Jamika's Journal

Caribbean Heat meets Southern Sweet on Home & Family

In case you missed it, I had such a great time cooking with crew of Home & Family on the Hallmark channel.  With reggae music playing in the background and delicious food and drinks on the menu, how could we not have a good time on set.

I love blending the cuisines of my Caribbean and Southern roots. I definitely bring the heat and the sweet! Moreover, I like to present my family recipes in fun and innovative ways that anyone can create at home for their family or party guests.

I made my easy and tasty Jamaican Curried Shrimp Skewers with a Pineapple Aioli dipping sauce. This recipe is special because originally it was a dish my grandmother used to make. I simply deconstructed it and put it on a skewer. Everyone on set raved about it and cleaned their plates while begging for more.

Sometimes curry can be a bit intimidating, but not my skewers. The marinade is not overwhelming and it pairs well with just any protein (chicken, beef, pork); but shrimp is my favorite. Yellow curry has a mild flavor and is a light approach to curry if you have never tried it or have not been a fan in the past.

As an added tip, don’t think you can only serve these shrimp on skewers. Saute them with peppers and onions and serve over rice. Grill the shrimp and serve in a corn tortilla for a palate pleasing taco. And one of my favorite ways to serve the shrimp is on a bun with the pineapple aioli as a sweet spread. Now that is a slider that will have people talking about your food, but in a good way.

I also served a Mango Sweet Tea. Talk about refreshing with a tropical twist! As a southern girl, I love sweet tea; and I add seasonal fruits to liven things up. Feel free to use pineapple, guava, passionfruit, or peaches instead of fresh mango.

Hopefully, I have teased you enough that you want to make it yourself. When you make the recipes below, send me pics of your plate on social media @ChefJamika.

Curried Shrimp Skewers


1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled, deveined, tail on

1 package (8 in.) bamboo skewers

4 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 tablespoons curry powder

½ tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon red chili flakes

1 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1 lime, juiced



Soak 20-25 skewers in water and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk together oil, curry powder, sugar, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, and lime juice. Add shrimp and toss well. Marinate in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes.

Heat grill pan over medium high heat.

Skewer each shrimp by placing the point of the skewer through the base of the tail and pushing through until the point reaches the head of the shrimp. The shrimp should be extended the length of the skewer.

Grill until shrimp are opaque and slightly browned on the outside, about 2 minutes on each side. Transfer to a platter.


Pineapple Aioli


1 cup mayonnaise

1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic

¼ cup crushed pineapple, drained

2 tablespoon chopped cilantro

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon distilled vinegar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper



In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Chill until time to serve.


Mango Sweet Tea

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

2 ripe mango, peeled and diced

1 oz. fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

8-10 black or green tea bags

4 hot cups water

1 lime, juiced


Fresh mint for garnish


Pour water, sugar, mango, and ginger into a saucepan over medium high heat. Stir until sugar dissolves. As mango and ginger softens, smash pieces against the side of the pan to release more flavors. Simmer for 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and strain. Set aside to cool.

Steep tea bags in hot water for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and pour tea over ice.

Stir in mango syrup and lime juice. Serve with fresh mint leaves.



Chef Jamika currently resides in Atlanta, Ga. She prides her success on pairing her love for cooking and entertaining guests. When she is not in the kitchen, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling with her husband sampling local cuisines for inspiration.

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