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Jamaican jerk puts the bite in chicken, pork.

It's a blend of tastes you won't forget

JAMAICANS FAVOR AN aromatic seasoning mix on grilled meat and fish that has such a kick you might think that's why it's called jerk. In reality, jerk seasonings were originally used to help preserve smoked meats. Although this role for jerk has declined, it's still popular for everyday use.

Jerk is interpreted many ways, but at its heart are black pepper, hot chilies, and fragrant spices and herbs ground to a paste. Foods are spread with the paste and grilled.

To balance the flavor impact, temper the jerk foods with pasta, fruit, and sweet-tart mixtures.

Jamaican Jerk Chicken with Spiced Fettuccine

Jerk seasoning paste (recipe follows)

4 boned and skinned chicken breast halves (about 1 1/2 lb. total), rinsed and patted dry

2 cups regular-strength chicken broth

1/4 cup whipping cream

12 ounces dried fettuccine

Fresh cilantro sprigs

Lime wedges

Salt

Cover and chill 1 tablespoon jerk seasoning. Coat chicken breasts with remaining mixture. Cover and chill at least 20 minutes or up to 1 day.

In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan, mix reserved jerk seasoning, broth, and cream. Boil on high heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 10 minutes. If making ahead, reheat to use.

Place chicken on an oiled grill 4 to 6 inches above a solid bed of medium-hot coals (you can hold your hand at grill level only 3 to 4 seconds). Turn meat often until it is no longer pink in center of thickest part (cut to test), about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring about 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5- to 6-quart covered pan over high heat.

When chicken is done, transfer to a platter and keep warm. At once, add fettuccine to boiling water and cook, uncovered, until tender to bite, about 8 minutes. Drain well; return to pan and add jerk-seasoned broth. Mix pasta with 2 forks over medium heat until most of the broth is absorbed; also add juices drained from chicken. Spoon pasta onto plates and top with chicken. Garnish with cilantro; offer lime and salt to add to taste. Serves 4.

Per serving: 602 cal. (16 percent from fat); 53 g protein; 11 g fat (4.5 g sat.); 70 g carbo.; 165 mg sodium; 196 mg chol.

Jerk seasoning paste. In a blender or food processor, combine 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh cilantro, 3 tablespoons water, 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger, 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon ground allspice, 1 tablespoon firmly packed brown sugar, 2 cloves garlic, 1/2 teaspoon crushed dried hot red chilies, 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander, and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. Whirl to make a smooth paste. If making ahead, cover and chill up to 5 days.

Jerk Pork with Pasta and Mango-Banana Chutney

1 large (about 1/2-lb.) firm-ripe banana

About 3/4 cup Major Grey (or other mango) chutney

1/4 cup lime juice

3 tablespoons sweetened flaked dried coconut

2 pork tenderloins (each about 2/3 lb.), fat trimmed

Jerk seasoning paste

1 pound dried angel hair (capellini) pasta

3/4 cup regular-strength chicken broth

1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar (or 1/4 cup rice vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar)

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro (coriander)

2 teaspoons sugar

2 medium-size (about 1 3/4 lb. total) firm-ripe papayas, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Fresh cilantro sprigs

Salt

Peel and coarsely chop banana. In a small bowl, mix banana with 3/4 cup chutney, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and coconut. If making ahead, cover and chill up to 1 day.

Coat meat with jerk seasoning, wrap airtight, and chill at least 20 minutes or up to 1 day.

Ignite 60 charcoal briquets on fire-grate in a barbecue with a lid. When coals are coated with ash, in about 30 minutes, push to sides of grate. Set grill 4 to 6 inches above coals. When coals are medium-hot (you can hold your hand at grill level only 3 to 4 seconds), oil grill and lay pork in center (not over coals). Cover barbecue, open vents, and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloins registers 155 |degrees~, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5- to 6-quart covered pan over high heat.

When meat is done, put on a platter and keep warm. At once, add pasta to boiling water and cook, uncovered, until tender to bite, about 5 minutes. Drain pasta; return to pan over medium heat and mix with chicken broth until most of the liquid is absorbed, then mix in remaining lime juice, vinegar, minced cilantro, and sugar.

Cut pork into 1/2-inch slices; serve with pasta and papayas. Garnish with cilantro sprigs; offer chutney and salt to add to taste. Serves 6.

Per serving: 577 cal. (7.8 percent from fat); 32 g protein; 5 g fat (1.8 g sat.); 102 g carbo.; 137 mg sodium; 65 mg chol.
COPYRIGHT 1993 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1993 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Author:Hale, Christine Weber
Publication:Sunset
Date:Sep 1, 1993
Words:836
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