With the trough currently impacting weather conditions across the island, your concerns probably include staying dry, and what foods and beverages you will eat or drink to add a bit of warmth.
For many, rainy days are often associated with meals that warm them up and gives that snug and cosy feeling inside.
Though we all have our preferences for our rainy day meals, here are a few, along with accompanying recipes, that may hit the jackpot for you.
In many Jamaican households, measurements are generally in the form of eye judgements with a ‘toops’ of this or that, especially when it comes to making soup. However, for the sake of those of us who are not professionals (in our own right), here’s a recipe, inspired by the one from Grace Foods to use and make some soup to warm you up.
|1/4 cup White Cane Vinegar (to wash chicken)||14 cups water||1 lb pumpkin|
|1 medium carrot||2 cloves garlic||1 1/2 cups counter flour + appropriate amount of water to knead dumplins|
|1/8 teaspoon salt||2 medium Irish potatoes||1 lb yellow yam|
|1 packet soup mix||1 stalk escallion||1 sprig thyme|
|6 whole pimento berries||1 whole scotch bonnet pepper ||1 lb chicken|
Homemade Chicken Soup Directions
- Clean and wash chicken in a vinegar and water solution (using 4 cups of water).
- Cut chicken into bite size pieces, peel and dice pumpkin and carrot, crush garlic.
- Pour water in a pot and put to boil. Add chicken, pumpkin, carrot and garlic, cook for about 40 minutes.
- Combine flour, salt and water, mix well and knead to make a smooth dough, cover and set aside.
- Peel Irish potatoes and yellow yam, cut in bite size pieces and add to the boiling soup.
- Divide dough into six pieces, use to make spinners, add to the soup.
- Add Soup Mix and stir into the soup along with the escallion, thyme, salt, pimento berries and scotch bonnet pepper.
- Stir the mixture, cover and leave to simmer for a further 15 minutes.
Stovetop macaroni and cheese
This might seem odd to some, but you better believe that there are folks who enjoy a nice bowl of warm stove top mac and cheese regardless of the weather. In the case of rainy weather, you can imagine how much more tantalising such a dish will be. The recipe shared here is inspired by the one that Grace Foods has.
|1 packet macaroni cooked and drained||1 cup cooking cream|
|4 tablespoons butter||1/2 teaspoon pepper flakes|
|1 medium onion (grated)||1 tablespoon sugar|
|1 small red sweet pepper (chopped)||1 teaspoon salt|
|1 small green sweet pepper (chopped)||2 cups cheddar (shredded)|
|1 cup milk of choice|
Stovetop Mac and Cheese Directions
- Cook pasta according to instructions on the package. Cool down in cold water, drain and set aside
- To Make Cheese Sauce
- Heat pot and melt butter then sauté onion, garlic, green and red sweet pepper
- Pour milk and cooking cream to the sautéed seasoning then add shredded cheese, stir and leave to simmer for 10 minutes
- Add cooked pasta to cheese sauce, stir and leave to simmer for three minutes
- Remove from heat
- Sprinkle on paprika and serve. (If you have bacon bits, you could sprinkle some on top)
If we’re being really honest, many of you would prefer to take a much easier approach and make stove top mac and cheese using the ready-to-make version that comes in a box with the powdered cheese sauce. That route can also give you the warm and cosy feeling you desire when it rains. Feel free to make it your own by possibly adding some diced vegetables, chicken etc.
A big hit for many of us is authentic Jamaican chocolate (chawklit) tea. However, creating such a masterpiece may take much more effort than some of you are willing to give. Here’s a recipe you can use to make an almost worthy substitute of hot chocolate.
|2 tablespoons cocoa (you can also add ground cinnamon to this mix)||2 cups milk|
|2 tablespoons sugar||1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract|
|1/4 cup water||1/4 cup whipped cream|
Hot chocolate Directions
- In a small saucepan, mix cocoa and sugar. Add water; stir until smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute. Reduce heat; stir in milk and heat through.
- Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Serve with whipped cream; if desired, sprinkle with cinnamon.
Chicken Pot Pie
Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it! This meal does the trick for many on rainy days. It is essentially a one-pot meal where most or all of the ingredients are cooked in the same pot, or in this case, the same casserole dish. Try this recipe and see how it makes you feel.
|1 tablespoon olive oil||2 cups frozen peas and carrots|
|1 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed||4 tablespoons butter|
|salt and pepper to taste||4 tablespoons all-purpose flour|
|½ onion, chopped||2 cups chicken broth|
|2 cloves garlic, minced||1 frozen prepared pie crust, thawed|
|1 cup potatoes , cubed||1 egg, beaten|
Chicken Pot Pie Directions
- Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the meat is golden brown on the outside and no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F
- To the same skillet, add the onion and garlic. Sauté until translucent. Add the potato cubes and sauté for about five minutes. Add the peas and carrots and stir. Add the butter and allow it to melt. Sprinkle the flour on top, covering the vegetables, and quickly stir to avoid lumps. Pour in the chicken broth and bring to a boil to thicken the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.
- Place the pie crust over the chicken and vegetable mixture and carefully seal along the edges of the skillet with your fingers. Brush the pastry with the egg, and cut three slits in the top to release steam. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.
Whatever warm and cosy types of meal works for you when it’s raining, try to get some today. If you have the time, you can make them yourself (applying recipe alterations where you see fit), or find the nearest restaurant or cook-shop that does it just the way you like.
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