The foods I enjoy and where I enjoy them are diverse.
One of my favorite spots is literally on the street side against a wall in Port Royal right behind Mr. Martin and his wife, where they serve coal roasted seafood on a Friday evening. This spot is next to what was once Anglers bar, which sadly burnt down last week.
An evening would be spent chatting and laughing over a cue of Wray & Nephew White rum, A cup of conch soup and a choice of fish, shrimp, conch or lobster which is packaged in foil with his blend of fresh seasoning and okra and gently placed on a coal fire for roasting.
I would always order another foil packet which has a half bammy also slathered with butter and seasoning blend with the same roasted treatment.
Mrs. Martin would take the orders and collect the money -gotta love that! Mr. Martin skillfully moves around sharing soup preparing orders and running the kitchen which consists of 3 long tables, various buckets and containers and either coal stoves or tyre rims on stands for his stoves.
This is what a Jamaican Friday evening is made of. When in need of a good “breeze out” after a rough work week, a wine bar or sushi restaurant won’t do it- but leave it to Mr. Wray & his Nephews with their overproof spirit and Mr. and Mrs. Martin to set you straight.
So on this particular Friday I wasn’t up to the drive and decided I could try and do some foil roasted shrimp. I got everything together and got ready to put my packet on the gas stove burner. After placing a piece of foil on the burner first to create a barrier….I noticed the possibility of a fire hazard as my piece of foil lit up…Epic fail!
After my laughter subsided I conceded that I would have to make another trip to Martin and that these Shrimp would have to find themselves in the oven instead. …and this is how the recipe goes……
I got a package of Medium Rainforest Seafoods Peeled & Deveined Shrimp (Buy Jamaica…Build Jamaica!!) After washed, sprinkle basic seasonings of salt, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder.
Dice fresh seasoning small, which should include, onion, garlic, thyme and a few pieces of scotch bonnet pepper.
Take three large okras and chop them in approximately 1/2 inch pieces. If you are not a fan of okra…my condolences…but feel free to omit these beautiful gems that I love so much from your mix. Tomatoes would be another great addition, but I was trying to stick to what i saw from Mr. Martin.
Mix these all together and allow to sit for a a few minutes.
Create your foil packets by tearing a reasonable sized piece of foil that could make a parcel for your shrimp.
Fold the foil in half and lay flat on your counter. The folded seam becomes the bottom of your packet. Then fold each open side (left and right) inwards three times tightly to ensure the juices don’t spill out. I always bend each corner in and fold the bottom just to ensure everything is nice and tight.
Add your shrimp to the packet followed by a 1/2 tablespoon (or more) of butter and a large spoon of water. depending on how much shrimp you put in the packet. The idea is to add enough water so the shrimp can steam in the packet.
Place the packets in an oven safe dish (because we are not Mr. Martin) and place in the oven on high for approximately 10-15 minutes.
It’s a mystery how Mr. Martin knows exactly when to pull his packets off, because they are always juicy tender and cooked just perfectly, but it is clear to me this is his art and he does it well.
Once complete pull the packets and get ready to dig in.
Feel free to dunk some fresh hard dough bread in your packets to get all that juicy goodness..
What have you done foil roasted? Are you as skillful as Mr. Martin?
I’d love to hear your foil roasted stories and dishes.