NEWYORK, NY - One pot meals are the go-to meals for Caribbean nationals the world over. They are usually quick meals that are hearty, delicious and nutritious.
And yes, they are also comfort foods! Some examples of one pot meals that are prepared in the Caribbean are: Seasoned rice, chicken or fish head soup, ital stew, macaroni and corned beef, calaloo and codfish and rice, oil down, pelau, plantain lasagna, ackee and codfish, and steamed fish with steamed bammy or Jamaican water crackers.
One pot meals are prepared for several reasons: they are go-to meals when funds are low, or to utilize leftovers or to minimize the food preparation time so that time can be spent to take care of other tasks.
Today I will share with my favorite one pot meal recipe: seasoned rice with ackee and saltfish
Prepare Ackee and Codfish as follows:
1 pound boneless salted codfish
1/2 cup coconut oil
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 large onions, sliced
2 large tomatoes
4 scallions, chopped
1 cup sliced red bell peppers
1/4 Scotch bonnet pepper,
Two cans of Ackee, drained
3 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons of butter
Reduce the salt in the cod fish by soaking fish in cold water overnight.
Drain, flake and set aside.
Add fresh cold water and cook cod until tender.
Flake in small pieces and put to the side.
Drain canned Ackee in a colander and set aside.
In a deep pot sauté chopped onion, red bell pepper and tomatoes, garlic and scotch bonnet pepper in hot coconut oil until onion is transparent. Do not burn ingredients!
Add flaked cod fish, and black pepper to saucepan.
Gently fold in Ackee and sprinkle with remaining pepper.
Add butter, scallion and thyme and simmer on low heat for five to 10 minutes
Add enough boiling water or chicken stock to cook two cups of Basmati white rice.
Add the prepared Ackee and codfish into pot and allow to steam until rice is cooked.
Serves 4 persons.
*Minna LaFortune is a trained Caribbean caterer and also president, Society for the Advancement of the Caribbean Diaspora (SACD).