Holiday away post: An always in-style Jamaican national dish we look forward to each and every year with our home grown Jamaican island ackee and salted codfish. It pairs well with bammy, a local type of island flatbread that's soaked in milk and then baked or fried, and also our fried stove top Johnnycakes. Saving the more gluten-ful days for vay-cay days, we enjoyed this simple and yet plentiful dish with gluten-free toast and a drizzle of pure olive oil back in early June as our summer must-haves made themselves be known. Bone-in salted cod really adds maximum flavour to this dish (taking a little more finger work with removing those finer, embedded bones) over boneless cod, but if making with our younger kids in mind, I'd definitely go boneless for added precaution. Happy Independence Day Jamaica (!) :) Have a wild and playful longer weekend (in a good way of course), wherever you are in the world. Music and more to go after the jump...
Music from that loved ♫ higher loft for our holiday weekend...
Gather the necessary goods:
1 (540 g) can of Grace Ackees (in salt water) , drained
400 g bone-in salted codfish
3 tablespoons pure olive oil (+ extra for the toast)
5 - 6 stalks of green onion (minced)
1 medium onion (minced)
2 medium-sized cooking tomatoes (diced)
1/2 of a medium-sized scotch bonnet pepper, minced
pinch of sea salt (if needed)
2 pinches of ground white (or black) pepper
Place bone-in cod in a roomy glass dish, add cold tap water to fill the bowl to the 2/3 mark and let soak for an hour.
Drain the water after the hour, place the cod in a large enough sauce pot, add fresh tap water to the 2/3 mark and allow to boil on high heat for 5 minutes with the lid slightly ajar. Keep a close eye on the pot. (If the water begins to bubble over, simply remove from the heat, drain some of the water and allow to continue boiling).
After 5 minutes, drain the hot salt water and take a taste test to see if the cod is just right or still too salty. If too salty, add fresh tap water and boil again on high heat (as above). Twice usually does the trick.
Remove from heat, drain the salt water, and allow the cod to cool a bit (15 mins), before removing the bones within.
Gently rinse the drained ackee in cold tap water and set aside.
Fill a sauce pot to the 2/3 mark with tap water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, off the heat and add the rinsed ackee to the pot for 5 minutes, giving a gentle swirl to keep the whole pods in tact (they are quite delicate at times). :) Drain the hot water after 3 - 4 minutes and set aside.
(remains for a tasty next-day fish broth)
Using your fingers, carefully remove as much fleshy bits and pieces of cod as you can leaving all bones behind. This takes time but is so worth the patience... a happy ending is what it's all about. Set the picked cod aside also.
Warm a large skillet on medium to high heat and add the olive oil. Add the mixed fresh seasoning (green onion, yellow onion, tomatoes and pepper) to a now sizzling skillet and sauté for 3 minutes.
Reduce skillet heat to medium and add the picked cod. Gently blend in with the sautéed seasoning for 3 - 5 minutes.
Add the warm and thoroughly drained ackee on top of the blended-in codfish, cover as is with lid, and allow to gently steam for 8 - 10 minutes on medium to medium-to-low heat (not sizzling, but warm enough).
Remove the lid and stir gently to blend in the ackee and sprinkle with a tad of ground white pepper.
Serve warm with your choice of sides and be merry.
Ackee (fruit) is well known to aid in digestion, stabilize blood pressure, improve heart health, increase bone strength and thus boost circulation... creating our Island's 'no problem mon' effect. :)
Special thanks to Grace Foods.