Pimento Grain

the recipes of a nomadic Jamaican

Page 2 of 3

At-Home Pizza Dough

My andouille-green pepper creation

My andouille-green pepper creation

Last week, in lieu of my own wood-burning masonry oven, I got a Big Green Egg barbecue. The first thing I made on it was pizza and it was more amazingly delicious than anything I could have hoped to bake in my conventional oven. Of course, the fact that I labored lovingly over the crust made it even more rewarding, and I use the word ‘labored’ loosely because the crust was quite easy to make.

Pizza is, in fact, a bread so the crust is always the most important part. Be sure to use just a few high-quality toppings to get the best flavor. You can start the process as few as three hours ahead of your desired bake time and keep the dough, refrigerated, for up to three days. You will need a pizza peel, a bread stone, some semolina flour for dusting (cornmeal may also be used), and a very hot oven.

1. Weigh the following into a large bowl and set aside

550 grams Tipo 00 flour

2. In a separate bowl, stir together and dissolve

300 grams water at 80°F

5 grams active dry yeast

3. Add yeast mixture to flour and knead. Then work in

10 grams olive oil

4. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes. Add

6 grams salt 

5. Knead to combine, transfer to a clean container and let rise, covered, for an hour.

6. Punch the dough down, divide and shape into ball(s). This dough will make four 8-inch pizzas, two 12-inch pizzas or one 16-inch pizza.

Ready for the stone

Ready for the stone

7. Place balls in a floured container to rise. Dust the top of the balls lightly with flour, cover and let rise for two to three hours, until doubled. If not using on the same day, place the balls in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake.

8. Pre-heat your oven with pizza stone inside. My household oven only goes up to 550°F so I use this setting inside. If you are baking on your barbecue grill, try to get it to around 700°F 

9. The dough will be soft and light after this second rise. Flatten the dough and gently stretch it into your desired sized circle using your fingertips. If refrigerated, leave at room temperature for 30 minutes. Be careful not to stretch too vigorously as the dough is very delicate and well aerated from yeast activity and will break. Pay close attention to the dough and work around areas that have been stretched very thin. 

10. Place dough on dusted peel then add sauce and toppings. This dough likes to remain the star of the show and does not do well when piled too high so choose your few toppings carefully.

11. Slide onto fiery baking stone and cook for 8-15 minutes, depending on your oven temperature. A good indication of doneness is the crust being golden brown, or very slightly charred if done on your barbecue grill.

Pizzeta with tomato, sausage and basil

Pizzeta with tomato, sausage and basil

Fresh Cranberry Cornbread

Crumbly and delicious cranberry cornbread

Crumbly and delicious cranberry cornbread

I missed the local cranberry festival this year but a generous friend went and brought me a bag of delicious, antioxidant-filled crimson berries. I had never come in contact with a fresh cranberry before but I was certainly excited and readily accepted the challenge of going through three pounds of the infamously sour fruit. I had gathered several recipes in preparation for delivery but the giver suggested cranberry cornbread and that was the first thing I made. I sliced the berries in half down the stem and macerated them overnight with copious amounts of sugar and a splash of brandy (about half a cup sugar per cup of sliced cranberries). I decided to stick with my favourite cornbread recipe, folding in the berries just before baking. This recipe adds a fresh and nutritious dimension to sweet cornbread. 

I would never have guessed that cranberries were white on the inside

I would never have guessed that fresh cranberries were white on the inside

1/2 cup demerara sugar per cup of cranberries and a splash of brandy or your favorite hard liquor

1/2 cup demerara sugar per cup of cranberries and a splash of brandy or your favorite hard liquor.  Leave in fridge overnight, stirring occasionally.


1. Whisk together

1 cup coarse cornmeal

1 cup flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 Tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2. With a wooden spoon or heavy spatula, mix in until combined

1/2 cup olive oil (not extra virgin)

2/3 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

3. Toss in evenly

1 cup macerated cranberries

4. Pour mixture into two 4×8 loaf pans and bake at 400°F for 25 minutes, or until it passes the clean toothpick test.


Straight out of the oven, chock full of delicious, fresh cranberries

Straight out of the oven, chock full of delicious, fresh cranberries

Sweet cornbread packed with cranberries

Sweet cornbread packed with cranberries

Rosemary Focaccia with Potatoes and Anise


A deliciously browned focaccia, ready to be devoured

I’ve been dabbling in bread making for the last year or so; ever since attending a class at Hains House I have been baking at least twice a month and, surprisingly, losing weight. It took me a while but I finally have a bread recipe that I feel comfortable sharing with you. The dough is adapted from Dean Brettschneider’s Bread. You will need a good kitchen scale and a large, rimless cookie sheet.

