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CaribCook: Curry Mango


Photo: Eating In Translation

I fell in love with this amazing Caribbean dish at the age of 8. My Aunt Karen shared her Guyanese version of curry mango with me after picking some green mangoes from our backyard. In an effort to save good fruit for a later date islanders tend to pick fruit while it’s still green to avoid hungry birds and bats. We set aside a stash for ripening and used the remainder for a delicious pot of curry mango. Curry mango may be eaten by itself, although its mostly served alongside chicken, fish, or  beef  with rice.

Ingredients:
  • 5 mangoes (half-ripe)
  • 5 leaves of cilantro (chadon beni)
  • 1 hot pepper (habanero, chili, etc.)
  • 2 cloves garlic  (chopped)
  • 3 tbsp curry
  • 2 tbsp water (for curry)
  • 1 tsp saffron powder
  • 1 tsp cumin (geera powder)
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • sugar (to taste)
  • black pepper (to taste)

Directions:

1.Cut up the mango and remove the inner lining that holds the seed and the seed itself.

2. Add salt and boil the mangoes.

3. Drain and set aside.

4. Mix the curry, saffron, cumin, black pepper, and water together.

5. Saute the garlic and hot pepper in a pot.

6. Add sugar to the mangoes that have been set aside.

7. Add mangoes to the sauteed pot of garlic and hot pepper.

8. Then pour curry mix into pot distributing evenly.

9. Add a little water and sprinkle the cilantro in.

10. Cook for about 5 -7 minutes to allow the curry to infiltrate and the water to evaporate. The mango should have a pasty consistency when cool. Season to taste and serve.

I sometimes add more pepper or sugar according to how sweet or sour the mangoes are.  The dish should be semi-sweet with a spicy taste.

@JozBiz

 

 

CaribPics: 15th Annual Mango Melee and Tropical Fruit Festival-St. Croix, VI


Over the weekend (Sunday) I had the pleasure of attending the 15th Annual Mango Melee and Tropical Fruit Festival on  St. Croix. This was a new experience for me as I had never attended the event or been to the botanical gardens. As I walked through the pathways of the St. George Village Botanical Gardens, I took in not only the beautiful surroundings but also the aroma of fruits and cooked food alike. Vendors lined the paths with tropical drinks, fruits for sales, pastries, local delicacies, arts and crafts, and plants all for sale. I especially enjoyed a fruit-filled smoothie by the Country Snack Stand (their located on Mahogany Road in the Rain Forest).

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The event, which benefits the botanical garden, features food and craft vendors, educational workshops, culinary competitions, mango eating contests, mango and tropical fruit tastings, a mega-mini mango contest,  garden tours, and a silent fruit auction. Approximatley 4,000 attendees came out this year in support of the event.

This year’s “Mango Dis, Mango Dat”  Competition winners included:

Professional

Sweets – Sue Lakos, Mango Crunch

Stuff – Ralston and Eunice Ambrose, Mango Chicken Fiesta

Amateur

Sips –1st Martha Jean-Pierre- Martha’s Specialty 2nd-Zandra Petersen- Mango Liqueur

Salsa – 1st Don Bailey- Tarragon Mango Dip; 2nd Patasha Tracey- Spicy Mango Salsa

Sweets – 1st Sharon Grimes- Mangoes on Snow; 2nd Debi George- Mango Peach Crisp

Stuff – 1st Zandra Petersen- Mango Bread; 2nd Zandra Petersen- Mango Butter

Winners of the mango eating competition:

Junior Division-Adrian Pierce Encarnacion

Adult Division-Olubayo Kaza

The event concluded with a silent auction of fruits in the Great Hall and a crowd dancing to the Electric Slide on the front lawn.

Check out this video courtesy of CBS News 2 VI:

For more  information on the event and St. George Village Botanical Gardens visit: www.sgvbg.org

@JozBiz

The Simple Life – Concierge.com


Delicious havens where you can dig your toes into the sand while you dine.

Yacht or not, here are more delicious havens where you can dig your toes into the sand while you dine.

Flying FishboneAruba

You won’t find many locals at this dinner-only spot; it boasts no activities besides world-class sunset watching, and it’s a 30-minute cab ride from the nearest resort. And yet the Flying Fishbone is always packed. The reasons are twofold: The seafood—heaping platters of calamari, sea bass, and curry-spiced shrimp—is landed by the fishermen next door, literally, and six tables are set into the water, allowing guests to dine with warm water lapping at their ankles (297-584-2506; entrées, $24–$60).

Lone StarBarbados

A deeply glamorous vibe—and clientele—deftly mask the fact that this St. James spot was once a garage. Now a four-room inn and beachside restaurant, it has crisp blue awnings, white tablecloths, and a slick crowd of Europeans. In a destination known for inspiring indolent days, the Lone Star actually motivates people to plan in advance: Tickets to its New Year’s Eve After-Party (with a band and DJ) go on sale in September (246-419-0599; entrées, $18–$45).

