Soul Society 101: Being from Guyana, what is you favorite dish to cook?
JP: I don’t have a favorite dish because I am truly of lover of all food.
Soul Society 101: What is your favorite time to cook during the year?
JP: I love cooking year round but if I had to pick I would say the Fall. There’s something about the cooler weather that inspires me to get into the kitchen and create!
Soul Society 101: What are some of you favorite restaurants in NYC & ATL?
JP: Some of my favorites in NYC would have to be Negril Village, Cabana, Serendipity 3 and Max Brenner; I love ethnic food and I’m a certified chocoholic. In Atlanta I love 4th and Swift for a romantic night out, Murphy’s for the ultimate brunch and Studio No. 7 for small bites and art. We can’t forget dessert, so I would have to say Café Intermezzo, which is a dessert lover’s paradise.
Soul Society 101: What is unique about food from Guyana?
JP: What’s unique about Guyanese food is that our native dishes are heavily influenced by a combination of many different cultures. Indian roti and curry, British queen cakes, Creole inspired Soups, Amerindian Pepper Pot and Chinese Chow mein are all authentic Guyanese dishes. We are after all known as the Land of Six People.
Soul Society 101: What are some of your goals for cooking career?
JP: I would love to grow my blog Jehan Can Cook and expand my culinary career beyond my wildest dreams.
3 lbs white belly shrimp(small shrimp)
½ of a lime
3 scallion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 thai chili pepper
1 tsp salt
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp + 1 tsp curry powder
¼ tsp cumin
1 tbsp crushed ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp water
Place cleaned shrimp in a bowl with enough water to cover and the juice of ½ lime. Allow to sit for 10 minutes; rinse. Add scallion, pepper, garlic and salt to shrimp; mix. Set aside for 15 minutes. While the shrimp marinates, add canola oil to a deep frying pan over medium heat. In a small bowl add curry powder, cumin, crushed ginger, garlic and water to form a paste. When the oil is hot, add curry paste.
Cook curry for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent it from burning. Add Shrimp to curry and stir-fry for 3-5 minutes. Add coconut milk and ketchup and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with additional scallion. Serve over rice or with roti!
If the sauce is too thin, remove the shrimp from the sauce with a slotted spoon and set aside. Cook the sauce until it reduces, for an additional 5 minutes. Once the sauce has reduced, add the shrimp back to the sauce. Removing the shrimp prevents overcooking it. Nobody likes rubbery shrimp!
Caribbean Chicken Soup with Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin and Corn
2 cups Caribbean Pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut in 1 inch cubes
2 ears fresh corn
3 cups white sweet potato (boniato), peeled and cut in 2 inch cubes
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
1 wiri pepper
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 tbsp margarine
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 cups chicken stock
¼ cup coconut milk
Directions Hold the 1 corn upright holding the pointed tip, using a knife, cut the corn downwards, 2-3 rows at a time. Repeat until all of the corn is cut off the cob. Next, using the back of the knife scrape corn cob to remove the milk bits. Set aside. Now cut the second ear of corn crosswise into 2 inch pieces.
Set aside. In a large stock pot over medium fire, melt margarine. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes until soft. Add garlic, thyme, bay leaf and wiri pepper then stir. Cook for 2 minutes. Sprinkle salt and pepper on chicken thighs then add to pot. Cook for 5 minutes. Next add sweet potato, cut corn with the milky bits and chicken stock, bring to a boil then lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
Add pumpkin, corn on the cob and coconut milk. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Remove chicken, shred when cool enough to handle. Add shredded chicken and dumplings. Cover pot and cook for 5 minutes. Do not peep! Remove from heat and add chopped parsley before serving.