Saturday, April 16, 2011

A night of tropical food

Still feeling tropical after our trip to Puerto Rico, on Saturday night I decided to host a tropical dinner.  Within the next few weeks a couple of friends are going down to the British Virgin Islands and then another couple to Hawaii so we were all feeling tropical.

The menu came together at the last minute (as they usually do) I was inspired by the pig roast in Rincon, but the best I could come up with, was some belly pork from the Superstore that still had the skin on it.  So before going out shopping for couches and food I rubbed the skin with some course salt scored it heavily and placed it in a 300 oven.  It was in there for about 3 hours until a lot of the fat had melted away and the skin was crisp.

Cooked pork
I realize this is really no substitute for a whole roasted pig but it was the best I could come up with on short notice and that skin was wonderful. Obviously this was not enough to feed 9 and one person doesn't eat pork so I decided to cook jerk chicken.  We did not have this in Puerto Rico and I did not even see it on a menu, but it is big in Jamaica.  I cobbled together a recipe from what I could find on the Internet and what I had in the house.

Jerk rub

1/2 white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp light rum
4 green onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons ground allspice
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons fresh chopped ginger
2 tablespoons of chili powder

I bought some fresh chilies to go in this but I don't know what happened to them so I substituted chili powder. I put all the ingredients in a small food processor and whizzed them around until they were a runny paste.  I put this on the 12 chicken thighs that I had.

Marinating chicken
I marinated this for about an hour at room temperature, I am sure marinating longer would have been a good thing but that was all time I had.  Then as it was not barbecuing weather I put them in the oven in one layer in a 350 oven for about 45 minutes.

Cooked chicken
The chicken came out a lovely dark color and was very tasty definitely a dish I would do again though I would like to use fresh chilies next time.

I served the salad that I made for Lunch every day in San Juan and it tasted just as good up in the cold wet North.

But it will also taste good this summer out on the deck.

I cooked some rice in chicken stock and added some rinsed canned red beans at the end. All in all a good meal and as always good company. We drank rum drinks out of coconut shells along with wine and reminisced about past trips to the tropics and looked forward to upcoming trips as well.

1 comment:

  1. The pork crackling looks fabulously crunchy - I would definitely be happy with that! :P