Christmas this year is going to be Caribbean! We had a huge roast dinner with family and friends on Thanksgiving and there’s only two of us for Christmas this year, so it was time for something a bit different. I’ve had the idea of making some ‘jerk halloumi’ in my head for a few weeks – I know, I know, can the best cheese in the world get better? Answer: Yes. It can. So I knew I just needed to think of some other Caribbean dishes to make up this year’s Christmas dinner.
Step one: preparing some vegetarian Jamaican patties…
Caribbean vegetable patties
Makes 8-12 patties. Adapted from Caribbean Food Made Easy by Levi Roots
- Your favourite shortcrust pastry recipe with some added turmeric (Or just use store bought – you could even add turmeric to the egg wash to get the lovely yellow colour. Don’t be intimidated by making pastry though, shortcrust is incredibly simple (and cheap!) to make, here are some handy tips for giving it a go.)
- 300g sweet potato (about 1 large) or butternut squash, diced
- 1 yellow pepper (or half green and half yellow), diced
- 2 small carrots, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp each thyme and ground allspice, cloves and nutmeg
- 1 scotch bonnet chilli, finely chopped (optional)
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 a small can sweetcorn
- 3 spring onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup grated cheese (cheddar or any mild-flavoured cheese will do)
- 2 tbsp chopped, fresh coriander
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 egg or 2 tbsp milk
- Fry squash, pepper, carrot and spices in oil until vegetables are soft. The scotch bonnet will add a lovely Caribbean flavour but beware it will add a lot of heat too…
- Add garlic and sweetcorn and heat gently for another 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and stir in spring onions, cheese and coriander. Remove bay leaves. Season to taste.
- Roll or cut your pastry into rounds and add the filling in the middle. Don’t put too much in like I always do so that your patties are bursting at the seams, doh.
- Brush edges with milk or egg wash and bind, pressing with a fork to close.
- To bake, brush the rest of the patty with milk or egg. Then cook in a 200 degree oven for 20-30 minutes, until golden. Or freeze and bake at another time.
This recipe makes a fair few patties but I promise you’ll have no problem getting rid of them – wrap in aluminum foil while still hot from the oven and bring some down the pub as a surprise, or give them away frozen and ready to be baked by your friends. Yum.
Read more at Caribbean Christmas Part 2: sides!
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