This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Nikki at Everyday Life Mother And Wife.
Well, it’s still winter. It does end, right? Right? RIGHT!? GIVE ME HOPE!
I feel like I remember it ending, in the past…. It seemed to get sunnier, the snow wasnt here, I dont think.. and had to buy short pants and a hat that’s not so wooly… I’ll just keep being patient. But I’m so pale I can see the floral pattern of the armrests on this chair through my forearms. Like a cool tattoo. Im not depressed about it or anything. Everything is cool. Cold, actually. And bleak..
WAHHHHH! Look at it outside!!
Okay! I’ll calm down. I am getting a bit buggy lately though, I have to admit. There is one sure fire way to combat the relentless winter blues. IGNORING IT! Wrapping yourself in beautiful, spicy, Caribbean flavoured delusions. We got a copy of Lucinda’s Authentic Jamaican Kitchen in the mail 4 days ago, and have just been cooking and cooking. So far I have made her home made ginger beer, pumpkin curry, pineapple jam, pineapple-aid, and baked bananas. Oh, and patties.
After living in Toronto for a few years, Jamaican patties became very important to us. Like, overly. There’s just something about walking around the city on a cold winter day, clutching a steaming hot curry beef patty in your mitts to keep you warm. Or grabbing a veggie patty on that first kinda-just-barely-warm-enough-for-a-t-shirt-day and a pineapple pop. Maybe $5 jerk pork and a festival, covered in oxtail gravy, big scoop of rice n peas and a helping of sweet fried plantains.. big old slab of black cake covered in creamy white icing. Oh .. gawd… Anyway, CB got addicted to them and the patty madness would strike at any moment– we would have to stop whatever we were doing (sitting around without pants on watching Family Guy most likely) and go get some patties and pop. Its one of our best Toronto memories.
We have been looking to make patties just like Patty King’s for years, but it’s never been right. This is it! We have finally found it! I feel like I want to write a love letter to Lucinda Scala Quinn.
The thing I love best about this cookbook so far, is that you follow the recipes and you get what you are promised. The patty recipe alone was worth buying the book. It is exactly what we were dreaming of and expecting. We have been craving patties for years and every so often we come across a recipe and try it, and are disappointed. This made CB and I so so so so so happy, and brought spicy sunshine into our souls.
Thyme is a very important flavour in Jamaican cooking; something I did not know previously to this book!
Perfect thin, flakey, yellow curry coloured crust and spicy beef curry inside. Dead on. We have eaten 14 of them since yesterday…….. Someone needs to come help us. Having frozen homemade patties at our disposal is really dangerous. It smells amazing in here though!!
Jamaican Beef Patties
From Lucinda’s Jamaican Kitchen
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup ice-cold water
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 whole green onions, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and minced
- 1 tsp dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh
- 1/4 cup veg oil
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
To make the pastry, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and curry powder in a large mixing bowl. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the bowl. Working quickly and using your fingertips, squeeze together the flour mixture and butter and toss it together by scooping under the mixture with both hands. When the mixture resembles a very coarse meal, add the water to the bowl.
With floured hands, mix and squeeze the dough just until it forms a ball. Knead it once or twice to combine it fully (the less kneading, the better). Spread the dough into 2 pieces, flattening each into a thick pancake. Wrap in plastic and set them in the refrigerator to chill for at least 15 minutes. (The dough will keep in the refrigerator up to 5 days. Remove it from the refrigerator a few minutes before using it.)
For filling, mix together the beef, onion, scallions, garlic, peppers, and thyme in a large bowl. In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat until it is very hot, and add the beef mixture. Fry until the meat is brown and the moisture is evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add the curry powder, salt, and black pepper, stirring occasionally over high heat, allowing a crust to form on the bottom of the pan.
Add the water and stir the mixture, scraping the bottom to incorporate the browned crust. Add the breadcrumbs and stir. The consistency should be like a thick stew. Add more water as needed. Cover, reduce the heat to very low, and cook for 15 minutes. Set it aside to cool.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut each piece of the dough into 9 pieces. Using a rolling pin on a floured surface, roll out each piece of pastry into a rectangle shape with rounded edges. Spread a large spoonful of the cooled meat mixture over one side of the dough, leaving at least 1/2- to 3/4-inch border on the outside edge. Using your finger, paint water around the border. Fold the other side of the dough over, and roll and crimp the edges. Lightly press a floured fork around the edge of the patty.
Place the patty onto a cookie sheet and repeat the procedure with the remaining dough. The patties may be covered in plastic and frozen at this point for later use. Brush each patty with the egg wash and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the patties begin to turn a golden color.
Anyway, this book was worth the patty recipe just by itself, but so far everything else has been delicious as well. You don’t need a ton of special ingredients, just a few basics to attain that Jamaican flavour. If you ran out and grabbed some allspice, curry, thyme, a handful of scotch bonnets and a few limes you could get through most of the recipes in the book.
The ginger beer is dead easy, and the next day you get a very gentle, slightly bubbly tonic that is amazing with a bit of lime and rum. It’s something Im definitely going to be making on a regular basis. Because I have already drank all of it… with rum.. YAY!
The pineapple jam is sticky sweet & sour deliciousness. Its perfect, and would be so good on coconut bread like she suggests. Or smeared on top of a cheese cake. I ate it mixed with some Fussel’s Cream and covered in blueberries. Another thing I love about the book is that it’s very thoughtful. She recommends that when you make the jam, to save the peelings and steep them overnight in hot water, a little sugar and lime juice to make pineapple-ade. No waste!
The pumpkin curry is actually very light considering it’s mainly root veg. Would be a great veggie main. It’s packed with good stuff and I froze it all in little bags to take to work with me for lunch.
And the baked bananas are just a nice light dessert idea, but without this book I probably would never have thought to make them. A little brown sugar and butter, squirt of lime and a dash of rum, broiled in the oven. We ate them with some whipped cream, and it was a perfect light dessert for our patties.
Tonight we are rubbing down a pork shoulder with jerk spice and trying our hand at some jerk pork tomorrow. This is all in preparation for a big jamaican feast we want to make for our coworkers in the summer.
I’ve included a link there to amazon to buy the book. That’s something I thought I may as well do, if I get a really, properly good cookbook and want to share it with everyone. With anything I do happen to earn Im getting as gift cards which I’ll use to buy more cook books!