Plate Tectonics – Antilles, Netherlands (rather, Netherlands Antilles)

Plate Tectonics – Antilles, Netherlands (rather, Netherlands Antilles)

You guys, I think I was more excited to just read my new Netherlands Antilles cookbook than to actually cook the food.
No. That’s not true.
But are you looking at that cookbook?
It’s the best.
Maybe not the BEST, because I’ve just received an Antigua cookbook that I forgot I ordered, and whoa damn..

New Arrival.

The Antilles cookbook!
Dudes. Peeps.
Ketchup. A loooooot of pivotal ketchup use.
And Worcestershire sauce.
There was a recipe that I would have LOVED to try..
Keshi Yena.
Basically a chicken pot pie baked in a cheese shell.
Edam cheese, to be exact. From the Netherlands.
Where on earth would I get a 4lb cheese round? (besides my Arizonian cheese monger friend, ofc)

We decided to do an okra stew.
Giambo. The Antilles take on Gumbo.
A gumbo where the okra shines, and there’s no fil√©.
(or flavor, as we found..)
Jessica and I both love okra.
It’s so fucking weird, man.
Hairy on the outside, slimy balls on the inside..
A little phallic..
There’s a reason I bought okra seeds this year for my garden.

The recipe for this stew called for a ham hock.
The closest we could get to a pig ankle at the store we went to was a foot..
But we figured it was all the same.
Plus, gross!!!!!! AND WHY NOT!
Foot In Mouth

We started by making a stock with the foot.
Carrots, onions, and celery.
This recipe also called for salt beef.
Something that no one has.
Guess who can order it?
(too late. we’re going to have to use it some other time.)
We decided to add ham instead. (later)
We cooked this stock, with salt and pepper, for an hour and a half.

Meanwhile, I started by frying these ripe plantains for plantain pudding.
Fried in butter. Mmmmm.
Golden Browns.
Fried until golden brown, then removed and drained on paper towel.
After, I added waaaaaaay too much brown sugar to the butter drippings with a couple tablespoons of water.
Heated until the sugar dissolved.

I mashed the plantains with a potato masher, added some sharp white cheddar, then added the sugar mixture.
I also added cracker crumbs(we used saltines), raisins, sherry, cinnamon, and allspice.
'Tain Mash.
The mixture was placed in a buttered 8″ x 8″ baking dish, and baked it at 350¬∞ for 45 minutes.

Whilst the ‘Tain’Ding was a-baking..
I strained the veg and foot out of our stew stock, and added the okra and ham to it.
The whole point is to boil down the okra until it’s kinda mushy..
You have to whisk it around at the end to get all the balls(giggle) out.
And we actually added some seasoning that wasn’t in the recipe.
A bit of chili powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
After the okra was all whisked, we added the fish and shrimp.

This photograph is before I whisked the okra, promptly removing the seafood, whisking, then re-adding it.

The plantain pudding is listed as a side to an entree.
We also made Funchi.. Another attempt at a cornmeal porridge.
This time, I got nice cornmeal..
But to tell you the truth? It tasted like flowers, too. Just a little bit.
It’s not you, porridge. It’s me.

The stew.. The best way to describe it..
It’s like a big bowl of snot.
Which I don’t mind at all.. But a lot of people (coughNATEcough) do.
I like stuff like that.. Egg Drop soup kind of stuff, you know?
This is odd, because I will dry heave for a good minute after someone spits in front of me.

Both turned out beautifully, though.
Plantain Pudding and Okra Stew
The plantain pudding reminded me of Christmas. Or Thanksgiving.
Definitely something, with a little variation, that could be served for the holidays.

For dessert, I thought this Windward Island Banana Pie sounded amazing.
I forgot that me and dough haven’t been getting along.. And this one was extremely difficult to handle.
I sifted, and combined the parts for the dough..
(flour, baking powder, salt) to (beaten eggs, sugar, butter).
It wasn’t coming together, so I had to add a bit of water.

It was like rubber, and got fed up quickly.
(read: lazy)
Jessica handled slicing the bananas, and mixing them with lemon juice, cinnamon, and sugar.
I put most of the dough in the bottom of a cake pan, poured in the bananas, and used the rest of the dough to make little swirlies on top.
Difficulty level: high.
Bananas in Uggo Crust
Not beautiful.
I brushed beaten egg on the crust before putting it in the oven at 350 for, uhm, ever.
It was definitely over an hour and 20.
Windward Island Banana Pie

When it came out, I sliced it, and swerved it with a drizzle of blueberry maple syrup, and some Cool Whip.(YEAAAAH.)
Errybody's Doin' The Cool Whip

I would make this again, but make sure that I used about half the crust.
Too much crust, folks.
Way too much.
But it had nice flavor.

I would write down these recipes now..
But I’m so tired.
Sooooooooooo. Tired.

Tomorrow, then.