A few weeks back I and a group of friends from Violets Pantry attended the BBC Summer Show which encompassed several shows including a food area. The day was superb, so good to meet up with forum friends and find out what they’re like in ‘real life’, but I have to say the show itself was a little bit of a let down, the organisers were trying to cram too much into too little space in my opinion; it’s so much better when the events are focused on one topic and then they shine through without battling for attention.
I didn’t really buy a lot either (yes, shock horror, gasp, gasp) just some poitin and whiskey from Celtic Spirit, bread, goats cheese and a lovely wee garlic grater, I also got some free yeast sachets.
Levi Roots, author of Levi Roots’ Reggae Reggae Cookbook was also at the show but because of the massive queues and being a little short on time I never actually got round to buying the book or seeing much of his stall, but I wasn’t so bothered at the time.
Yesterday I couldn’t believe my luck, my lovely Dad had surprised me buying a copy of the book for me, it’s such a lovely read, detailing not only great recipes with hints, tips and photography that makes you dream of dessert island escapes, but Levi’s background and how he secured the deal from Dragon’s Den.
So of course I had to cook from my new arrival didn’t I? I decided upon Brown Stew Chicken with Yard-Style Gravy whici I served with rice to which I added a little sweetcorn. An absolute stunner of a meal.
Levi describes the dish as real Jamaican home cooking, so it seemed an apt place to start; and the start it will definitely be, there’ll be plenty more cooked from this book I can assure you.
For something that took little over 30 minutes to prepare and cook it was so succulent and deep in flavour. Sweet and spicy but each flavour stood out to be counted, although I feel it could have done with a little more heat – I’d toned down the recipe slightly to keep all family members happy. Instead of the diced peppers suggested (I just couldn’t be bothered to go shopping) I added a couple of handfuls of frozen peas, sweet corn and green beans instead.
The rice was my addition to the meal, Levi suggests plain boiled basmati but I used long grain and felt the addition of sweet corn would not only jazz it up a little for presentation but add a cooling sweetness too, if the chicken was a little over spiced.
I must be getting predictable because my two usual after dinner questions of would you have this again and would you change anything, were answered after the first couple of bites: how soon can we have this again and no don’t change anything! I think they liked it.