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Catering to Caribbean tastes stirs her up

Second career mixes ethnicities with their dishes

Above: Patricia Kiernan (front), owner of Stir It Up Cuisine catering, in her Weymouth kitchen with sous chefs Charmaine Brown (left) and Gabriella Scippa. Left: Jamaican jerk pork. Above: Patricia Kiernan (front), owner of Stir It Up Cuisine catering, in her Weymouth kitchen with sous chefs Charmaine Brown (left) and Gabriella Scippa. Left: Jamaican jerk pork. (PHOTOS BY JOSH REYNOLDS FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE)
By Lisa Zwirn
Globe Correspondent / November 16, 2011

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WEYMOUTH- When Jamaican-born Patricia Kiernan named her catering company Stir It Up Cuisine for a Bob Marley song, she thought it reflected both her career change and her intent to well, stir the pot and offer full-flavored, home-style Caribbean cooking. With Boston’s budding populations from Haiti, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic, Kiernan thought the area was ready for her native specialties, such as chicken fricassee, jerk pork, Creole shrimp, and oxtail stew. For side dishes, she might prepare cabbage cook-up (a slow-cooked slaw of shredded cabbage, bell peppers, and carrots), plantains baked with rum glaze, sweet potato puree, and sauteed callaloo (a leafy green similar to spinach). And for starters, there are Caribbean meatballs, jerk chicken wings, and coconut fried shrimp. But it’s her signature pepper jelly cheese torte - a savory cheesecake glazed with spicy jelly - that usually steals the show. In fact, when she’s not catering, Kiernan can be found stirring up pots of the brilliant orange, piquant-sweet jelly made from a blend of red, yellow, and green Scotch bonnet peppers. The spicy spread is perfect for jazzing up chicken, fish, beef stew, and sandwiches.

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