Belizean Dishes Add a Taste of the Tropics

The best-kept secret of the Caribbean, Belize, features a cuisine of sweet and spicy dishes that delight the eye and please the palate. Chefs at two of Belizeå‘s most popular resorts, Portofino and Chaa Creek, shared their culinary secrets to bring some of that tropical Caribbean flavor to summertime meals.

Portofino is one of the newest and hottest resorts on Belize’s famed Ambergris Caye, a divers paradise located along the second largest barrier reef in the world. Portofino is home to the brand new “Le Bistro” restaurant, featuring the talents of chef, Sean Beaton. One of Sean’s favorite dishes is coconut vinaigrette over grilled shrimp, a delicious and healthy Portofino specialty that can be easily recreated in American homes.

Caribbean Weely readers should try this tasty recipe: Grilled Mango and Shrimp Salad with Coconut Vinaigrette
Coconut Vinaigrette
/ ? cup coconut oil
/ ? cup coconut milk
/ ? cup flaked coconut
/ ? cup white wine vinegar
/ 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
/ 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh oregano
/ Add salt and pepper to taste.
/ Combine ingredients in a blender and refrigerate overnight.
/ Salad Greens
/ 1 cup Mesclun lettuce
/ 1 cup Arugula
/ 1 cup Romaine chopped
/ 2 plum or Roma tomatoes, diced
/ 1 medium thinly sliced red onion
/ 1 large mango, sliced with skin on

Grilled Shrimp:
Peel and de-vein a ? pound of jumbo shrimp. Marinate the shrimp on skewers in half the coconut vinaigrette mixture. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Grill on medium to medium high heat turning frequently.
Remove shrimp from skewers and arrange on salad greens, tossed with the remaining coconut vinaigrette.

The Lodge at Chaa Creek is the ultimate jungle resort, set in a pristine 330-acre hilltop nature reserve, overlooking the spectacular Macal River Valley near the Guatemalan border. Since it’s opening in the early eighties, Chaa Creek has become the standard in sustainable eco-tourism, as well as traditional Belizean cuisine.
Snuggled between Mexico to the north and Guatemala to the west and south, relaxed, English-speaking Belize, is only a two-hour plane ride from the continental United States. Adventure into a land rich in natural beauty and steeped in the magic of its Maya past. Renowned for pristine waters, exotic marine and wildlife, lush unspoiled landscapes, and superb diving, Belize is Mother Nature’s Best Kept Secret.