Cozy Island Dinner

Cozy Island Dinner

Enjoy this Bahamian-inspired meal with friends on board. Each recipe serves 4.

Several years ago, we joined friends wintering on their boat in the Bahamas. The unusually chilly weather necessitated warm dinners, which we savored. Our favorite was Bahamian Steam Chicken, a braised chicken dish with mango slaw, some plantain chips with mango guacamole, and rummy bananas. Serve this cozy dinner with the popular island drink, the Goombay Smash.

Goombay Smash

Ice cubes and cocktail shaker

6 oz. pineapple juice

½ cup orange juice

½ cup coconut-flavored rum

6 oz. dark or gold rum

4 pineapple wedges

4 orange slices 

Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add both juices and all rum. Cover and shake well. Fill four short glasses with ice. Pour cocktails over ice. Garnish with pineapple wedges and orange slices.


Mango Guacamole

1 cup mango, chopped 

1 Tbsp. hot pepper, minced

½ cup red onion, chopped

1 cup tomato, chopped 

¼ cup cilantro, chopped

¼ cup cucumber, chopped

3 cups avocados, diced

2 tsp. each cumin and paprika

¼ tsp. salt, or more to taste

4 Tbsp. lime juice

Combine first six ingredients in a bowl and add diced avocado, cumin, paprika, salt and lime juice. Mash ingredients in the bowl. Serve with tortilla or plantain chips. 


Bahamian Steam Chicken

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 

½ tsp. each salt and pepper

2 Tbsp. lime juice or lemon juice

2 Tbsp. oil

¼ cup bacon, diced (optional)

½ cup each diced onion, sliced green pepper, and chopped celery

2 cups canned tomatoes, diced (with juice)

1 cup chicken stock

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1-2 tsp. scotch bonnet or other hot pepper 

½ tsp. each dried thyme, cumin, allspice, and paprika

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and marinate in lime or lemon juice for 15-30 minutes. Grill chicken (or sauté in oil 5 minutes per side) until cooked. Set aside. In a saucepan, heat the oil and cook bacon on medium heat until browned. Add onion, green pepper, and celery, and sauté 10 minutes until tender. Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper, and spices, simmering 10-15 minutes to thicken sauce. Add chicken, simmer 5-10 minutes until warmed through.


Mango Slaw with Cashews and Mint

2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and diced

4-6 cups cabbage, diced

1 red pepper, diced

¼ red onion, diced

6 Tbsp. lime juice

¼ cup rice vinegar or other light vinegar

2 Tbsp. oil 

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes, or more to taste

¼ cup mint leaves, thinly sliced or 1 tsp. dried mint

¼ cup toasted cashews coarsely chopped

Toss mangoes, cabbage, pepper, and onion in a large bowl. Mix lime juice, vinegar, oil, salt, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl and pour over slaw. Refrigerate for one hour. When ready to serve, toss with mint and sprinkle with cashews. 

Bananas Au Rhum

2 Tbsp. rum

2 Tbsp. honey

1 tsp. cinnamon

4 ripe bananas, peeled

Vanilla ice cream or whipped cream

In a small bowl, combine rum, honey, and cinnamon; set aside. Cut bananas in half lengthwise. Place bananas in foil with rum mixture. Grill or bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-12 minutes or until tender. Serve with ice cream or whipped cream. 

-by Lori Ross

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