COCONUT JERK PEAS WITH PINEAPPLE SALSA
The apartment I grew up in was on an adorable street in Mid-City, New Orleans. I had the best set of neighbors. The entire block often held informal cookouts during the weekend. My neighbor came originally from Trinidad, and his jerk peas were a cult in the neighborhood because we couldn’t get enough of the delicious jerk peas. We’d linger over the pan until they were ready for us to consume and then disappear in a blink of an eye. He didn’t give me the recipe for the jerk peas (I do not blame him). However, I know that the peas were cooked in a soup made of coconut milk full of fat and a healthy dose of jerk seasoning. I’ll probably never be able to recreate the famous peas, but these coconut jerk peas are as close as I’ll achieve!
WHERE TO FIND JERK SEASONING
I’ve attached a picture that shows the product I bought which I bought from Whole Foods. You may also see it in bulk bins. This blend of spices contains many ingredients and specific items I do not keep in my pantry. Therefore, it’s one blend I find more straightforward and sensible to purchase pre-mixed. If you are looking to mix your combination of spices, A quick Google search offers a variety of recipes.
The most appealing thing about these peas is they’re straightforward. They can be made in the afternoon on Sundays while enjoying yourself or doing other chores. You’ll be able to have meals ready for the next day.
COCONUT JERK PEAS
One tablespoon of olive oil ($0.13)
One yellow onion ($0.32)
Two cloves of garlic ($0.16)
One lb. frozen peas with black eyes with afro or purple peas with hulls ($1.99)
1 cup of water ($0.00)
1-2 Tbsp jerk seasoning* ($0.60)
1 14oz. bottle of coconut milk ($2.19)
1/4 teaspoon salt, or as desired ($0.02)
4 cups cooked rice ($0.75)
2 cups of chopped pineapple** ($0.67)
1/4 onion red ($0.17)
One lime ($0.34)
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro ($0.21)
1/2 teaspoon salt, or as desired ($0.05)
3-4 green onions, cut ($0.20)
Slice the onion into pieces and chop the garlic. Add them to a medium saucepan with olive oil and simmer at medium-high temperatures for 2 to 3 minutes until onions become translucent and soft.
Add the peas into the pot with water and one tablespoon of the jerk seasoning. Mix to combine. Cover the pot, then turn the temperature to medium-high and let it be at a point of boiling. Once it has reached a boiling point, reduce the heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes until the peas become soft.
While the peas simmer, cook the salsa of pineapple. Chop the pineapple into small pieces. Finely chop into pieces the red onion. Remove the cilantro leaves from their stems. Please give them a good chop. Combine the onion, pineapple, and cilantro, the juice of half of the lime, and salt in the bowl. Mix until well combined before tasting, and alter the salt or lime if required. Put the salsa aside.
When the peas have become tender, turn the temperature low and include the coconut milk. Stir it in and heat up. Mash some peas against the pot’s sides to thicken the mix. Test the peas by tasting them and adding salt and jerk seasoning until thoroughly spiced. The peas need to be well-seasoned because the spice may appear diluted when placed over simple rice.
To serve, put one cup of ready-to-eat rice in the bowl. Then add one cup of jerk peas together with coconut broth. Add 1/2 cup of pineapple salsa and a few slices of green onions. Enjoy!