Monday, 16 July 2007

Little Foodies Caribbean

Finally - we made a decision. We're going to be learning about the Caribbean Islands and their cuisine. I have been very fortunate to holiday on a few of the islands and 18 months ago we went to Barbados as a family (Hubby, Little, Small and me). Little remembers it but Small was very small so he doesn't remember it at all. They both loved the food though!

The islands snake from Florida to Venezuela. Each island is different in shape and size and what it has to offer. They are an ideal holiday destination for me with verdant green landscapes, golden yellow sands and warm turquoise seas. When I think of the Caribbean I picture dancing in the sand until the early hours, swimming in the sea with turtles, the friendly, happy people and how laid back they are, all I'm sure comes from living in such sunny climes. If you've never been, and you ever get the chance to go, jump at it!

While we learn about the Caribbean, we'll take a definite dip into my friend Cynthia's blog Tastes Like Home (Cynthia is from Guyana but lives in Barbados). To start us off though I thought I'd share this recipe which is a West Indies inspired curry... It was another of my cheating curries...

Chicken & Plantain Caribbean Curry (serves 2)
2 chicken breasts (cut into 2cm cubes)
1 large plantain (peeled and sliced)
1 medium size onion (finely chopped)
1 tin of creamed coconut milk
2 tablespoons of medium curry paste (I used Patak's)
1 heaped teaspoon of cinammon powder

First fry the onion until opaque, take them out (keep to side) add plantain to pan and fry on each side until starting to colour (about 4 mins each side) Take out and keep to side. Then fry the chicken for 2-3 minutes sprinkle the cinammon over and fry for further 2 minutes. Add the curry paste, plantain and onion back to the pan and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the cocunut milk and cook for 5-10 minutes. Serve with basmati rice or rice of your choosing. (L & S had a few mouthfuls of this on their way to bed, just prior to teeth brushing ofcourse, and see below for how they had it slightly changed the next day - either way it was great!)

EDIT - Note: Since I made this Cynthia gave me the following advice about plantain. Peel the green ones then boil before fryingt. (I've tried this since and it works well.) The very ripe ones, peel, slice and fry. When it is mid-ripe, it is boiled in its skin and then sliced and served.

Leftovers - If you have any leftover sauce and plantain like we did... this worked a treat as supper for the boys the next day. I cooked 2 chicken breasts. I then added some cream and mango chutney to the leftover plantain and sauce cooked it through for about 5 minutes then poured it over the cooked chicken breasts. Served with some of the leftover rice as I always have plenty of that (I make enough for 10 people)! Little and Small loved it!

I have a little phrase book called Chat Jamaican and we've already started to practice... Yeah mon!


Janet said...

This looks really good. I love plantains, and I have experimented with them a few times at home.

Asha said...

Yesterday,I was reading about Caribbean and thought I should make a post about the cuisine!:)
Never visited that part of the world but will someday.Chicken with plantains sounds great.Enjoy.

Deborah said...

Oh wow - this looks fantastic! I have never had plantains in a savory dish, but definitely would like to try it!!

Nora B. said...

i like cheating curries - Yeah maaan! :-) Looking forward to seeing more recipes and photos.
p/s: hope your research for the French wedding is going well. You must be so busy these days.

Cynthia said...

"Yeah mon!" (lol)

You know I have never tried the green plantain in a curry but will definitely do so. Your post is the second post I have seen with curried green plantains and given that they will hold up to cooking in a sauce seems like a really good idea.

About the plaintains, yes, we peel the green ones before boiling or frying it. The very ripe ones, we peel, slice and fry. When it is mid-ripe, it is boiled in its skin and then sliced and served.

Looking forward to your other Caribbean dishes hon. You are definitely on the right track.

Culinarily Curious said...

This looks delicious -- AND fairly simple. I love that it serves two rather than creating two weeks worth of leftovers. Can't wait to try it!

Pat said...

Oh That looks really nice!!! Thanks for the recipe!!

Marie said...

That curry looks delicious! I have never used plaintains but I think I just might have to give them a try now!

Meeta said...

