Sunday, September 30, 2012

Welcome to our "Caribbean Cooking Workshop" 
located on the beach in Anse l'Ivrogne (pronounced Sevoigne in Kweyol).
Follow along as we make some typically delicious Looshan meals
over a home-made coal fire in our open-air kitchen.

Here are two Carib Coal Pots & a Burri (turned over).
These strong symbols of our Traditions & Culture
have been used by our people from time and still today!
Food cooked over live coals & in hand-made clay pots
from Mother Nature tastes so good!
Today we will prepare
Coconut Tofu Curry with Fried Green Plantains
First, wash our hands with fresh spring water
carried from the Rainforest Mineral Springs.

Here are some of the ingredients cleaned & ready to dice...
Coconut, Pumpkin (in the calabash), Green Beans, Carrot, Scallions, 
Ti'Tym (big fuzzy leaves taste like fresh Oregano) AND...

... Green Plantains or Cooking Bananas.

Next we will make coconut milk.
Hold the coconut up to your ear & shake it.
If you hear water sloshing around inside then you have a fresh coconut. 
Hold the coconut firmly in your hand over a calabash (or bowl) to catch the water.
Tap hard around the coconut's "equator" with
the dull side of an old cutlass (machete or a heavy knife).
All the while turning the coconut around in your hand.
The coconut will split into two pieces and the water will fall out.
Taste the water or a piece of the coconut meat.
It should taste sweet, not sour (fermented).
To grate the coconut we use an old cutlass
whose sharp tip has been serrated with a hacksaw.
Sit on the cutlass, as a counter-weight, to keep it from moving around.
Hold the half coconut with both hands and scrape the coconut meat
against the serrated edge in a circular motion.

 Hold the half coconut with both hands and scrape the coconut meat
against the serrated edge in a circular motion.

You can, also, carefully wedge the tip of a sharp knife
between the shell & coconut meat and pop out large chunks.
Put the pieces of coconut in a food processor & grate.
Cover the grated coconut meat with fresh spring water.
Use less water for a "creamier" coconut milk. 
Squeeze handfuls of coconut meat to extract the coconut oil.
The more you squeeze the "tastier" the coconut milk.
Let the coconut milk sit while preparing the Fried Green Plantains.
Pick several Green Plantains or Cooking Bananas.
Notice that both ends of a Plaintain are long & pointed.
Score the plantain lengthwise with the tip of a sharp knife.
Tap hard along the score with the knife handle. This breaks the skin's "vacuum".
Cut off the end of the plantain.

Wedge your thumb under the skin and, following the score to the end, peel the skin off.
You may, or may not, have to re-score on another side to completely peel the plantain. 

Slice the plantain lengthwise or cut across for round pieces.

Fry plantains until crispy golden.
Try not to eat too many.
Next, evenly slice the bar of tofu.
Chop two garlic cloves.
Sprinkle the chopped garlic cloves over the sliced tofu.

Sprinkle three or four pinches of Curry Powder and one or two pinches of Sea Salt over the tofu slices.
Use the same hot oil from the Fried Green Plantains...
... to fry the tofu slices a crispy golden brown.
Set aside.
Next, dice half a brown onion and four garlic cloves.
Shallow fry the onion & garlic in about 1/4 c coconut oil.
Until golden brown.
Add the vegetables to the onion & garlic.

Keep stirring the vegetables around the pan.
Take a strainer and the grated coconut & milk.
Strain the milk over the pot of vegetables.
Pressing the coconut meat against the strainer...
... to get every delicious drop.

Arrange the tofu slices on top of the vegetables in the pot.

Cover and let simmer about 15 minutes.
Now is a good time...
... to relax and enjoy...
... a glass or two of fresh spring water.

Before serving yourself...
... a bash full of goodness!

Give Thanks!

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