Friday, July 13, 2012

Jamaican Jerk Marinade

Jamaican Jerk marinade is great on Chicken, Pork and Veggies, even Seafood, Shellfish, Goat and Tofu are Jerked! It is traditionally always a grilled dish, although modern cooks are now using their broiler or oven for convience. I have even seen a few recipes on the web for "slow cooker" Jerk! 

Jerk is a classic dish of Jamaica, though it is popular throughout the Caribbean. The original dish probably originated from slaves who were brought from West Africa. Jerk Spice, much like the term Curry, is simply a mixture of spices and herbs, primarily Allspice and Scotch Bonnet Peppers (Habaneros).   

The term Jerk or Jerked, refers the the cooking technique of marinating meat, then slow roasting (BBQ) them outside. Jerk is spicy!  That is the point, but the flavors are not just heat, they are zesty and fresh with a hint of sweetness.  The dish is fun! Reminding me that I am lucky enough to live in the Tropics with year round Grilling weather and a cold beer any time of day is just fine!  Since we are talking about drink pairings with Jerk, Tall Rum drinks, of course is a great choice, and I enjoyed a nicely chilled Chardonnay with my Jerk Chicken.

Jerk spice can come in the form of a dry rub or a wet marinade. Between the combination of the spices and the lime juice and/or vinegar, it was originally used to preserve meat from spoilage on long voyages or times before refrigeration, much like smoked Salmon for Eskimos, Vindaloo in India or Beef JERKY (see the similarity?) for the North American Indians.

Grilled Jerk Chicken with Banana Ketchup Cole Slaw

Our Jamaican Jerk Marinade has lots of herbs added to the classic Jerk spices a little sugar, no soy.  Even though Jerk is supposed to be spicy, ours is not as spicy as traditional jerks, and the cooking definitely tones down the heat.  You could always blend in more peppers for more heat.  Cold beer near by when eating Jerk is always highly recommended!  

It comes in a 10 ounce jar, enough to marinade 2 to 3 pounds of meat or vegetables (squash, yucca and onions are my favorite vegetables for Jerking) with a quarter cup reserved for the finishing sauce. The recipe below is using chicken. Just switch out another meat or vegetable of your choice, it all works pretty much the same.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Serves 4


2 to 3 pounds of Chicken parts
1 jar of Jamaican Jerk Marinade, reserving 1/4 cup for the finishing sauce

2 Tablespoons of White Vinegar
2 Tablespoons of Oil, your choice


Make the Finishing Sauce first:

Put the reserved 1/4 cup marinade in a small bowl and whisk in Vinegar and Oil and season to taste with salt. Refrigerate sauce.

Toss Chicken with marinade well. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
Remove meat from marinade and place on a plate to dry out a little. Grill, Broil or Bake to your liking.

Spoon reserved sauce over grilled meat. I served it with Banana Ketchup Cole Slaw. Some fried yellow plantains would be a great addition as well, recipes below.

Banana Ketchup Cole Slaw

This is a quick throw together salad with Tropical Flavors. I am not using exact measurements and you can add all kinds of other things into it like differents nuts, sesame seeds, other dried fruits or vegetables.


Toss together well in a big bowl:
-Finely shredded green cabbage
-Some thinly sliced onion, red or white
-Grated Carrot
-Minced red Bell Pepper
-Minced jalapeƱos, of course this is optional
-Toasted peanuts

Mix together equal parts Helman's Mayonaise or Yogurt with Our Banana Ketchup.
Dress the vegetables above to your liking. Season with Salt And Pepper.

Fried Sweet Plantains:

Heat some frying oil, or better yet Lard, in a heavy duty fry pan to 350 degrees.
Peel a few Yellow to Black colored (Maduro) Plantains, then slices them lengthways into 1/4 inch slices.
Place slices in hot oil and fry each side till golden brown. Careful not to burn!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Taste our 2011/2012 Coffee

2012 - Medium Roast

We are now offering the first roasting of our 2011/2012 late harvest coffee. Even with all the rain this year we had many cherries that took their sweet time, ripening into late January and early February. We had the pickers select nothing but the ripest deep red cherries for what we have processed. The rest went to Duran. This is a blend of Caturra, Catuai and Criollo varietals and processed by our friends at Panama Joe. This medium roast presents light earthy flavors, rich chocolate notes and pleasant floral highlights. We think its exceptional for our first effort. Try it, you just might love it.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Helen's Marinated Ahi Tuna Steaks with Ginger Syrup

Helen and Bobby Anderson are one of Boquete's most memorable and fun couples! My day is made whenever I get a chance to see Helen's smiling face and Bobby's flirty and twinkling eyes.

