Do you know any of Chuck's Hughes speciality dishes? He is a chef here in Montreal, owner of the restaurant Garde-Manger and a Food Network host of Chuck's Day Off. Recently, he appeared on Iron Chef America and won the battle against Bobby Flay. All the dishes that he made for this epic battle are all in his menu. Considering seafood is a staple at his restaurant (and a lobster tattoo on his forearm), the favours were on him. One of his speciality dish that my Taiwanese friend and I really enjoy is his jerk crab. It is a large common dish where everyone digs in with their hand. The enjoyable part is to get your hands dirty and suck every bits of flavour about of these crabs.
Since my friend loves to cook seafood, he uses several seafood ingredients for his jerk dish. Jerk is a cooking style native to Jamaica where the proteins is dry-rubbed or marinated with a spicy mixture. This mixture consists of two main ingredients: a very spicy pepper and allspice. Other spices, aromatics and herbs are added to accentuate the flavour in the mixture. Traditionally, the marinated meats and seafood are usually cooked in a grill, we did ours in the oven. The cooking time takes longer than the requested time on the grill, but do check for doneness midway. Our jerk seafood turned out spicy, saucy and full of seafood flavour, a guaranteed dinner-party knockout.
Adapted from Food & Wine
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 20-25 mins
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
4 scallions, cut into 1 1/2-inch sticks
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 pinch ground allspice
1 pinch grated nutmeg
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
1 1/2 tsp distilled vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 jalapenos, julienned
2 lbs mussels, cleaned
3 calamaris tubes, cut into 1/2-inch tubes
1 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
1 lb bay scallops
1. Preheat oven to 500F.
2. In a food processor, combine all jerk paste ingredients until blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. In a bowl, combine jalapenos, mussels, calamari, shrimp and bay scallops. Add in the jerk paste.
4. In a 13'' x 9'' baking pan, line two aluminum foil at the bottom. Transfer seafood mixture to baking pan. Cover with two more aluminum foil. Fold up the edges all around to seal.
5. Bake for 20-25 mins until mussels have opened and squid tubes have curled.
6. Remove the aluminum cover and serve in a bowl.