5 Perfect Recipes for a Caribbean Christmas

Five chefs show us how to throw a festive, island-inspired feast.

Related To:

Celebrating Christmas is a totally unique and personal experience. Each and every person — no matter where they come from — has traditions and culinary dishes that are special just to them and their family. This means that no two Christmases are alike, which is a truly beautiful thing. For their latest issue, Food Network Magazine asked five Caribbean chefs to share how they pay homeage to their island heritage while celebrating the holidays. From rum-soaked Black Cake to a Trinidadian-take on Christmas tamales, here's how to add a touch of the Caribbean to your table this year. No passport or frequent fiyer miles required!

Saint Lucia

Crab-Stuffed Brown Fish Stew (pictured above)

This baked whole snapper is inspired by traditional Creole stew flavors, says former Chopped contestant, Shorne Benjamin, who features the dish on the Christmas menu at his New York City–based catering company. "It’s a great way to add something meat-free to your holiday plate," he says.

Haiti

This rice dish gets its color from black mushrooms that are native to Haiti. They’re hard to find stateside, says Food Network Kitchen app host, Nahika Hillery so she also calls for djon-djon bouillon cubes, which have a similar flavor. “This rice is a perfect side to seafood and pairs well with any fish,” she says.

Trinidad

One of Roger’s Mooking's most beloved family traditions is making this Trinidadian take on tamales for the holidays. The banana leaves help the filling stay moist, like corn husks would, says the chef and host of Cooking Channel’s Man Fire Food. "My family and I would spend half the day on pastelles duty!” he says. "They’re a true labor of love."

Jamaica

A Caribbean Christmas meal isn’t complete without a rum cake, says Brittney "Chef Stikxz" Williams, who teaches classes on the Food Network Kitchen app. In traditional recipes, the fruits are soaked in the liquor for months, but in this version, she soaks them for just two days. "It doesn’t sacrifice any of the flavor," she says.

Puerto Rico

Make sure you whip up enough of this coconut-based drink to share it with friends and family. "In Puerto Rico we always make large batches to bottle up and give out," says Yia Medina, a host on the Food Network Kitchen app. "It’s my favorite Christmas tradition."

Credits:

Introduction paragraph written by Michelle Baricevic for FoodNetwork.com.

All recipe text written by Nora Horvath for Food Network Magazine.

All photographs by Mike Garten.

Related Content:

Next Up

Best 5 Christmas Recipes

Food Network has complied the top five Christmas recipes. Prepare them all for a weekend’s worth of festive favorites and holiday classics.

Best 5 Quick Christmas Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five quick recipes for Christmas, a collection of celebration-worthy classics ready to eat in less than 35 minutes.

Best 5 Christmas Brunch Recipes

Check out Food Network's top-five recipes for Christmas brunch to find sweet and savory picks worthy of your holiday celebration.

Best 5 Last-Minute Christmas Dinner Recipes

It's not too late to plan the ultimate holiday feast; just stick with Food Network's top-five last-minute recipes ideal for seasonal celebrations.

A Complete Christmas Dinner Menu Full of the Fastest Recipes Around

Check out this at-the-ready menu of all-star dishes that will wow your guests this holiday season.

Top 5 Recipes for Holiday Leftovers

If you overdid it on the holiday spread this year (ham AND prime rib, anyone?) and ended up with a fridge packed full of leftovers, never fear. We’ve got five ways to turn them into delicious new meals.

5 Baked Hams for Your Christmas Celebration

You can't go wrong with any of these classic glazed hams as your holiday centerpiece.

5 Easy Christmas Cookies Kids Can Make as Gifts

Your little ones can have a hand in gift giving this year by helping to make these easy holiday cookies.

5 Fun Things to Make with Sprinkles for the Holidays

Get ideas for fun and easy ways to add sprinkles to your holiday creations.

5 Ways You Can Still Make the Holidays Extra-Festive

Sometimes the best holiday upgrades are the easiest ones.

Related Pages