Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A Haitian feast.

When I lived in Miami I never really appreciated what I had around me. Sure I ate all the Cuban food I could eat and I definitely ate my fair share of seafood. Unfortunately I can count the amount of times I ate Haitian, Jamaican, Nigerian, Puerto Rican, Colombian, Dominican, or any of the many other ethnic foods Miami has in spades on my fingers and toes. Perhaps my family was just a little too white Cuban bread to go out for something as obscure as Nigerian food, or maybe I was a little too busy skateboarding to care. Lucky for me I did at least get some tastes to remember. I bought some local organic goat meat at the farmers market a few weeks ago and decided that I needed to make a Haitian feast.

Hatian Curried Goat
I found a traditional Haitian curried goat recipe that seemed to have as much Jamaican influence as Haitian technique. The goat meat was stewed in a curry that was almost more of a Jamaican jerk sauce than a curry. To make it my own I tweaked the amounts of onion, ginger, garlic, cumin, chilies, allspice, and cinnamon. I also added a little bit of lime and coconut milk.

Pigeon Peas and Rice
This pigeon peas recipe has a bit of a Puerto Rican influence to it. It makes sense that all of these island that are so close to each other have such similar influences. I rendered some bacon and sauteed onions and garlic in the bacon grease. I then stirred in the rice until the grains got glossy. Then I added the canned(drained) pigeon peas and coconut milk. Brought up to a boil and stuck it covered in a 375 degree oven for 30 mins. Yummy.

Stewed Okra and Tomatoes
This is almost a southern soul food dish with some African influence. I love okra. I know a lot of people who don't seem to care about this mysteriously slimy vegetable. In the south they cut them up and deep fry the delicious little snacks. This dish is so easy. Chop fresh okra (you can use frozen) and stew it with diced tomatoes, chilies, salt and pepper. I of course added bacon because it was sitting there staring at me. I have no self bacon control.

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