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Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

Jerk is a potent and flavorful seasoning originally developed by the natives of Jamaica to preserve meats in a time when there was no refrigeration. There are as many variations of this seasoning as you can imagine, and they come in wet and dry versions. It seems as though the only prerequisite for jerk seasoning is that it contain allspice, the berry of the Jamaican pimento, and Scotch Bonnet chiles.  After that be as creative as you wish.  Also, if bonnies cannot be found, Habaneras may be substituted.  The two chiles are first cousins and both contain the signature smoky flavor that sets them apart from other chiles.

4 tablespoons ground Jamaican Allspice
teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
one bunch scallions, chopped
1 whole Scotch Bonnet or Habanera (dried or fresh)
cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce

juice of 1 lime

Remove stems from bonnies or habs and cut in half.  Set aside the green parts of the scallions, and place all remaining ingredients in blender and process to liquefy for one minute. Add the green parts of the scallions to the mixture.  Pour into jar and refrigerate until ready to use.

To use, place the chicken or pork into a plastic bag and add enough seasoning to coat completely.  Seal and let sit in fridge.  The longer it sits the more seasoned, and spicy, the meat becomes.  We usually allow it to marinate overnight.

Grill the chicken or pork as you would otherwise.



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