BBC

Ackee and saltfish with steamed callaloo and Merlene’s fried dumplings

Make this traditional Caribbean-style dish with just enough spice to warm things up.

Ingredients

For the ackee and saltfish
For the plantain
For the callaloo
For the fried dumplings

Preparation method

  1. For the ackee and saltfish, place the salt cod into a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Pour off the boiling water, rinse the cod then cover with fresh cold water and repeat the process. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, flake the cod into small pieces.

  2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion, Scotch bonnet chilli, garlic and bacon or turkey, if using, together for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are softened and translucent. Stir in the flaked salt cod followed by the tomatoes and simmer for 3-4 minutes.

  3. Gently stir in the ackee, being careful not to break it up, then add the black pepper and butter and cook until the butter has melted. Keep warm.

  4. For the plantain, fill a heavy-based frying pan 1cm/½in deep with vegetable oil and place over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the plantain slices, in batches if necessary, and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden-brown. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain and set aside to cool.

  5. For the callaloo, place the salt cod into a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Pour off the boiling water, rinse the cod then cover with fresh cold water and repeat the process. Drain and, when cool enough to handle, flake the cod into small pieces.

  6. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion, Scotch bonnet chilli and garlic together for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are softened and translucent. Stir in the flaked salt cod followed by the callaloo and black pepper and simmer for 3-4 minutes. Add the butter to the pan, cover and leave to steam on a low heat for 4-5 minutes.

  7. For the fried dumplings, mix the flour, salt and sugar together in a mixing bowl. Mix to combine then gradually add the water or milk until the mixture comes together to form a soft dough.

  8. Mix thoroughly then take small pieces of the dough and roll them into small balls, roughly the size of golf balls. Flatten the balls slightly.

  9. Heat the sunflower oil in a deep fat fryer to 160C/310F. Alternatively, half-fill a deep, heavy-based pan with sunflower oil and heat until a cube of bread dropped in sizzles and turns golden-brown in 30 seconds (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended).

  10. Carefully lower the dumplings into the hot oil in small batches and fry for about 4-5 minutes or until golden brown. Insert a fork into the middle of a dumpling to check if it's cooked, it should come out clean. If the fork comes out with dough on it then return the balls to the hot oil for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.

  11. To serve, place all the dishes next to each other on serving plates.

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