A Slider for Every Series: Jamaican Slider, Toronto Blue Jays
Hey, wait, aren’t the Blue Jays from Toronto? Well, yes they are! But I learned while researching this blog post, that it’s also a city with a huge street food culture. That stems in part from the beautiful melting pot the city has become.
On our own team, we have a player, Demi Orimoloye, who hails from the Toronto area, who was born in Nigeria. He proudly represents Team Canada when given the opportunity. And he’s a perfect example of the cultural energy in his home province.
Street food is often an entrepreneurial venture that is viable for recent immigrants to new places. Food from home is something they know, it fills the niche created by fellow immigrants who miss that food…and well, immigrants make any food scene so much better.
Back to Toronto. A big street food there, which was the inspiration for this slider, is the “Jamaican Patty”. It’s popular enough that articles about the best one are easy to find with a Google search.
It’s a bit like an island empanada. The filling is ground beef seasoned with Jamaican spices, stuffed in Jamaican coco (coconut) bread. All I did here was pull this apart, turn it into a burger, then pile on Jamaican-inspired toppings.
One of my favorites in this is the callaloo. It so happened I was working on concept when winter greens were coming in my CSA almost faster than I could keep up with them. Would you look at those greens just begging for an excuse to be showcased?
I also received a huge bag of serrano peppers from colleague Michele Redmond, RD (www.tasteworkshop.com) Callaloo was the perfect solution for using and showcasing both!
As far as the plantain chips go, I simply peeled and sliced a green plantain lengthwise and fried them in as little canola oil as I could get by with to get them crispy.
Jamaican Coco Bread
If you’re lucky enough to have a Jamaican community where you live, you can buy this ready-made. I had to make it. It turns out, the recipe The is very much like the Cuban pan de agua that I shared in a previous post. Except I used light coconut milk instead of water.
There is an actual leafy green in Jamaica known as callaloo. If you can’t find it, but you find yourself with more collards, kale, spinach, etc., than you know what to do with, it will work perfectly well with this.
1 1/2 pounds of fresh greens (any kind)
2 thick turkey bacon strips cut in pieces
3-4 minced garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, sliced
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1 fresh tomato, diced
1 whole serrano pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Remove stems from greens. Chop greens into small pieces, then soak in a bowl of cold water for about 5-10 minutes.
2. Cook turkey bacon in skillet on medium high until crispy. Add onions, garlic, thyme, and stir for about a minute or more
3. Add tomatoes; scotch bonnet pepper, smoked paprika. Sauté for about 2-3 more minutes.
4. Add chopped greens and salt and mix well. Steam for about 6-8 minutes or until leaves are tender. Add a tiny bit of water as needed. Adjust seasonings and turn off the heat.
Jamaican Turkey Burger
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- minced habanero pepper (other hot pepper will work as well)
- 1 teaspoon minced or pressed garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 tablespoon ketchup
- Mix together in a large bowl: ground turkey, allspice, turmeric, black pepper, habanero pepper, garlic, thyme, onions, salt, and ketchup. Form into 6 patties.
- Add burgers to skillet and cook to your preferred degree of doneness (grilling is a perfectly fine alternative cooking method).
- Cut the coco bread in half.
- Place the burger on one half of the bun.
- Add a spoonful of callaloo to the top of the burger.
- Place a mango slice on top of the callaloo.
- Sprinkle a few pieces of hot pepper on top of that!
- Serve with plantain chips.
- Play happy island music.