Mullins Restaurant & Cocktail BarBarbados

Known for piping out a constant stream of reggae and calypso, this quintessentially low-key beach shack in St. Peter is one of the island’s busiest lunch spots. It’s near the Robert Trent Jones, Jr.–designed golf course, a trampoline worth commandeering on Mullins Beach, banana boat rentals on the bay, plus rock climbing and turtle tours. While the crowd doesn’t descend just for the flying fish sandwich, it is a draw, as is the Cajun-spiced mahimahi at dinner (reserve one of 50 spots), and the rum punch: It’s three parts strong (rum), two parts weak (water), and one part sour (lime juice)—per local proportional wisdom (246-422-2044; entrées, $25–$62).

Uncle Roddy’s Beach Bar & Grill, Barbuda

Clear days at Uncle Roddy’s yield views of Antigua, Montserrat, St. Kitts, and Nevis. Over a feast of grilled local lobster, you’ll watch these islands fade into a tie-dyed sunset, and you won’t be distracted by the whir of a generator, since the four-year-old spot is completely solar-powered. It’s open during daylight hours, but dinner requires reservations. Incidentally, the eponymous Roddy bartended at the famed ’90s-glam, Caribbean-based K Club resort: “I used to look after Princess Diana,” he says. If his cocktails were good enough for her, you can be sure that the Barbuda Smash—rum, Cointreau, pineapple juice, lime, and bitters—is good enough for you (268-785-3268; entrées, $11–$28).

Time ‘N’ PlaceJamaica

This Trelawny thatched beach shack is way more low-key than what you’ll find in Montego Bay or Negril. In fact, it reads so charmingly authentic that it’s become a favorite backdrop for fashion photo shoots. Jerk beef—marinated for a week—is served alongside local vegetables. Recently, a cruise ship terminal in nearby Falmouth began disgorging guests, but you can still enjoy relatively serene walks along a two-mile stretch of beach that’s great for bird-watching. And there are nighttime cruises in a nearby bioluminescent bay (876-843-3625; entrées, $5–$20).

Foxy’sJost Van Dyke

For more than 40 years, Foxy Callwood and his wife, Tessa, have been throwing the Caribbean’s most rollicking party at this “mother bar of Jost Van Dyke.” The duo work hard to stoke the party fires: guitarists at lunch and happy hour, live bands three nights a week, and beach barbecues on Friday and Saturday nights that are a siren song to anyone in the BVIs with a yacht, dinghy, or catamaran. The menu revolves around the catch of the day—often landed by the staff and then grilled—and selections from the bar’s own microbrewery. Despite its reputation for rowdiness, Foxy’s is kid-friendly: There’s snorkeling, swimming, sailing, and soon a scale model sloop for teaching kids how to sail. “We had a giant trampoline out back,” says Tessa, “but the drunks kept falling off” (284-495-9258; entrées, $22–$35).

Pirates BightNorman Island

In the 1700s, a Spanish galleon crew buried 55 chests of silver here (it’s rumored that some still lingers). A century later, the island inspired Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. People are still coming, but these days it’s for the Bushwacker (a sort of chocolate milkshake laced with liquor). Occupying a stretch of shoreline on an uninhabited 610-acre private island, Pirates Bight ferries in guests from 100-plus sailboats moored offshore (yachties radio in on Channel 16 for a table)—and then serenades them with live bands on Friday and Sunday. For extra credit, take the trail out back up Spyglass Hill for a breathtaking view of the sweep of the British Virgin Islands (284-442-2048; entrées, $20–$35).

William Thornton Floating Bar & RestaurantNorman Island

Anchored 200 feet offshore (accessible via dinghy or your own flailing arms), the Willy-T is tailormade for storybook pirates and wenches. It’s an anything-goes sort of bar with multiple decks for eating and drinking, and on any given day, a pod of leatherback turtles might drift by or a naked crew member from a passing sloop rappel aboard. Order standard Caribbean fare (conch fritters, chicken roti) to soak up the standard Caribbean drinks—rum punches, Painkillers, local beers (284-496-8603; entrées, $9–$24).

Bohío Bar, Puerto Rico

Named for the huts of the Taino Indians, the Bohío sits between the rooms and the pool at Rincón’sVilla Cofresí hotel. This is convenient for guests who put away a few too many Pirate Specials, a delightfully kitsch homage (they’re served in coconuts) to Roberto Cofresí, the infamous Puerto Rican pirate who is rumored to have hidden treasure in area caves. Pinchos are the big draw on the menu—this Puerto Rican street food standard is essentially a plate of marinated chicken or grilled shrimp on a skewer, and hunks of bread (787-823-2450; entrées, $5–$11).

Calypso Cafe, Puerto Rico

Rincón—and specifically Maria’s Beach, home of this long-tenured spot—is known as the Caribbean Pipeline for its unparalleled waves. In fact, a lunch pit stop might coincide with a surf competition (wintertime swells can reach 25 feet) or breaching humpback whales (from January through March). The fare—from grilled tuna teriyaki to carbloaded rice-and-bean burritos—doesn’t vie for attention with the green flash at sunset, which surfers, locals, and tourists alike huddle at the bar to see—the wait made easier by a medley of dangerous punches and frozen cocktails (787-823-1626; entrées, $9–$16).

