Jamaican Rice and Peas (Anitha)

  • 1 1/2 cups dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight and drained or canned
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, chopped
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain rice 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
Place beans and garlic in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook until the beans are tender, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. When the beans are tender, stir in the coconut milk, green onions, Scotch bonnet, and thyme, and increase the heat to a boil. Stir in the rice, cover the pot, and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed most of the liquid. Transfer to a large serving bowl and garnish with sliced green onions.

Jerk Chicken (Anitha)

Ingredients for Jerk Marinade:
  • 2 teaspoons allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 onion
  • 8 cloves garlic or 1 whole head
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 3 limes, juiced
  • Splash low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
  • 1 Scotch bonnet pepper, halved, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 whole free-range chicken (about 5 pounds), cut into 10 pieces
  • Limes, for garnish
  • Parsley, for garnish
  • Smoking chips, soaked in water for 15 minutes
Begin by making the jerk marinade. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a blender and process until you have a smooth puree.

Add chicken pieces into a large resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Put the bag into a baking dish and let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat grill to high.

Prepare a table-top smoker or take a roasting tray, line it with foil and add some soaked wood chips to the bottom. Place a wire rack over the top, upside down, and lay chicken pieces over the chips on the rack. Cover with foil and grill over high heat. Smoke for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

Transfer the chicken pieces to a baking sheet and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Bake in the oven "low and slow" until chicken is tender, about 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the baking sheet to a serving platter and garnish with limes and parsley before serving.

Vegetarian Stroganoff (Purni)

Vegetarian Stroganoff with Crumbled Veggie Burgers. If you like stroganoff, try this vegetarian stroganoff version. For a vegan version, you can use a non-dairy sour cream.

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 veggie burgers, thawed and crumbled or chopped
  • 1 1/3 cup homemade or canned vegetarian gravy
  • 2 4 1/2 ounce cans sliced mushrooms, or 1 1/2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 6 oz container sour cream (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pasta, noodles, or rice for serving
Sautee the onion in olive oil for a minute or two, then add crumbled veggie burgers and cook for another two minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add the vegetarian gravy, mushrooms, sour cream, garlic powder and salt and pepper. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for at least ten more minutes. Serve your vegetarian stroganoff over cooked pasta, egg noodles, rice, or a baked potato.

Succotash Salad (Mona)

Note: I doubled the amount of dressing i made

  • 3 cups cooked baby lima beans
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels, blanched
  • 1 cup diced, peeled, seeded cucumber
  • 2 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1⁄4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1 scallion with 3" of green, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 1⁄2 tsp. dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1⁄2 tsp. sugar
  • 1⁄8 tsp. curry powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Combine lima beans, corn, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and scallions in a bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the vinegar, mustard, garlic, sugar, and curry powder together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Slowly drizzle in the oil, whisking constantly. Pour over the vegetables and mix well with a rubber spatula. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Shortly before serving, toss with cilantro. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve cold.