A Carribean Christmas pt 1 – Ackee and Saltfish

Happy blogmas everyone. I wanted to gift you all with some extra Flava over the festive period. Let’s be honest once you get to a certain age, there’s only so many Lynx gift sets you need in your life, and Christmas becomes about two things food and family. This is fitness n flava so I’m here to talk about the food.I don’t eat turkey at Christmas! I said it, you heard! People are always fascinated when I say that, but my Christmas spread is too good to fill myself up with turkey. With that being the case, this December I’m going to share some of the amazing things I do eat and how to cook them, probably with the help of a few friends. Disclaimer… Although this blog is a fitness food blog, it’s blogmas/thicccmas/time to eat good. So that’s what we’re going to do! First recipe up is breakfast and we’re going to cook Ackee and Saltfish with fried dumplings.

Quick Food History

Ackee is Jamaica’s national fruit and this is Jamaica’s national dish so naturally, this is one steeped in a deep and rich history. As with so much of Jamaica’s food and culture it has, it’s roots in colonialism. The ackee tree is native to West Africa and is believed to have been brought to Jamaica in the 17th century. Records suggest that it was brought upon a slave ship to provide a nutritional source for Jamaica’s enslaved population. While slightly less is know about how it came to be combined with saltfish, we do know cheaper or discarded cuts of fish would have provided a good source of protein for the enslaved peoples. During my research, I found a great piece on this history so go check it out if you’d like to learn a little more.

Ackee & Saltfish

Ingredients

  • 1 Can of Ackee
  • 250g Saltfish
  • 1 Red Sweet Pepper
  • 1 Scotch Bonnet
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Medium Tomato
  • 2 Spring Onions
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • Thyme
  • Black Pepper
  • 15ml Oil or Butter

Method

  1. Place your saltfish into a small pan and cover it in water leave it to soak for around an hour.
  2. Pour the water off, add fresh water and bring it to the boil until it’s tender (about 20 minutes).
  3. Once this is done break it up into large flakes and set it to the side until later.
  4. Thinly slice your onion, spring onion, scotch bonnet and sweet pepper.
  5. Crush and dice your garlic and cut your tomato into small chunks
  6. Heat your oil on a medium heat
  7. Add your tomato, onion, spring onion garlic and sweet pepper then allow them all to cook until caramelised, 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly.
  8.  Add your saltfish, ackee and thyme then cook for a further 3 minutes.
  9. Finish with some black pepper

Fried Dumplings

Ingredients

  • 150g Self-raising Flour
  • 150ml Water
  • 1/2 tsp of Salt
  • Oil

Method

  1. Add your flour and salt to a large bowl
  2. Add your water and slowly mix it with the flour
  3. Once it begins to turn into a dough, its time to get stuck in
  4. Knead the dough with your hands till it comes together in a large ball, it shouldn’t be too sticky if it is, add a little more flour, if it doesn’t come together add some more water.
  5. Separate it into smaller balls (golf ball sized)
  6. Heat your oil to a medium heat
  7. Once its hot add your little dumplings and fry until they are golden brown it colour
  8. You can deep fry them or shallow fry them and rotate them so they’re cooked on all sides.

There you have it a delicious Jamaican breakfast for your Christmas morning. Go try it out. You can pick up the ingredients it big supermarkets if you take a walk down the ‘Foods of the world’ isle or even better go find a little local Caribbean, African or Asian food store and I’m sure they’ll sort you out.

Like and share the post if you want me to make Part 2, which will be Curry Goat! (AKA the Christmas dinner of Champions).
Subscribe to the blog to stay in touch, Comment below and let me know what you eat at Christmas!

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