Monday, September 19, 2011

Ackee & Salt Fish

Ackee is the fruit of the evergreen tree. When ripened, it turns from green to a bright red to yellow-orange, and is only ready for harvesting when the pods are open.

Not only is it Jamaica’s national Fruit but when paired with salt fish it becomes Jamaica’s’ National Dish.

On my recent trip to Jamaica, I was very lucky to find it was still in season; so of course, I brought home enough to tide me over on those days that I’m missing that “taste of home”.

1 20 oz. can of Ackee or 1 lb fresh ackee
1 lb Boneless, skinless Bacalao fillets (salted codfish)
1 large tomato chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 cherry pepper chopped
6 sprigs of thyme
3 scallions chopped
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp coarse black pepper
4 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • Rinse codfish fillets in cold water.   
  • Bring 3 cups of water to a boil; add fillets, let cook over medium high heat for 15 minutes.  Drain and repeat same step to remove excess salt from the fish, when done boiling for the second time, drain & Flake the fish with a fork
  • If using fresh ackee: Boil in water until tender
  • Drain and rinse ackee, then set aside.
  • Heat oil in pan; add garlic, onions, tomatoes, scallions and thyme, sauté for 5 minutes on medium heat. 
  • Add flaked codfish, allspice, black pepper, cherry pepper and cook for an additional 5 minutes. 
  • Add ackee and toss, being careful not to mush. 
  • Let it simmer until ackee is heated through.
  • Remove from heat & sprinkle with scallion. 
  • Serve warm.
I served it with Fried Dumplins

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