Hitting the Jackpot with Jackfruit

The name Jackfruit has been popping up lately. Do you know what a Jackfruit is? If not you should. Recent trend reports suggest it might become a staple at the breakfast and dinner tables. As someone who grew up eating Jackfruit like Americans eat apple, I can assure you if this trend holds true you’re hitting the jackpot with jackfruit. Big time! 

Jackfruit is an oversized fruit with a yellowish-green bumpy skin, with yellow fleshy pods on the inside. Both the flesh and seeds are edible. The flesh is firm, sweet and flavorful, and tastes like a bunch of tropical fruits rolled into one. The seeds are just as yummy when roasted.

But one thing stood out to me when I read a recent article. So many of the foods I grew up on are now all the rage. Avocado, Coconut, Pomegranate are fruits I devoured as a child. Every yard had some sort of fruit tree in it so there was easy access. As a matter of fact, these fruits were so plentiful that many times they had fallen off the tree and you were doing yourself or someone a favor picking them up off the ground. Seriously, that’s how abundant these superfoods were. And, no doubt, still are.

As I said, I grew up on these. Jackfruit is no different. I was so excited when I came across another article from Whole Foods that I contacted them immediately to see if they had it in store. And they do!

I will be updating this post as soon as I get my paws on some Jackfruit. Please post your comments if you’re trying it for the first time or if your first bite brings back memories of childhood days.

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Seven Facts About Jamaican Rum Cake

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For Jamaicans, Christmas is synonymous with Rum Cake. You simply cannot get through the year end holiday season without enjoying at least one slice of this dessert. And chances are if you’re eating rum cake you are not stopping at just one slice. Here are seven food facts about Jamaican Rum Cake to chew on:

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  1. Referred to as Fruit Cake
    1. As the name suggests, the main ingredient is fruit; candied, chopped fruit consisting of orange peels and pineapple, along with raisins and cherries. But unlike other traditional fruit cakes, Jamaican Rum Cakes are made with grounded or pureed fruits for a smooth consistency.
  2. Also called Black Cake and Christmas Cake
  3. It is the choice for wedding cake in Jamaica and other parts of the Caribbean. Because of its popularity at weddings, it is sometimes referred to as Wedding Cake.
  4. Dark in color
    1. Color ranges from dark brown to black. If you’re not careful, you’ll mistake it for a chocolate cake at first glance. In some cases, depending how it is cut, it can resemble brownie too.
  5. Traditionally a very dense cake
  6. Made with rum and wine
  7. Fruits are soaked in wine [and rum] for many weeks or even months prior to baking.

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Today, like most other products, rum cakes come in all shapes and sizes, including cupcake. For example our JADE cupcakes feature minis as well as standard cupcake size, and with a variety of icings.

When it comes to fruit cakes Jamaican Rum Cake takes the cake.

Merry Christmas!

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Fried Chicken Tenders with JADE Pickled Pepper Preserve

After a three-month, two-state round of spicy cooking demos at Williams-Sonoma stores in New York and New Jersey, my spring demos have come to an end. But, don’t worry about a thing. You can have your spice and eat it too all year long! The Spice of Life menu featured Jerk Salmon with a Citrus Garden Salad, Spicy Black Beans, and Fried Chicken Tenders with my JADE brand Pickled Pepper Preserve.

Some recipes – including the Spicy Black Beans and the Citrus Dressing were featured in earlier posts. Today, however, you get to feast on Fried Chicken Tenders with JADE Pickled Pepper Preserve – juicy white meat that’s tender on the inside, crispy on the outside, and hot and flavorful all over.

Frying Flour Mix

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour                                    

1 tsp paprika

2 tsp sea salt                                                              

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

1 pinch ground ginger

  1. Combine ingredients in a 1-gallon food storage bag, seal tightly and shake until blended.

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Fried Chicken Tenders

2 pounds chicken tenders                                          

1 batch Frying Flour Mix (See above)

3 cups vegetable oil

  1. Add vegetable oil to medium frying pan and heat at medium temperature.
  2. Place half of chicken tenders into flour mix and shake to coat.
  3. Lay tenders into hot oil and let fry 4-5 minutes on each side.
  4. Remove tenders and lay on paper towel to drain and cool.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 to fry remaining tenders.
  6. Place fried tenders on a serving platter.

Spoon some JADE Pickled Pepper Preserve into a small bowl and serve alongside tender.  Or dress tenders directly with preserve.

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Enjoy this spicy bite when only a stiff kick will do! Get it at JADE Jamaican Grill.

