Brian Danclair’s Caribbean recipes for codfish fritters, curry goat and rice and peas | Food


Since opening our doors 10 years ago, our restaurant Fish, Wings & Tings has become a hub in the Brixton Village community, a place to catch up over some great Caribbean food and a rum punch (or two); last summer, we opened a second site in the village, Danclair’s Kitchen. We source all our ingredients locally, from the brilliant traders who call Brixton Village home. Both restaurants are influenced heavily by my childhood in Trinidad and Tobago, where life revolved around cooking and eating with family. I hope today’s recipes can bring some of that joy to your own home.

Codfish fritters with ginger and lime aïoli

Brian Danclair’s codfish fritters with ginger and lime aïoli.

Prep 10 min
Soak 8 hr+
Cook 30 min
Serves 4

For the fritters
350g salt cod
3725g self-raising flour
tsp baking powder
1 heaped t
sp caster sugar
1
tsp sea salt
1 large onion
, peeled and diced
1 bunch spring onions
, trimmed and finely sliced
1-2 scotch bonnet or habanero chillies
, or to taste, finely chopped (if you prefer less heat, remove and discard the pith and seeds)
1 litre vegetable oil, for frying

For the aïoli
500ml good mayonnaise, homemade or bought
5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 scotch bonnet pepper
50g caster sugar
25-30ml clear white
vinegar
Juice of 1 lime

Soak the salt cod in cold water overnight, changing the water at least once. Next day, drain the fish and put it in a high-sided dish in which it fits snugly. Cover with just-boiled water, leave to rehydrate and cool for 15 minutes, then strain. Set aside in one piece for now.

Meanwhile, put all the aïoli ingredients in a blender and blitz smooth – you want the mix to be pretty loose for ease of dipping.

In a large bowl, mix the self-raising flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Shred the cod and add to the bowl with the onion, spring onions and chillies, then gradually mix in 750ml water bit by bit, breaking up the fish some more as you go, until there are no clumps and the batter is thick but still runny enough to slip through your fingers.

Put the oil in a deep saucepan and heat to 75-80C (or when a small piece of bread starts to bubble the moment you drop it in). With wet hands, pinch off small balls of the batter mix and, taking care not to burn yourself, drop into the oil. Fry in batches for two or three minutes, turning regularly, until the fritters are golden brown and cooked in the middle. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the cooked fritters to a plate lined with kitchen paper to drain, and keep warm while you repeat with the remaining batter.

Put five or six fritters on each plate and serve with ramekins of the aïoli for dipping.

Curry goat

Brian Danclair’s curry goat
Brian Danclair’s curry goat.

Prep 10 min
Marinate 8 hr+
Cook 2 hr 30 min
Serves 4

1kg goat, leg for preference, boned and chopped into 3-4cm chunks (ask the butcher to do this for you); mutton or lamb would also work
5 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp madras curry powder
, mild or hot, depending on taste
1 scotch bonnet chilli
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large onion
, peeled and chopped
1 litre chicken stock
Salt and black pepper

Put the goat in a large bowl, add the garlic, lime juice, cumin and curry powder, cover and marinate for 24 hours. If you want a bit of extra heat, finely chop the scotch bonnet and add that, too; otherwise, leave it whole and add it later, when the stock goes in.

When you’re ready to cook the curry, put the oil in a large casserole or similar set over a medium heat, then soften the onion, stirring often, for about 10 minutes. Add the marinated goat and cook, stirring, for about 15 minutes, to brown the meat all over and intensify the flavours. (Depending on the age of the goat, it may at this stage give off some liquid.)

Pour the stock over the meat, season to taste, then bring to a boil. Turn the heat down low, cover the pan and leave to simmer for about two hours, until the meat is soft and tender; if at any stage the sauce looks like drying out, top up with water as required. Serve hot with rice and peas.

Rice and peas

Brian Danclair’s rice and peas.
Brian Danclair’s rice and peas.

Prep 10 min
Soak Overnight
Cook 1 hr 30 min
Serves 4

250g dried kidney beans
8 garlic cloves
, peeled
1 large onion, peeled and diced
1 scotch bonnet chilli, pith and seeds removed and discarded, flesh finely chopped
1 large carrot, trimmed, peeled and diced small
200g peeled pumpkin flesh, diced small
1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths
125g coconut butter, cut into cubes
650g long-grain rice
1 tbsp sea salt

Put the beans in a bowl, pour over cold water to cover and soak overnight. Next day, drain the beans, put them in a large, heavy-based pan and add fresh water to cover by 2½cm. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes, until the beans are soft (the cooking time will vary depending on the age of the beans, so they may need a little longer).

Add all the other ingredients to the pot, bring back to a boil, then turn down the heat, cover and cook on a very gentle heat for about 30 minutes, until the rice is cooked and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Serve hot.

Brian Danclair is chef/owner of Fish, Wings & Tings and Danclair’s Kitchen, both in Brixton Village, London SW9