Another get together with the family, yay. When it comes to family dinners I like to always switch it up and make them something they hardly get to eat, if not ever tried before. Even more so than my dinner parties with friends where I tend to play it a little more safe as to appeal to everyone’s tastes. So family time, is always the opportunity to delve a little deeper in to the unknown or in this case, with dishes we don’t get enough of at home.
This weeks dinner is inspired by the tropics, it Hasn’t been warm lately and I felt like I need to force that feeling of summer time, even if it is 6pm and we are indoors.
This dinner kicks off with a throwback to the 60s (no I’m not 50 something) with a little serving of prawn and imitation lobster tail cocktails (found these in iceland supermarket, easier on the pocket); so easy to make there’s no burden at all when planning a 3 course meal (just how i like it, stress free).
Secondly, the main is one I LOVE but unfortunately don’t eat enough of, so it had to get involved right? good old Jerk chicken, rice & peas and some sweet fried plantain. I don’t usually handle spice so well but for this bad boy I did and held back the tears too! I love jerk chicken a little more on the saucy side, so that I can mop up that fiery goodness with the coconut-ty rice, and with a dish like this how can you not fry up some plantain too, cmon.
Last but not least (certainly not least, as I have a serious sweet tooth) is a moist coconut and lemon sponge, served with double cream, a light and yummy end to a great meal (so my family said ;))
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
▪️400g large ready to eat prawns (frozen or fresh)
▪️250g imitation lobster tails (chopped)
▪️1 large gem lettuce
For the sauce:
▪️1 tspWorcestershire sauce
▪️1 tsp lime juice
– Separate lettuce cups in to 12 and place in serving bowls.
-In another bowl add both prawns and lobster tails and season with a crack of salt and pepper (optional)
-To make the cocktail sauce, combine all ingredients together and mix well.
-Spoon ½ of sauce mix on to prawns and lobster tails and mix well. Serve on to lettuce cups and top with a spoonful of remaining sauce and sprinkling of cayenne pepper.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
▪️6 chicken legs cut in to thigh and drumsticks , so it make 12 pieces( skin on)
▪️3 limes (halved)
▪️2-3 Plantain (sliced on diagonal)
For the jerk marinade
(overnight marination for best result)
▪️1 big bunch spring onions (roughly chopped)
▪️Thumb-sized piece ginger (roughly chopped)
▪️3 garlic cloves
▪️½ a small onion (roughly chopped)
▪️½ tsp of cayenne pepper (more if you want more heat, or for serious heat & authenticity use scotch bonnet)
▪️½ tsp dried thyme
▪️juice 1 lime
▪️2 tbsp soy sauce
▪️2 tbsp oil
▪️3 tbsp brown sugar
▪️1 tbsp ground allspice
For the rice & peas
▪️200g basmati rice
▪️400g can coconut milk
▪️1 bunch spring onions (sliced)
▪️1 tsp dried thyme
▪️2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
▪️1 tsp ground allspice
▪️2 x 400g cans kidney beans (drained & rinsed)
-For the jerk marinade, combine all the ingredients in a food processor with 1 tsp salt, and blend to a thick paste.
-The marinade should taste quite salty but not unpleasant, if you prefer more spice add more cayenne. If it tastes too salty and sour, add a little more brown sugar till its more balanced.
-Make a few slashes in the chicken and pour the marinade over the meat, rubbing it into all the slashes. Cover and leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.
-Preheat oven to 180C. Put the chicken pieces in a roasting tin with the lime halves and cook for 45 mins cooked through.
-While the chicken is cooking, prepare the rice & peas. Rinse the rice in cold water, then pour in to large saucepan with the remaining ingredients except the kidney beans.
-Season to taste and add 300ml cold water and cook on high heat. Once boiling, turn it down to a medium heat, cover and cook for 10 mins.
-Add the kidney beans to the rice, then cover with a lid. Take off the heat for 5 mins until all the liquid is absorbed.
-In a frying pan shallow fry the plantain in a little oil till caramelised.
To serve squeeze the roasted lime and sauce over the chicken and serve with the rice & peas and plantain.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
▪️200g caster sugar
▪️120g butter (softened)
▪️1 lemon (juice & zest)
▪️200g plain flour
▪️1 teaspoon baking powder
▪️1/4 teaspoon salt
▪️40g flaked or dessicated coconut
-Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease a medium sized loaf tin.
-Beat sugar and butter together in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one bye onet, beating well after each one. Stir juice and zest of lemon into butter mixture.
-Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl; add to butter mixture alternating with milk, mixing well between until well combined.
-Fold in coconut & pour the cake mixture into prepared loaf tin.
-Bake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean, about an hour.
-Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
Serve with clotted or double cream!