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!

Natural Peri Peri Chicken

As the blog grows and develops I want to tell more stories and share recipes and ‘Flava’ from cultures all around the globe. This week I’m going to start with something that might just be the most popular dish in the fitness community and in the country in general. Peri-Peri Chicken! This one has taken the country by storm and I’ve been a fan since way back when my Under-18’s basketball team were sponsored by Nando’s *Living the dream*.

Quick Food History #StayWoke

Food tells great stories, that was one of my main motivations for writing this blog. We pass our culture through our food, so it’s important to strive to know a little bit more about the food that you eat, its history, and its origins.

Just like Jerk, Peri-Peri is a dish with rich cultural history, variations of that famous sauce date back as far as the 15th century. Although it has come to be known as Peri Peri the Portuguese refer to it as Piri-Piri Swahili for pepper-pepper, which hails back to the dish’s African roots. While it’s exact origins are still debated we know that the dish likely originated with Portuguese settlers (Colonizers) in Angola and Mozambique, who discovered the African Bird’s Eye Chilli and combined this with some other seasonings to create the dish we know and love today.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • 2 Red Peppers
  • 1 Red Onion
  • 1 Bulb of Garlic
  • 6 African Birds Eye Chillies
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • 2 tsp Crushed Chilli Flakes
  • 3 Fresh Lemons
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 2 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Honey
  • Fresh Thyme
  • Salt 
  • Black Pepper

DSC01320

Method 

  1. Heat a skillet or griddle pan on a medium heat
  2. Slice your onions and pepper and crush your garlic
  3. Add these to the pan and cook them for 5-10 minutes
  4. Slice your chilli peppers 
  5. Juice your lemons 
  6. Add the cooked garlic, onions & pepper to a blender along with your chillies, lemon juice and vinegar 
  7. Blend until it’s smoother than a Marvin Gaye album
  8. Add chilli flakes, paprika and a dash of salt and pepper (blend it some more for good measure) 
  9. Bring it to the boil in a small saucepan 
  10. Slowly add your oil and honey then stir it up.
  11. Add your thyme and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes 
  12. Let it cool and there you have it your very own Peri-Peri Chicken Marinade*
  13. So now to make the chicken all you need to do it smother it in your marinade, let it sit in the fridge overnight and soak it the flava then the next day cook it in the oven for those delicious peri flavours
  14. For extra flava cook the chicken for 5 minutes on each side in a skillet or griddle pan before finishing in the oven.  

*Pro tip: I’ve found that this sauce improves with time so let it sit in your fridge for a few days the flava just keeps getting better. 

Get cooking, I hope you enjoy it. Like, share and subscribe to the blog if you want to see me explore some other dishes from around the world. 

Peace,
B