| May 30, 2013

Can't make it to the Caribbean this summer?

Your taste buds can!

Try whipping up some of these classic Caribbean dishes and cocktails, closing your eyes, and allowing yourself to be transported to a tropical paradise.

READ: 7 Guilt-Free Summer Comfort Food Recipes

Ok, so it's not the same…but we can dream, right?

Bajan Rum Punch

It's not a Caribbean vacation until you've had rum punch.  This island staple is mixed with lime, simple syrup, dark Caribbean rum, passion fruit juice and a dash of nutmeg. Check out Little French Bakery's Barbadian (Bajan) Rum Punch recipe to make your own.

Conch Fritters

Conch are used in many Caribbean dishes can can be eaten raw or cooked. Conch fritters are very popular … and tasty! We suggest giving Brown Eyed Baker's easy sweet and savory recipe a try.

Tip: If you can't find conch, shrimp is a great substitution.

Pusser's Painkiller Cocktail

Pusser's Painkiller cocktail is a mix of rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut and orange juice — getting a buzz yet? For a tropical summer treat, try the Blond Cook's version.

Grilled Jerk Chicken

This Jamaican dish is made with meat marinated in a mix of pimento, thyme and scotch bonnet pepper. Jehan Powell suggests firing up the grill for the best results. "I have baked jerk in the past but grilling takes it to another level," she says. Get her recipe here

Cynthia Nelson
Fungi, or Cornmeal Cou-Cou

Cou-cou, or fungi is similar to polenta, is made with cooked cornmeal, okra, and other spices. "Tastes Like Home" author and cook Cynthia Nelson shares her recipe for this tasty dish that may be served alone, or as a side.

Patti Londre
Bajan Fried Flying Fish

Fried flying fish is especially popular in Barbados — and it's quite delicious! Patti Londre shares her Barbados-inspired recipe here — and if you can't find flying fish at your local store, you can substitute any thin, light fish filet like tilapia.

Cynthia Nelson
Fried Ripe Plantains

Fried plantains are bigger than bananas, starchy, and less flavorful — that is, until you cook them. "The key to an excellent plate of fried ripe plantains is to ensure that the plantains are at the right degree of ripeness. The skin should be almost black or in some cases, have a dull yellow color with patches of black," says Nelson. Get her recipe here.

Linda Monach
Antigua and Barbuda Burger

Linda Monach ties our favorite Caribbean flavors together with her Antigua and Barbuda burger. It's a spiced pork burger resting upon a fungi "bun," and topped with prosciutto and fresh pineapple salsa. Yum!

King Arthur Flour
Caribbean Rum Cake

We can't forget about dessert! Check out this deliciously moist Tortuga-inspired rum cake recipe from King Arthur Flour.