Thanksgiving does not have to be the same old, same old every year. In fact, you have the right to create your own tradition in your home. I am sharing great Jamaican recipes that will make your Thanksgiving the talk of the town for the next decade. I promise you. If you really LOVE tasty food packed with flavour that are not bad on the budget, this post is for you. Please share with your friends on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and help make somebody’s year exceptional this year! (Follow me @chefandsteward on all these social media platforms too!
Jamaican Themed Thanksgiving Feast Recipes
This Jamaican Solomon Gundy can be made ahead by a few days and served on freshly made tostones for very happy snacking. This is one less thing in the oven. Yay! And the kids will love to help to make the to stones.
This Jamaican Pepper Shrimp is a treat for young and old in Jamaica and a great snack while you make the rest of dinner come together. Make lots and you can make it a day or two in advance and refrigerate. Yes, I am ALL about starters that can be made in advance because that means that any mishaps for the timing of dinner will not be even noticed if people have ample tasty appetizers while they chat (and dinner bubbles along on the stove). Plus is makes the logistics so much smoother and workflow easier. And you have less kitchen clutter on Turkey Day.
I have yet to meet one Jamaican child who does not LOVE Jamaican Beef Patties . You can make these earlier in the day and put them in the oven right before people arrive if you are brilliant with timing or have multiple ovens. The can also be served warm but are best served hot out of the oven. Well, for the initiated Jamaicans among you. There is a funny way to actually eat a hot patty and that is to crack it open in the seam to let out the hot air and eat it with your mouth open without it touching your tongue (or you will have a scorched tongue). But jokes aside, serve on the warm side to avoid people getting burnt tongues right before dinner.
MAIN DISHES AND SIDES
This Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish is the national dish of Jamaica, the sweet land of my birth. You can serve this for an epic breakfast as a start to a Jamaican Themed Thanksgiving Feast or you can simply add it to the dinner buffet. Either way, you are going to make Jamaicans love you. It’s one of those things you either love or hate. I LOVE it! You can get canned ackees in any Jamaican or Caribbean food market or online store.
Instead of regular bread rolls, why not bake your own batch of Jamaican Harddough Bread? This will definitely be a very welcome addition to your Jamaican Themed Thanksgiving Feast!
This Kachumbari Tomato Salad is not Jamaican in origin (it’s Tanzanian) but it has very Jamaican flavours so I am adding it here and it makes a perfect side which is ridiculously easy to make! You must add it if you can get your hands on really great quality tomatoes. I am sure readers in the Southern hemisphere now experiencing summer, will have loads of seasonal tomatoes on hand!
For a great vegan side dish, this Ital Jamaican Red Peas Stewwill be a huge hit! Taste all the flavours of the Caribbean coming together in this scrumptious and moreish stew that will make you lick your spoon!
Is a Jamaican Themed Thanksgiving Feast complete without Jamaican Oxtails and Beans? Hardly. Another lick your spoon stew that gets better as it sits. Just reheat right before serving as it tends to sleep.
Jamaicans almost never gather at a table to feast without Jamaican Rice and Peas. Forget the name, we use beans but we call them peas. Just like how we call avocados pears. Issa Jamaican ting. Even “Ting” the drink is Jamaican. Oh geez I digress. Learn to cook this dish and become a star. And it’s vegan.
You would not think it but we have lots of vegan dishes in Jamaican in both savoury and sweet presentations. This Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding is a great replacement for Pumpkin Pie or you can make both and compare. I vote that the Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding will hit the Pumpkin Pie out of the ballpark. But I am unashamedly biased (though my palate has been featured as a guest chef on mega TV hit, Top Chef Middle East, so you can take her word for it :D. And yes, it is vegan.
One cannot do a thanksgiving without a turkey right? This is my Original Jamaican Jerk Turkey recipe that was published years ago by the mega huge Design Sponge blog. It was actually the first ever Jamaican Jerk Turkey recipe on the internet and every years gets MASSIVE hits and lots of people writing me to tell me that my instructions created THE JUICIEST, MOST SUCCULENT AND TASTIEST TURKEY EVER IN THEIR LIVES. Yes. Those comments are so consistent, I had to shout, like the new upcoming FACEBOOK logo. But seriously, not my words. This one is tried, tested and proven over and over!
Which of these dishes do you love? Which would you add to your table? Talk below!