Save the Rainforest: Save the World!

It's so pretty here.

It's so pretty here.

I recently received a “present” for my Facebook profile. It was a ‘lil Green Patch; A virtual plant. The interesting thing was that this gift was going to help save the rainforest and, subsequently, the world. WOW! I’ve heard that green is the new red, white and blue, so I had to accept the gift and now I have officially helped to save exactly 0 square feet of rainforest. Just doing my part.

Now, it’s been said that we have 10 years or less before we hit the point of no return on global warming and we all die in a very dramatic and unpleasant manner. Americans (and all other earthlings) are left to ponder “what now?” What can we do to combat this new Boogie Man? We could just switch to alternative fuels. That’s a great idea. But when I look around, I don’t see any other fuels at the 7-11 pumps. The infrastructure seems to be geared to dispense one fuel and one fuel only: Gas. I guess we can’t just switch. It takes more effort than that. A quantum shift in our fuel and power infrastructure ain’t cheap or easy. I don’t think most of us are really prepared to go without cars or power (or anything that relies on them, like water, food, etc.) while we wait for the switchover to the awesome fuel of the future. We haven’t even figured out what that awesome fuel is going to be.

We need more than raising the gas tax and using the money to fight global warming. We even need more than the Facebook plants. But let’s say for argument’s sake that that’s all the resources we need. What do we do with it? How can our lone country combat a global problem? We can’t stop the emerging global economies like China and India from raising their greenhouse gas output faster than we can curb our own. Third world countries like Haiti and Iraq don’t even have proper sewage and garbage systems. They are hoping to one day be troubled by their carbon footprint. Right now they are just trying to avoid disease.

What can one man do against such odds? Unless you are Academy Award® winning Al Gore, your options are as limited as mine. So here is my plan. I will recycle what I can whenever it is convenient to do so. I will switch to a non-polluting fuel as soon as that’s all my car will use. I will not take a store bag when I have one item… And I will take up a cause: The manatee. It occurs to me that bovines, chickens and sheep are not endangered. Maybe all we need is a few good recipes for the Sea Cow. So here is my contribution to the environmentalist cause:

  • Jamaican Jerk Manatee
  • with Spiced Rum Tropical Relish
  • 6 ounces Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • 2 ounces coconut vinegar
  • 2 ounces kosher salt
  • 2 ounces extra virgin olive oil plus 2 Tbsp per steak for frying
  • 6 Manatee flatiron steaks
  • 2 mangoes
  • 1 pineapple
  • 2 red peppers, roasted and peeled
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cups spiced rum
  • ½ cup passion fruit juice (may substitute orange juice)
  • Mix Jerk Seasoning with Coconut Vinegar, Kosher Salt and Olive Oil. Rub Mixture liberally on Manatee Flatiron Steaks. Let them stand in refrigerator for 30-40 minutes.
  • Dice Mangos, Pineapple, Roasted Red Peppers and Red Onion. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
  • In medium skillet, panfry Manatee Steaks to desired doneness. Hold hot.
  • Deglaze skillet with Spiced Rum. Reduce Rum by ¾, then add Passion Fruit Juice and diced fruit mixture. Heat through and spoon over the steaks. Serve immediately.

Try this dish served over coconut rice or späzle or served with hashed brown potatoes. This dish would pair nicely with a chenin blanc, but don’t be afraid to grab a Red Stripe or a classic Mojito. Enjoy!

1 Comment on "Save the Rainforest: Save the World!"

  1. I am intrigued by your recipe for Jamaican Jerk Manatee. I have just a couple of points I might add for those who try it. 1) If you are elderly or pregnant or have young children, be sure to get wild caught manatee and not farm raised manatee as the mercury levels in farmed manatee can be unhealthful. 2) Manatee is a very fatty meat. If you are health conscious, you might consider trimming the flatiron steaks to 1/8″ of fat or less. Or, as an alternative, you could instead leave the shoulder as a single cut and roast it at 350 for 90 minutes or until rare. The drippings make for a very rich gravy.

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