I am always on a quest to make delicious Caribbean cuisine accessible for any household.
For this entry, I put a spin on the Jamaican national dish “Ackee and Saltfish” with my quick, party-friendly hors d’oeuvre. You'll notice I use salmon instead of the more labour-intensive saltfish.
For those of you that don’t know, ackee is the national fruit of Jamaica and grows on the lush trees that line many small villages throughout the island. Indigenous to West Africa, ackee also makes a delightful appearance in many of the regional dishes across that continent.
So let’s step out of our comfort zone, roll up our sleeves and team up in creating a tasty surprise that will be sure to have your guests dreaming of some fun in the sun!
Step 1: Ingredients
- 1 box of puff pastry sheets (2), defrosted
- 12 ct muffin tray
- 1 can of ackee (any brand)
- 1 can of wild salmon
- 1 tablespoon of cooking oil
- ½ small red pepper, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- ¼ scotch bonnet pepper (*optional), membrane and seeds removed
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 2 springs of fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons of Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
Step 2: Prep Phase
- Preheat oven to 375F
- Drain the can of ackee and rinse with water, set aside
- Drain the can of wild salmon, pick out bones, remove fatty flesh, set aside
- Unroll puff pastry sheets and slice into 12 even squares and place into muffin tin (*not necessary to coat tray with butter or spray)
- Bake tarts in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, remove and set aside to cool
Step 3: Cooking the Tart Filling
- In a sautee pan heat the oil
- Add red pepper and onions, sautee 2 min
- Add garlic, sautee 2 min
- Add scotch bonnet pepper, sautee 1 min (*optional addition)
- Add ackee (*be sure not to break up the ackee too much, its very soft with an egg-like consistency)
- Add salmon pieces and fresh thyme (remove stems)
- Dash of salt
- Dash of black pepper
Note:The ackee has high water content so cover the pan and let the water evaporate for 5-10 min. Once water has evaporated do a taste test and add more salt or black pepper if necessary. Remove from heat.
Step 4: Putting It All Together
- Spoon the ackee and salmon mixture evenly into each cooled tart shell
- Garnish with parsley and serve
Step 5: Eat!
These Savoury Jamaican Ackee and Salmon Tarts are appetizers for a larger group but for a light meal you can be serve them with a colourful salad or some sweet fried plantains.