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Island summer eats – For Caribbean Carnival month

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Island summer eats – For Caribbean Carnival month

BY NOEL CUNNINGHAM

Summer is officially here which means it’s time to make the most of it. From soaking up the extra sun, grilling or just chilling in the backyard with your drink. But as we all know 2020 is not the same with COVID-19, causing us not to attend any of our favorite summer festivals physically but virtually which includes Caribana. So, this week I am sharing with you my spicy and crispy fish sandwich recipe that is perfect for your Caribana watch party. It takes a few ingredients, and guess what? Everyone can assemble their own.

Imagine a fish lightly dredged in seasoned flour then fried until golden and crispy then stacked between a warm, toasted bun (wait for it…) and topped with a creamy, coleslaw for extra flavours and added sweetness. How does that make you feel?

The Mayor of Toronto John Tory proclaims the month of July as Toronto Caribbean Carnival Month. Toronto Caribbean Carnival month is the largest celebration of its kind in North America and is one of Canada’s foremost cultural festivals, celebrating and showcasing the richness, pride, diversity and artistry of Caribbean Culture. Even though this year’s festival is going virtual the mayor said, “it will stay true to its roots.” This means you will still be able to experience the colours and sounds of the carnival, but we all know there can’t be any celebration without food.

On July 7th, I was on Breakfast Television showing viewers how to throw a Caribana food party at home. Dishes include honey jerk wings, jerk coconut corn on the cob, beef patties, spicy fish sandwich, melon mint salad and a Sweet N Nice grilled pineapple sundae using their rum and raisin ice cream layered on a grilled pineapple drizzled with caramel sauce, chopped nuts a sprinkle of cocoa powder and icing sugar.

You may think it’s going to be challenging to celebrate virtually, but you can create the ultimate feast at home, with all the flavours and sounds from the Caribbean! Here is a sandwich you can add to your menu for an island summer eats.

Spicy Fish Sandwich
Serves: 4

  • 4 fish fillets, (I used haddock)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 4 burger buns (sliced in half)
  • Spicy mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp jerk marinade
  • 1 tsp honey
  • splash of lime juice

Coleslaw

  • 1 small green cabbage (core and outer leaves removed; sliced thinly)
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 medium carrot, finely julienned
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Directions:
  2. Rinse fish fillets and place in a medium bowl; pat dry with a paper towel. Season with paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper and put aside. Whisk together egg and milk, pour over fish and leave to marinate for a few minutes. While you prepare the other ingredients.
  3. Make the batter: season the flour with extra salt, and pepper and cayenne pepper then dip seasoned fish in flour to coat. Place a medium frying pan filled with oil, over medium heat. Add the fish fillets and cook until golden brown. Remove them from the oil and place on paper towels to drain.
  4. Make the coleslaw: add the cabbage, red onion, and carrot to a medium mixing bowl. Season with sugar, salt, and pepper then add mayonnaise and put to chill.
  5. Assemble the sandwiches: Combine all the spicy mayonnaise ingredients in a bowl
  6. Toast the buns and spread on the spicy mayonnaise, then add the fish fillet and coleslaw and enjoy.

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