Salt Cod ( Bacaloo) is a staple in Caribbean Cooking, Brought over to the islands by British farmers because of its ease for storage, and versatility ( There was no refrigeration at that time). Salt cod is used in making fish cakes, stews, sandwiches, and patties. In this recipe for Caribbean style salt cod it is prepared in a tomato stew. Because of the saltiness of the salt cod it should be soaked before cooking to release the salt. I usually soak overnight so I recommend starting this recipe ahead of serving time.
Caribbean Style Salt Cod
1 pound salt cod (preferably the center cut) can also purchase boneless
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large yellow onions peeled and sliced
1 yellow or green pepper seeded and sliced
1 large ripe tomato seeded cut into medium dice
2 fresh sprigs of thyme
2 green onions chopped
1/2 Scott bonnet pepper seeded and chopped ( optional)
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup water
Place the salt cod in a large bowl, fill to the top with water and soak over- night, Drain the salt cod
and return to a large pot cover with water and bring to a boil, Boil for 20 min, Remove from heat and drain, If using bone -in salt cod remove bones and skin and flake lightly.
In a medium skillet heat the oil over medium heat add the onions, peppers and cook lightly without color, add the tomatoes and thyme, green onion, and scott bonnet pepper, cook for two minutes. Add the tomato paste and ligthly stir, Add the water and bring to a boil, Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes add the flaked salt cod and lightly combine ingredients, Simmer for two minutes remove from heat and serve.
One of the quick and all time favorite is this easy quick bread Jonny cakes served with early morning cocoa tea, coffee or bush tea, Jonny cakes are also served with traditional Sunday morning breakfast on some of the islands.
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vegetable shortening
1 tablespoon butter
1/3 cup milk or water
canola oil for frying
Mix the flour ,baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl, add the shortening and butter blend the mixture with the finger tips until crumbly. Make a well in the center add the milk and mix into a smooth stiff dough, do not over mix. Place dough in a bowl and cover . Let dough sit for 15 minutes to relax the dough. Meanwhile heat oil in a large heavy skillet for about 400 degrees. Cut dough into small pieces and form pieces into balls by lightly rolling in the palm of the hands about the size of small ball, on a lightly floured surface roll balls into medium logs. Rest for 5 minutes and fry until golden brown turning to even browning, reduce heat as necessary. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.
Variations: These Jonny cakes can also be roasted in a large stone pot on open coals and are called roast dumplings. More care must be taken when roasting since the heat and dumplings must be adjusted to be sure that the insides are cooked
Eggplant also know as aubergine, boulanger or melongene in some of the islands are used in many ways. While working as a chef in Florida I enjoyed this recipe made by my friend Trinidadian chef Ricky. At The restaurant we served this as dip. Served warm or cold it goes great with pita bread, jonny cakes, coconut bread or any other type of bread.
1 large Eggplant
6 garlic cloves peeled
2 ripe tomatoes
3 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce ( optional)
Sat and pepper to taste
Cut eggplant in two lengthwise, Make long slits on the sides of eggplant.
Place garlic cloves in each slits
Cut Tomatoes in halves
Drizzle Large roasting pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place eggplant and tomato halves face down in pan. Roast in a pre-heated oven and cook for 20 -30 minutes.
Remove from heat, and peel the skin from the eggplant and tomatoes. Place in a large bowl and mash together, Add oil, vinegar, and pepper sauce, stir to combine season with salt and pepper.
Serve warm or cold.