When it comes to Caribbean flavours in the U.K, Grace Foods have bagged the top stop as the numero uno food and drinks company. They have a wide range of sauces, dips, marinades seasonings and tropical drinks to satisfy all palates.
Grace Foods are celebrating their 5th annual Caribbean Food week – Aug 22nd to Aug 29th’ 2016. To spread the word of their celebrations Grace Foods, sent me a cracking hamper stuffed with an assortment of goodies.
I wanted to try all the sauces but I was cooking for two so choose the following products:
- Dunns River Ackee
- Dunns River beans
- Dunns River Tropical seasoning
- Dunns River all-purpose seasoning
I had never heard of Ackee before and was very curious to try working with this ingredient. Ackee, the national fruit of Jamaica, is consumed in a traditional dish with salt fish. AK is not fond of salt fish though I decided to create a side with vegetables and Dunns River Tropical seasoning. I am so pleased with the results, the dish is truly sunshine in a plate.
It is always fun to try out new and exotic flavours but mind you this one comes with a warning. The unripe fruit can prove fatal and causes Jamaican vomiting sickness. But the ripe fruit has many nutritional benefits including being a digestive aid, helping to lower blood pressure and is high in unsaturated fats which help to maintain heart health.
Ackee and vegetable side
- Dunn Rivers can of ackee
- 6 tsp Dunn Rivers Tropical seasoning
- 1/2 a red onion chopped lengthwise
- 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 3-4 small sweet peppers
- 2 tbsp Rapeseed oil
- Heat oil in a wok
- Sauté’ the chopped garlic until they brown
- Add the Tropical seasoning and mix well
- Add the chopped onions and sauté’ them until they go soft
- Then add the green beans and stir fry for about 2 minutes
- Then add the peppers and sauté for about a minute
- Drain and wash the ackee under running water
- Add the ackee and cook on low heat for at least 4 minutes
- Ensure the ackee mixes well with the vegetables and spices and serve hot
As the ackee cooks, it breaks down like soft gooey scrambled eggs and takes up the flavours in the seasoning very well. Mix the ackee very gently or it will turn into a lump.
I paired this dish with hearty brown rice mixed with peas and beans.
Caribbean rice with peas and beans
- 1.5 cup brown rice
- 1 can of Dunns River peas and Beans
- 1 small red onion
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- Chop the onion lengthwise
- Rinse and soak the rice in a big vessel
- Heat the olive in a medium-sized vessel
- Add the bay leaf and then sauté’ the chopped garlic until it browns
- Add 2 heaped tbsp of all-purpose seasoning and mix well and sauté for under 30-second stirring continuously so that the seasoning does not bu4n
- Drain the water used to wash the rice
- Then add the washed rice and sauté it for under a minute stirring continuously
- Drain the water from the canned peas and beans and transfer them to a sieve and wash them under running water, to get rid of the salt
- Add the peas and beans and add exactly twice the amount of water as the rice and cook on a medium flame with lid on
- Garnish with some chopped spring onion
- Serve hot
Ideally, I would cook up a fiery chicken curry to go with this rice but I had some white fish in my freezer and decided to grill them with some jerk seasoning.
Grilled Jerk Fish
- 2 fillets of white fish
- 3 heaped tbsp of Dunns River Jamaican jerk seasoning marinade
- 2 tsp of olive oil
- 1/4 th of a lime
- Wash the fish fillets and coat thoroughly with the marinade
- Heat a grill pan and pour the oil
- Grill the fish until done
- Ensure you do not overcook as the white fish is generally very delicate and will break easily. Overcooking will render it dry and not much fun to eat!
- Squeeze the lime and do not be shy with it, the lime will cut through the spice and elevate flavours
Get creative in your kitchen or just go with the recipe suggestions on the packs, if you need more recipe inspiration head over to the Grace Foods recipe section.
If you are in London join the festivities at Caribbean Food Week Festival at Windrush Square in Brixton.
Disclaimer: With thanks to Grace Foods for sending me a selection of products to experiment with. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review and was not compensated monetarily for this post.