St Augustine is a veritable treasure trove of good restaurants, history, music, learning, beaches and fabulous local products that can usually be obtained at the local St Augustine Farmers market.
Two weekends ago, while strolling at the market on an early Saturday morning I came across a booth with some sauces in martini glasses behind a bowl of testing crackers. The sauces were lined up from spicy to mild and, of course, I had to taste them all. The spice lover in me chose the Jamaican Jerk Sauce and only a few days later I tried it out.
Being pressed for time I used this versatile sauce in two ways; I poured some over chicken thighs in the morning that I planned on grilling that evening and I used it to make a creamy and flavorful 2-ingredient dressing. A few tablespoons of Vegenaise and a few tablespoons of the Jerk Sauce. I have been eating this dressing on everything from salad to meats and even eggs every day since the first time I made it.
Ooo baby this is good. Garlic, onion, 16 spices and a spicy finish from a bit of cayenne pepper. Even though this is shelf stable until opened it doesn’t have any of that preservative aftertaste as it is all natural. It will need to be refrigerated after opening, but trust me, it won’t last very long anyway.
It all started in 1969 when Errol and Dianna Bishop first met in Washington, D.C. After showing Dianna his culinary skills, the two decided to try the restaurant business. 1971 “Dianna’s West Indian Foods” opened its doors in northwest D.C. Three years later a second location by the same name opened in the Howard University area as well as “Dianna’s Caribbean Cooking” in the Baltimore Inner Harbor.
After moving to Charleston, West Virginia in 1986 they took a break from the 24/7 grind of running a restaurant(s) and did other things. However, after being in the area for a while and feeling out the market, they decided it was time to rekindle that food service fire. So in 1991 they opened the “Calypso Restaurant” in Dunbar, W.V. Because Caribbean-American cuisine was pretty much non-existent in the area, the curiosity of trying something new really brought the people out. So much so that they opened up three more restaurants around the Charleston area in the following years.
When Errol and Dianna moved to Florida in 2000, they felt it was time to leave the restaurant business. However, cooking was in their blood. So the next best thing to do was to take the “flavor of the Caribbean” on the road. By getting involved with the various trade shows, state fairs, flea markets, and other social or civic events throughout the eastern part of the U.S., these two started exposing the “cooking magic” to countless people who may have never tried or prepared Caribbean food.
Errol and Dianna Bishop may not have changed the world, but they sure have made its food taste better.
Jamaican Jerk Salad with Cool Spiced Dressing
4 organic bone-in, skinless chicken thighs**
Olive oil spray
4 cups baby lettuce
1 avocado, peeled, seeded and diced
Sea salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic powder, to taste
1. Marinate chicken thighs in 3/4 cup Jamaican Jerk Sauce about 12 hours. Turn several times to coat.
2. Preheat grill to medium high. Bring chicken to room temperature; spray both sides with cooking spray. Grill about 7 to 9 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through to 165F.
3. Whisk 1/4 cup Jamaican Jerk Sauce with 1/4 cup Vegenaise in a small bowl as chicken grills. Divide the lettuce, pepper, beans, tomato, onion and avocado evenly over four plates. Season with sea salt, fresh ground pepper and garlic powder. Top with 1 piece of chicken and 2 Tbsp dressing.
**Boneless skinless chicken thighs can be used here, I like the bone in as they stay really juicy.
***I love the reduced fat Vegenaise simply for the taste; creamy and subtly sweet, but you can use reduced fat or full fat mayo if you prefer.
Estimated Nutrition Info
Amount Per Serving
Total Fat 15.2 g
Saturated Fat 1.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.8 g
Monounsaturated Fat 8.6 g
Cholesterol 57.3 mg
Sodium 1,277.1 mg
Potassium 1,008.7 mg
Total Carbohydrate 46.1 g
Dietary Fiber 12.3 g
Sugars 13.8 g
Protein 23.8 g
Vitamin A 35.2 %
Vitamin B-12 4.0 %
Vitamin B-6 23.9 %
Vitamin C 35.3 %
Vitamin E 5.9 %
Calcium 6.0 %
Copper 17.6 %
Folate 64.2 %
Iron 19.8 %
Magnesium 24.4 %
Manganese 43.4 %
Niacin 30.6 %
Pantothenic Acid 18.8 %
Phosphorus 29.7 %
Riboflavin 18.6 %
Selenium 15.5 %
Thiamin 25.0 %
Zinc 18.5 %
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.