Monday, November 14, 2011

Bajan recipes, music, life...

Bajan music by The Merrymen
Well, that would just be me… to tempt you so with a delicious green seasoning but forget to give you the recipe… Did no one notice?  Or just not care or even want the recipe? I’ll give it to you any way and you’ll find yourself using it again and again in a variety of ways It’s such a versatile mixture, just great with fish as it with chicken and beef…If you’re looking for ideas, let me know and I’ll pass some along. As I’ve said it is used in many ways by the Bajans.
           You know, just relating this information to you puts me right back there, When the sun shines here, my imagination takes me there, walking down the road from our apartment, greeting neighbors along the way, sometimes dodging a skate boarder and making room for the vehicles.  As if I’m taking up the entire road!  Most Bajans drive very fast, preferring their half in the middle!  Aside from the obvious sun, beaches, food and booze, Barbados is steeped in history and tradition I won’t delve into that, now, because that information is easily accessible.  But, if there’s anything related to the delectable food, I will pass it along as a “tasty nugget” of information.  It’s a very cosmopolitan country, holding tight to its roots, while reveling in the advances of modern technology.
           As I’ve mentioned before, We rent an apartment in a thriving residential, entertainment-dense area of the southern part of the island, commonly referred to as the south coast, but, we eat many of our meals in-house, frequently enjoying home-cooked food with friends when going to  their homes.
            We do, by times go to one of the many restaurants, rum shops (small bars, serving the obvious – rum, both by the bottle and as a mixed drink, and often food, as well) and pubs, concentrated in and around the south coast. And, all have one, sometimes two happy hours each day… wouldn’t want to miss that!

Bajan Green Seasoning
             As is the case with so many chefs, Chef Dale doesn’t give any amounts, so, my advice is to start with two large onions, finely chopped, or throw them in the food processor and use a handful of chives or the green tops of one bunch of green onions, hot peppers, two reasonably hot, hot peppers, if you want to be authentic, use habaneros What are also known as Scotch Bonnet Peppers, a couple of grinds of freshly ground black pepper, a little salt, and a clove or two of fresh garlic , a little lemon juice. For consistency. And a shake or two of white pepper, if you don’t have it, don’t worry, it’ll be fine with the other pepper flavors!
            At most food establishments, my first menu choice is always Macaroni Pie, A Bajan riff on our Mac and Cheese, A fine example of the popular home-style dish considered a staple in most homes on the island comes from our waitress at The Blue Horizon hotel It is her family recipe, passed down through the generations until it reached my hands. I keep her hand-written copy taped to the inside front cover of my favourite “go to” Bajan cookbook  It is my #1 fave dish in Barbados, especially when paired with a flying fish “cutter”, Bajan terminology for sandwich. I make a couple of changes, depending on the season I’m making it in.
            Cook enough macaroni for those you’re serving Just judge the amount like you always  have to do, pretend you’ve been doing it for decades like I do, in boiling, salted water. One major component making Macaroni Pie different from its northern cousin is the use of imported Australian Cheddar, which is especially delicious Drain the cooked macaroni. And, in a separate bowl, mix a couple of lightly-beaten eggs,( again, the rest of the amounts of the remaining  ingredients will have to be guestimated, depending on the amount of cooked macaroni you have,). A little splash of milk ingredients will vary depending on the amount of cooked macaroni you have)a generous handful of finely diced sweet green peppers, a couple of good handfuls of cheese, cheddar would be fine, as would a combination of other cheeses, Fontina, cheddar and  Provolone, I sometimes use a bit of Parmesan, Asiago or Romano, if I happen to have some. Add a little salt and pepper, a couple of big squirts or glugs  of ketchup and about 1 tsp of your recently-made green seasoning (Please take note : I’m using some precise cooking terminology here, So, read carefully!!!) add a handful of finely chopped onion.. Combine this mixture with the drained, cooled macaroni. Pour into casserole dish, top with extra grated cheese and bake at 350F till golden and bubbly. ENJOY!!

Stay healthy and safe!