If you’d love to take a holiday to the Caribbean but your budget doesn’t quite stretch to booking flights, we’d highly suggest investing in Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen. Ainsley Harriott’s first new cookbook in a decade is packed with delicious ideas inspired by his Jamaican roots, and while picking up a copy might not send you directly to paradise, it’ll certainly transport your tastebuds there.
‘I want people to learn that Caribbean cuisine is about cooking fresh, vibrant and tasty dishes,’ says Ainsley. ‘Home-cooked food that is hearty, nutritious and full of flavour… and yes, at times, a little bit spicy!’
To build the ultimate bible of Caribbean recipes, Ainsley travelled to islands he’d never visited before, and discovered and tasted ‘so many wonderful dishes’. ‘Although there are regional differences, there is a common element,’ he adds. ‘A love of real food and a passion for sharing.’
Want to get involved? We asked him to share three of the tastiest recipes from the book, including his ultimate jerk chicken, and an exciting veggie option that you definitely won’t have tried before…
Recipes from Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen
‘Jerking’ is all about maximising flavour. The great thing about jerk cooking is that you can use either a dry rub or a wet marinade, which means that you can use the wonderful flavours in such a variety of dishes, from meat or fish, to vegetables or grains. Traditionally, the mix will include allspice and Scotch bonnet chillies, but the spices can be adapted to taste. Here’s my ultimate jerk marinade with spatchcocked chicken. If you prefer, you can use four chicken breasts with the skin on and cook on the barbecue for 15–20 minutes.
This is a fantastic vegetarian main course, with a cauliflower baked in spiced coconut milk as the star. It’s a hearty dish, packed full of flavour.
Poppy and coconut beef kebabs with roasted chilli salsa
These kebabs are lovely to cook on the barbecue, but are just as good made on a chargrill pan if the weather isn’t ideal. The toasted coconut adds a nutty sweetness to this spicy dish.
Recipes from Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen by Ainsley Harriott (Ebury Press, £20)