In the tropical island of Jamaica, where everything is irie, there are sights, sounds and tastes that would captivate the eyes, ears, and palette. Jamaica, another paradise in the middle of the Caribbean Sea, spans 10, 990 square kilometers, and is home to some 2.9 million people. With Kingston as its capital, the city comes alive with a booming reggae beat, lead by the legendary Bob Marley. Smiles are bright, the people are relaxed, and life is sweet where white sands meet blue skies.
My husband and I travelled to Jamaica for the first time in 2018, and with no family relations, we were true tourists. We stayed at a beautiful hotel that overlooked the ocean, and even splurged on butler service. Food was bountiful, and we were always stuffed! It was a different restaurant every evening – dining fit for a king and queen! What I fell in love with was how laid back the life felt, and how everyone moved to their own pace. I spent a week, and enjoyed every minute of my stay. I would highly recommend a little vacation time there.
As I mentioned before, food was fabulous! I couldn’t help but notice that some of the guests stuck to fries and burgers as their main dish! Nonsense! You certainly cannot experience the culture of a tropical destination without tasting its local cuisine. My favourite was their ackee and saltfish, first thing in the morning with bakes (I mentioned bakes in What’s for Dinner: St.Lucia). As a matter of fact, we made friends with the head chef who made sure to have our favourites made fresh and ready each morning we came down to dine. Needless to say, I had the time of my life!
I wanted to share the Ackee and Salftish recipe with you all, so that you too, could experience the beauty of Jamaica:
Ackee and Saltfish
- 4-6 bacon slices chopped
- ½ pound boneless salted codfish
- ¼ cup vegetable oil or more
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 onions chopped
- 2 tomatoes diced
- 2 scallions chopped
- 1 small bell pepper sliced
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika optional
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper pierced sub cayenne pepper about ½ teaspoons
- 18-20 ounce can ackee, drained
- Soak salt cod fish in water overnight, if needed boil to get rid of excess salt. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté bacon until brown and crisp this may take about 3-5 minutes
- Then remove bacon form skillet and transfer to a plate.
- There will be some bacon drippings left in the pan, remove and leave about 1-2 Tablespoons bacon.
- Add about 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan. Followed by onions, garlic, thyme, and green onions.
- Sauté for about a minute, stirring occasionally to prevent any burns.
- Followed by tomatoes continue cooking for about 3 minutes then add, hot pepper, white pepper, mix until ingredients have been thoroughly combined. Cook for about 5 minutes or more. Add water as needed
- Finally throw in salt fish, cook for a few minutes then add ackee and cook for another 3 minutes or more – adjust the seasoning to taste. Remove from the heat and let it cool. You may prepare this a day in advance.
FYI, you can’t find the fresh Ackee here in the U.S, because it is considered Poisonous. Yeah! Poisonous yet Precious! If not picked or boiled properly. Rest assured,the ones here, have been vetted by the FDA and are considered safe.
*Recipe taken from africanbites.com
I hope you all enjoy the taste of Jamaica! Happy Tuesday everyone!