The Caribbean

17.Barbados: Fishcakes

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Most famous celebrity from Barbados! … Nothing ok let me give you a hint; “under my umbrella, ella, ella” YES Rihanna of course! But you probably knew that already! Barbados is now considered the playground of the rich and famous, but it wasn’t always like that. When first settled by the British in 1625, Barbados almost totally covered in dense jungle, with a very large population of wild pigs. Not so glamorous right? At least all the pirate stories from the seventeenth century speak to my imagination! I always loved pirates, I’m probably romanticizing it in my head about what it’s like to be a pirate because I watched way to much Pirates of the Caribbean. For some reason pirates just keep fascinating me. But enough about my strange obsessions. Here are some things you didn’t know about Barbados:

  • Barbados is home to a large Mongoose population.  Originally imported from India to take care of the rats in the sugar cane fields.  Instead they ate the snakes, which was the original predator of the rats. (They did not completely think that through)
  • Barbados is the 3rd oldest parliamentary democracy in the world.
  • Barbados was originally named Los Barbados, meaning ‘the bearded ones’

That’s it I guess for Barbados! I have to spare my Caribbean facts a little, because there are still sooooo many small islands to come! Let’s get cooking! here is the recipe! I loved these fishcakes they make an excellent light dinner or a lunch! I will make these again!

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Ingredients: 3 tilapiafilets, Juice of 1 lime1 tsp thyme leave, removed from stem, 2 tbsp parsley, 1 scallion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp black pepper, ¼ tsp red pepper flakes, ¼ cup mayo, 1 tsp salt, 1/4 baguette toasted , Oil

Cut the baguette in pieces and place them in a food processor and pulse until it’s crumbly. Put the bread crumbs in a bowl.      Next chop the fish with a knife in cubes as fine as you can, it is possible to use a foodprocessor but don’t let the fish become a paste. Place the fish back into a bowl.  Finely chop the thyme, parsley, scallion and garlic then add to the bowl with the fish.  Add about 1/3 of fresh bread crumbs, black pepper, red pepper flakes, mayo, salt and lime juice and mix to combine.   Place remaining bread crumbs onto a plate.  Spoon about a hand of the fish into the palm of your hands and form into a thick patty then lightly coat the fish cake with the bread crumbs.  Place enough oil in a frying pan. Heat oil over medium fire; once oil is hot, lower the heat to medium low.   Fry fish cakes for 5 minutes per side until golden brown, flipping only once.  You do not want to move the fish cakes too much or it may fall apart.   If the fish cakes brown too quickly, then lower the fire.  Once the fish cakes are golden, remove from the fire and place on a plate lined with paper towel to drain. I served them with a nice green salad! It was delicious definitely a keeper!

I found some really upbeat Bajan music! Play this music in the morning and you’re instantly happy!

 

14. Bahamas: Coconut Rum Cake

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Bahamas yet another Caribbean destination I wish I could go. The Bahamas consist of 700 small islands but only 30 islands are populated. millions of tourists visit the Bahamas each year.

  •  The great Blue Hole Dean (the deepest in the world) is located in the Bahamas. It is located on Long Island. You can enter the water on the knee – and suddenly fail at 202 meters, that is how much of its depth;) This is the place where many freedivers are attempting to break the world record.
  • Nassau – the capital of the Bahamas. The city itself is very modern, which combines cutting-edge building designs and old colonial architecture.Nassau was formerly a small village, founded by pirates. (Well that speaks to my imagination!) But nowadays there are plenty of colorful buildings that surround the harbor and the Portside promenade.
  •  The historical fact! Bahamas were the base of pirate ships. Been there, Francis Drake, Mary Read, Anne Bonny (yes, there are female pirates!) And other well-known pirates.

Rumcake

Well this is some cake! My mom absolutely loved it! I think she ate about half of it over the weekend the nice thing is that it stays very smooth, normal cake gets very dry after a few hours but this one just keeps it’s great texture!

Ingredients cake : 3 cups (420 g) All Purpose flour, ½  teaspoon baking powder, ½  teaspoon baking soda,  teaspoon salt, ¼  teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg 225 g unsalted butter, at room temp, 400g granulated sugar, 3 large eggs, 2 large egg yolks, at room temp, 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract, ¾  cup (180 mL) canned Thai coconut milk

Ingredients rum syrup: ¾  cup canned coconut milk (actually … just use the rest of the canned coconut milk),6 tablespoon sugar, ½ cup dark rum

Preheat your oven to 180C or 350F.  Spray a pan with baking spray with flour.In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.  Set aside.Beat together the butter and sugars, – allowing the batter to become light and fluffy (approximately 5 minutes) In a small bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks and vanilla.  Slowly drizzle the mixture into the creamed butter, scraping the sides as needed.  Once the eggs are completely incorporated, gently stir-in one-third of the flour mixture, then about half of the coconut milk. Mix in another third of the flour mixture, the rest of the coconut milk, and the remaining third of the flour until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  And bake for 55 to 60 minutes – until the cake is set in the middle.

While the cake is baking – open that bottle of rum and start working on the syrup

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the remainder of the coconut milk, and the sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.  It shouldn’t come to a boil.  Remove the syrup from heat and add the dark rum.  Whisk everything together.  Set aside until the cake comes out of the oven

Spoon about two-thirds of the syrup over the cake – allowing the coconut-rum to macerate the cake.  It’ll smell pretty amazing already at this point.  It only gets better.