The beautiful surface of the focaccia before it went into the oven

The beautiful surface of the focaccia before it went into the oven

1. In a large bowl, with a strong wooden spoon, combine

500g white bread flour

10g salt

28g olive oil

15g sugar

10g chopped rosemary leaves

7g instant yeast

380g water (at 75°F)

2. The dough will be shaggy when just combined. Tip it out onto a floured workbench kneading for 10-15 minutes, resting every 2-3 minutes. You will know to stop kneading when the dough is smooth and elastic. DO NOT add any flour to the dough, it should be a bit wet. To prevent sticking to your hands, occasionally moisten your palm and fingers with water at room temperature.

3. Return dough to a lightly-oiled pan that can accommodate at least twice its volume. Cover with a processing cap and leave in a warm place for an hour.

4. After an hour, gently fold the dough over onto itself seven times in the bowl, effectively deflating it. Cover the dough again, return it to a warm place for 30 minutes or until doubled in size.

5. While waiting for the dough to double, line a rimless cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside. Combine in a small bowl

120 g heavy cream

80g sour cream

2 large cloves garlic, crushed and finely minced

1 Tbsp fresh rosemary

6. When the dough has doubled in size, tip it out on a well-floured workbench and use your fingers to gently press it out into a large rectangle. Carefully lift the dough onto the lined cookie sheet, gently press the surface to ensure it’s relatively even.

7. Spread the cream mixture over the surface of the dough. Do not leave any border.

8. Very thinly slice

1 anise (or fennel) bulb

1 medium yukon gold potato

9. In a tight arrangement, layer the anise and potato slices alternately over the dough. Drizzle with

4 Tbsp olive oil

10. Sprinkle with 

Anise fronds

Rosemary sprigs

11. Season with freshly ground salt and pepper. Allow to rest for 15 minutes, then bake at 485°F for 25 minutes.

Slice and serve warm. This will serve 4-6 as a main dish, or 8-10 as a side.

grab a slice

grab a slice


Perfectly Pink Guava Sorbet

Serving up pink guava sorbet swirled into toasted coconut ice cream

Serving up pink guava sorbet swirled into toasted coconut ice cream

In defiance of the rule, in these United States, that one shouldn’t have ice cream after Labor Day, I am eating toasted coconut ice cream. There might be room for redemption, however, as I also whipped up a halfway-healthy pink guava sorbet which was swirled into the delicious coconutty goodness. I do not have fresh guavas at my disposal so I used a puree that I ordered online. The puree was reminiscent of a freshly picked, ripe pink guava from Jamaica, except my Jamaican guavas were always free and this 30-ounce jar of frozen puree was $25 plus the cost of overnight shipping. I could shed a tear, but when I think of how much a pound of inferior Atlantic salmon costs in Jamaica, while here I can easily walk down to the river and catch (or bargain for) a gigantic, delicious, Pacific chinook, I realize it’s worth it. 

Three scoops, please

Three scoops, please

Because I used David Lebovitz’s recipe from The Perfect Scoop to make the toasted coconut ice cream, I won’t share it here but feel free to buy the book or google the method that other bloggers have reproduced with permission. Below is the recipe for my pink guava sorbet that is lovely on its own but benefits from pairing with ice cream.

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, whisk together

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

the juice of a large lime (about 2 Tbsps)

5 fresh kaffir lime leaves

2. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

3. Reduce heat and  add

1 1/2 cups Guava Puree

4. Stir until guava puree is well blended

5. Remove from heat and chill over an ice bath (place pan in a large bowl of ice, stirring occasionally)

6. When mixture has cooled, discard lime leaves and churn in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. IF you do not have an ice-cream maker spread the mixture onto a cookie sheet, freeze, then churn the mixture in a blender until smooth.

