sweetness and flavor of the berries might go well with the spicy jerk. The result is a tender spicy roasted pork and a spoon-lickin' berry sauce to accompany it.


1 ½ lb pork tenderloin
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp dry jerk seasoning
1 tbsp lemon juice
12 oz fresh blueberries
1/2 small white onion, chopped
2 green onions, chopped, divided use
2/3 cup water
5 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Rub pork with olive oil, jerk seasoning, and lemon juice. Place in a baking dish. Roast in oven for 15 minutes, then flip over and roast for 15 more minutes. The internal temperature should be 155 degrees F.
2. In a medium pot, combine blueberries, onion, half of the green onions, water, brown sugar and salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce heat to medium-low. Let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
3. After meat has rested for at least 10 minutes, slice and serve with blueberry sauce. Garnish with remaining green onion. Serves 4.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Jamaica Jamaica

So we just got back from our trip to Jamaica, and we had a great time! My hubby is Jamaican, so it's always great when he goes home and sees his family and friends. We had two weddings in one day to attend, with a 3 hour drive in between! We also celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary there! This was Bugs' first trip, and he also had a fun time (met his great-grandparents for the first time!), in spite of the unwavering daytime heat! In the days leading up to departure, I had dreaded the airport time and plane ride so much, but funnily enough that was the easiest part of the trip lol. He slept through half of the trip going and the entire trip back, and behaved quite well in the airport. Of course, it helped that I planned and packed accordingly, lots of milk, new toys, etc.

This was my third trip there, and I wanted to take a gazillion food pictures like last time, but didn't get that many this time :( Partly because I had to manage the baby a lot, partly because the food there is so good, I would dig in and be a few bites along before I remembered to take pics haha!

So here are a few pics below of delicious Jamaican food, which I like to say is ALMOST as good as Trini food! :D

Fruits on the roadside - mangos and neeseberry (called "sapodilla" in Trinidad)

Jackfruit - sweet but rubbery texture. I wasn't a fan.

The ubiquitous Jamaican patty! One of the staples of their diet.

Ackee & saltfish on the left (national dish of Jamaica). Jamaica callaloo on the right (I prefer the Trinidadian version), and I was surprised that my kid liked this one!

Ground provisions - green banana, yam, Caribbean sweet potato. Dumplings.

Stew pork - yum!
Sausage and beans, stew kidney and liver (ick!)

Sweet potato pudding
Beans and saltfish with Johnnycakes on the right.

Fried lobster - soo good!!

Stew fish with pumpkin, carrots and other veg, crackers on the side

Bammy - fried cassava. Soaked in milk before and fried, sometimes steamed.

Roasted breadfruit on the right, love breadfruit!

Famous "Ting" - Grapefruit Soda

Cherry juice - my fave :)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Top Chef Tour!

This day has been so cool because this morning we went to the Top Chef Tour! Bugs and I made the trek to downtown Ft. Lauderdale to see Chefs Tiffany Derry and Kenny Gilbert live and in person. Of course we were late (partly Bugs' fault, partly mama's), so we got there at the end of the live cook-off and unfortunately we didn't get to taste their food like the rest of the audience. Tiffany did win the round though. And getting there late had its perks, we were 3rd in line for the meet and greet.
Of course my son, upon meeting his first famous person, watched her like she had two heads as she waved hello to him. And his mama, ever so cool, gushed the greeting, "Tiffany...I love you!". Ugh I'm such a geek :S Anyway, I pulled myself together long enough to tell her that when I visit my sis in Dallas soon I will also visit her restaurant, and after I got a pic with them.
I love Top Chef, one of my absolute favorite shows on tv, and this last season of All-Stars was the best yet. Tiffany has been one of my fave cheftestants from her season and All-Stars. Meeting her was great, because even though she didn't win the show, she still proved that she's a hot chef, and has a great personality to boot. Can't wait to try her food in Dallas!

Oh and I did the culinary smell test while I was there, and was able to identify 2 out of 3 smells while blindfolded! - curry powder and coriander. Missed on the truffle oil, but didn't feel too bad since I've never had it!

In case you want to check out the Top Chef Tour in your city, visit Bravo's site here.