A perfect choice to dine with the Little Foodies over the summer. I love Caribbean food unfortunately have not had a go at really cooking it myself. I hope to follow your series closely Amanda for great ideas. This curry is a great way to start things off. Lovely.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Janet, it was good the plantain really held their shape and texture.

Asha, do it, I'm sure I'll learn something if you do it.

Deborah, it was delicious. I've only ever had plantain in savoury dishes so I'd like to try it in a sweet dish.

Nora, I like them too. I think we're sorted on the French Wedding. A little busy but it's all good, lots of fun things and as there's no school we don't have any rushing around twice a day for drop off and pick up which somehow magically gives me lots more time.

Cynthia, Thank you and thank you for your e-mail too.

Culinarily Curious, Thank you, we really enjoyed it so I hope you do too.

Pat, Thank you. If you do try it I hope you like it too.

Marie, Give them a try. I'm sure you'll come up with all sorts of ideas for them.

Meeta, Thank you. I'll try and find some lovely dishes. Things that the children will love! :)

Thank you for your comments
Amanda x

tash said...

Mmmm, sounds delicious. I've always liked the sound of food from the Caribbean - I will make this, if I can find a plantain!

The Cooking Ninja said...

hehehe...I just made a caribbean cuisine the other day too :) It'll be on my blog in a day or two.

I love your caribbean curry.

susana said...

ooh, sounds delicious amanda! maybe one day i'll be brave enough to cook dave dinner. ;)

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Tash, I did something else with plantain tonight. It was great. I'll blog about it asap.

Hi Cooking Ninja, I must say my children love your blog name. They think it's brilliant that a ninja leaves comments on my blog! I await your post about what you cooked.

Hey Susana, You silly sausage! You know you're a fantastic cook! I always remember the meal you made for us at your old place in St Louis, we were thousands of miles from home but it was so lovely to be with you all and to be served such delicious food was a huge bonus. Dessert as I remember was indeed your wonderful chocolate souffle. Love you!

Thank you for all of your comments.
Amanda x

Kelly-Jane said...

Looks fab :) Looking forward to seeing more sunshine food!

KJ said...

Your curry looks terrific, I'm looking forward to seeing more. I tried making jerk chicken a few weeks back. I have no idea how authentic it was, never having been to the Caribbean, but it certainly tasted good.

Kevin said...

That looks good. I like the idea of using fruit in curries.

veron said...

I just can imagine how this tastes like. I love plantains...never had them in chicken curry but this looks awesome!

Aimée said...

Sounds like fun! Do the kids really eat spicy food?

Feeder of the hungry beans said...

You'll have to keep us updated on how the littler Little Foodies like it!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Kelly-Jane, Sunshine foods - lovely thought.

KJ, We're going to make some jerk chicken - don't know if it will be authentic either. I used jerk seasoning in some sauce the other evening and it was great.

Kevin, It got a thumbs up from here.

Veron, It was. It's not too spicy or hot. Also because plantain isn't sweet it just gave it a really nice flavour with coconut and curry.

Aimee, We're very lucky. They do eat spicy food so long as it's not too hot! If it's too spicy I normally add something to it or serve them less, with lots of something which isn't so spicy on the side.

Feeder of the hungry beans, so far so good. I've made a few more things that I need to blog about but a bit of a mad week!

Thank you for all of your comments.
Amanda x

Joe said...

I've never worked with plantains before, but this sure looks like a recipe I'd love to try them out with!

Cottage Smallholder said...

I've never eaten plantains. I'm going to try this, Amanda. Thanks for the recipe.

Wendy said...

Never tried a Caribbean curry before! This is quite exciting! Pretty sure sourcing plantain could be tricky in the Highlands though... What about replacing it with sweet potato? Any other suggestions?

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Joe, Thanks for visiting. You should check out Cynthia's blog. Lots of inspiration there.

Hi Fiona, Thanks. Do try it, with or without the plantain it would be good - gosh - I'm so modest!

Hi Wendy, Thanks for visiting too. Checked your blog out and I loved the little golden cocker spaniel. I used to have one as a child called Pepi. I think you might have problems sourcing plantain in the Highlands, if you ever stumble across one...

Thank you for your comments
Amanda x


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