Tamar Greene finds enjoyment in the kitchen craft.
"I cook a lot of different things," said Greene, who's currently starring as George Washington in "Hamilton" in Chicago. "Hamilton" continues through Jan. 5 at the CIBC Theatre. Visit BroadwayInChicago.com.
Greene, a first generation American, whose parents are British and Jamaican, said he's a fan of various cuisines. Among dishes he cooks often are chicken, seafood recipes and other items.
"I roast chicken many different ways," he said, adding another favorite dish is Akee and Saltfish, which is a Jamaican recipe.
Greene explained that Akee is a fruit that's often looked at the same way that tomatoes are, in that it's widely used in savory dishes as well. He said he often serves the Akee and Saltfish recipe with dumplings.
The actor, who was born and raised in Rochester, New York, said he learned his way around the kitchen in his family home.
"I definitely learned from my parents. Both of them cook well," Greene said.
Greene said, although he grew up vegetarian, he always liked eggs as a youngster.
"An omelet was one of the first things I learned to make," he said. Greene said he's always open to experimenting when it comes to cooking and dining. A couple of years ago, during a trip to Korea, Greene said he tried the "street meat" that was being sold there.
Greene also enjoys cooking for others and entertains at home whenever he can. It's not unusual, he said, for cast members from the "Hamilton" family to get together for Thanksgiving (or other times) and enjoy a meal together.
The actor said he's always open to trying new restaurants, too.
"I like all styles of food....When I patronize a restaurant, I try to order something I can't make at home," Greene said.
The actor has been performing in the Chicago cast of "Hamilton" since August of 2018. Since then, he's tried many of Chicago's popular foods and eateries, including Portillo's, deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati's and has frequented the restaurant/diner Au Cheval, where he's enjoyed their burgers.
"I do like a good burger," he said.
Greene said he's looking forward to Thanksgiving, which is a holiday he loves.
"A new cast member wants to have Thanksgiving so I'm going to go there," he said.
Greene, who calls New York home, said it's "bittersweet" that "Hamilton" will be ending its Chicago run soon.
"I really do enjoy being in the 'Hamilton' company," the actor said. "The team is great. It's a wonderful family here in Chicago. I'm going to miss the ensemble, for sure."
The following recipe is from Tamar Greene.
Ackee and Saltfish
1 pound of Saltfish (salted cod or bacalao)
3 bell peppers (red, yellow, green)
1 large tomato
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 sprig of thyme
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DIRECTIONS: 1. Boil saltfish in a large pot of water for 20 minutes. 2. When done, toss water and add fresh water to boil the fish for another 20 minutes.
3. While fish boils, chop vegetables.
4. Pour cup of oil in a large frying pan and set to medium heat.
5. Sauté whole Scotch Bonnet pepper for 1 minute to flavor the oil. Be careful not to let it burst open.
6. Remove Scotch Bonnet pepper. Add minced garlic for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the vegetables and sauté until they are partially translucent. Add a little salt and pepper, but not too much as the saltfish will be salty enough.
7. Toss hot water from saltfish and let it cool. You can pour cold water on it to help. Once cool, drain all water and break fish into small pieces with your hands.
8. Add fish to frying pan and let everything cook down together.
9. Open can of ackee and drain all water. Add ackee to pan and carefully fold all ingredients together and take pan off the fire. Don't let the ackee get too mushy.
10. Plate and garnish with fresh thyme. Enjoy!
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup water, slowly added
DIRECTIONS: 1. Mix dry ingredients by hand.
2. Add water slowly while kneading the dough. Be careful not to over knead. Do not add a lot more water, even though it may look like it may need it. Be patient. Dough should be a little sticky.
3. Heat vegetable oil on medium heat.
4. Roll dough into desired shape (dough will rise, so they don't have to be perfectly circular).
5. Place dough in the pan. Be careful not to overcrowd them so that they can cook evenly. (Tip: If the outside browns too quickly, your fire is too hot. Take pan off the fire to let it cook down and lower your flame/temperature.) Dumplings should take 5-7 minutes depending on your heat.
6. When golden brown, take your dumplings out of the pan and let them dry on absorbent paper towels or paper bag before serving.
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Eloise is A&E Editor and a food, entertainment and features writer for The Times, subjects she has covered for over two decades in and around the Region. She was the youngest of eight in a Chicago household filled with fantastic cooks and artists.