 

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Go from Garnish to Gourmet

It’s that time of year when the weather begins to warm, local farmers’ market are getting ready for their season opening, and the seeds you started indoors weeks ago have sprouted. Today, however, I’m dishing out more than just your garden variety veggies. We’re going gourmet with edible botanicals – leaves, flowers, herbs, plants, and plant mixes that do more than just pretty up the plate.

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Since we eat with our eyes long before we take a bite, we appreciate the role garnish plays on a plate. Think color, freshness and overall presentation. But, why pick useless shrub when the right trim can work wonders?

Edible botanicals – leaves, flowers, greens, herbs, and plants add vibrancy, flare, flavor and function. Dressing up a dish with an orchid – neutral in taste and lavender or purple in color, adds snap without sacrificing flavor. A begonia mix boasts a zesty, crisp, tart finish – the perfect blend for a delightful citrus salad. Or spread it around a savory seafood platter in place of lime or lemon. The pretty pink petals of begonias (comes in white too) with bright yellow centers adds just the right amount of radiance for spring and summer entertaining.

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The appropriate finish can also take fare from palatable to perfection. For example, a mint mix will enhance the flavor of lamb, while it’s small, delicate, bright green leaves create a stark contrast to the seared, crusted exterior of the meat.

Island Inspired

I’m an island girl so whenever possible or as appropriate I mix in as much of the Caribbean into my culinary creations as I can get away with. And with edible botanicals I get away with quite a bit! Shoot, it’s literally a field of dreams. And the spring and summer seasons my playground – with plenty of plants to play with on my plate. The bounty of veggies and flowers found in the Caribbean are endless. Hibiscus, sorrel, cilantro, onion, turnip, thyme, mint, rosemary, orchid… Did you know Jamaica has over 200 species of orchid? Not to mention herbs. You know Jamaica has herb!

Taking Care

Now that you’re familiar with what’s on the market, here’s how to ensure you get the most use of your petite produce. Keep fresh by refrigerating immediately. Suppliers generally guarantee freshness for up to a week. However, I find that by keeping them in their original packaging, sealing in an airtight zipper bag then storing in the refrigerator you can squeeze out an extra 2 or more days.

Whatever your taste, go for plating that’s more than pretty. Elevate the experience by choosing the right green and go from garnish to gourmet!

Note: Samples for the attached photo provided by Gourmet Sweet Botanicals.

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Spicy Black Beans

These Spicy Black Beans were featured as part of my recent Spice of Life cooking demonstration at Williams-Sonoma in New York City. The audience absolutely loved it! I hope you’ll enjoy creating this zesty, spicy, flavorful dish at home!

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16 oz dried black beans

10 cups Water

1/2 cup red onion, minced

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

3 garlic clove, peeled

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp sea salt

2 slices Habanero or Scotch Bonnet pepper

  1. Rinse beans and soak overnight.
  2. In a dutch oven (or stock pot), add beans, salt, garlic and water and simmer for 85 minutes over medium-hi heat.
  3. Add olive oil, red onion, habanero and most of the cilantro and cook an additional 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove from stove and cool for a few minutes.
  5. Remove the garlic cloves and habanero slices.
  6. Spoon beans into medium flat bowl and dress with remaining cilantro.

Cooking time: 90 minutes

Servings: 12

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Welcome to Full On Flavor

Hello food lovers, welcome to Full On Flavor, your destination for food, flavor and fun!

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For those of you whom I’ve yet to meet or perhaps unfamiliar with, I’m Janet Davis, CEO & Executive Chef at JADE Jamaican Grill. JADE or Janet Ann Davis Enterprises is a food and special events company serving clients in the Hamptons, New York City, D.C. and everywhere in between.

I’ve spent the past  9+ years in the culinary industry, having operated a restaurant, hosted and produced a PBS cooking series, made numerous guest chef appearances on NBC and FOX, participated in the Atlantic City Food & Wine Festival, conducted a slew of cooking demonstrations at Williams-Sonoma and so much more.

Full On Flavor is the voice of JADE, showcasing my culinary style while sharing company news, views, travels and adventures, shopping, tips and the like. I’ve loaded some photos in the galleries and will be adding lots more over the coming weeks and as time progresses. You’ll also notice I have an event calendar. Be sure to let me know if you are planning on attending the restaurant and food show in New York in March. Perhaps we can meet up?

As the face and creative talent behind JADE, you’ll hear from me personally, on a weekly basis, or perhaps more frequently. Full On Flavor will be your place to learn, grow, experience delectable food, one-of-a-kind flavor and exceptional fun.

I look forward to hearing from you. Be sure to connect with me on all my social media sites. And spread the love by sharing this blog.

For more on JADE visit my website.

 

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