Yawd = comfort food that sticks to your ribs! Dive into this bold, flavour-filled cookbook packed with fresh Afro-Caribbean recipes to bring some island vibes to your home.
In his first cookbook, Top Chef Canada star Adrian Forte shares more than 100 inspiring and delicious recipes to get you fired up in the kitchen.
Try new riffs on Caribbean classics like Coconut Fried Chicken, Spiced Steamed Fish, Rasta Pasta, and Pepper Shrimp Paella. Incorporate more African ancestral ingredients into your repertoire with Ackee & Saltfish Fritters or Okra Pilaf; and try the dishes Adrian has now made his signature like Oxtail Gnocchi or Jerk-Marinated Chicken Coq au Vin.
As well as great recipes—including a chapter on soups and porridges and oodles of plant-based options—Yawd explores the key ingredients of Afro-Caribbean cuisine and gives multi-use recipes for essentials such as Jerk Dry Rub and Marinade or Pickled Scotch Bonnets.
In Yawd—with its vibrant photography shot on location in the sun-drenched Caribbean—you’ll find a blend of flavours and influences that create a stunning Afro-Caribbean cookbook sure to get your taste buds talking.
Jerk-Marinated Pork Anticuchos
I like to consider myself a student of life. I’m a firm believer that the moment you stop learning, you’ve stopped living. I have an unspoken rule that I won’t refer to any of my fellow industry colleagues as “chef ” until they have taught me something. When I first met my sous-chef, Alex Fields, he did not know much about Afro-Caribbean cuisine. He worked at
a very swanky and upscale Peruvian restaurant in Toronto. Our first while together, we spent most of our time explaining different recipes and learning techniques from our respective styles of cooking. I decided to pay him a surprise visit during his last week of employment at that restaurant before he came to work for me full time. He treated me to an amazing five-course meal that surpassed my already high expectations, and the highlight of the night was the anticuchos. Anticuchos are a popular street food in Peru, where beef hearts are marinated in vinegar, cumin, aji pepper, and garlic, and then grilled on a skewer. We’ve since combined our collective knowledge of Peruvian and Afro-Caribbean cuisines to develop an anticuchos recipe that we are both extremely proud of. Needless to say, he goes by “chef ” to me now.
PREP: 10 MIN
COOK: 20 MIN
1 cup Jerk Marinade (see below)
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup vegetable oil
1 tbsp ground cumin
1½ lb pork loin, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 ripe mango, diced
½ red onion, diced
1⁄3 cup Pineapple Vinegar (see below)
1 tbsp Garum Fish Sauce (see below)
1 tbsp honey
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
Lime wedges (optional), for serving
- Prepare the pork loin: In a large bowl, combine the jerk marinade, soy sauce, vegetable oil, and cumin and whisk to form a paste. Add the cubed pork to the bowl, mix well, and allow to marinate for 10 minutes.
- Heat your indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high heat, about 450°F.
- Thread the cubes of pork evenly onto metal skewers. Place the skewers on the grill and brush on the remaining marinade. Grill until the marinade has caramelized, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Make the mango chutney: In a saucepan, combine the mangoes, onions, pineapple vinegar, garum fish sauce, and honey and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the bell peppers and chives, and mix well.
- Arrange the skewers on a plate, then spoon a good amount of chutney over each skewer. Serve with fresh lime wedges and enjoy!
I’ve spent years perfecting this marinade, and I have used it in, or put it on, almost everything. I hope this brings a little taste of Jamaica, and a love of jerk, to your kitchen.
3 scallions, chopped
3 Scotch bonnet peppers
½ cup Garlic Paste (page 24)
2 cups chopped onions
2 tbsp cane sugar
2 tbsp dark rum
¼ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup puréed fresh ginger
1 tbsp ground thyme
2 tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¾ tsp grated fresh nutmeg
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp mushroom soy sauce
3 tbsp canola oil 1½ tbsp salt
- Combine all the marinade ingredients in a blender and pulse until smooth and emulsified. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 7 days.
Not only is this a cool way to use leftover pineapple skins, but it’s one of my favourite ingredients for a tropical twist on a mignonette for oysters or to use in cocktails, and salad dressings, sauces, ceviches, or any meat dish.
Just use where you would any kind of vinegar.
¼ cup sugar (consider using coconut, rapadura, or panela sugar)
3 cups warm spring or filtered water
Scraps and rind of 1 pineapple
- In a sterilized 4-cup glass jar, dissolve the sugar in the water. Add the pineapple scraps and rind until the jar has ½ inch of room left at the top.
- Cover the mouth of the jar with a square of paper towel, cheesecloth, muslin, or light fabric, and secure with a rubber band. Place in a dark cupboard or pantry and allow to ferment for 2 to 3 weeks, opening the container daily to stir the contents for aeration.
- After 2 to 3 weeks, strain the contents through cheesecloth or a nut milk bag into sterilized bottles and seal. The vinegar is ready to use now, or it can be fermented for another week or so until you reach your desired taste. Store the final product in the fridge for up to 6 weeks (if you leave it at room temperature, it will continue fermenting).
GARUM FISH SAUCE
During the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, I ordered 10 cookbooks. While everyone else was baking, I tasked myself with mastering new cooking techniques. With The Noma Guide to Fermentation as my bible and an empty cupboard as my cellar, I embarked on a new culinary journey. My first stop was this sauce. Garum—originally made in Roman days by letting fish ferment in the heat of the Mediterranean sun—paved the way for today’s fish sauces. You can now easily buy fish sauce at any grocery store or specialty shop, but you should try making your own; it’s easy to prepare and takes only an hour or so. Do not be put off by the mess and smell during cooking; the finished garum does not smell overly fishy, but during the cooking process your kitchen will! You’ll see this sauce used in multiple recipes throughout the book; it adds a nice salty, umami kick to any dish. Use it in small quantities, though, as it can get overpowering very easily.
2 lb small fish (anchovies, smelt sprats, sardines)
2½ cups salt
2 tbsp dried oregano
2 tbsp dried mint leaves
- Rinse the fish under running water, leaving them intact (do not remove the gills or innards).
- Place the fish, salt, and herbs in a pan and add enough water to cover the fish with 1 or 2 inches of liquid on top (in my pan, that was 6 cups). Bring to a boil and let boil for 15 minutes.
- Using a hand blender, pulse the fish to break it down completely. Continue boiling until the liquid starts to thicken, at least 20 minutes. (You can simmer the liquid longer if you like; the flavour becomes more intense the longer it cooks.) Remove from heat and let cool.
- Use a colander to strain out any larger pieces of fish, and discard. Then strain the liquid again through a mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth until the liquid is clear. Depending on the fish used and the length of boiling time, you’ll end up with a yellow to amber liquid.
- Transfer to a sterilized jar or bottle. Store in the fridge for up to 1 year.
Excerpted from Yawd by Adrian Forte. Copyright © 2022 Adrian Forte. Photography by John Molina. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.