Before we continue with Italy I have to jot this down, because we agreed it was the least disappointing dinner in many moons. We've both been craving Jamaican food, which we used to dig on quite a bit back in the Salad Days, but we'd been speculatin' over a hypothesis about whether our jerk chops were still up to snuff or not.

Short answer is: yes, in fact, this was pretty fkn impressive, not a hair out of place. From top: black beans, a different recipe than usual, more neutral, this one; jerked steak, perfect; plantanos maduros, perfect; rice, totally serviceable; peach + cucumber pickle. In the center a raspberry-vinegar coulis thing for the plantains, not Jamaican at all but that's the way they used to do it at the now-defunct Bridgetown Grill back in the ATL and that's the specific meal we were jonesing for.

The platanos maduros tips came from Slate, unexpectedly, and here's the jerk marinade, adapted from Dunstan Harris' Island Barbecue.


jerk marinade.

1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (I used freshly ground)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon (I maybe used a tad less)
1 bunch of scallions, green and white parts (roots removed)
2 Scotch Bonnet or habanero peppers, stems removed and cut in half, seeds retained
1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
pinch of garlic powder

Combine everything in a food processor and process for a minute or two. Pour into a jar until ready for use. We marinated our steaks overnight, then finger-squeegeed off the excess and cooked them for 2-3 minutes per side in a blistering hot skillet, then let rest for 6 minutes.

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