My mind is wrapped up in these Caribbean flavors at the moment. While I’ve gone a little sidetracked with pumpkin, spice and all things fall… I just keep coming back to the fresh flavors that remind me of sunshine and umbrella drinks.
Maybe it’s because it’s still 90 degrees in Florida.
Maybe it’s because in just a few short months I’ll have my feet up on the lido deck to set sail to the Caribbean with some amazing women – including GAYLE AND OPRAH for the Girls’ Getaway Cruise on Holland America!!
Yes, I will be on a ship, cruising with Oprah.
And I can’t wait to share all of the incredible experiences with you! In fact, there is the final Adventure of Your Life cruise from Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine coming up at the end of October and Chris and I will be on that one together… and there are still rooms left. You can set sail through the Caribbean with us!
So, back this dish totally inspired by the flavors I dream about when I think of sailing through the Caribbean.
I have a strange juxtaposition in the kitchen being that I love to cook, but I don’t love spending a ton of time doing it. Maybe it’s FOMO or the fact that we typically have busy schedules and then 5pm rolls around and I start thinking, I’d better make something for dinner!
One of the things I strive for is to provide quick cooking recipes that use minimal ingredients, although made with real food that deliver bites full of flavor. It’s not always easy to do, but when the plates, or in this case bowls, at the table are wiped clean and everyone is talking about how much they like it, then I’ve totally struck gold.
This week, we hit the caribbean jackpot with this jerk chicken one-bowl meal.
The jerk chicken is nothing short of awesome. It’s fast, healthy, and it’s just really good! We’ve got a jerk seasoning on the chicken that brings a crazy-good depth of flavor, made simply with paprika, cayenne, tons of cumin and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg, a drizzle of honey and olive oil. Throw it on grill, grill pan or frying pan and whip up the rest while the flavors are seared together. And make sure not to skip out on the seasoning and extra drizzle of honey on the chicken… It balances the heat and creates this heavenly, golden caramelization on the chicken.
To harmonize with the spice on the chicken, I paired it with a sweet salsa. The combination of pineapple and red onion with the fresh herbed taste of cilantro was perfect served up with a bit of avocado for some healthy fats.
I took the staples up a notch by adding bacon to the black beans, ’cause really, everything is better with bacon, #amiright? And the jasmine rice is a touch sweet (you can even cook it in coconut milk to really get the flavors popping, but I was out of it this time).
Fried plantains complete the meal and not only look great, they deliver on flavor as well. Actually in my home, they were possibly the most popular component to this dish. They are also possibly the most labor intensive of the recipe, and although they’re really simple to fry up, you just have to keep your eye on them. I fried mine at the end, so I could watch them, while the rest of the meal I cooked up all at once (diced and chopped while the chicken and bacon sizzled away).
Top with a little extra cilantro (YUM) and you’ll be hearing steel drums and dreaming of white sand beaches and turquoise waters right away.
So, you guys, let’s get cooking… and sailing! Really though, I’d LOVE to hear your favorite caribbean inspired dish if you have one, or maybe a favorite meal you enjoyed on a cruise! Tell us in the comments.
O Mag Insider, Tonya Parker said of her recent Adventure of Your Life cruise, “I think the best food experience for me was finding out that they had an entire vegetarian menu that you could choose from the day before… having SEVERAL choices as a vegetarian is always a nice surprise! I looked forward to choosing my veg meals for the rest of the cruise!”
And fellow O Mag cruiser, Stacie Arker Hamilton said that her “most memorable food item: mini donuts dessert in the Tamarind Restaurant… I’m all about dessert!!”
Cruise with Oprah!
Holland America Line and O, The Oprah Magazine have partnered to pair the eye-opening wonder of travel with the soulful, inspiring content found in every issue of the magazine. Experience the power of carefully curated O-inspired onboard programming rooted in O’s Live Your Best Life mission throughout 2018 on Holland America Line cruises sailing from North America. Plus, in October 2018 sail with O and Holland America Line on the final Adventure of Your Life cruise, featuring special appearances by O editors as well as thought leaders, visionaries, and members of Oprah’s SuperSoul 100. Learn more at HollandAmerica.com/OprahMag