A Family of Quality Publications Celebrating the Place We Call Home
Q. This summer, I want to have a Caribbean-themed dinner party. What would be a good main dish? ––Stephanie, Appleton
A. As I read this question I can hear the calypso music coming from the steel drums, see the tiki torches glowing against the night sky and taste the Red Stripe beer served alongside sweet rum punch in coconut shells! The Caribbean is not unlike the United States, Canada, Australia and other eclectic “melting pot” cuisines in that many cultural influences are present. Given the waters of the Gulf Coast, my first thought would include its indigenous supply of seafood. Your entrée choices could include grilled jumbo shrimp marinated in citrus juices such as mango, juicy barbecued pork chops rubbed with Jamaican jerk seasonings, strips of sautéed chicken breast served with a fresh mango salsa, chunky vegetables simmered in a rich coconut curry, or any number of fresh fishes roasted with garlic and sea salt.
No party is complete without the “fixins” so don’t forget a few fried pork rinds (yes, they’re not just for rednecks), flavorful dips and a variety of fresh roasted nuts to start things off. For dessert, let’s consider a nice piña colada cheesecake, creamy rice pudding with aromatic cinnamon and don’t forget the traditional rum cake.
Chef Jeff’s Shrimp Jambalaya
andouille Sausage, fresh, chunks 1 pound
shrimp, medium size, cleaned 1 pound
oil, canola or similar ½ cup
onion, large dice 1 cup
celery, large dice 1 cup
green pepper, diced 1 cup
garlic, fresh, chopped 2 tablespoons
diced tomatoes, canned 2 28-ounce cans
chicken stock, as prepared 2 cups
thyme 1 tablespoon
parsley, chopped fine 2 tablespoons
long-grain white rice, par cooked 1 pound (raw)
cayenne pepper (or hot sauce)
Sauté the Andouille sausage and shrimp in the canola oil until almost done. Add the onions, celery, peppers (known as “the Trinity”) and garlic (now known as the “Holy Trinity”) and sauté until caramelized and translucent.
Add tomatoes, chicken stock, thyme and parsley. Bring to a simmer.
Add the par cooked rice and heat thoroughly. Cook until all the liquid is absorbed or evaporated. Adjust the flavor with the cayenne pepper or hot sauce. Serve immediately.
Chef Jeff's Moroccan Chickpea Salad
chickpeas, canned, drained, rinsed 2-15.5 ounce cans
cherry tomatoes, fresh, halves 1 Pint
cilantro, medium chopped ¼ Cup
jalapeno peppers, fine dice 2 each
black olives, sliced ½ Cup
onion, red, fine dice 2 Tablespoons
garlic, fresh, minced 2 Tablespoons
olive oil 2 Tablespoons
red wine vinegar 1 Tablespoon
black pepper, coarse ground 1 teaspoon
salt, kosher ½ teaspoon
cayenne pepper, ground ¼ teaspoon
parmesan cheese, shredded ½ Cup
pita chips as needed
Combine all of the ingredients (EXCEPT the parmesan cheese and pita chips) in a large mixing bowl until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
Refrigerate for at least 4 hours to allow the flavors to marry. When ready to serve, sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the chickpea salad as a garnish. Serve and enjoy.
© Fox Cities Magazine - all rights reserved
site by: Green Bay Net