Nashauna Drummond, Lifestyle Coordinator
For Couples Resort's corporate executive chef, Stefan Spath, his first encounter with a real authentic Jamaican dish is one he will never forget.
"I never forget the first time I tasted a really well-done mackerel rundown and ackee and saltfish (not the canned ones I used to get at the resorts). And so, I wanted to recreate the same flavours in our resorts in order to give guests that same experience that I had."
This experience has almost become a norm for guests at Couples Resorts, and this Independence will be no different. "I always ensure that all our resorts have some local flavours on all our menus, not just for Independence Day. I believe that once you are in Jamaica, we must include our local flavours and give visitors the chance to experience our wonderful local flavours."
A professional for over 26 years, Spath loves the fusion of our cuisine, and the fresh ingredients which are readily available. "I just love the freshness and I really like playing with the fresh local ingredients and combining them with recipes that I have collected on my culinary travels," he told Food.
For Spath, the best thing about cooking is, "I can eat it all afterwards!"
For the celebration of everything Jamaican, Spath got together with the resort's regional pastry chef, Linval Green, to add their twist to some old-time favourites. Enjoy!
Jamaican Sweet Potato Pudding with Ginger Rum Cream
2lb sweet potatoes, washed and peeled
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 cup milk
10oz brown sugar
1 cup port wine
1/2tsp ground cloves
1/2tsp ginger powder
1oz butter (unsalted)
1. Grate sweet potatoes on the coarsest side of a four-sided box grater. Mix with bread crumbs. In a separate bowl, mix the coconut milk with the milk and sugar. Whisk until sugar is dissolved. Add this mixture to the potatoes and stir. Add port, vanilla and dried spices and mix thoroughly.
2. Pour mixture into a 12x6 buttered baking dish and spread evenly. Chop butter into small pieces and place on top of pudding.
3. Bake at 350F for about one hour and 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced and top starts to caramelise.
4. Allow to sit for about two hours prior to serving.
Ginger Rum Cream
2 cups heavy cream
Sugar to taste
1tsp candied ginger (chopped)
2tbsp aged brown rum
1. Place heavy cream into a large bowl.
2. Start whipping and slowly add sugar.
3. Whip to a soft stage (do not overwhip). Add vanilla, candied ginger and rum.
Your favourite (vanilla-based) ice cream.
- Place soft whipped cream in centre of plate.
- Cut sweet potato pudding into squares and reheat (microwave works best for this).
- Place in centre on top of cream.
- Scoop ice cream on top and finish with cut fruits and a dusting of cocoa.
Jamaican Passion Ginger Beer
- 1/2lb of ginger - peel and blend with as much water as needed to get a good pulp.
- Pour into a large glass bottle. - Allow to stand in a warm place (directly in the sun) for two days and strain.
- Add more water (about 1/2 litre) and squeeze the grated ginger in this water.
- Discard the used ginger.
- Add more water. You want about 1/2 gallon.
- Add 3/4 lb of brown sugar.
- Add 300g of passion fruit pulp and strain.
- Pour into clean bottles.
- Add two cloves per bottle.
- Allow to rest (and ferment) at room temperature for two days before refrigerating.
Tie A Leaf
1/2 cup grated sweet potatoes
1 small grated coconut
3/4 cup sugar (a little less if desired)
1tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of grated nutmeg
4tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
Milk to mix
Banana or plantain leaves
1. Mix together all ingredients, adding milk last.
2. Put about 2tbsp of the mixture on a piece of steamed banana leaf.
3. Fold and tie securely.
4. Steam for 30 minutes.
5. Serve warm with white chocolate or vanilla ice cream and toasted shaved coconut.
Green Banana Porridge with Coconut & Cinnamon
6 green bananas
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 cinnamon stick
Pinch of nutmeg
Condensed milk to taste
Pinch of salt
1. In a saucepan simmer the coconut milk with cinnamon stick, pinch of nutmeg and water for two minutes.
2. Add blended green banana (use some of the water to blend it).
3. Add cornstarch (mixed with a little cold water) and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Add sweetened condensed milk and pinch of salt to taste.
5. Serve in a calabash bowl and sprinkle with little brown sugar when serving.