7. Keep frozen until ready to serve



Mini Callaloo Patties

Flaky pastry stuffed to capacity with delicious callaloo

Flaky pastry stuffed to capacity with delicious callaloo. The ubiquitous Red Stripe in the background

Callaloo is one of the crops I wasn’t convinced  would do well here in the Pacific Northwest, but I was wrong. Until a couple weeks ago when the deer returned to ravage our garden, I was reaping callaloo on a daily basis; I always had enough of the prolific vegetable amaranth to serve at least two meals a week and even more to share with neighbors. The plant bounced back, somewhat, but now we are only reaping a small amount each week. I have been using it in all sorts of dishes: creamed like spinach, steamed with saltfish, baked in galettes, stuffed inside fish and most recently in patties! If you are not lucky enough to be growing callaloo in your backyard, you can find it fresh in most Asian markets, labelled as Yin Tsai, it might be purple instead of green but it tastes the same. Canned is another option that I do not recommend.

One of my favorite callaloo dishes from home is a loaf from Juici Patties that is basically a callaloo pastie but with a coco bread crust instead of the traditional flaky pastry. In homage to Juici’s delicious fillings and the unbeatably light crust of my favorite hometown patty-erie, Green Shop, I have made these mini callaloo patties with my favorite puff pastry recipe. Warning: This is not a low calorie food. 

Get the crust ready:

1. Whisk together

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp salt

2. With a pastry blender, cut in

2 sticks very cold butter, cubed

3. In a separate bowl, stir together

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup ice water

1 Tbsp lemon juice

4. Pour cream mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not overwork or your pastry will not be flaky. It should be shaggy with butter solids still distinctly visible.

5. Divide into two equal halves, Wrap in plastic and chill for at least an hour, or up to 24 hours, until you are ready to make the patties.

Prepare the filling:

6. In skillet over medium heat, melt

1 tbsp ghee (or cooking oil of your choice)

7. Stir in

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup finely diced carrots

8. Reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally until Onions are translucent.

9. Stir in

2 finely minced cloves garlic

1 tsp salt

1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

2 tsps finely chopped Scotch Bonnet / Habanero (or 1 tsp Scotch Bonnet sauce) 

10. Return heat to medium and add

3 cups callaloo, washed, drained, chopped and firmly packed

11. Cover and let steam, remove lid and stir after about 5 minutes.

12. Lower heat and cook for another 10 minutes or until callaloo is at your desired tenderness. Remove from heat and set aside.

Now it’s time to make your patties!

13. Roll half your crust out into a 12-inch square, cut 9 four inch squares from your dough

14. Drop a spoonful of prepared filling onto half of each square,  ensuring a 1/4 inch border

15. Fold empty half of square over the other half and seal the edges together using your fingers.

16. Repeat with other half of crust.

17. Place patties on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with a combination of

1 egg yolk and 1 tsp water

18. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.


Skin-on Pork Loin Roast

crispy crackling falling off tender, juicy pork

crispy crackling falling off tender, juicy pork

Yesterday I labored in the kitchen at the basic country loaf from Chad Robertson’s Tartine bread, and at the end of the night when I finally put my loaves in the fridge to slowly ferment, I decided that good bread warranted delicious meat so, as if I wasn’t tired enough, I spent another hour scoring and seasoning this skin-on loin roast.  The result was definitely worth it: a superlative sandwich of extraordinary bread topped with succulent meat and fresh greens. Below is my method for the pork roast but if you want to dabble intrusion bread making, you can order Chad’s book here. Do not Google his recipe as none of the online reproductions come close to the depth of the descriptions and images in the book itself.

My beautiful loaf of Tartine country bread

My beautiful loaf of Tartine country bread

Fresh bread, homemade apple butter, delicious pork and a few green spinach leaves to absolve my conscience

Fresh bread, homemade apple butter, delicious pork and a few green spinach leaves to absolve me

1. With a sharp knife, score in a criss-cross pattern

1 3lb skin-on pork loin

2. Season pork skin between scores with

salt and pepper to taste

3. Brush pork skin with

a little oil

4. Season meat, except skin, with a finely ground blend of

1 tsp grated lemon zest

1 Tbsp sea salt

3 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp fennel pollen or fennel seed (or a blend of both)

1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves

1 Tbsp fresh parsley

2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves

1 tsp freshly ground peppercorn 

5. Refrigerate the roast at least four hours, uncovered, on the bottom shelf of your fridge

6. Let the roast sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking

7. Preheat oven to 475°F and cook roast for 40 minutes, then lower temperature to 400°F and cook until thermometer reads 155°F, about another 40 minutes.

