Turkey + Stuffing + Gravy + Cranberry Sandwich

by Trish

Everyone knows about the post-Thanksgiving turkey sandwich. The contents of a thanksgiving feast stuffed between a couple slices of bread. Even Starbucks gets on board with a seasonal sandwich. 

In my mind, there were always two variations. The first was the cold sandwich: turkey, cranberry sauce, and perhaps some stuffing and lettuce. The second, arguably superior, was the hot turkey sandwich: a simple turkey sandwich generously covered in gravy. It seems stunningly obvious that the combination of the two sandwiches would reign supreme, but alas, it did not come to me until just this year. (And to be honest, it wasn’t even my idea.) It barely takes more effort than constructing a cold sandwich, but is vastly superior. Here’s how it’s done.

Start by warming up some leftover gravy in a small pan over medium low heat.

When it’s warmed up, toss in some bite-sized turkey pieces and stuffing. 

Stir until heated through and mixed up, usually just a minute or two.

While the turkey is heating up, take some cranberry sauce and generously coat two slices of bread. 

Top with stuffing/gravy goodness, and a grind of pepper if you’re in the mood.

Now you have a decision. Either enjoy two delicious open faced sandwiches, or squish them together for one mega-sandwich.

I went with the mega-sandwich, since it’s certainly not the prettiest sandwich I ever made. No matter, what it lacks in beauty it makes up for in taste. Until next Thanksgiving!

by Trish

I saw the movie “Chef” last night and thought it was a charming little movie. Worth a watch. 

Have A Jamaican Feast: Fried Plantains And Salad

What’s the perfect summertime party? A Jamaican feast! All this week we’ll share recipes for a delicious party inspired by everyone’s favorite little island in the sun.

By Trish

With jerk chicken, curry goat, and rice and peas on the table, your Jamaican feast is pretty much good to go. But a couple of side dishes never hurt anybody, so here how to round out the meal. 

Fried plantains can go a couple of different ways. When they’re really ripe (black almost all over), they’re soft and sweet and could certainly be a side or even a dessert. When the plantains are green and underripe, they’re starchy and savory. I went with the green plantains for our meal.

Another welcomed accompaniment to curry goat is salad or coleslaw. When so many things on the table are spicy and perhaps a tad bit heavy, a crunchy and cool salad balances everything out. I went with a simple green salad, but coleslaw would be great too. 

Fried Plantains

Traditionally, after par-frying the plantains you would flatten them by squeezing them in the peel, which does function as an excellent insulator. I found it a bit easier to just use a cutting board and the bottom of a glass. If you’ve never made plantains before, check out this great video at Cook Like A Jamaican, which helped me immensely. 

  • 2 green plantains
  • oil for frying
  • salt
  1. Peel the plantains. Slice them about 1 to 1.5 inches thick. If you won’t be frying them right away, you can keep the slices in a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice and some salt. Just be sure to dry them well before frying. 
  2. In a large skillet, heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet. When oil is hot, fry the plantain slices, turning as necessary to lightly brown on all sides.
  3. When the bananas are lightly browned, remove from pan onto a cutting board or plate. Using the bottom of a mug or glass, gently flatten the plantains to about half their original thickness. Return to the frying pan and fry on each side until crispy and golden brown.
  4. Remove to a plate lined with paper towels and salt liberally.  

Crunchy Salad

You don’t really need a recipe for this, use whatever veggies you have handy. Aim for a crunchy texture. I went with a classic lemon vinaigrette, but a creamy dressing would provide a nice cooling balance against the goat curry. 

  • 1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
  • I carrot, sliced into ribbons with vegetable peeler
  • 1/2 an English cucumber, seeds removed, sliced
  • 1 or 2 roma tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped
  • Basic Lemon vinaigrette (recipe follows), or a dressing of your choice
  1. Combine all ingredients in a big salad bowl. Right before serving, toss with vinaigrette, or let guests dress their own salad portions. 

Lemon Vinaigrette

  1. Squeeze juice of one lemon in a bowl. Add a big pinch of salt, some black pepper, and a teaspoon of dijon mustard. Whisk to combine. While whisking, slowly add about a quarter of a cup of high quality olive oil. Taste for seasoning, and add more olive oil if it’s still a bit puckery for your liking. 
Have A Jamaican Feast: Curry Goat with Rice and Peas

What’s the perfect summertime party? A Jamaican feast! All this week we’ll share recipes for a delicious party inspired by everyone’s favorite little island in the sun. 

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by Trish

This is an epic goat curry. Epic enough that even though my apartment smelled like goat curry for a week afterwards…  it was worth it. So epic that you’ll wonder if you actually have some Jamaican in your ancestry, because you just nailed making curry like a grandmother. And it’s really not that hard. 

If you’ve never had goat, it’s not as strange as it may seem. Flavor-wise it lands somewhere between beef and lamb, a bit gamey but not overly strong. Seek out a Caribbean market for your goat and curry powder. A Jamaican curry powder will be a bit different from the its Indian counterpart, with more allspice and thyme. Sourcing the goat there makes your life easier, you can usually find it cubed up and ready to go. It should include bone, which makes it slightly trickier to eat but far tastier. 

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Curry Goat

Enough to serve an army. Seriously, it will serve 10 at least. Be mindful as you add water, I almost ended up with goat soup instead of goat curry. Let liquid reduce before adding more to avoid this problem. A final word of warning, shut all your bedroom doors and move any coats, bags, etc out of your main living area when cooking this. It’s PUNGENT. You can make this a couple days in advance and, like most stews, it gets better as it sits. 

