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Dey love dey way trini does cook
As the many visitors arrive to our shores for this, our Trini Carnival, they are sure to sample many of our local delicacies: from corn soup around the savannah, bake and shark at Maracas, doubles almost everywhere, and fresh coconut water, pelau, crab and dumplings, and roti, to name a few.
The thing is, as they explore the tastes, they find themselves wanting to taste more; and before they know it, the holiday is over and their hunger for our tasty cuisine is heightened.
How come? Because Trini foods are at best, addictive. It’s a cuisine that has you wanting more.
Well, for those ambitious cooks and homesick Trini expats, here are some traditional recipes that will bring back memories once you depart our shores.
• TRINI CORN SOUP WITH DUMPLINGS
8 cups beef stock or vegetable stock
3/4 cup yellow split peas, washed and picked over
1 pound English potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
1/3 cup fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/3 cup chopped chives
1 harbanero pepper or hot pepper
4 pimento peppers, chopped and seeded
6 ears corn, cut into two-inch pieces
1/2 cup chopped chadon beni or cilantro
1/2 cup coconut milk (optional)
Method: In a large soup pot or Dutch oven heat stock, add split peas, potatoes, onions and garlic, carrots, thyme, celery, chives, and peppers, bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about one hour until peas are soft.
Puree soup to a thick and creamy consistency, return to pot.
Add corn and dumplings and coconut milk if using,
Continue to cook for a further 20 minutes until cooked and dumplings float to the surface.
Add chadon beni, remove from heat, taste and adjust seasonings.
If soup seems too thick you can add a little water.
• Serves six to eight
• CHICKEN PELAU
1 31/2 lb chicken, cut into pieces
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion sliced
2 pimento peppers, seeded and chopped
2 tbs green seasoning paste
1 tbs chopped celery leaves
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1/4 cup French thyme
4 tbs tomato ketchup
1 tsp salt
2 tbs veg oil
2 tbs brown sugar
2 cups pigeon peas
1/2 cup chopped pumpkin
2 cups parboiled rice
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups water
Wash chicken well with lime, drain.
Rub on garlic, herb marinade, add fresh herbs, sliced onion and pepper, vinegar, black pepper and some salt, and ketchup cover and marinate for about two hours in the refrigerator.
Heat oil add sugar and caramelise to a dark brown colour, add chicken pieces one at a time turning well to colour each piece, add the rest of seasonings.
Cook uncovered until chicken starts to release its juices, about five minutes.
Add pigeon peas and pumpkin, stir. Lower heat and cook for about ten minutes, covered.
Add rice and stir well.
Cover and simmer until cooked, about 20 to 30 minutes turning occasionally.
Adjust salt and serve .
• Serves four
The cooks corner
Q. When I buy bread in the supermarket I see ingredients such as mould inhibitor and emulsifier? Can you tell me what these ingredients do and where it can be purchased?
A. Mould inhibitors are an additive that commercial bread bakers add to their bread dough to prevent the growth of mould when the baked bread is packaged in plastic bags. The hot climate in which we live and the non-porous property of plastic bags promote the growth of mould on products such as bread.
Emulsifiers are added to the bread dough to serve as an anti-staling agent and therefore lengthen the shelf life of commercially prepared bread.
Individual cooks cannot buy emulsifiers off the shelf and use them at will; however, now that you know what their purpose is, this will help to explain why commercially prepared breads are often difficult to match when made at home.
Q. Can you tell me what wheat germ is and what it can be used for?
A. Wheat germ is a bi product of wheat, which is extracted from the wheat during the milling process. It is very high in protein and does contain some fat; however, it is quite nutritious. Wheat germ is available in a ready-to-eat form in most grocery stores and health food stores and it is a nutritious addition to batters when making bread, muffins, and bakes.
Q. I was wondering whether there are any desserts suitable for a person on a low-fat diet or a calorie-restricted diet?
A. Yes, there are many options for low-cholesterol desserts; you can enjoy fat-free fruit sorbets, angel food cakes (these are cakes made only with egg whites and no addition of fat) with fruit sauces, baked fruit desserts, crumble toppings made with cholesterol-free margarine, meringues, or meringue-topped pies.
Try to limit your intake of creamy desserts like ice creams, and cream-based cakes and pies. Use egg whites in place of whole eggs in desserts to reduce your fat content in the recipes.
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