A Taste of the Caribbean: 3 Cooking Tips & 2 Recipes

A Taste of the Caribbean: 3 Cooking Tips & 2 Recipes
This feature was brought to you in collaboration with Elite Island Resorts.
When I travel, I'm not one to bring home many souvenirs (except for the "consumable souvenir"), but what I often bring back are recipes, or at least concepts that I want to try for myself in the Plum Deluxe kitchen.
After reading our recent feature highlighting 5 Fine Islands of the Caribbean, I spoke with our sponsor Elite Island Resorts to find out more about traditional Caribbean cooking. I lucked out and got not only some tips, but also a couple of recipes to share with you!

How to Cook Caribbean Style

The interesting thing about the Caribbean is that there isn't one predominant style like you'd find in, say, France. This area of the world has heavy Dutch, Indian, French, African, Spanish, and Chinese influences - that's quite a culinary melting pot! However, there are some common threads among local kitchens:
  • Local Ingredients Where Possible: Ingredients like seafood, tubers, and coconuts are major players in the typical Caribbean kitchen, which shouldn't be surprising for a group of island nations! Nowadays, farmers markets are ubiquitous and you shouldn't have any trouble sourcing lots of local ingredients. I also think it's a fun challenge to tweak recipes with what you have fresh and local.
  • Spice It Up: The Caribbeans are masters at showing our taste buds that lots of spice doesn't just mean spicy. I don't like things overly hot, but I do like flavors, and that's why in our house you will find - just like you'll find in most Caribbean kitchens - lots of fresh, high quality spices. Flaky sea salt, garlic, cinnamon and cloves, peppers, rubs and spice combos.
  • Cocktail Pairings: We talk a lot about wine pairings, but many of the Caribbean-themed dinner parties and my own trips to the islands, I find cocktails are the pairing of choice - no doubt the perfect complement to both the flavors and ambiance. You can do your own cocktail pairings when hosting guests - I suggest picking a single signature cocktail for the night and then fill in any gaps with wine or Champagne.
To help you get a taste for the Caribbean, whether you're planning a trip this fall or saving up for next year, we've got a pair of recipes from St. James’s Club Resort & Villas in Antigua.
An award-winning all-inclusive hotel, the resort has four restaurants on their 100-acre secluded property, so we are very thankful to have some insider access to what's cooking in their kitchens!

Passions Cocktail

  • 1 ounce dark rum
  • 1⁄2 ounce apricot brandy
  • passion fruit juice
  • cranberry juice

Combine all ingredients in shaker and shake. Garnish with slice of orange and cherry.

Make one of those for the chef and the guests, then dive in for this wonderful, easy entree!

Red Snapper on a bed of Green Beans and Glazed Sweet Potatoes, with Saffron and Papaya Cream

  • 1 fillet red snapper
  • 4 pinches saffron
  • 3 ounces green beans
  • 2 ounces diced tomato
  • 2 pieces sweet potato
  • 2 ounces papaya puree
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Pan fry the red snapper fillet until crispy with salt and fresh ground pepper (to taste). Save the stock from frying.
Blanch the green beans, set aside. Boil the sweet potatoes, drain, then toss with the tomatoes and glaze with butter.
Reduce your fish stock with saffron and papaya puree - to finish, add cream with salt and pepper to taste.
Plate and serve immediately.

Recipes and photos courtesy of St. James’s Club Resort & Villas.

Elite Island Resorts manages 7 resorts on 5 islands to create 1 authentic Caribbean experience. Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway with that special someone or planning a family vacation, Elite Island Resorts has the perfect all-inclusive beachfront resort to match your needs! Mention this blog between May 12, 2014 and July 29, 2014 when booking a 7 night or greater stay + airfare at any of our resorts, and receive a $550 airfare credit per room.

*Promotion is subject to availability. Some restrictions may apply.

This is a sponsored feature written by Plum Deluxe on behalf of Elite Island Resorts. The opinions and text are all the author's.

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is the founder and creator of Plum Deluxe. He authors our award-winning weekly email newsletter, The Blend and curates our popular organic tea of the month club.
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