All posts filed under: Trinidad and Tobago

View of the Five Islands, Carrera Island and Point Gourde near in Chaguaramas, Trinidad. Photo by Jean-Marc /Jo BeLo/Jhon-John from Caracas, Venezuela.

Monday Meal Review: Trinidad and Tobago

This week, gorgeous Trinidad and Tobago helped me question what was real about my relationship in a way I’d never thought about before. The timing couldn’t have been better, since Keith and I just celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary. The lesson came in an unlikely form: The Swiss Family Robinson. The Swiss Family Robinson was filmed in Tobago in 1960.  The filmmaker, Ken Annakin, emphasized how perfect the location was for shooting…  After visiting countless less-than-desirable locations, they called Tobago “love at first sight.” It was beautiful. It was serene. The island was everything they’d been looking for. And yet – even with this “love at first sight” location – they still flew in countless animals from around the world (think elephants, cranes, parrots, tigers, anacondas, and more), to build the ambiance of the film. They still constructed their own set in Tobago, bending the location to suit their needs. All this was done to make the story of a shipwrecked family seem more real. I thought about this story, while my stew chicken simmered. A few questions kept popping back …

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Caribbean-Style Orange Juice Rice

In Trinidad and Tobago they say “Don’t pick fruits after 6 p.m., the tree is sleeping.” I’m not exactly sure what the tree would do to retaliate if you interrupt its sleep … but I do know that when I don’t get my sleep, I’m not only gruffy, but I can’ t focus on anything. I’m so tired that my work suffers. I pout. I play with my hair. I pace rooms. I can’t bear fruit, so to speak. So. Let’s avoid picking fruit from the tree after six, both literally and figuratively. Instead, let’s enjoy fruit in our rice. I first read about orange rice in The World Cookbook for Students. Apparently, this is a popular side dish in parts of Trinidad and Tobago. And for good reason. When cooked with orange juice, rice becomes sweet, tangy, and makes the perfect complement to spicy food. Now. There is nothing subtle about replacing all the water with O.J., so if you’d like to start off with something more mild, try using half water (or broth) and half O.J. …

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Trini Stew Chicken

Many a good thing requires we throw our all into it. Swimming, for example. If we don’t swim with our all, well… we sink. Fast. When it comes to food from Trinidad and Tobago, adding a ton of flavor goes a long way to making unctuous and irresistible stew chicken. And when I say a “ton of flavor”, I mean, we’re going to throw our all into it.  Just about everything your market (and your herb planter) has to offer goes into stew chicken. The basis of Stew Chicken is Green Seasoning. We made green seasoning back when we cooked Guyana. There are hundreds (thousands!) of recipes for green seasoning, so I thought it’d be fun to make up a second batch with this recipe. I used a different mix of herbs and aromatics, like ginger, garlic, tomato, green onion, and thyme. These flavors speak to Trinidad and Tobago’s preferences… and go wonderfully with this chicken. For this recipe, I used four whole chicken legs, which weighed about 2 lbs total. This sauce is enough to serve with 4 lbs …

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Menu: Trinidad and Tobago

Keith and I just celebrated five years of marriage. There’s an old saying from Trinidad and Tobago that sums up the depths to which I love this man: There’s more in the mortar than the pestle. In other words, there’s more to this man than meets the eye. He’s not just a pair of jaw dropping hazel eyes. He’s not just the funny one. He’s sure. Stable. All things committed. And I’m so lucky to have him. What better way to celebrate my husband than two of his favorite things? Spicy food and orange juice. Sweet and hot. Please and thank you. These recipes will be posted throughout the week along with the meal review. Orange Juice Rice [Recipe] Take ordinary rice on a tropical spin; cook it up with orange juice! This pale orange, fruity dish is a must-have on the side of any spicy food. Caribbean Stew Chicken [Recipe] Stew chicken is a celebration of the Caribbean. There are so many seasonings in here – a true melting pot of flavor characteristic of the West …

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About the food of Trinidad & Tobago

If you’d like to dig into a melting pot, try visiting Trinidad and Tobago via stovetop travel. These Caribbean islands, right off the coast of Venezuela, are known for having absorbed a bit of Spain, Portugal, France, Dutch, China, Africa, Creole, and Indian cooking… and spat it back out in their own, lovely cooking style. From what I can tell, the food is spicy, bold, and – like a brilliant tapestry – layered with infinite threads from the many influences… which weave an intricate flavor portrait. Curry is probably Trinidad and Tobago’s most popular food, often seasoned with an incredibly hot batch of Green Seasoning, or some variation thereof. This could be fish curry, chicken curry, long bean curry, or pretty much whatever your heart desires. The ever popular Stew Chicken is a great example of a curry-like dish made more robust with bits of ketchup and Worcestershire sauce [Recipe]. Some even add ginger and soy sauce. Hot peppers (a.k.a. Scotch Bonnet or Habenero pepper) and seasoning peppers, which are a lot like scotch bonnet peppers with …

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