"When will we see you again?" and "What's the weather like?" and "When can we visit?" than "What sorts of foodstuffs will you bring back for us when you come home on furlough?"
Silly, silly Peef and Lo.
This past July, John and Alex came home. And they brought us a scad of fantastic local delicacies. Antiguan rum, guava jelly, johnny cake mix, Caribbean hot sauce, mango-pineapple wine, tamarind wine ... and a jar of jerk sauce.
Now, we love a good jerk. And we have (what we consider) a pretty durned good recipe for it. So, we were eager to see how the jarred sauce measured up.
But, that doesn't mean that we broke into our stash immediately. In fact, when it comes to new and exciting things I'm a bit of a hoarder. I was the kid who rationed her new school clothes so that they lasted AT LEAST until the middle of November. And I'm still the gal who loves to stash exciting new chocolate bars into the cupboard to eat... on that special occasion.
So, we didn't get around to trying out the jerk until... just a couple of weeks ago.
I decided we'd go for a nice healthy meal -- a bit of jerked tofu with some roasted cauliflower and onions -- for starters.
Upon opening the jark of jerk, Peef took a whiff. "Wha-hoo!" he snorted, as his eyes began to water "I think it's gonna be hot."
Of course, that warning only served as an invitation for me to force my whole nose down into the container to get a nice sniff. I got a little on the tip of my nose, which I promptly wiped off. But, the burn... oh, the burn. This was going to be some good stuff.
We mixed together that excrutiating sauce with a bit of olive oil...
...and slathered the 12 ounces of cubed tofu. We left no cube un-jerked. In fact, the screams (and slew of profanities) emanating from the processed soy product were almost intolerable. It actually made us feel badly for a moment or two. But, ultimately, we smiled sadistically and threw the tofu (not violently, of course) into the fridge for a nice 24 hour marinade.
The next day, the tortured tofu, which was now feeling slightly suicidal, eagerly submitted to the firey depths of our roasty oven (425º convection roast) for about 25 minutes or so, alongside the (infinitely LESS eager) cauliflower and onions. And the crispified delights that greeted our eyes were absolutely stunning.
... and friggin' hot to boot.
We took our first bites. Yes, indeed. This jerk was the real thing. A bit saltier than our recipe... and quite a bit hotter. We bathed our mouths in a swig of nice cold beer... and then went in for second bites. And thirds.
We have about a quarter cup of the sauce left to try on another 12 ounces of unsuspecting tofu. And after that, it's back to the test kitchen with our personal recipe. I'm thinking we'll up the scotch bonnets from 2 peppers to 3, for starters. Cuz mo' hotter is mo' better as far as we're concerned.
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