As I said in the previous blog post, for National Rum Day my guests demanded that I made a meal which was:

  • Somehow pirate related
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free

I knew that I was going to aim for somewhere in the Caribbean area for my recipes as I had just arrived on Nassau in Black Flag and that’s pretty much my only good frame of reference for pirates.

I really wanted to make a Mojito marinated grilled fish, but that violated rule 2. So I had a think, drank some rum (obviously), assassinated some people (in the game, don’t worry) and set about making my Bahamian-inspired, vegan curry and rice.

This meal is incredibly easy to make but the amount of flavour in it makes it seem like you’ve really toiled over the stove for hours. It’s actually better to put a burst of energy in at the start and then just let it simmer for a while.

If you prefer to have some meat in your meal, I would usually simmer chicken breast in this but, strangely for me, I didn’t even really miss the meat. That may have something to do with the combination of tankards of rum and 3 tins of kidney beans but I could be wrong.

Also, I tend to cook with alcohol quite often and, if I were to be honest with myself, sometimes it is a waste of good booze. It doesn’t really add anything to the entire package. The beauty of using a spiced rum, like I did with the Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum, is that it really does impart flavour into your meal. If I were to use a meat in this dish instead of the beans, I would have used it in a marinade to really kick the spices up a gear. Nevertheless, it added an extra layer to our meal with the way it worked with the pineapple and chilli.

Don’t worry, if you’re planning on… drinking responsibly… while eating this, you will barely miss the amount you put into the food. If I had to quantify it in terms of drinks… I’d say it’s going to cost you 2 drinks. But it will feed around 6 people; so that’s a fair trade-off if you ask me.

Obviously, there are 2 parts to this recipe. So I’m going to break it down into 2 parts. One is a little bit longer that the other as the coconut rice is an exceptionally easy thing to make. So I’ll start with that one and then we can make the curry.

Coconut Rice

Half a cup of Risotto Rice (per person)

Handful of Spring Onions (separate the white bottoms from the green tops. Keep both bits)

Frozen Peas

Fresh Mint

Green Chilli

Medium Sized Garlic Clove

Black Pepper

Thyme

Lime Zest

Salt

Coconut Milk

Coconut Oil

Method:

  1. Rinse off your rice. Throw it in a colander and run cold water over it until the water runs clear.
  2. Throw it in a saucepan, sprinkle over some salt (bear in mind that you’re not going to be straining the rice so go easy on the salt.
  3. For risotto rice, you need a water:rice ratio of around 3:1. So, for every cup of rice you’re using, you’re going to need three cups of 50:50 water and coconut milk mixture. That is far too much maths.
  4. Bring the rice to the boil and then drop the temperature to a simmer and put the lid on top.
  5. In a frying pan, drop a spoonful of coconut oil and bring it up to heat
  6. Crush and slice your garlic, thinly slice the chilli and spring onions and throw it in the pan. Give it a good stir so that nothing burns.
  7. When the garlic and onion have started to cook, throw in your peas and thyme. I’ve purposefully not limited the amount of peas you need. You just do you. Put as much or as little as you like in there.
  8. Generously sprinkle over your cracked black pepper.
  9. When the rice is al dente, with a decent amount of liquid still left in, pour it into your pan with the vegetable mixture and let it bubble and reduce. Keep an eye on the rice, you don’t want a mush on your hands.

Now for the Pineapple Rum and Bean Curry

Ingredients:

2 Red Bell Peppers

1 Large White Onion

2 Decent Sized Garlic Cloves

1 Largish Tin of Pineapple. Not industrial sized, just not a tiny wee one. (Chunks, slices, puree, it doesn’t matter. The only thing to make sure is that it is in juice, not syrup)

Baby Spinach

Coriander

Red Chillies (as many as you think you can handle)

2 Tins Red Kidney Beans (drained)

Palm Sugar

Oregano (I used fresh oregano flowers, but I had them to hand)

Fresh Basil

Thyme

Sea Salt

Cracked Pepper

Ginger

Teaspoon of Turmeric

About 100ml of Captain Morgan’s Spiced Rum

Coconut Oil

Method:

  1. In a Dutch Oven (if you have one, if not just use a large pan) heat up your oil.
  2. Using a food processor or a blender (guess what I just got back?!), blend your onion, garlic, ginger, spices, herbs and chillies.
  3. When the oil has heated up, throw your blended mixture in, but don’t wash the blender.
  4. Chop your Bell Peppers into whatever size you want. I wanted to start drinking, so I went with the larger slices but you can dice it if you want.
  5. Once the onion has gone a clearer colour and sweated off, throw in your peppers.
  6. Pour your pineapple into the blender with a fairly liberal amount of salt and your rum.  Blend it into a smoothie consistency.
  7.  Once the peppers have softened, pour in your pineapple mixture and give it a good stir.
  8. Keep the heat at a gentle simmer, throw in your kidney beans and pop the lid on the pan.
  9. Leave it for about 20minutes.
  10. Just before you go to serve (on top of your fluffy coconut rice), tear up handfuls of fresh coriander, a bit more basil and the tops of your spring onions (remember them? I did tell you to keep them) and throw them on top for an extra burst of flavour with every mouthful.

 

Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid to do these posts. Captain Morgan’s simply asked if I wanted a bottle of rum and felt like writing about it. So all thoughts and words are my own. Are they, though? Aren’t we all a byproduct of our upbringing? Don’t we learn new phrases and words everyday, throughout our lives. Something to think about… are any of these words my own? Are your words your own… Should I put the rum down before I type blog posts?…. These questions can never be unequivocally answered.

Apart from that last one. The answer’s no.

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