8. Allow the roast to rest for 30 minutes before carving with a serrated knife.

A mouse got away with a couple crackling squares

A two-legged mouse got away with a few crackling squares


Green Tea Stracciatella Ice-Cream with Midori Spring Organic Ceremonial Matcha

Beautiful shards of chocolate throughout velvety matcha cream

Beautiful shards of chocolate throughout velvety matcha cream

I received a sample of Midori Spring’s Organic Ceremonial Emerald Class Matcha and as a first time matcha user, I am impressed. I have been enjoying the hot tea, which is quite potent and delicious but my favorite use of the product has been in ice-cream. I’ve made green tea ice cream three times since I received this canister but the recipe I will share today is my favorite yet. Chocolate goes excellently with green tea and provides a kick of sweetness to remind you that this is, in fact, dessert. I think it’s better than the green tea ice cream served at my favorite Japanese restaurant, but self-praise is no recommendation so I urge you to give this recipe a try.



1. In a saucepan over medium flame, heat

1 1/2 cups whole milk

2. Whisk in

1 Tbsp  + 1 tsp matcha powder

1/2 cup heavy cream

3/4 cup sugar

3. In a small bowl beat

3 large egg yolks, slowly adding 1/4 cup of heated milk mixture while whisking. This will temper the yolks.

4. Once yolks have tempered, incorporate them into the milk mixture over medium-low flame. This is your custard.

5. Stir custard with a spatula, regularly ‘scraping’ the bottom and sides of the pan. Do not let the mixture boil.

6. When mixture has reached a nappe consistency (thick enough to coat the spatula, leaving a clean line when you run your finger through it), strain into a bowl with

1 cup heavy cream

7. Mix cream and custard until well incorporated. Refrigerate until completely cooled, or cool in an ice bath, if you are impatient.

8. Churn mixture in an ice-cream maker.

9. When ice-cream is mostly solid and still churning, slowly and steadily add

1 bar chocolate, melted and slightly cooled

10. Churn for another 10 minutes. You will have tiny shards of delightful chocolate distributed throughout the ice cream. Transfer to airtight container and freeze til ready to serve.

Makes 1.25 qts



Three scoops, please


  • The chocolate is optional. Recipe works wonderfully without it, just use a full cup of sugar.
  • If you want to add your chocolate solid, please melt and chill it first. If you add the chocolate chunks without melting, it will be very gritty and will taste nothing like chocolate.
  • The matcha will not completely dissolve unless you’re very lucky but have no fear the larger solids will be strained out.
  • I use the Cuisinart ICE-100 ice-cream maker. It is a worthy investment if you intend to experiment with ice-cream.
  • Tovolo Glide-A-Scoop Ice Cream Tub is a great container that makes freezing and serving your ice-cream as easy as pie.

A Rough Guide to Perfect Shoestring Fries

barbecue meal

Barbecued pork belly with fries and slaw

Welcome to my home, where whatever happens to show up in the mail from Amazon inspires dinner. Yesterday the Kitchen Elite V Blade Mandoline Slicer showed up and my first thought was, “finally, an easy way of cutting potatoes!” so I decided to make fries for dinner. I found some pork belly in the freezer and considering how incredibly warm and beautiful it’s been, barbecue was the only option;  since I’ve been eating kale and arugula all week, coleslaw was a well-deserved indulgence.

Golden, hot, delicious.

Golden, hot, delicious.

You deserve to know how the perfect fries are made; so here is a basic formula for thinner cut fries, you can adjust cooking time based on thickness and please season to your desired taste.

Unpeeled potatoes make the best fries, in my opinion.

Unpeeled potatoes make the best fries, in my opinion.