I know that she is a terrific all around cook, especially Southern Style cooking. I do love gabbing with her about how to round out her talents with lots of ethnic flavors and techniques. Lets not forget to mention that Bobby is an amazing BBQer!

Here is her recipe for Ginger-Soy Marinated Ahi Tuna Steaks.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Why Use Dried Herbs vs. Fresh?

One of our storage areas for spices and dry goods
Maybe some of you are wondering why someone like me, a grower of a large variety of herbs, would ever want to use dried herbs. Or even better yet, why would I waste my precious time in the pursuit of drying and storing herbs?

Well, first and foremost is basic laziness. If it is pouring rain out (210 inches so far this year in Boquete) and I need an herb for a sauce or soup, I am not venturing out to pick fresh. Plain and simple.

Another reason is that I only have some herbs available only part of the year. Even though I live in the Tropics and the weather is just about always in the 60's to 70's, some herb gems like Marjoram and White Sage seem to have to leave me for half of the year. Some love the rain...some love the dry.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Second Greenhouse is Up!

Farm Update: Even though the rains have been more than frustrating and a bit of a hardship on our farm, gardens and disposition this year, we actually are grateful because the challenge has made us rethink our setup and techniques. The garden beds have all been reconstructed for hard rains and wind and beautifully planted with herbs to hold up the sides. The second greenhouse was erected this past week. Smaller cloches for the other beds are going up and new organic brews and teas have been set on a schedule for insect and disease prevention.

All of these changes will allow us to be more prepared and more productive for the future.

With the latest greenhouse, much smaller than the first one, now gives us almost 200 feet by 22 feet of inside growing space.

In the short amount of time that they have been up, the resulting growth has been incredible. It is amazing what can happen when things are not drowning!

Here is a list of what has been planted and on its way soon. 6 kinds of heirloom tomatoes, (already flowering!), tons of cucumbers, eggplants, loads of regular spinach, 8 kinds of lettuce, bell and hot peppers, butternut, crookneck and pattypan squashes, cantaloupe, 4 kinds of basil, spotless Swiss Chard in 4 colors, tender radishes and tons more.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Lady Slippers - Edible Gourds

I have been wondering for about 4 years what the heck these things are called outside Panama. I originally found these squash/pepper type vegetables in the mercado here in Boquete. They are only there every once in a while. All of the vendors and many of my Panamanian friends call them "Alcachofas" which is Spanish for Artichoke. These fun little veggies are in no way related to an artichoke. My worker who is from Bocas del Toro calls them Ahi Chino (Chinese peppers).

Sunday, May 2, 2010

L's Kitchen Uses Bean Sprouts - Egg Foo Yung


Egg Foo Yung, is a Chinese American dish that consists of an egg omelet or pancake mixed with Mung bean sprouts, some vegetables and cooked meat. Then the pancake is topped with a savory brown sauce or gravy. Often it is served with a side of white rice. It is a great dish for a quick dinner or even breakfast.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

L's Kitchen - Nested Roasted Chicken

This is an easy recipe and one that will surprise you. The flavors of the roasted veggies are quite wonderfully different and provide a nice side dish for the chicken. You should try and find Japanese Mirin for this recipe, it really makes a difference, flavor wise.

A very crappy photo of Nested Roasted Chicken. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

L's Kitchen - Spicy West Indian Ullama Soup

With the Ullama Squash you brought us, we made the soup recipe I mentioned - and was it ever good!!! Spicy, flavorful, inexpensive and easy to make and only 66 calories per serving. We followed the recipe (below) with two of our usual additions: more garlic and more habaneros!