I’ve recently started – ever so slowly – exploring the realm of hot peppers. Jordan loves hot and spicy food, so I’ve been trying to expand my palate (and cooking) for him. It’s fun to try new things, although I still don’t like blow-your-mouth-off spicy ;). (And I really prefer for my nose not to run while I’m eating! haha) I spotted this recipe for jerk marinade over at Closet Cooking and wanted to give it a try. I made a grocery list and headed to Kroger, however I wasn’t able to find a scotch bonnet pepper. According to google (and the Scoville scale), habaneros are a good substitute for scotch bonnet peppers and luckily Kroger had lots of habaneros. Being a hot pepper newbie, I’ve found the Scoville scale (a measurement of the spicy (heat) level of peppers based on the capsaicin concentration) very helpful. For someone who is trying to ease into the spicy pepper world, buying – and using – a habanero was a little scary. I mean, it’s wayyyy high up on the scale! It was my first time buying a habanero but definitely not my last! Jordan and I both loved the flavor of the marinade. I thought the heat level was perfect, but Jordan said it could have been a little spicier so if you love super spicy feel free to add extra habanero. So far, I’ve used this marinade on chicken and shrimp. It’s delicious on both and I’m sure you could use it on pork and beef too. Enjoy!

Jerk Marinade

1 habanero pepper, stem and seeds removed (or leave the seeds for more heat!)
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp dried minced onions
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground cloves
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 -1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp soy sauce
6 oz pineapple juice
1 lime, juice and zest

1. Puree everything in a food processor.
2. Use right away or store in the refrigerator. It will keep for several days. Great as marinade for shrimp, chicken, or pork! Cover with marinade and let sit for at least 2 hours or overnight.
*adapted from Closet Cooking

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Categories: Main Dish

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