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Be barbecue ready with these Caribbean recipes approved by top celebrity chefs

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Be barbecue ready with these Caribbean recipes approved by top celebrity chefs

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We’re ready to crank up the heat (Credits: Getty Images)

With the May Bank Holidays looming, there’s no better time to start thinking about barbecue season.

It’s the perfect opportunity to experiment with flavours, embracing spicy rubs, flavour-packed marinades and fiery, home-made sauces to douse over everything from chicken thighs and juicy steaks, to grilled fish and veggie skewers.

As the weather gets warmer, here are four recipes from brilliant Caribbean cooks, like Andi Oliver, who use fire and smoke, alongside punchy flavours of spice, fruit and acid, to create mouthwateringly great dishes that can really elevate your home barbecue game.

Michelle Trusselle’s Glazed fiery scotch bonnet baby back ribs

(Picture: Michelle Truselle)

Chef Michelle Trusselle, behind mega contemporary Caribbean supper club Myristica shares her super easy, fiery baby back ribs, using her own scotch bonnet BBQ spice rub (available on myristica.co)

Ingredients

  • 2 racks of baby back ribs
  • 4 tbsps of Myristica’s Scotch Bonnet Fiery BBQ

For the glaze:

  • 100 g Ketchup
  • 15 g dark soy sauce
  • 30 g demerara sugar
  • 2tsps Myristica’s Scotch Bonnet Fiery BBQ
  • 50 ml water

Method

  1. Season each side of baby back ribs with a tablespoon of Myristica’s Scotch Bonnet Fiery BBQ and rub into the meat.
  2. Place a wire rack into a deep roasting tray. Pour 1cm of boiling water into the bottom of the tray.
  3. Place the baby back ribs on top of the rack (with the curved side of the ribs facing down), making sure that they are not in the water.
  4. Cover with foil and put in the oven at 180ºC (160ºC Fan) for about 2 hours, or until ribs are soft when pierced with a knife.
  5. To make the glaze, combine all ingredients together and bring to a boil before reducing to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. When the ribs are soft, transfer them onto a flat tray lined with baking paper.
  7. If using an oven; slather the BBQ glaze on top of the ribs and then put them in the oven for 15 minutes at 205ºC (185ºC Fan), until the glaze is sticky.
    If using a barbecue; transfer the ribs to the grill. Glaze the ribs whilst they are cooking with a pastry brush. When the ribs are charred and caramelised, they are ready

Riaz Phillips’ Brown stew chicken

(Picture: Caitlin Isola)

If you want a great summery marinade, but without the barbecue, Riaz Phillips’ brown stew chicken from her book East Winds: Recipes, History and Tales from the Hidden Caribbean by Riaz Phillips. DK. £25. Out Now. Is delicious.

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Ingredients

  • 1.5kg chicken, cut to desired size, or pieces of choice
  • 5 tbsp cooking oil of choice
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar of choice
  • 200ml hot water

For the marinade

  • 3 tbsp green seasoning
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • ½ Scotch bonnet pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce 2 sprigs thyme

Method

  1. In a large bowl, add the chicken and marinade ingredients and stir to combine. Marinate for a few hours or overnight, although you can also use straight away.
  2. In a large frying pan, Dutch pot or heavy-based saucepan, heat the oil over a medium–high heat.
  3. When hot, add the sugar to the centre and cook for 2–3 minutes until it starts to bubble and the edges start to turn dark brown. Turn the heat down a notch to medium and add the contents of the chicken seasoning bowl and begin to stir and mix to coat and combine with the sugar.
  4. Continue to cook, stirring intermittently, for 10 minutes, at which point you should see some of the fat from the chicken. Add the hot water and cover and cook for 10 minutes, then remove the lid, turn the heat down to medium–low and cook for a final 10 minutes, or until the gravy reaches your desired consistency. Remove the thyme sprigs, if used.
  5. Serve with rice and peas (kidney beans).

NOTE: When stirring the chicken, avoid touching or scraping the sugar with your utensil at the start or it may stick and be hard to shake off.

Nathaniel Smith’s Sticky prawn kebabs

Nathaniel Smith’s sticky prawn kebabs are a brand-new recipe from his debut cookbook Flayvaful: Spice up your kitchen! Murdoch Books. £22. Out 25th April 2024, inspired by his Jamaican heritage.

