AJK: Easy Summer Eats with a Caribbean Twist

“ Oh, oh, here we go, summertime is here!

You know!
It’s ah holiday, school is closed!
We feel the vibes ya noe,
Summer time in a Portmore
Summer time in a Kingston
Summer time in the country.”

Summertime, Vybz Kartel

Remember this big tune from 2011 by Jamaican entertainer Vybz Kartel? (If you don’t then you missed out on vibes (pun intended) so go check it out here). This song captures the exact mood of every Jamaican during the summer. Summertime when things slow down and the weather warms up! Then, it’s all about partying, going to the beach and to the country to visit relatives. And of course, no gathering is acceptable without food, even in the summer. Or rather, especially in the summer – ‘tis the time to show off your cooking skills and create easy treats that will tantalize your friends and family’s tastebuds.

This week I’m committed to helping you out. Summer food should be quick and easy to prepare and while preparing those dishes you should be having fun as well. I’ve perfected the recipes below for you – from a cheesy, callaloo dip to a boozy, Jack Daniel’s BBQ wings – so all you have to do is print them out, get a few bottles of your favourite beer, pull up Vybz Kartel, cook and have a merry time. Here we go (in my best Vybz Kartel voice)!

Spicy Guacamole Dip

Image © Noel Cunningham

Rich and creamy, quick and easy – yes I’m talking about this guacamole dip. It takes only a few minutes to whip together making it a perfect last minute party food. Plus, this dip is also a good way to use over ripe avocados. I’ve added some scotch bonnet pepper for some heat to get the palates hyped. Get the recipe here.

Not yo’ average hummus: Gungo (Pigeon) Peas Dip

Image © Noel Cunningham

Here’s a tasty twist on a classic hummus. Instead of chickpeas, I blended up pigeon peas with sour cream, garlic, salt and lime juice. Simple, isn’t it? This dip is to die for. When your guests taste this I’m sure ‘de party done’, everything kick out! Get the recipe here.

Cheesy Callaloo Dip

Image © Noel Cunningham

This is my spin on the famous “spinach dip”. To make this tasty and delicious appetizer I used Jamaican callaloo with a blend of 3 different cheeses. Get the recipe here.

Jack Daniel’s BBQ Wings

Jack Daniel’s BBQ Wings
Image © Noel Cunningham

There’s nothing like a good crispy, fried wings, smothered in a rich BBQ sauce! Serve this at your next summer gathering and everyone will be asking the recipe for this amazing BBQ sauce. Tell us if they don’t. Get the recipe here.

Salmon Sandwich with Avocado Spread

Salmon Sandwich with Avocado Spread
Image © Noel Cunningham

This sandwich is very easy to make and a great, light burger for the summer. You may probably never make salmon any other way again. Not only is it quite suitable for summer but it’s also a healthy treat.  Get the recipe here.

Crispy Beer Batter Fried Chicken Sandwich

Image © Noel Cunningham

Imagine chicken breasts dipped in a rich beer batter (pause) then fried until golden and crispy (pause) then stacked between a warm, toasted bun (wait for it…) and topped with a creamy, coleslaw for an extra crunch and added sweetness. How does that make you feel. Tell us in the comments below then get the recipe here.

Jamaican-Style Escovitch Fish and Bammy Bites

Escovitch Fish and Bammy
Image © Noel Cunningham

Jamaican Escovitch Fish is a dish where fried fish is topped with a spicy sauce and pickled vegetable medley. It is usually served with bread, festival or bammies. This is one of my favourite dishes to eat and also make. And since we’re in the season of finger food I thought it fitting to recreate this traditional dish into something a bit fancy, that you could have in just one or two bites. It pairs perfectly with a cold, Red Stripe beer. Get the recipe here.

Did I miss any of your summer favourites? Tell us about it, share the recipe or just drop us a line in the comments to let us know how your summertime eating is going. Enjoy! 

RECIPES IN THIS POST
Spicy Guacamole Dip
Not yo’ average hummus: Gungo (Pigeon) Peas Dip
Cheesy Callaloo Dip
Jack Daniel’s BBQ Wings
Salmon Sandwich with Avocado Spread
Crispy Beer Batter Fried Chicken Sandwich
Jamaican-Style Escovitch Fish and Bammy Bites
Noel Cunningham

Contributor

Noel is a Jamaican chef who creates culinary experiences that bring people together with great food.