Jul 16 2011

stewed chicken

A typical Belizean meal consists of stewed chicken with rice and beans, served with potato salad, and a fried plantain. You have to taste it to belize it.

This recipe calls for Recado rojo or achiote past, a popular Mayan blend of spices. It usually includes annatto, Mexican oregano, cumin, clove, cinnamon, black pepper, allspice, garlic, and salt. The annatto seeds dye the mixture red, and this gives the stewed chicken its distinctive red hue.

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Mar 4 2011

prickly pear crisp

1 cup of flour
2-inch piece of fresh ginger
3/4 cup of brown sugar
6 Tablespoons of butter
1 cup of pecans, chopped
6 Bosc pears

Add flour, ginger, and brown sugar into a food processor and pulse until ginger is finely chopped. Add the butter and pulse to incorporate. Finally add the pecans and combine until fully incorporated.

Use a mandolin to cut the pears into paper thin slices. Arrange the pear slices evenly into a buttered glass pie pan (slightly overlapping). Add the pecan mixture on top of the pears.

Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Feb 24 2011

seafood curry rundown

Rundown is a classic Caribbean recipe that involves cooking fish and shell fish in coconut milk. The word rundown refers to the simmering down (reduction) of the coconut milk.


2 tablespoons canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh Ginger, peeled and finely grated
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon Alice Shoals Jamaican Curry Powder
3 tomatoes—peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Habañero pepper, minced
1 teaspoon fresh Thyme, chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup lobster stock
1 pound lump crabmeat
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
3/4 cup chopped cilantro


  1. In a deep, medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, and just starting to turn golden.
  2. Add the bell pepper, garlic and ginger and sir to incorporate.
  3. Stir in the curry powder, and cook, stirring, until it just starts to brown.
  4. Add the tomatoes, habañero and thyme.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.
  6. Add the stock to deglaze and bring to a boil.
  7. Add coconut milk.
  8. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced by one-half, about 10 minutes.
  9. Add the shrimp, and stir into the sauce.
  10. Stir the crab into the sauce and allow to cook until sauce just returns to a simmer.
  11. Remove from heat, adjust seasoning with salt and freshly milled black pepper.
  12. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with steamed white rice and warm Coco flatbread.

Don Messina currently sits on the board of directors for Sandcastle Hospitality, and serves as the Executive Chef for Iguana Isle, an ” Island Inspired” company based in Naples, Florida . He has been inspired by his travels throughout the Caribbean to create his own blend of spices to help the average home cook to bring authentic flavors of the islands to their home.