Greedy Girl Cooks | Inspired by a mother’s touch
Chantay Campbell Neil has grown from mommy's little helper to food blogger and food stylist, crafting a niche in the island with her mouth-watering recipes that celebrate Jamaica's exquisite culinary tastes.
As we get ready to celebrate Mother's Day on Sunday, we checked in with Campbell Neil who is fondly known for her Greedy Girl Cooks blog, as she shares some of her favourite childhood memories in and around the kitchen, with her mom, Hyacinth Campbell.
In photo: Chantay Campbell Neil (right) has always been her mother's little helper in the kitchen. -Contributed.
She tells Food, "I was always my mother's helper in the kitchen. She was the cook and my father was the taste tester. Whatever she made had to be tasted and approved by him."
Whatever the dish may be, Campbell Neil finds a way to customise it, to make it her own, and to infuse her unique flavours and spices. Without reservation, she credits her passion for cooking to her relationship with her mother, who she describes as a loving, caring and compassionate woman who takes pride in the presentation of whatever she does.
Her relationship with her mother has been instrumental in her career as a Chef and food blogger.
From architecture to Food Blogger
Although she studied architecture at the New York Institute of Technology, she always has a passion for cooking, and trying new recipes."Cooking for me evolved as I got older. After graduation I really started taking it on as a serious hobby," she explained, noting that despite her career switch, her mother has always been very supportive of her love for cooking and being the muse behind some of her favourite dishes.
In photo: Chantay Campbell Neil serves her mom Hyacinth Campbell a slice of her quiche
"My mother's recipe for cooked up salt fish and barbe-jerk chicken are two that I have inherited from her. I try to cook them exactly like she does because they are so good!" she exclaimed. "Of all the dishes my mother makes, my favourite is her cooked up salt fish and boiled dumplings," she continued.
As with any mother-daughter relationship, Campbell Neil and her mom have their moments when they disagree on methods, but she takes pride in her unconventional way of pairing flavours, while putting her unique twist on traditional Jamaican delicacies. "One of my most unique pairings and all time 'crazy dish' would have to be my jalapeno grilled cheese sandwich with chocolate, bacon and figs. Most recently I also made jackfruit fried rice, using ripe jackfruit and a cheese dip from jackfruit seeds," she explained. Today we join her in the kitchen as she prepares her Reggae Jammin smoked chicken and green onion quiche. You can try this for your mother this Mother's Day.
In photo: A close up of the delicious Reggae Jammin' smoked Chicken and green onion quiche.
Reggae Jammin' smoked Chicken and green onion quiche by
3/4 cup cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup chopped scallion
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped Reggae Jammin' Smoked Chicken
1/4 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 stick salted butter frozen
2 cups flour
6 tbs ice cold water
1/2 tsp sugar
2 cloves shredded garlic
1 tsp thyme leaves
For the crust
- Cut the frozen butter into small cubes.
- In a food processor combine the flour, sugar and frozen butter and pulse until it resembles bread crumbs.
- Add the icy water and continue to pulse until it forms larger balls (about 2 minutes) scraping down the sides to make sure it is entirely incorporated.
- Place onto a clean work surface and squeeze it all together until it forms a dough.
- Knead until smooth, wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.
For the Quiche
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
- Using a lightly flowered rolling pin and work surface, roll out the garlic dough to a 12 inch circle.
- Place onto a 9-inch pie dish, fold over the edges and crimp.
- Use a fork to make small holes in the dough.
- Place parchment paper over the dough and fill with pie weights (dried beans can be used at pie weights).
- Bake for 20 minutes until the crust is golden brown.
- Remove the parchment paper and pie weights.
- Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, salt, black pepper, onion powder, paprika and cheese.
- Add the chicken, scallions and onions spread evenly over the bottom of the crust.
- Pour the egg mixture into the crust.
- Bake for 40 minutes until the centre of the quiche is set - the top will be golden brown and a knife should come out clean.
- Allow to cool, serve warm or at room temperature.
- For the month of May @greedygirlcooks will be blogging about Reggae Jammin' Rotisserie Chicken and will be sharing recipes and photos on her blog and social media pages. Check them out!