Belize is a small Caribbean country on the northeastern coast of Central America, bordering Mexico to the north, the Caribbean Sea to the east and Guatemala to the west. Belize is the home of my ancestors, and the country just celebrated its 1981 independence from Britain on September 21st. Some of you might remember Belize by its colonizer name British Honduras. This is my way of paying homage to my roots, while sharing one of my favorite recipes with all of you!
But first, a brief history of Belize’s rich diversity.
As Central America’s gateway to the Caribbean, the beautiful beaches of Belize welcomed a fascinating parade of immigrants from remote corners of the globe. When all of these cultures came to peacefully coexist in such a small geography, their food was magically infused with a worldly flair. That’s why Belizean cuisine today is unlike that of any other country, yet hints at certain familiar tastes and influences you may have experienced from all corners of the world. Belize is a remarkable representation of collaboration between cultures, generations, ingredients and cooking styles.
Now let me introduce you to one of my favorite recipes: Fry Jacks, a popular Belizean breakfast bread that can be whipped up in about 30 minutes. These deep fried dough pieces are generally shaped as circles or triangles, but I prefer triangles. My family and I always served them savory with refried beans, eggs or cheese, but they are just as enjoyable sweet, with jam or honey. I’m so grateful to be able to share with you one of my childhood favorites. I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Inactive time: 15 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
2 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
3/4 cup water
Vegetable oil for frying
1. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
2. Cut shortening into flour until pea size.
3. Add water, a little at a time, once dough becomes shaggy, place on work surface and knead to make a soft, but not sticky dough.
4. Divide dough ball into two rounds.
5. Let rest, covered with a kitchen towel, for 15-20 minutes.
6. Lightly flour countertop or cutting board. Roll dough out to about 10 to 12 inches round. Cut down the middle of round then into triangles.
7. Heat oil to 325-350 degrees and fry for three mins (don’t overcrowd the pan!) on each side or, until golden brown.
8. Remove from oil onto a paper towel lined sheet tray. Serve immediately and enjoy!
We make global cuisine approachable for home cooks at The Chopping Block. While we don't have any Belizean classes on the calendar (yet!), don't miss these upcoming fun classes:
- Hands-On Argentine Grill on the Patio Friday, September 30 6pm
- Hands-On Sushi Workshop Friday, October 7 6pm
- Virtual Banh Mi Burgers Friday, October 14 6pm CST
- Virtual Cook Along: Ramen Workshop Saturday, October 15 10am CST
- Hands-On Tapas Saturday, October 15 6pm