(Picture: Steve Joyce)

Serves 2–4 

Ingredients

For the green seasoning 

  • 1 green bell pepper cored and deseeded 
  • ½ onion 
  • 35 g each fresh flat-leaf parsley, coriander and fresh basil leaves 
  • 6 garlic cloves 
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme 
  • 3 spring onions  
  • 1 rib of celery 
  • ½ Scotch bonnet pepper 
  • ½ tsp pimento (allspice) berries 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 

TIP: Your Green Seasoning can make 2-3 jars and be kept in an airtight container for up to a week – or frozen into ice cube moulds for whenever you need them! 

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For the kebabs 

  • 600 g raw king prawns, rinsed and deveined 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 tbsp chipotle paste 
  • 2 tsp Green Seasoning  
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh coriander  
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 t tsp medium chilli powder 
  • ½ tsp onion powder 
  • ½ tsp ground cumin 
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted  
  • juice of 1 lime 
  • 7 tbsp honey  
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 2.5 cm pieces 
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 2.5 cm pieces 
  • 1 onion, cut into 2.5 cm pieces 

To make the green seasoning:

  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender. Blitz until a smooth paste has formed. It should resemble the consistency of a very thick smoothie. 
  1. Preheat the oven to 210°C fan. Soak your wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes. 
  1. Pat prawns dry and in a large bowl, season the prawns with the olive oil, chipotle paste, green seasoning (if using), coriander, garlic, chilli powder, onion powder, cumin and salt. Mix and allow to marinate for 20 minutes while your skewers are soaking. 
  1. While the prawns marinate, combine the melted butter, lime juice and honey and pop to the side. 
  1. To assemble your skewers, add a red pepper piece, green pepper piece, onion piece and then a prawn, and repeat until your skewer is full. Once done, brush any remaining marinade left in the bowl over your skewers. 
  1. Place the skewers on a wire rack, with a little space to leave airflow for cooking, and bake in the oven for 5 minutes. Brush with the lime honey butter and then grill on high for 2 minutes to develop some char and colour. 
  1. To BBQ, grill over high heat for 1–2 minutes per side and brush with the lime honey butter for the last minute of cooking. 
  1. Serve with rice, as a starter on their own or chop up and enjoy on some tacos with some mango avocado salad. 

Andi Oliver’s Coconut and lime cheesecake

(Picture: Robert Billington)

This wonderfully zingy, creamy and crowd-pleasing cheesecake comes from Andi Oliver’s The Pepperpot Diaries: Stories From My Caribbean Table. DK. £27. Out Now. 

Serves 12

For the base

  • 100 g gingernut biscuits
  • 100 g oat biscuits
  • 50 g desiccated coconut
  • 120 g melted unsalted butter
  • pinch of salt
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For the filling

  • 280 g full-fat cream cheese
  • 4 tbsp coconut condensed milk
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 150ml double cream
  • grated zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 100g white chocolate, melted

For the topping

  • 1 fresh coconut
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • grated zest of 1 lime
  • 1 fresh mango, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 22–24cm fluted tart tin, base lined with baking parchment

Equipment

Method

  1. Put all the biscuits in a sealable food bag and bash them up to fine crumbs using a rolling pin or similar. Tip the crumbs into a bowl and mix with the toasted coconut, melted butter, and salt. Press into the bottom and sides of a 22-24cm fluted tart tin lined with baking parchment and chill in the fridge for 1 hour or until set.
  2. Combine all the filling ingredients, apart from the chocolate, in a large mixing bowl. Beat together using an electric hand whisk until smooth and slightly thickened. Mix through the melted white chocolate. Spoon the filling on top of the set base and chill for a couple of hours in the fridge until set (do note that this cheesecake has quite a soft-set finish).
  3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200ºC (180°C Fan).
  4. Crack open the fresh coconut and peel off flakes of the flesh using a vegetable peeler. You want about 2 handfuls in total. Toss the flakes in the maple syrup and half of the lime zest on a baking tray, then toast in the preheated oven for around 10 minutes until crisp. Leave to cool, then top the cheesecake with the toasted coconut.
  5. Mix together the diced mango and remaining lime zest and serve a little spoon of this alongside slices of cheesecake or pile it on top of the cheesecake as well.


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