BAHAMIAN CORNMEAL PORRIDGE
Breakfast in the Bahamas is full of options and as a child my favorite was cornmeal porridge. This smooth and tantalizing blend of spices made my taste buds dance. This is what many Bahamian babies grew on.
1 cup Cornmeal
¼ tsp Nutmeg
¼ tsp Cinnamon
½ cup condensed milk (cream)
1 tbs Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 ½ cup Water
In measuring cup of cornmeal add 2 tbsp cold water to dissolve. Pour into a saucepan of boiling water, cream and salt. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer on low heat.
BAHAMIAN BREAKFAST QUICHE
Hey guys, this is one of my personal creations so you will have to give me your feedback. I have gotten rave reviews. It is quiche with a Bahamian flare.
¼ cup Cream (Evaporated Milk)
2 tbsp water
1 sml Onion, diced fine
1 clove Garlic, diced
1 cup Broccoli
1 cup Breakfast sausage links, sliced (vegetarian may be substituted)
1 lrg Plantain
2 tbsp Olive oil
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice plantain in 1 inch thick circular pieces and fry and line the bottom of a 9” pie dish. Sauté onion, garlic, broccoli add sausage and allow to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
Whip eggs, cream and water, add thyme, salt and pepper to taste. Add sauté ingredients and a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese into egg mixture. Pour mixture over plantain in pie pan. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese on top.
Bake in oven at 325º F for 15 minutes.
BAHAMIAN PEAS N’ GRITS
Boy dis one sweet pot here! There is nothing like a pot of peas n’ grits with fry fish, plantain and coleslaw on a Saturday afternoon. Talk about heavenly! You’ll be lickin’ ya fingers all day. Oh, please excuse me – just the thought of this dish brings out the Bahamian in me.
A word of warning: over indulgence in this delicacy will result in what we call here in the islands a ‘peas n’rice’ shape (very voluptuous buttocks). Too many cultures this figure is not appealing, but to our Bahamian men it is as delightful as the dish itself.
3 cups Grits
2 0z Cooking oil
1 sml Onion, chopped
1 tsp Browning
½ tsp Thyme leaves or 2 twigs of fresh thyme
½ tsp Black pepper
Salt to taste
1-1 ½ cup Pigeon Peas (a.k.a gondules)
1 ½ cup Ripe tomatoes, canned tomatoes or 2 tbsp Tomato paste
¼ lb Salt pork, chopped in small cubes, bacon drippings or ham skin/fat and
meat . Alternative to pork vegetable cooking oil and 1 cup beef or
Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat place until very hot. Carefully add ham skin/scraps and allow to cook until crispy brown. Add onion, thyme and black pepper cook until onions are tender stir frequently. Then add tomatoes (ripe, canned or paste) and browning allow to cook down for 2 – 5 minutes (with tomato paste fry to a caramelized colour). Add peas and cook for 2 minutes then add 3 cups of water and salt to taste, bring to a boil. Add grits stirring to distribute grits evenly in pot. Ensure that water is 2 inch above level of rice. Allow to boil over med-low heat with lid on until water has evaporated and is not visible above grits. Cook for 25-40 minutes
Peas n’ grits can be served as an accompaniment to many dishes such as: fry fish, steam fish, cracked conch, steam conch, steam chicken, stew beef to name a few.
AUNTIE RIE CHICKEN SOUSE
Chicken for breakfast! Yes even chicken for breakfast in the Bahamas. Chicken Souse is eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner or mid-night snack. We children used to look forward to a bowl of chicken souse with hot grit, Johnny cake or hot homemade rolls for breakfast on Saturday morning. And no one complained if it was on the menu for lunch. After a night out on the town when your energy has been depleted for all that dancing, nothing fortifies you like a bowl of chicken souse. Have it ready when you get home so you won’t have to wait.
Many people may say its just boiled chicken, but even in this simple dish there is an art to the preparation to make it just right. I watched Auntie Rie as she routinely set her task in motion. My lord just thinking about it makes my mouth water.
|1 -3 lb
||Broiler-fryer chicken or 5 pound chicken wings
||Onion (sliced thin)
||Irish potatoes, peeled and cubed
||Hot pepper (chopped finely)
||Salt to taste
||Carrots, thinly sliced (optional)
Clean chicken thoroughly making sure to remove the blood and entrails. If you do not want the hassle of this cleaning process use the chicken wing or drumlets. Cut chicken into three-inch bite size pieces removing as much of the fat as possible. Combine lemon juice and pepper. Wash chicken then marinade with ¼ cup of lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
Using a large (8-10) quart pot over medium heat place chicken into pot and cover with water bring to boil then remove from heat after 5 minute. Throw off the water (this is done to remove oil extracted from the skin of the chicken) leaving chicken in pot. Return pot to stove; cover chicken with onions, potatoes, celery and remaining lemon juice mix. Cover with water about 1 inch above contents and add salt. Bring to boil, cover pot then reduced heat and allow to cook at medium-low heat for 1 hour or until chicken and potatoes are cooked. To avoid over cooking potatoes (based on their size) you may want to add them ½ hour into the cooking process. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Serve with grits, Johnny cake, homemade bread or dinner rolls. Serves 6-8.
AUNTIE RIE’S BAHAMIAN BOIL FISH
A Seaman’s breakfast for sure. Boil Fish is a signature dish for the regal archipealego we cal home – The Bahama Islands! Yes to all of our fellow Earthians The Bahamas is made up of over 700 islands, cays and rocks of all shapes and sizes. With oceans all around us it is no wonder we have mastered the preparation of seafood and enjoy it all hours of the day.
When Auntie Rie boil fish she selects the larger meatier fish such as: grouper or Hog Snapper but other smaller fish may be used. These are the white, flaky, tender and mild in flavor. Auntie Rie always has the fish man cut her “fish for boil” into 4-6oz pieces (you may keep the bone in or out). The other benefit with using the larger fish is that their bones are big, making it easy to pick them out as you eat. Caution should always be taken when eating fish, because bones may even be present in fillet.
2 lb Grouper or Preferred Fish (6 med. Pieces)
1 med. Onion., sliced
1 med. Irish Potatoes
2 Hot pepper
2 Lemon/Lime &/or Sour Orange juice
Salt to taste
1 Bay leaf
I remember many a Saturday morning when I would be helping Auntie Rie make breakfast. She would always say, “A clean fish gives a clean broth”. So I spent the time washing the fish, removing the scales and taking out the remnants of blood from around the bones. Then she told me to place the fish in a bowl of ice water while we prepared the other ingredients.
Remove fish from ice water and place in a 6-8 quart pot. Cover fish with onions, Crush 1 hot pepper and combine with limejuice then pour into pot. Add potatoes, bay leaf and water enough to cover fish and 1 teaspoon of salt to start (you may add more salt to taste later). Cook over medium heat until fish and onions are tender (approximately 20 minutes). Remember fish normally takes 15-20 minutes to cook depending on thickness. Your broth should have a tangy, lemony flavour and fish should be tender and firm. Serve 4-6 persons with a wedge of lemon and slice of hot pepper because some like it hotter!
Accompaniments: Saturday morning breakfast or anytime of the day on the island you cam find Boil Fish and Grits, Johnny Cake or Potato Bread.
Most of my American friends are astonished that we eat fish for breakfast, yet you cannot find a more nutritional, high protein, low-fat, high energy meal anywhere. So if a low-carbohydrate diet is your prescription then enjoy a bowl of Auntie Rie’s Bahamian Boil Fish.