Cooking with Jessica

When things are looking grim, or when my fridge is empty, I ring up my lovely friends Jess and Will and invite myself over for a meal. This is surprisingly easy, and sometimes doesn’t even necessitate a call. I can wangle an invitation just by sending an innocent text message, like, “Hey! Are you around this bank holiday weekend?” Usually within 24-48 hours (sometimes less!) I find myself getting schnockered with Jess and snacking on bits of swiped fried pancetta while Will prepares an exceptional meal.

Today, maybe because I’m old, maybe because I had a cold (I blame the cold), I could not handle the Notting Hill Carnival, even though I LOVE to eat street food (hello? Jerk chicken? Goat curry?) and it’s basically five minutes from my front door. Chatted up Will on the old Google mail and in less than an hour I was headed to Pimlico for (you guessed it) a Caribbean-themed meal. (I will not be denied my Jamaican Jerk so easily, oh no.) Will had a date with the Grand Prix and a bottle of Beck’s and Jess and I cooked lunch. IT ROCKED. Pictured clockwise from top left: Cuban black beans, tostones, jerk chicken, spicy-sweet roasted tomato sauce, and coconut rice.

Did I WIN or what? And if you follow the links for the recipes, you can too!

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