  • 6 lbs goat meat, cubed
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 10-12 tbsp Jamaican curry powder
  • 3 large onions, two sliced, one chopped
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers, slice and discard seeds (handle with care)
  • 6 tbsp oil
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 large spring thyme
  • 6 medium potatoes, peeled and each cut in 3 pieces
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  1. Marinate MeatMix together goat meat, salt, black pepper, 8 tbsp curry powder, 2 sliced onions, garlic, and scotch bonnet peppers. Marinate in the fridge 5 hours to overnight.
  2. When ready to cook, remove the sliced onions and scotch bonnet pepper from the bowl of marinated goat meat and set aside.
  3.  Heat oil in large saucepan on high and brown the goat meat on all sides, working in batches if needed. 
    (For this step I used a large, wide sauté pan and switched to a pot for simmering later on.)
  4. Remove the goat from the pan and sauté the reserved onions, garlic and peppers until fragrant and beginning to cook, about 3 minutes. 
  5. Add the meat back to the pan with the onions, and add thyme and 2 cups boiling water. Lower heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. 
  6. Add the chopped onion to the pot.
  7. Check the water level. The idea is that you want to be developing a gravy. Add up to 2 cups of boiling water if it looks like it needs more liquid. Bring to a boil, and continue to simmer, adding more water as necessary, until goat is very tender. 
  8. Remove scotch bonnet pepper if desired and add more curry powder to taste.
  9. Add potatoes and tomato ketchup, simmer on low heat for 1/2 hour, or until the meat is falling off the bone and potatoes are cooked through. 

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Rice and Peas

Yes, it’s actually beans and not peas. But’s it’s called rice and peas. I don’t know why, it’s just the way it is. This recipe makes 4-6 servings but can easily be doubled.

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups long grain rice 
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cups water
  1. Rinse and drain the rice thoroughly. 
  2. Heat oil in medium pot over medium high heat. Sauté onions for 4-5 minutes until they soften. Add garlic and ginger, cook for another minute or two. 
  3. Add the rice, stir to coat with oil. Add kidney beans, coconut milk, water, thyme, and a big pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, turn heat to low and cover.
  4. Check the rice after 15 minutes (may take a few minutes longer depending on your rice). Add a sprinkle more water if needed.
  5. Fluff with a fork and serve. 

Recipe credits: Goat Curry is adapted from the website Cook Like A Jamaican, which is a great resource for Jamaican food and has lots of videos. Rice and Peas is combination of a couple recipes, from Cook Like  A Jamaican and Simply Recipes

Have A Jamaican Feast: Jerk Chicken Wings

What’s the perfect summertime party? A Jamaican feast! All this week we’ll share recipes for a delicious party inspired by everyone’s favorite little island in the sun. 

by Trish

The recipe below has taken many tries to figure out. Grilling chicken isn’t easy, it sticks and burns on the outside while the middle is still raw. The skin is flabby and fatty. After trying several methods, cuts of chicken, and techniques, this is the winner. It’s a few steps, but it works like a charm. 

You can scale this recipe up easily, the size of your grill is the limit! And I recommend making a lot, because these bad boys disappear. 

Jerk Chicken Wings

There are a couple “keys” to this recipe that you really shouldn’t skip. For the sauce, buy whole allspice berries and use fresh thyme, these are the most important ingredients. When preparing the chicken, don’t skip the brine. We   cooked to a higher temperature than most recipes recommend (180F instead of 165F). At 180 the collagen in the wings has broken down, melting some of the gristle so they are tender rather than chewy or springy. The brine keeps the chicken from drying out for this slightly longer cooking time. To avoid fatty skin, we start the wings in the oven on a low heat to render some of the fat and finish them on a hot grill to crisp them up and achieve jerk chicken’s signature blackened exterior. We found this to be the most foolproof method, but you can can cook the wings on the grill the entire time, just stick to the same concept of starting the heat on low and finishing on high. 

  • 2 pounds chicken wings

For the brine:

  • 6 tablespoons table salt
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups cold water

For the sauce:

  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper
  • 2 jalapeño
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Jamaican allspice (whole berries)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar packed
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  1. For the sauce, roughly chop the scotch bonnets and jalapeño, removing seeds for a less intense heat. Break up the allspice berries in a mortar and and pestle. (You don’t need to reduce them to a powder, just broken up slightly.) Combine the rest of the ingredients in a blender and blend until combined. Set aside.
  2. For the brine, combine the salt, sugar, and water in a resealable bag until salt and sugar are dissolved. Add chicken to bag and seal, gently squeezing the air out of the bag to ensure all the chicken is covered in brine. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. 
  3. After 30 minutes, remove chicken from brine and rinse. Pat dry with paper towels and arrange on baking sheets. (If you have wire racks, you set the chicken on racks over the baking sheet, which helps the fat render.) Bake chicken for approximately 30 minutes, until cooked through to about 160F. 
  4. While the chicken is cooking, heat sauce in a small saucepan over medium high heat, reducing by half until it is a glaze consistency. 
  5. Preheat gas or charcoal grill. Over medium-high heat, grill the wings, turning and basting with the glaze frequently. The wings are done when they take on some color and blacken slightly in areas, and have an internal temperature of 180F. 
  6. Serve hot with a Red Stripe or two!

Credit where credit is due! This recipe comes from an amalgamation of several sources: this jerk chicken recipe from Food52, this grilled chicken wing recipe on Cooks Country, and the Charcoal Grilled Chicken Wings recipe from Cook’s Illustrated Guide to Grilling and Barbecue (p 183).