La Parrilla, Puerto Rico

From outside, there’s nothing to distinguish this humble cinder block business from its similarly clad neighbors along the beach in the northeast coastal town of Luquillo. But inside, the invariably friendly proprietor, Ricardo Alvaro, delivers some of the island’s most inventive fare. Red snapper is stuffed with seafood paella and then steamed in butter, cilantro, and lime, while pineapple is diced, grilled, and served with shrimp, rice, and a seasoning of curry powder and piña colada mix, an improbable combination that’s sweet, spicy, and salty all at once (787-347-3865; entrées, $8–$50).

Anse la Raye Fish Fry, St. Lucia

Every Friday night in this west coast fishing village, the main drag, Front Street—conveniently adjacent to the water—transforms into a full-on party from 7 to 11 p.m. Hundreds of locals and visitors turn out for seafood and booze, all consumed at makeshift tables along the beach. Look for the vendor nicknamed Cece, a grinning lady who is renowned for her choice pieces of straight-from-the-sea fish, begging to be washed down with swigs of local Piton lager or the award-winning Chairman’s Reserve rum mixed with Coke or coconut water.

Spinnakers Restaurant & BarSt. Lucia

By day, it’s a casual Rodney Bay lunch spot; by night, it’s all gussied up for a bustling dinner crowd of visiting yachties and resort guests. They’re primarily there for the creations of St. Lucian chef Magdalene Emmanuel, who, with more than 20 years of kitchen time under her belt, is a master of both Caribbean and Continental cuisine. She distills a seemingly endless array of catch-of-the-day options into three basic treatments: char-grilled with lemon or garlic, pan-fried with ginger butter, or baked in foil with tomato and cheese. Meanwhile, anyone capable of downing three pints of beer (a.k.a. the Yard of Ale) in one chug gets his or her name on the blackboard. House record: 12 seconds (758-452-8491; entrées, $9–$31).

Rhymer’s Beach Bar, Tortola

This flamingo-pink Cane Garden Bay mainstay may be nearly 30 years old, but it’s lost none of its allure: The conch fritters—made with a closely guarded blend of spices—are fabled, as are the shrimp sautéed in a garlic butter sauce. The eponymous rum punch is practically nutritious, since it contains a veritable farmers’ market worth of fresh tropical fruit (284-495-4639; entrées, $17–$50).

Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill, Water Island

Follow the locals—and the day-trippers from St. Thomas—to this golf cart turned lunch truck, which frequents the palm-ringed sandy cove of Honeymoon Beach. Former caterer Heidi Erwig serves casual midday meals (12-ounce cheeseburgers, steak sandwiches, beef tacos) and Saturday dinners where she sets up candelit tables on the beach. If your schedule allows, swing by on a Monday night, when she shows a movie on the beach, with one-dollar popcorn for the kids (340-690-0325; Saturday dinner, $25).

Joe’s Beach Bar, Water Island

While children frolic in the sand at this Honeymoon Beach–located boat trailer turned bar, parents congregate at tables to sip Lime in the Coconut (made with Virgin Islands– produced Cruzan rum, this drink’s name leaves little to the imagination) and wait for the glorious sunset. Sundays, when the bar hosts an informal potluck, are particularly popular: 100 to 150 locals (the island population is 200, which shows how pivotal this joint is) and sailing enthusiasts from around the world bring chicken, burgers, and hot dogs to cook on Joe’s grill. Don’t be alarmed when it goes dark: Local law dictates lights out at 11 p.m.(340-514-6722).

Source: Concierge.com

 

Bacalaitos or Saltfish Fritters


As far as Caribbean appetizer recipes go, these “Saltfish” fritters are found in some form all over the Caribbean.  here’s my personal recipe on this island classic. People in the Latin Caribbean islands call salted cod “Bacalao.” Codfish salted out of necessity as a preservative. Today salted cod or “salfish” is a Caribbean favorite – you can find saltfish with or without the bone. Soaking is recommended overnight to lessen the salt content. Another option is to boil the pieces of saltfish 2-3 times to remove the salt, you may even add sugar to desalinate the cod.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 lb. Bacalao or Saltfish (Cod fish)
  • 3/4 cup Flour
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/3 tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 1 clove of Garlic
  • 1 envelope of Goya Sazón
  • Sprinkle of Pepper
  • Vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Place the pieces of cod into a pot, cover with water and boil until the salt content of the fish is to your content.
  2. Drain, debone (if necessary), wash and shred.
  3. In a bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder.
  4. Make a little well in the center. Pour the water slowly and mix to make a thick like sauce.
  5. Add the pepper and sazón and stir well.
  6. In a mortar, crush the garlic and  add to the mix.
  7. Add the shredded cod and mix well.
  8. In a frying pan, pre-heat lots of vegetable oil.
  9. Fry the bacalaitos (fritters) on high heat by dropping big spoonfuls in hot oil.
  10. Turn as needed.
  11. Fritters are done when they are golden.
  12. Drain in paper towels and let them cool before biting into them.