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This is the authentic homemade Jamaican meal I had on Father`s Day. The meal consisted of <strong>jerk pork, rice & peas, stewed cabbage and dumplings.</strong> After spending time with my dad in the morning, my mother invited my brother and sister-in-law to come down for dinner. So off to have dinner with my family I went. My mother made homemade rice and peas (which is what rice and beans are termed). It`s dried beans which are re-hydrated in water, then get boiled for what seems like forever. The rice is brown because you use the water you boiled your beans in to cook your rice. We also add sliced onion and a package of coconut to the mixture. Not shredded dessert coconut, but there is finely milled coconut they sell which can be added to the water to provide a coconut flavoring.
Jerk pork is something I have made myself. We use a pork roast and rub jerk seasoning (I buy it in a jar by Grace) onto it and bake it off in the oven. It comes out delicious. We topped it with gravy because gravy is just a staple on the dinner table whenever we`re having Sunday dinner - it`s something my dad instilled in my brother and I.
Stewed cabbage? Probably one of my most favorite dishes ever! It`s a large head of cabbage cut down into pieces, carrots that are shredded, onion sliced and it`s all stewed in a pan with some butter and a little bit of water. Black pepper, a dash of salt and Jamaican curry powder. It`s then stewed for a while on the stove and it`s so deliciously soft and flavorful. I love Jamaican curry, it`s got a tiny TINY tinge of spice, but it`s got such an amazing flavor.
Now the part of the meal that I made: dumplings! When people think of dumplings, they think of those soft, mushy things you put in stew. No, Jamaican dumplings are not like that. Jamaican dumplings are hard dough dumplings, meaning the dough is kneaded continuously until it`s stiff, then you roll out either balls that you make into round dumplings (pictured) or you can roll them into short logs. The log version I make when making stew. When all dumplings are formed, you boil some salted water and then you drop all the dumplings into the water. You cook thru until done -- and you can tend to tell they are done because they start to float. The mixture is so simple -- flour, salt and water. You add water based on how your dough feels. You don`t want it tacky, you want it relatively dry but not falling apart caky. I could seriously just eat a bowl of these and be happy -- and I admit, I did eat some of these with cabbage on them and was a happy camper.
Have you ever had Jamaican food?
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