  1. Slice your desired amount of russet potatoes about 7mm, a little more than 1/4 inch, thick (peeling is a matter of aesthetics but please wash thoroughly)
  2. Rinse potatoes under running water to get rid of excess starch
  3. Drain potatoes and splash with 1tsp of apple cider vinegar per pound of potatoes; do not rinse
  4. Place potatoes in a large container, add enough water to completely cover the potatoes
  5. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  6. Heat a generous amount of peanut oil in a heavy-bottomed pan to 320-350°F
  7. Drain and pat dry potatoes
  8. Fry potatoes in small batches for 4 minutes, immediately transferring to a towel-lined baking sheet. Keep oil for final frying
  9. Refrigerate potatoes, uncovered, for at least an hour for same-day use or freeze for use within two weeks. Thaw before final frying
  10. Reheat oil to 400°F
  11. Fry potatoes in small batches for 3 minutes or until desired crispiness is achieved (stacked against each other, nobody wins)
  12. Transfer to towel-lined baking sheet and season as desired



Fries being… fried.

Gingery Pomegranate Chicken Wings

Dig in!

Dig in!

I’ve given up trying to find excuses for my comfort food binges. There will be no end to them and I accept that fact and take full responsibility; but at least this recipe includes a superfood. I have always enjoyed pomegranates and their juice but I didn’t realize how much potassium they provided. Now that I am verse on the full nutritional benefit, pomegranate juice has become my drink of choice. In fact, I am now ordering it by the caseload and using it to supplement my electrolyte-laden coconut water, pomegranate-coconut is an excellent blend.  My husband often jokes about me putting it into everything, so he wasn’t surprised when presented with these delightful wings; my only regret is not having some arils to sprinkle on my plate.

1. Stir together in a medium bowl

16 chicken wing sections (the drum(ette)s and flats from 8 whole wings)

2 tsps desiccated chopped onion

1/2 tsp granulated garlic

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp salt

2. Allow chicken to marinate, refrigerated, for at least four hours. When ready to cook, preheat oven to 425°F, spread wings on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes on one side, flip over and bake for another 15 minutes, and again for a total of 45 minutes, until chicken is lightly browned.

3. During last 15 minute segment, in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan on medium heat, combine

2 tsp butter

1 cup pomegranate juice

1/2 cup orange juice

2 Tbsp finely chopped candied ginger

1 tsp ginger juice (just press it out of a thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger)

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp cardamom

4. Allow pomegranate mixture to reduce to a fourth of its volume, or just until syrupy over medium heat. Turn off heat and mix in done chicken wings.

5. Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with

Chopped scallion (green onion) or some pomegranate arils, if you may



Served with macaroni and cheese, the mother of all comfort foods.


Morning Brioche Bread Pudding with Buttered Rum Reduction

Pudding is set and will be ready to serve when slightly cooled

Pudding is set and will be ready to serve when slightly cooled

I spent all of last weekend baking bread and my household consists of only two, so I have had to employ creative ways of using day-old loaves. So far, I have made french toast, croutons and a few experimental dishes but this bread pudding has been the most well-received. The brioche called for approximately 10 eggs, so the crumb was remarkably airy, making for a light but smooth pudding.

1. On low heat in a heavy-bottomed pan, stir until combined (do not allow to boil)

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons)

1/2 cup Demerara brown sugar

2 tbsp molasses

2 tbsp red rum

3 cups whole milk

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground allspice (pimento)

2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup raisins

2. Pour mixture over

8 cups brioche cut in 1/2 inch cubes (use less if you have a denser loaf)

3. Mix well and cover in a tightly sealed bowl. Refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.

4. When ready to bake, pre-heat oven to 375°F

5. Whisk together

4 medium eggs (or 3 large)

1/2 cup heavy cream (36% or above)

1 tbsp dark rum

6. Gently stir egg mixture into bread mixture and pour into a greased 9-inch square baking dish

7.  Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F. Continue baking for another 40 minutes, until the pudding is set.

8. In a small saucepan, on medium heat combine

1/4 cup Demerara brown sugar

1/3 cup heavy cream (36% or above)

1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons)

2 tbsp dark rum

1 tsp vanilla

9. Stir while boiling until the mixture has slightly thickened (about 2/3 original volume)

10. Pour over warm bread pudding and enjoy!

Serves 8-10


The buttered rum reduction is delightful but you can live dangerously and have it a la mode by adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream before pouring on the sauce


« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2019 Pimento Grain

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