Hi. I’m Shauna Muamba, creator of Mrs Muamba’s Caribbean Cooking Sauces, and I’ve a prepared a traditional Caribbean Christmas dinner just for you… ENJOY!!!
MRS MUAMBA’S JERK ROAST CHICKEN
‘Jerk Chicken is a favourite in the Caribbean, and you can experience these amazing flavours in the comfort of your home.’
1 jar of Mrs Muamba’s Caribbean Jerk Sauce
1 large whole chicken (approx 1.5kg)
1 x 473ml can of Budweiser or other lager
Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6. Cover chicken all over with Mrs Muamba’s Caribbean Jerk Sauce and make sure you get the sauce inside and out. If you have time, let the chicken marinate for a few hours in the fridge, if not, move to the next step and pour out enough beer from the can so that the can is just about half full. Next, lower your chicken’s cavity onto the top of the can, so it looks as though the chicken is sitting on the can. The steam from the beer cooks the inside of the bird, so the meat ends up lovely and juicy. Carefully sit the chicken in a tray on the very bottom of your oven, and cook for around 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, or until it is golden and delicious. Once done, remove the can (carefully!) and serve. Delicious!
MRS MUAMBA’S CARIBBEAN LAMB CURRY
‘In Jamaica, our national motto is “Out of many one people” and Indian food has definitely influenced Caribbean cuisine.’
1 jar of Mrs Muamba’s Caribbean Curry Sauce
1 kg quality lamb shoulder, cut into large cubes
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium-sized onions, roughly chopped
2 red peppers, roughly chopped and deseeded
600ml/1 pint chicken stock
Sliced chilli, coconut shavings and chopped coriander, to serve and garnish
Heat a large saucepan, add the vegetable oil and then the lamb. Cook over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the lamb is golden-brown. Reduce the heat and add the onions and red peppers, and fry until golden and softened.
Add enough chicken stock to just cover the lamb. Stir well, and scrape the bottom of the pan to release any residue. Heat the mixture until simmering, then cover and cook on a low heat for about one hour, or until the lamb is tender and cooked through. Next, drain off the chicken stock and add the jar of sauce and heat through until the sauce is of a semi-thick consistency, so that the flavours of the sauce can infuse with the lamb. By now, the lamb will be succulent and tender. You can garnish with extra chilli, coconut and herbs, serve with rice and tuck in.
With any Christmas dinner, accompaniments are a must, and no true Caribbean dinner is complete without the classic fried plantain, coleslaw and rice and peas.
GUNGO PEAS AND RICE
I personally prefer the taste of gungo peas, and the fact that they are easier to cook means that you can have tasty rice and peas without extreme hassle.
3 spring onions, bruised with a rolling pin
1 garlic clove, crushed
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
400g can gungo peas, include liquid in the rice
440g (2 cups) basmati rice
400ml coconut milk
7 allspice berries (pimento crushed)
1 scotch bonnet, uncut
1 tsp brown sugar
½ tsp salt
470ml (2 cups) of water
Rinse the rice in a sieve until the water runs clear. Bring a pan with 470ml of water to the boil with the gungo peas and its liquid, the coconut milk, spring onions, thyme, garlic, allspice, sugar and some salt, then simmer for 10-15 mins. The smell will be aromatic and flavoursome. Add the rice, bring up to the boil, and then lower the heat so that the rice can gently simmer. Add the scotch bonnet, but make sure it is not broken or bruised, as this will add heat to the rice; we just want the flavour. Put the lid on and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Plate up and serve 4 to 6 people.
Fried plantains are one of those Caribbean dishes that are served with almost every meal, so it had to feature in Mrs Muamba’s Christmas dinner.
4 ripe plantains, peeled and cut diagonally or round, into 1/4-inch thick slices
Drizzle oil into a frying pan, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan, and place on medium heat. When oil begins to shimmer, add plantains, working in batches, and fry for 1½ minutes on one side, flip and cook for one minute on the other side. Remove plantains from pan, and rest on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
Continue frying in batches until all the plantains are fried.
Home-made coleslaw tastes fresh, crunchy and creamy delicious, and is so easy to make, you’ll never buy coleslaw from the shops again!
1 small white cabbage, with the outer leaves removed, and cut into four wedges
½ small red onion, peeled and very finely sliced
3 spring onion stalks (the green part), finely chopped
Tablespoons of mayonnaise (add more or less, depending on how creamy you like your coleslaw)
A pinch of salt and ground pepper
Peel the carrots, and then grate them. Thinly slice the cabbage, but if you’re not confident with a knife, just grate the cabbage. Place the carrot and cabbage in a bowl with the sliced onion, spring onion and the mayonnaise. Mix well, and season with salt and ground black pepper.
Combined together, these dishes taste delicious and are an easy way to impress your friends and family on Christmas Day.
For more details of Mrs Muamba’s Caribbean sauces, visit www.mrsmuambas.co.uk.