Wednesday, April 16, 2008

CORN & AVOCADO MIX with jerk chicken

CORN & AVOCADO MIX with jerk chicken, grilled corn, cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, & fresh chunks of avocado tossed with lettuce in a balsamic vinaigrette

Have you ever eaten at a restaurant and had a dish that you thought was fantastic and later you keep thinking about it but you just don't know how to really make it. When we were in New York last fall, staying in Bedford-Stuyvesant, in Brooklyn, our land-lady directed us to a restaurant she referred to as a "soul" restaurant. Now I'm not a big fan of soul food, but it was one of those times when you just simply have to eat and that was the only place around. The name of the restaurant is Brook's Valley Cafe. It wasn't soul food from our way of looking at it, we thought maybe it was Jamaican. Turns out that it's Carribean and Soul food. You can see a utube about it here.

Riley ordered their jerk chicken, and I got the corn and avocado salad with jerk chicken. I thought it was one of the best salads I had ever eaten, and surely it wasn't like anything I'd ever had before. So now I want to either find the recipe or invent it myself. The description I have above is from the wed site of the restaurant. So for starters here is the list of ingredients as if it were a recipe. I will have to develop this further.

Corn & Avocado Jerk Chicken Salad

grilled corn
chunks of avocado
balsamic vinaigrette
jerk chicken

The grilled corn is done by putting an ear of corn onto a barbecue grill. The onions were red onions. I imagine that balsamic vinaigrette is a common recipe. I looked around at recipes for this vinaigrette and this one looked like a likely candidate:

Balsamic Vinaigrette

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
crushed dried red pepper to taste 

1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons honey 

In a medium bowl or food processor, whisk together balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, honey, garlic, and red pepper. Add olive oil in a thin stream, whisking until emulsified.

Then there is the problem of how to make jerk chicken. I've found out that there are two ways to season the chicken - with a wet rub or a dry rub. I've also found that an authentic jerk rub has allspice as a major seasoning. These rubs are best bought ready made, but they are not too easy to come up with. We did find a lot of them at Whole Foods, and we found a nice dry rub at Penzey's Spice Store. I've purchased the rub, but I've yet to make the jerk chicken.

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