Christmas Eve in Jamaica is a busy old time catching up with family, last minute gift shopping, making of the first batch of sorrel rum punch, carol singing and for most a visit to church for a traditional Christmas Eve Mass. The average temperature over Christmas in Jamaica is a balmy 75-83 F or 23-28 C which is why we like to celebrate on the 24th December with slightly lighter dishes that make the most of Jamaicaâ€™s national dish, Saltfish.Â We think itâ€™s not just a bit lighter in the sense of time preparation whilst we get ready for the Christmas Day feast, but more importantly it doesnâ€™t weigh you down if you decide to pop down to the beach after lunch.
Recipe Suggestion for Salt Fish StarterÂ
Salt Fish Salad
400 g Saltfish (soaked before in water) 200 g crayfish tails shelled and clean Â˝ head of Kos lettuce, cleaned and thinly sliced
4 Tomatoes cored and cut into strips
Virgin Olive Oil for frying
Salt and White Pepper from a grinder
Vinegar with herbs:
One bunch of mixed herbs; eg. Basil, Parsley, Dill, Chives, etc.
2 tbs Sherry Vinaigrette
1dl Virgin olive oil
1 tsp Maple Syrup
Salt and white pepper from a grinder
Put a generous amount of water in a pot. When the water boils put the pieces of salted cod in and boil for approximately 4-6 minutes depending on the thickness and size of the pieces. Then take them out and chill immediately in ice-cold water, then they will come apart in flakes.
Fry the langoustine tails in the olive oil in a frying pan, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Chill.
Put two tablespoons of the garlic sauce in the middle of a plate and the finely sliced lettuce on top. Arrange the salted cod flakes around the salad.
Arrange a few langoustine tails around the salted cod and place the tomato strips in between.
Put the mixed herbs into a food mixer, finely grind and mix the olive oil and maple syrup into it. Add salt and pepper to taste. With a spoon, put the vinaigrette tastefully over the langoustine tails, tomatoes and slightly into the lettuce.
Serve as a starter on a plate or as part of a buffet on a bigger plate.