In The Kitchen: Caribbean Flavors

In the Kitchen with Esther Parker

Story & Photography by Christine Fillat

The winter doldrums are upon you. You wish for fresh, tangy flavors. You start with lobster, add some lime and spices. You toss together papaya, pineapple, pomegranate, add some coconut. You pour a glass of ginger beer. You hear calypso music. The transformation is complete!


 Lobster Salad

• 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 tablespoon curry powder
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 2½ cups minced lobster meat (about 1–1½ pounds cooked lobster)*
• Lettuce leaves
• Avocado slices tossed with lemon juice
• Ripe olives
*Equal amounts of lump crab meat can be substituted for lobster.

In small bowl, mix lime juice, olive oil, curry powder, garlic, salt and pepper. Combine onion and lobster in a medium bowl. Add dressing, toss gently, cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour. To serve, arrange lettuce leaves on 6 salad plates. Divide lobster salad among lettuce leaves. Garnish with avocado slices and ripe olives. Makes 6 servings.


Ginger Beer

• ½ cup freshly grated ginger (suggested to be done in food processor)
• 1 tablespoon cream of tartar
• Juice of ½ lime
• 6 quarts of boiling water
• 3½ cups sugar

Combine the ginger, cream of tartar, lime juice, and boiling water. Add 1 cup of the sugar and cool. Cover and let stand for two days. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth, stir in the rest of the sugar, and chill before serving. Makes 6 quarts.


Fruit Salad

• 2 ripe papayas
• ½ fresh pineapple
• 2 bananas
• ¼ pound green seedless grapes
• 1 cup pomegranate seeds
• 3 tangerines or 2 oranges
• Juice of 1 orange
• Juice of 1 lime
• 2 mint sprigs, coarsely chopped
• 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
• 1 tablespoon white flavored rum (Rum is optional)

Cut papayas in half, scoop out seeds, and peel. Cut papayas into 1-inch cubes and place them in a large bowl. Remove pineapple top; peel and core, then cut pineapple into 1-inch cubes and add to papaya. Peel bananas and slice them thinly. Halve grapes. Peel tangerines and remove white membrane, separating into sections. Add all of these and the pomegranate seeds to the bowl of fruit. Add orange and lime juice and mint (and rum, if adding). Toss well. Cover and refrigerate several hours before serving. Sprinkle with coconut and serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

Esther Parker hails from the Caribbean and is a fine chef. She is a board member of the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County and co-chair of its 2014 fundraising Gala, Carnival Around the World, which will be held on Saturday, February 8, 2014. As part of the Gala auction, she will be offering one of her unforgettable dinners at the winner’s home.

Christine Fillat lives on the Magothy River and is an aficionado of Chesapeake Bay cooking and living.

From Vol. 5, No. 1 2014
Annapolis Home Magazine