Welcome to my new virtual kitchen . I moved on from my old blog for many reasons,one,I don’t identify with that girl anymore. I love color,I am happy and my Caribbean roots have never left me. So, my new name and blog needed to reflect that. As I look onto the culinary horizon I see so many people focusing on American cuisine. It seems to grantee success in the culinary arena and I am here, still sticking to my Caribbean roots.
I came to America with my family in 1989 to pursue a better life. I have to say that if you read my writings years back you would see that I totally romanticized my memories of Barbados. A recent trip back really put things in perspective for me. I realized that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Don’t get me wrong,I love Barbados and the way I cook reflects that. I just understand that my life in New York is also a big part of who I am . To anyone reading this who hasn’t been back to their country of birth and romanticizes about it,remember this, where you are at, might just be where you need to be. With that being said, a trip to Barbados’s Browne’s Beach is where I would like to be right now. Then, it’s back on the plane, headed to the concrete jungle or Manhattan as it’s formally known.
I haven’t uncovered all the reasons why I choose to cook the foods of my culture. However one obvious reason is that it’s extremely comforting. Cooking old favorites like macaroni pie reminds me of when me and my brother use to play in the yard and I would grab handfuls of pie out of the baking dish with my little hand,stuff my face and return to running around. I would repeat this until half of the pie was gone. I literally had the best childhood from birth to seven years old. I don’t want to forget those days,the food and the people who made it so special.
Onto today’s recipe. I thought of this dish for months before I actually made it. It’s a keeper and you won’t find this recipe lumped together with many others like it on Google. I have to say that I love the use of tomato paste in African cuisine. What makes this rice dish special is that you add all of the flavorings after the rice has cooked. This ensures that none of the seasonings dilute into the cooking water.
Jerk seasoning which is a blend of onion,scallion,garlic,thyme and spices is so flavorful and livens up the tofu in an authentic,Caribbean way. You can find jerk seasoning at your local Caribbean produce grocer or online at Amazon.com.Feel free to whip some up in your blender from scratch.
When you finish eating this meal you will be completely satisfied and become a true believer in vegan food. I will follow that bold statement with another. My mission is to make vegan food the future of Caribbean cuisine.
- 2 cups rice
- 4 cups water
- 7 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion minced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 can tomato paste
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Salt to taste
- 3 cups white flour
- 3 teaspoons salt or to taste
- 2 packs extra firm tofu
- 4 tablespoons wet jerk seasoning
- Put the rice and water into a medium sized saucepan.
- Cook on low heat for 20 mins or until all the water has evaporated.
- Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan.
- Add in the onions and stir until lightly brown.
- Add in the garlic and stir until well incorporated.
- Add in the curry powder, tomato paste and cayenne pepper then stir.
- Add the cooked rice to the frying pan.
- Salt to taste, then stir gently until fully incorporated and set aside.
- Place the flour and salt into a medium bowl and mix.
- Lightly squeeze the water out of the tofu with paper towels without crumbling it.
- Cut each block of tofu in half the long way.
- Then cut each half into three equal pieces.
- Run the knife down the middle of each piece leaving the other end attached.
- Spread jerk seasoning over each slice.
- Stuff the tofu with the rice.
- Coat each side of the tofu with the flour mixture.
- Fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Place the tofu on a paper towel lined plate.
- Serve the stuffed tofu over the remaining rice.