Shake Up Your Cooking on the Isle of Spice
Infuse your humble galley with the flavors of Grenada by embracing its nickname – “The Isle of Spice!” The basics? Warm, zesty flavors – and mandatory dessert.
Oil down is the traditional dish of Grenada and the ultimate Caribbean comfort food. Even the preparation is usually laid-back: a bunch of friends gathered around a pot, cooking, lounging, and laughing.
Everyone’s recipe is slightly different, and that’s what makes oil down so special. This popular version calls for basil, thyme, and celery leaves, Caribbean peppers, garlic and onion, taro leaves, carrots, and turmeric – certainly off to a tasty start!
Render down your chicken while preparing the seasonings and herbs. Brined pork or fish is often a key ingredient, so have that ready as well (Bring it from home, vacuum sealed in your cooler, or start the brine on your first day aboard.)
Combine everything you have so far, then get to work on the rest of your ingredients: breadfruit or taro root, coconut milk, true yams (not sweet potatoes), and green banana. The recipe link above goes into plenty of detail about how to prepare these ingredients and blend them into the stew. You’ll even make some tasty flour dumplings with coconut and turmeric – yum!
The true objective of any oil down is togetherness, so make this a family affair. Involve everyone in prep, cooking, and tasting – as much as the size of your galley will allow. When you’re done, you’ll have 4-6 mouths filled with delicious Grenadian stew, and hopefully plenty of smiles as well.