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Bonney Barbados: A Travel Retrospective, 1996 - Page 4 PDF Print E-mail
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The Prime Minister’s Hot Sauce

Here is the hot recipe of the famous Errol W. Barrow, who was Prime Minister of Barbados from1961-76 and again from 1986 until his death in 1987. He was also an accomplished cook, and published Privilege: Cooking in the Caribbean (Macmillan Caribbean) in 1988. He noted: "Pepper sauce recipes can be adjusted to suit individual tastes: green papaya, green mango may also be used." We have modified this recipe slightly for the food processor-enhanced kitchen.

  • 6 large bonney peppers, seeds and stems removed, chopped

  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped

  • 2 small cloves garlic

  • 1 tablespoon mustard

  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots

  • 1 cup water

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and boil for about 15 minutes. Adjust the consistency with water. Puree in a food processor or blender and bottle in sterilized bottles.

Yield: About 2 cups

Heat Scale: Hot

Enid Worrell’s Corned Bonney Peppers

In tiny Bathsheba on the wild Atlantic coast, Enid Worrell creates some of the best Bajan cuisine at her establishment, the Bonito Bar and Restaurant. She was kind enough to give us her recipe for corned--or pickled--bonney peppers. The vinegar acquires the heat of the peppers, and then it’s sprinkled over fish or curries. The pickled peppers are chopped up and used when fresh ones are not available. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation

  • 1 pint fresh red bonney peppers, or substitute habaneros, stems removed, left whole

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon rum

  • White vinegar to cover

Place the peppers in a 1-pint jar. Add the vegetable oil, salt, and rum, then add the vinegar to cover all. Shake vigorously. Allow the peppers to pickle for at least 2 weeks before using. As the vinegar is used, replace it with fresh vinegar.

Yield: 1 pint

Heat Scale: Hot

Bajan Seasoning

This versiion of the famous island seasoning is from Ann Marie Whittaker, who noted: "This is found in almost every home and is the secret to the success for many mouth-watering Bajan dishes." One of the favorite uses is to place it between the meat and skin of chicken pieces before grilling, baking, or frying. Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.

  • 1 pound onions, peeled and coarsely chopped

  • 5 ounces green onion, coarsely chopped

  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled

  • 4 bonney peppers, seeds and stems removed, or substitute habaneros

  • 2 ounces fresh thyme

  • 2 ounces fresh parsley

  • 2 ounces fresh marjoram

  • 1 1/2 cups vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauces

  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons salt

In a food processor, combine the onions, green onion, garlic, and bonney peppers and process to a coarse paste.

Remove the leaves from the stems of the thyme, parsely, and marjoram. Place the leaves and the vinegar in a food processor or blender and liquefy.

Combine the onion paste, vinegar mixture, and the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover, transfer to the refrigerator, and allow to sit for 1 week before using. The seasoning will keep in the refrigerator for at least 6 months.

Yield: About 2 to 3 cups

Heat Scale: Hot

Creole Pumpkin Soup

Here is a classic Caribbean soup, as served at the Sandy Beach Resort. Be sure to use a mustard-based Bajan sauce such as Windmill or Lottie’s. Remember that pumpkin in the Caribbean is winter squash, such as hubbard.

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 medium carrots, diced

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 5 cups chicken stock

  • 5 cups chopped hubbard squash

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • 1 cup cream

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons Bajan hot sauce

In a large pot, heat the vegetable oil and saute the onion, garlic, and carrots until the carrots are soft. Stir in the sugar and nutmeg.

Add the chicken stock and squash and cook until the squash is soft. Transfer the mixture to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Return to the pot, add the butter, cream, lime juice, and hot sauce. Heat, stir well, and serve.

Yield: 6 servings

Heat Scale: Medium

Roasted Pork with Bajan Seasoning

This is the great pork recipe that Anne Marie prepared for our rain-swept picnic at Farley Hill National Park. Serve it with rice and peas or roasted potatoes.

  • 1 3-pound pork roast

  • 2 limes

  • 2 tablespoons salt

  • 4 tablespoons Bajan Seasoning (see recipe)

  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

Wash the pork roast, dry it, and then rub it with the juice of the limes and the salt. Let stand for 15 minutes, then rinse and pat dry. Cut slits in the roast in at least 6 places, cutting as deeply as you can. Pack the slits with the Bajan seasoning and rub the remainder on the outside of the meat. Rub in the Worcestershire Sauce and sprinkle the roast with salt, if desired.

Place the roast in an ovenproof dish, cover with foil, and bake in a 360 degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours. Baste with the accumulating juices and during the final 30 minutes remove the foil and allow the meat to brown.

Yield: 6 servings

Heat Scale: Medium

Fried Flying Fish

There are a great number of variations on this favorite Bajan specialty. This is probably the favorite version, as described in John Lake’s book, The Culinary Heritage of Barbados. Flying fish is sometimes found frozen in Florida markets; if it’s not available, substitute any mild white fish, such as flounder.

  • 8 small flying fish fillets

  • Bajan Seasoning as needed (see recipe)

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • Bread crumbs and flour, mixed

  • 1/2 cup butter

  • Lime slices and parsley for garnish

  • Bajan hot sauce, such as Windmill or Lottie’s

Rub the fillets with the Bajan Seasoning, then dip them in the beaten eggs, then the bread crumbs and flour. Fry the fillets in the butter until lightly browned, turning once.

Serve garnished with the lime slices and parsely. Sprinkle hot sauce over the fillets to taste.

Yield: 4 servings

Heat Scale: Varies

Bajan Cabbage and Bacon Salad

This is an island coleslaw with a bonney pepper kick, another one of the spectacular dishes served up by Anne Marie on our picnic. She says that it tastes best (of course) when made with her brand of hot sauce, Tropical Inferno. Warning: this is not a low fat recipe.

Note: This recipe requires advance preparation.

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped

  • 1 head of cabbage, cut into thin strips with hard spines removed

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt

  • 1 tablespooon bonney pepper hot sauce (Tropical Inferno preferred)

  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

  • Salt to taste

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok and fry the bacon for 3 minutes. Remove it from the work and drain on paper towels.

Add the remaining oil and stir-fry the cabbage for about 4 minutes. The cabbage should still be fairly crisp.

Combine the cabbage and bacon in a bowl.

In another bowl, combine the mayonnaise, seasoning salt, hot sauce, paprika, and salt and stir well. Add this dressing to the cabbage mixture and mix well. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

Yield: 6 servings

Heat Scale: Medium

Bajan Rum Punch

"Do not let the pleasant taste fool you," warns Anne Marie, "it carries the kick of a mule!" She continues, "In case you drink up your supply and in your liquorized state find that you are having difficulty with the formula, this clever little rhyme will help you:

One of sour,

Two of sweet,

Three of strong,

And four of weak."

  • 1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

  • 2 cups simple syrup

  • 3 cups Bajan rum (Cockspur preferred)

  • 4 cups water

  • A few dashes Angostura Bitters

  • Grated nutmeg

In a pitcher, combine the lime juice, syrup, rum, water, and bitters and stir well. Pour into glasses filled with ice, and sprinkle the nutmeg over the top.

Yield: 2 1/2 quarts

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