Happy Anniversary Girls Night!
We’ll it’s been a year since I started my monthly Dinner and a Movie ~ Girls Night, and besides being a fabulous night with my girl friends, it’s also been a wonderful culinary experience.
Each month we have a different menu theme and movie, however, for the past few months we’ve actually not watched the movie at all. We have just enjoyed the meal and discussion.
This month’s theme? Jamaican Baby! And, one of my favorites themes so far. There were so many incredible colors and flavors in the dishes people prepared.
We started the evening with fancy island beverages made with Pineapple juice, Coconut Liqueur and clear Rum (thanks Tracy!), in addition we served Guava and Mango juices with Coconut liqueur.
To keep with the theme, I made a funky Jamaican/Reggae playlist on my iPod with songs by Bob Marley, Collie Buddz, Peter Tosh, Ken Boothe, Harry Belefonte, Freddie McGreggor, Aswad & Sweetie Irie, UB40, Johnny Nash and Musical Youth, to name a few. The island music played throughout the evening.
We continued our flavor fest with some wonderful appetizers brought by Wendy: Ahi topped with Mango Salsa and jalapeños, served with Blue Corn Chips, as well as some tasty humus and Pita chips.
The Dinner Menu consisted of some delicious Cold Pumpkin Soup – YUM! (Thanks Shay!), tasty Rice and Beans (Thanks Wendy!), some amazing Curry Shrimp* (Thanks Christian!), a scrumptious cold rice dish with pineapple and peppers (Thanks Erin!), a healthy and delicious tossed green salad (thanks Kellie!), yummy Jerk Chicken (prepared by me, recipe below), fried Plantains (more from Christian), and finished our meal with creamy Mango ice cream (more from Tracy).
For continued snacking we had Maui Onion Chips and Maui BBQ Chips (thanks Heather!) We also had wine for those who didn’t want to stick with the sweet Rum drinks.
The movie chosen for the evening was Dr. No, the first James Bond movie (released in 1962) which was set in Jamaica. But, as seems to be the case lately, we didn’t make it to the movie due to our fun and lively conversation filling up the evening.
The Jerk Chicken I made was delicious and easy. In case you’d like to give it a try, I’ve included the recipe. Don’t be daunted by the number of ingredients, its super easy and doesn’t take very long at all to prepare.
Jamaican Jerk Chicken
Combine in a large bowl:
1 Tbsp ground allspice
2 Tbsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground sage
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
big pinch of salt
1 Tbsp sugar
Whisk the following liquids in with the spices:
3/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup orange juice
juice of one lime
Add the following to the marinade:
1 Habanero pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped white onion
3 green onions, finely chopped
Add 2-3 lbs. chicken to the marinade:
Approximately 4-6 chicken breasts. Leave the as filets or cut pieces into 2” or 3” chunks
Stir to coat the chicken
Cover with plastic wrap
Let marinade for at least 1 hour
Pull chicken pieces from marinade and place on grill (The best way to cook the chicken is on a gas or charcoal grill, however, I grilled mine on the George Foreman Grill and it worked great – and cooked extremely fast!)
Grill each side until chicken is fully cooked (white inside when cut into – about 20 min on grill, 5 minutes on Foreman Grill.) I take the leftover marinade and cook it on the stove for 15-20 minutes and then use it as a sauce to top the grilled chicken and rice.
Serve with Jamaican rice and beans.
*Please see “recipes” category for Christian’s Curry Shrimp dish recipe. It’s amazing!