There are lots of variations on this classic, all-purpose seasoning paste from Jamaica. Everyone will agree, though, that allspice, garlic, thyme, and lots of Scotch bonnet or habanero chiles are absolute must-haves for a good jerk paste. A little bit really goes a long, long way. Just a few tablespoons will season a large chicken, 2 pounds large shrimp, 2 pork tenderloins, a 6-pound pork shoulder (bone-in), a large flank steak or 2 pounds skirt steak, or 2 to 3 whole 2-pound fish. Chicken and meat can marinate in it overnight, but fish and shellfish are fine with just a few hours.
Excerpted from Get Saucy, by Grace Parisi. © 2005, used by permission from The Harvard Common Press.