Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sarah's Caribbean Soup Night

One of our newest soup night members, Sarah, prepared a Caribbean inspired meal for us. The main dish was a pepper pot soup, however, the focal point and inspiration came from the side dish, garlic pork. Garlic pork is a typical Guyanese Holiday dish. Eaten at least twice a year by Sarah’s family. I would like to personally thank Sarah’s mom for sharing the recipe with us (however reluctant she may have been). We loved it. The night ended in a raucous Connect 4 tournament, and Andrew was the victor.

Sweet Potato Fries and Curry Coconut Dip
Cucumber Salad
Garlic Pork
Caribbean Veggie Pepper Pot Soup
Lemon Squares

Sweet Potato Fries

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into fries
Oil for deep-frying
Salt and freshly ground pepper for seasoning

To make the sweet potato fries, pour oil for deep-frying into a large saucepan and heat it over a medium heat until it is hot but not smoking. Season the sweet potato planks with salt and pepper and deep-fry them in batches until cooked and crisp.

Remove from oil with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Curry Coconut Dip
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 Scotch bonnet chile, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbs mild curry powder
2 cups coconut milk
1 small bunch cilantro, leaves only, finely chopped, plus additional leaves for garnish

Use a little olive oil and add the garlic, bell pepper, and chile and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the curry powder. Stir well and cook for a further minute, then add the coconut milk. Season with salt to taste, turn the heat up to high, and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the sauce is much reduced and thick, about 10 minutes. If needed, transfer mixture to a blender to achieve a less chunky consistency. Add some flour to thicken using a whisk, if needed. Stir in the cilantro and remove from heat. Serve immediately with the sweet potato fries, generously garnished with cilantro leaves.

Cucumber Salad

2 large cucumbers, peeled 
1 tsp salt
1 small jalapeno, seeded, minced
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced

Slice the cucumbers lengthwise and remove seeds with a spoon. Slice each half into 1/2 inch pieces. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle on the salt. Toss gently and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain well.

Place the cucumbers in a serving bowl and add the jalapeno, lime juice, and garlic. Toss well. Cover and let salad sit at room temperature for 1 hour before serving.

Garlic Pork

3-4 lbs of pork butt
vinegar/ water mixture (3 cups vinegar to 1 cup water)
salt and pepper
thyme and rosemary

The preparation is two weeks of counter top marinating, as terrifying as that sounds, in a mixture of vinegar, garlic salt, pepper and sprigs of thyme. Take pork and cut into 1 inch chucks, salt and deposit into a 4-5 qt. airtight jar. As you add, throw in cloves of garlic that have been sliced in half, around ten. Throw in sprigs of thyme, and rosemary if you got it. Add more salt. Pour in vinegar mixture, covering all the meat, making sure meat is submerged. Close jar, and rotate a number of times to distribute. And let it sit on the counter for 2 weeks. Every other day, rotate jar around.

After two weeks, in a medium hot frying pan, add chunks of meat and rotate around until cooked evenly and a little brown. I don’t use oil, it’s your choice. I just used juice from the jar.

Caribbean Veggie Pepper Pot Soup
Serves 4

1 tbs coconut oil
1/4 cup chopped fresh garlic
1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger
1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
1 ½ tsp ground allspice
1 sweet potato (about 1 pound), peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 bunch collards chopped (3 to 4 cups, loosely packed)
4 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
Juice of 1 lime
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Sauté the garlic, ginger and jalapeño, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften. Stir in allspice, sweet potato and carrots. Add greens a handful at a time and stir until they wilt

Add broth and bring heat to high. When broth comes to a boil, add thyme and bay leaf. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.

Squeeze in lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

Lemon Squares
Judy Munchoff’s Recipe

1 cup flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter (not margarine--buy Jewel brand--cheaper)
2 eggs, well beaten (before you put them in recipe)
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
2 Tbs flour
1/2 tsp baking powder (not soda)
9x9 or 8x8 inch pan (bake a little longer if using 8" pan)

Combine 1 cup flour, powdered sugar, and butter to form a dough. Press into pan and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Beat together beaten eggs, lemon juice, sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and baking powder. Pour over baked crust. Return to oven for 20 more minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into bars when cool. Can be refrigerated.

Beer and Wine served

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