Pork Shoulder Roast with Citrus Mojo and Green Sauce
Served with a citrusy mojo and a garlicky cilantro mayonnaise, this Caribbean-style pork roast is a great dish for a crowd.
Jerk Cornish Game Hens
Bradford Thompson’s jerk sauce is loosely based on his wife Kerry-Ann’s excellent family recipe; the couple is hoping to bottle it and sell it in stores. The mix of fiery Scotch bonnet chiles, scallions and spices creates a complex, deep-flavored paste that’s amazing on grilled chicken or game hens.
Fried Sweet Plantains
Plantains are abundant all over the Caribbean, and one popular way to eat them is to pan-fry the sweet banana-like slices until they're warm and tender.
Caribbean Jerk Chicken
The spirit of Jamaica's popular jerk sauce comes through in this superspicy, fragrant grilled chicken. To punch up the flavor even more, let the marinade sit for an additional 24 hours before adding the meat. To lower the heat, swap out Scotch bonnet chiles (among the world's hottest) for jalapeños.
Island Kale and Sweet-Potato Soup
Inspired by Caribbean callaloo, this tropical, coconut-milk-spiked soup can be mildly or wildly spicy, according to your taste. If you like it hot, add some or all of the jalapeño seeds or a splash of Tabasco sauce.
Spicy Lobster-Noodle Salad
This cellophane-noodle salad, with creamy avocados, crunchy peanuts and a chile-honey dressing, is an excellent showcase for Caribbean spiny lobsters. Also known as rock lobsters, they are sweet but can be slightly dense. This recipe uses Maine lobsters; they're more tender than spiny lobsters—and just as delicious.
Tangy Tomato and Mango Salad
This simple salad calls for tomatoes, mango slices with red wine vinegar, just a little olive oil and plenty of sliced fresh basil.
Tropical Fruit Chutney
Bradford Thompson created this recipe to balance some of the fiery Jamaican dishes he likes to cook at home. The chutney is made with a mix of fresh mango, papaya and pineapple, and it's deliciously sweet and delicately spicy.
Curry Crab Rundown
Rundown is a classic Caribbean recipe that involves cooking foods like crab, mackerel or lobster in coconut milk. (The word rundown refers to the simmering down of the coconut milk.) Bradford Thompson uses chunks of lump crabmeat in this spicy, rich coconut-curry stew. Curry, which is popular in Jamaica, was introduced there in the 17th century by East Indian slaves who were brought to the island (then an English colony) by the British.
Shrimp-and-Avocado Salad with Mango Dressing
In Middle Quarters, a village on the southern coast of Jamaica, roadside stands serve sweet shrimp simmered in peppery broth. Inspired by this, Bradford Thompson simmers shrimp in a fragrant broth made with lager, chile and fresh ginger, then serves them with avocado and a light mango dressing for a great salad.
Jamaican Rice and Peas
This spicy side dish, made with ginger, chiles and coconut milk, is great alongside jerk or curry dishes. Peas in Jamaica means beans—in this case, kidney beans.
Crispy Cornmeal Fritters
These slightly sweet, crispy cornmeal fritters, called "festival," are served all over Jamaica; supposedly, they get their name because eating them is like having a festival in your mouth.
Jerk Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Salsa
Pork tenderloin is leaner than skin-on chicken is and delicious in the spicy, smoky recipe here. Capsaicin, the chemical that makes chiles taste hot, can help boost metabolism; for extra fire, add the chile seeds to the marinade.
This recipe is easy to multiply for crowds. To ensure that a large batch stays chilled without becoming watery, serve it in a punch bowl set in a larger bowl of crushed ice.
Dark 'n Stormy
According to a Gosling's Rum tale, this drink was invented more than 100 years ago when members of Bermuda's Royal Naval Officer's Club added a splash of the local rum to their spicy homemade ginger beer. They described its ominous hue as "the color of a cloud only a fool or dead man would sail under."
Toasted-Coconut Custard Tart
The soft custard filling and the caramelized shredded coconut topping in this tart have the creamy-crunchy texture of a coconut macaroon.