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Souse It Up
Carnival time means loads of visitors to our shores and lots of liming sessions, be the house limes or pan limes, beach limes or liming on Carnival Monday and Tuesday. Trinidadians and Tobagonians invented the word lime, and so we are masters at it, even when we are not supposed to be doing it!
A traditional liming snack is souse; it’s perfectly flavoured with lip-puckering acidity from limes and heat from hot peppers. Chadon beni, onions, garlic and salt round off the flavours for a finger-licking, mouth-burning experience.
Souse is a pickling method of preparing meats and vegetables, originally the pig’s trotters were soused, first they were cleaned and cooked and then soaked for many hours in a fresh lime juice, pepper and onion juice. Since then we have added chicken’s feet, cow’s skin, lambie, cucumber, and green fig souse to our Trinidadian menu!
CHICKEN FOOT SOUSE
• 2 lbs chicken’s feet
• 2 small cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
• 2 large onions, thinly sliced
• 1 hot pepper, thinly sliced with seeds
• 1 cup lime juice
• 2 cups water
• 1 cup finely chopped chadon beni
• 1/4 cup finely chopped chives
Wash chicken’s feet; boil in lightly salted water until tender, about 30 minutes.
Drain and cool.
Place in a large glass bowl.
Add onions, pepper, lime juice, water and chadon beni and chives.
Stir well to cover with marinade.
Cover and let stand at room temperature for three to four hours, stirring to keep all pieces exposed to marinade.
(This recipe can also be used to souse other meats, like pig’s trotters, and cow skin).
GREEN FIG SOUSE
• 8 green bananas or green figs
• 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
• 1/2 cup cool water
• 1 large onion, thinly sliced
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 hot pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
• salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
Place green figs in a non-reactive heavy saucepan, add a little oil and boil for about 15 minutes until tender. Remove, cool and peel. Slice.
Place figs in a glass bowl, add all other ingredients except cucumber, pour on boiling water just to cover figs.
Cool and refrigerate overnight.
Fifteen minutes before serving, add cucumber slices.
• 10 cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Juice of 3 limes
• 1/4 cup white vinegar
• 1 hot pepper, minced
• 1/2 cup thinly sliced chives
• 2 onions, thinly sliced
• 1/4 cup finely chopped chadon beni
Place cucumbers in a glass bowl add all other ingredients, stir and cover.
Refrigerate for one to two hours.
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