Adapted from Grill it with Levi
The kids are feeling a bit toady after weeks of holiday eating and have decided to go on a keto/Atkins low-carb diet. These diets are vegetable/protein forward. Usually, I go with dishes where I can serve the starch on the side, for those who wish for more.
Jan and Eilene went to England last year and Jan brought me back a cookbook. One of the legacies of colonialism is that the dominant country is changed almost as much as the colonies. England, like America, is going through a food(ie) revolution as world cuisines change what was staid (read boring) British cooking. The cookbook Jan brought me was Grill it with Levi: 101 Reggae Recipes for Sunshine and Soul.
I made one of Levi Root’s fish dishes.. Surprisingly—to me at least—I made it pretty much as written—with a little translation to American measures. I would list this as an incredibly easy and tasty dish, because—after having tasted the dish—why mess with perfection. To round out the meal I made hamachi shots and a Caribbean slaw.
Levi Root’s Jamaican Coconut-Baked Fish Parcels
1 Tbs. peanut oil
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced pole to pole
Pinch Kosher salt
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and sliced
2 red Jalapeños, sliced into rings and seeded
½ inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1 can (13.5 oz.) coconut cream
2 Tbs. light brown sugar
Pinch black pepper
4-5 fish fillets (4-5 oz. each)
2 Tbs. cilantro, coarsely chopped
1. Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onions with the salt until just translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the red and green peppers and continue to cook until the peppers have started to soften, another 3-4 minutes.
3. Stir in the Jalapeños and ginger and cook for two more minutes.
4. Stir in the coconut cream and heat it until just warmed, about two minutes.
Tip: Do not bring the cream to a full boil.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the line juice, sugar and pepper.
Tip: Taste test, you want a good balance between sweet and tart, adjust if necessary.
6. Make a double layer square of foil for each diner.
Tip: Each layer foil should be about a foot square. Enough to fold over the fish and toppings with plenty of free edges for sealing them in.
Note: The original recipe was for four diners and I was making this for five people. I simply distributed the sauce a little less for each parcel.
7. Lay one fillet in the center of each parcel.
Tip: Levi did not suggest this, but I gave each a shot of Pam, where the fish would sit.
Note: Levi recommends salmon, sea bass, haddock or cod. I used cod and did my best to have an even portion of fish for each diner.
8. Season the fillets with salt and pepper, to taste.
9. Fold up the edges of the foil to make a bowl out of each parcel.
10. Divide the sauce between the parcels.
Note: Levi’s instructions are to put the sauce into the parcels first, but the photo shows the peppers on top.
11. Scrunch the edges of the foil parcel closed.
Tip: You want the parcel to be fairly open inside, not pressing down tightly on the contents. Ideally, you want some of the steam to be able to escape, but the parcel should not leak either.
Note: At this point, you may put the dish on hold until 15 minutes before serving. Refrigerate if the hole is going to be more than one hour.
12. Start your grill and barbecue the parcels for 10-14 minutes—the time is dependent on the thickness of your fillets.
Tip: If you did not want to start a grill for such a short cooking time, you could also place them in a hot oven (450º F).
Note: To check for doneness, open one parcel and check the fillet with the point of a knife. The flesh should no longer be “glassy” in the center when done.
13. Serve the fish in the parcels.
Tip: So that your diners get a fragrant blast of steam when they open their meal.
14. Serve cilantro and lime wedges on the side, to sprinkle atop the fish.
Tip: Rice or bread may be used to sop up the amazing juices.
Note: Alternative serving suggestion. Put some rice in a bowl and slide the fish and sauce out of the parcel on top.