STAR of the Month: Beenie Man cooks 'Unstoppable Swimmers'
He is probably the best dressed chef we’ve had thus far for In The Kitchen feature.
STAR of the Month Beenie Man was just coming back from a lunch date with Prime Minister Andrew Holness, and he opted not to change out of his suit, boasting to the STAR team that he does everything with style.
There were doubts about whether he could manage the task at hand all suited up, but the King of the Dancehall proved us wrong and then some.
Although he had some assistance from his personal chefs at intervals because of time constraints, Beenie Man proved to know his way around the kitchen and handled himself masterfully as he prepared his 'Unstoppable Steamed Swimmers'.
With the fish already scaled, gutted and washed, Beenie Man didn't hesitate to get started on the meal. Walking us through the process as he began, Beenie Man told our team that he would take the 'butter steam' approach. He explained that this was where one would use margarine to sauté all the vegetables before adding the fish and some water later on to generate the sauce.
His humble assistants for the day prepared the vegetables — cutting up the onions, tomatoes, okras, carrots, pumpkin, scallion, thyme and of course some scotch bonnet pepper — while Beenie Man explained to THE STAR that there are several ways to steam fish, but his way was the ‘quick, dead fi hungry’ way.
Pointing out that it would take just under 30 minutes to prepare, Beenie Man said this method was probably the quickest way to prepare the meal and is just as good in getting all the flavours out as when one would take the longer approaches using more ingredients like callaloo to stuff the fish and coconut milk to make the sauce.
With the vegetables now diced and ready, Beenie Man proceeded to take over from his capable assistant. He placed his non-stick pan on the coal stove, placed a considerable amount of margarine in the pot and allowed it to melt. When the butter melted, Beenie Man then added his diced vegetables which he sautéed for about three minutes.
JUDGEMENT ON POINT
He then added his fish and poured water into the pot. He didn’t use a measuring cup, but pointed out that having mastered the art of steaming fish, his judgement was on point. He covered the pot and allowed it to simmer. When the water came to a boil, Beenie proceeded to add salt and some fish seasoning for additional flavour.
As the steam rose from the pot, the kitchen began to smell like that of any professional restaurant, much to the approval of girlfriend and host of Nyammings, Krystal Tomlinson. He covered the pot once more and allowed it to again come to a simmer.
Beenie Man pointed out that he opted to use the coal stove rather than the electric one inside the kitchen itself as the coal stove has the ability to lock in the flavour of a meal more than the gas/electric stove would. Something, he said, he learnt from his mother.
When the fish was done, Beenie Man served it up to his lady love who acted as the judge for the day. He paired the fish with a serving of rice and peas and a side of steamed callaloo.
Tasting the sauce first, Krystal seemed satisfied but left the scoring until she had tasted the 'Unstoppable Swimmers'. It must have been good as the expert judge, gave the Doctor a 9/10 for his efforts, pointing out that the fish was cooked just the way she liked it with the right amount of spice.