I went to Jamaica a few years ago, back in the days before I had children. Never in my life have I seen such a beautiful location. I was a little apprehensive about the trip. After we booked, the island was hit by a hurricane and rocked by a political coup. Lots of people canceled their travel plans but we felt it was a now-or-never situation and we went anyway. It turned out to be a great vacation! The weather was awesome. The people were friendly. The rum punch was delicious. ;-)
I still remember having the most delicious French Onion Soup in our hotel restaurant. I've tried to duplicate it for years and haven't even come close. The soup was topped with the most incredible cheese from a local dairy. The flavor of the cheeses (and their butter!) was to die for. Nothing like what I've found here in the U.S. The other part that makes it so hard to duplicate might be that we were eating by candlelight on a private balcony over looking the Ocho Rios Bay. Hard to recreate that here in Indiana. The cornfields don't provide a similar ambiance, kwim? LOL!
This week, My Kitchen, My World is visiting Jamaica and I couldn't be more excited! We are serving one of our family favorites: Jerked Chicken Skewers. (I think the kids will eat almost anything on a skewer. Serve them a chicken breast and they'll turn up their noses but thread it onto a wooden spike and they are all over it!) We paired it with Salsa Rice with Black Beans. Add a little store-bought mango salsa, a Bob Marley CD and some rum punch and you're all set for your tropical get-away!
Don't forget to visit My Kitchen, My World and see what Jamaican deliciousness everyone else came up with!
Jerked Chicken Kabobs
Recipe courtesy of Guy Fieri
1 tablespoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon cinnamon stick
1 red onion, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh thyme sprigs
1 lime, juiced
3 garlic cloves
1 Scotch bonnet pepper
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
Salt and pepper
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
In a food processor, combine all ingredients except chicken; puree until smooth. Add all but 1/4 cup of the mixture in a 1 gallon plastic sealable bag. Add the chicken to the bag and let marinate in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours.
Heat grill to medium-high. Skewer chicken pieces and grill on 1 side for about 5 minutes. Flip and grill the other side until cooked through and grill marks appear.
Salsa Rice and Beans
Recipe courtesy of Robin Miller
1 cup rice, regular or instant
1/2 (14-ounce) can black beans, drained
1/2 cup prepared salsa
1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium sauce pot, cook rice according to package instructions. When the rice is half way cooked, add black beans, salsa, and cook about 10 minutes for regular rice and 3 minutes for instant rice .Continue cooking rice. Remove the pot, using a spoon, stir in chopped cilantro and season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.