Approximately 1 lb of ackees, fresh or canned
Approximately 8 oz of saltfish (salted cod or bacalao)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks of scallion, chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
1/4 red bell pepper, chopped (optional)
1 small tomato, chopped
thyme leaves from 5-6 sprigs
1/2 scotch bonnet pepper, chopped (remove the seeds for mild heat)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp all-purpose seasoning
1/4 tsp allspice powder or crushed pimento seeds
1 tbsp of cooking oil of choice (I like to use coconut oil)
1) Boil the saltfish with fresh water at least twice for 10-15 minutes each until most of the salt is removed.
2) Cut or flake the saltfish into manageable pieces, and set aside.
3) If you are using fresh ackees, ensure that the pods were already opened on the tree before picked and the ackees are properly cleaned and boiled with a little salt (you can use the second pot of water the saltfish boiled in if you choose) for approximately 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside. If using canned, just drain the ackees, rinse if desired, and set aside.
4) Prepare your fresh ingredients as directed.
5) Once your ingredients are prepared, heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat.
6) Add the chopped onion and bell peppers to the skillet, and move toss them around with a wooden spoon for about 2 minutes.
7) Add the scallion, garlic, and optional scotch bonnet to the skillet, and stir them in with the onion and bell peppers for about 1 minute. Let it simmer on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes.
8) Add the saltfish, thyme, and tomato. Ensure everything is well combined.
9) Add the dry seasonings, and continue gently folding the ingredients together in the skillet for about 5 minutes.
10) Add the ackee to the skillet, and gently fold them in. Cover the skillet and allow the ackee & saltfish to simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes. Then, it should be ready to serve!
Serve ackee & saltfish with fried or boiled dumplings, fried plantains, breadfruit, boiled ground provisions (yam, banana, irish potato, sweet potato, etc.), or keep it simple with hard dough bread. Enjoy!