And I found this AMAZING song it might not be from the Bahamas, but it sure reminds me of the Bahamas!

8. Antigua en Barbuda: Pepperpot soup and Ducuna

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Another Caribbean dream, toes in the sand cocktail in my hand. Thousands of tourists visit every year to live this dream, frankly I wish I was one of them because it looks awesome, hmmm maybe one day! Located in the Caribbean and in the Lesser Antilles, it’s two major islands, many many smaller ones, and with an area of 440 sq km or 170 sq miles it’s feels like you are isolated from the rest of the world.  Antigua Barbuda has a very small population, the largest city only has 25,000 inhabitants. Every year 250,000 people visit Antigua Barbuda, which seems bonkers, but apparently they seem to manage just fine. Strangly this small population produces some fine athletes, the worlds best lacrosse players. Another tradition is donkey race, ( I would love to see that!) and they do this just because it fun to watch. There is not much more to say about this tiny beautiful island, they don’t have a strange past or strange manners, except that it’s also very popular for mobsters to . So I guess I should just start writing the recipe. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA I made a Pepperpot soup and ducuna as a sidedish: It was amazing! When I read the ducuna recipe I was really sceptic, and I didn’t think it would turn out as good as it did! It tasted really sweet but the kind of sweet that I’m not used to but still it was delicious! I made quick version of the pepperpot soup and adjusted some ingredients because I couldn’t find okra so I used green beans and added a little extra cornstarch to thicken the soup. This recipe is for 6 people.

Antigua Barbuda dish
Antigua Barbuda dish

Ingredients Pepperpot soup: olive oil, 700 gr of sirloin steak trimmed and cut into bitesize pieces, salt to taste, 1 small white onion (chopped) , 1 clove of garlic (chopped) , 2 chili’s chopped(I left the seeds in one because I like the spice), 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, 5 cups of water, 3 teaspoons of cornstarch, 1 large sweet potato (diced), 1 cup of chopped okra or 300 grams of green beans (cut in half), 3 hands of spinach, 3 spring onions, cup of coconut milk, 1 vegetable stock cube. Heat oil in a large pan and fry of the steak with a good pinch of salt, stirring occasionally, until no long pink on the outside. This takes about 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add the onion, garlic, chili and thyme to the pan and fry for about 1 minute. Mix the water, cornstarch and stock cube and add to the pot along with the sweet potato and beans (or okra). Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer until the veggies are almost tender. Stir in the spinach and some salt, cook 2 or 3 more minutes. Add the steak and spring onions. Add the coconut milk and stir it in. 2 more minutes on the heat and DONE! Ingredients Ducuna: 2 sweet potatoes, 1/4 cup of sugar,  1 1/2 cup of all purpose flour, salt to taste, all spice to taste, 1/2 cup of raisins Grate the sweet potatoes and put them in a bowl with the sugar, set them aside for 10 minutes. Add flour, salt, all spice and raisins. Divide the dough in 4 and make packages of lightly greased aluminium foil. Fold the foil to create sealed parcels. Now comes the strings part! Place the packages in a large pot of boiling water for 45 minutes. Remove from the foil and done! 😀

6. Anguilla Beef and Pineapple Kebabs

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The Caribbean I’ve been looking forward to this! When  I daydream about the Caribbean which happens quite often, I dream about drinking cocktails with my toes in the warm white sand looking out over a calm blue ocean, little bit of reggae music in the background. Okay get back to reality now! My point is that history neither food are the first thing that come to mind when I think about Anguilla. It might be a tiny tiny dot in the ocean but it has been claimed by a lot of countries though the centuries (The Netherlands, Spain, Great Brittain, France). Their national sport is boat racing, it’s like soccer for them everyone has their own opinion about it, and his or hers favorite team. The races are held in spring and summer. After the boat race there are big BBQ’s with lots of music and dancing. (okay I’m ready to pack my bags and move there!)

  • Anguilla’s poor soil and erratic rainfall make it almost impossible for farming, thus the slavery and plantation system failed to take hold in Anguilla
  • You only need 48 hours in the country to qualify for an Anguillan wedding license.
  • Salt was Anguilla’s major export until the 1950s. Today it is exclusively tourism – People come to Anguilla for all the things that Anguilla doesn’t have: “crime, crowds or commercialism”

Oh boy it has been hard finding a proper recipe with ingredients that can actually be found. This week I made Beef and Pineapple Kebabs with rice.

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Ingredients: 1 lb sirloin steak,tomatoes (medium), onion, green bell pepper, 12 pineapple chunks (fresh or canned), 1 tbsp of brown sugar, 4 tbsp pineapple juice, 2 tbsp vinegar, 1 tbsp oil, garlic cloves (minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder), 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper

Make the marinade; put the brown sugar, pineapple juice, vinegar, and oil in a bowl and mix well. Add garlic, salt, and pepper. Cut steak into 1 inch cubes and add the marinade. Cover and leave in a cool places for at least one hour. Remove the steak and reserve the marinade to baste the kebabs. Cut the tomatoes into quarters, peel the onions and cut them into small chunks. Remove the seeds from the green pepper and cut into squares. Put the steak, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and pineapple chunks alternately on to a 8 short skewers.Brush skewers with marinade. Cook in a griddle pan or grill outside for approximately 10 minutes, turning frequently and basting often. Serve with plain rice.

Because Austria won the Eurovision Song contest I will be cooking their food sometime this week!