MT Jack Cheese
Jamaican Escovitch Sauce
Ground Beef / Safflower Oil
Root Cellar Foods - Belgrade
Montana Roots - Livingston
Millcrick Farm - Hamilton
Lifeline Organic Farm - Victor
Lyon's Delights - Bozeman
Wicken's Ranch - Winifred / The Oil Barn - Big Sandy
I recently met Nakeisha Lyon at the Bozeman Winter Farmers Market. Her business, Lyon's Delights, specializes in Jamaican desserts and baked goods, as well as a Jerk Spice blend and this amazing Escovitch sauce! It's a hot sauce made with scotch bonnet peppers, vegetables, vinegar, and seasonings, and can be used as a condiment or marinade. Escovitch Fish is the best known dish made with the sauce, traditionally using a white fish like red snapper, but it is also good with many other meat and vegetables. This is Nakeisha's recipe:
1 lb of red snapper fillet, or any white fish
1 lime or lemon
1/2 C of vegetable oil (safflower oil will work well for this)
1 bay leaf
1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 oz escovitch sauce
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 C scallions
Rub the fish all over with lime or lemon wedges to clean, then season fish with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. When it's hot, add the fish, cook on each side for about 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through and crispy on both sides. Remove to a paper-towel-lined dish and set aside.
Drain the oil, leaving 2-3 Tbs in the skillet.
Add bay leaf, garlic, scallions, and ginger to the skillet and stir fry for about 1 minute, making sure the garlic does not burn.
Add the escovitch sauce and the bell peppers. Stir and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Discard bay leaf and remove paper towel from under the fried fish.
Pour escovitch sauce over the fried fish and serve with rice and/or a vegetable side.
I combined a few recipe ideas here, taking a cue from the many, many version of Picadillo that exist throughout Latin America and the Caribbean plus the spices used in Jamaican Beef Patties - flakey, spicy beef filled pastries. This culinary mash-up can be served with rice and/or the Jamaican steamed cabbage recipe below, with soft rolls or buns for a sloppy-joe style sandwich, or however it sounds good to you. If you want to try your hand at making Jamaican Beef Patties, try this recipe. Serves 4-6.
2 Tbs neutral oil - olive oil, vegetable oil, or safflower all work
1/2 a large onion, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp curry powder - use ~1/2 tsp ground turmeric if you don't have curry powder
1 C Celeriac, 1/2-inch diced - peel the celeriac first and cut away any roots or stem
1 C carrots, potatoes, or parsnips (all work!) - 1/2-inch diced
1 lb ground beef
1 tsp ea salt and pepper, plus more to taste
1 C water, plus more as needed
Escovitch sauce, to taste
Microgreens to garnish
Heat oil in a deep skillet over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes, followed by the diced root vegetables, paprika, allspice, thyme, and curry powder and cook ~5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the ground beef, salt, and pepper. Cook until beef is no longer pink, breaking up any large chunks. Add water and bring to a simmer. Let simmer until the vegetables are tender, another 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If pan starts to dry out, add more water.
Add escovitch sauce, a spoonful at a time, mixing well and tasting as you go. You want it to be pleasantly spicy to your tastes, but not overwhelming. If you're cooking for a variety of palates, you can reserve the escovitch sauce to add at the table. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed and serve topped with microgreens.
*Notes: Traditionally, the recipe would use fresh scotch bonnet peppers. We're utilizing the escovitch hot sauce to get the same heat, but the addition of vinegar does change the flavor of the dish somewhat. If you don't have escovitch or scotch bonnet peppers, you can use a different hot pepper, like jalapeño, or even chili powder, though it won't taste quite the same.
Jamaican Steamed Cabbage
Served as a side dish with meat or fish, or as a simple main dish with rice. Recipe adapted from Jamaican Foods & Recipes.
1 package Coleslaw Mix ( or 4 C shredded cabbage + ~1 shredded carrot)
1 onion or large shallot, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, diced, or ~half of a 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 bell pepper, sliced thin
2 Tbs oil
1/4 tsp dried thyme, or 2-3 sprigs fresh
Salt & Pepper to taste
Escovitch sauce, to taste
Prep all the veggies before you start cooking. Heat the oil in a saucepan or straight-sided skillet with a lid over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, garlic, and thyme and sauté for a few minutes. Add the bell pepper and tomato and stir, then add the coleslaw mix and season with salt and pepper. Cover and let steam 15-20 minutes. Add the escovitch sauce to taste, either to the whole pan or at the table to accommodate different spice tolerances.
Additional Recipe Suggestions
Cuban Picadillo - this version uses Spanish olives, capers, and raisins. The sweet/salty combo is quite good.
Mexican Picadillo - the variations of this dish truly are endless.
Use your coleslaw mix in this Thai Peanut Salad with Quinoa recipe for something fresh, flavorful, and crunchy
Soba Noodle Salad and Quick Homemade Ramen also make good use of the coleslaw mix
Try this beef and potato taco recipe (plus jack cheese, of course), but use celeriac in place of potatoes.