Month: June 2010


Sweet Potato Pone

Serves 6 Sweet Potato Pone is a slightly spiced, dense custard-like dessert, reminiscent of pumpkin pie. Adjust sugar according to your tastes. This version will give you cavities on the first bite. Ingredients: 1 lb finely grated sweet potato 1 12 ounce can evaporated milk (or coconut milk) 1 egg 1 cup brown sugar 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1/4 tsp ginger pinch salt Method: 1. Preheat oven to 350F. Meanwhile grate sweet potato and combine all ingredients in a large bowl. NOTE: You want to grate your sweet potatoes as finely as possible. I think mine were too large because the texture, instead of being smooth, was rather coarse (see finished photo at the bottom of recipe) Perhaps a food processor could help in this situation? 2. Ladle into 6 individual ramekins (be careful not to overfill them. I did and they spilled over… making a sticky, ugly mess – give yourself about 1/4 inch buffer at the top). Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for one hour. Serve chilled. Optional …

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The One of a Kind Flag of Belize (with poll)

Bamboo Chicken Locals call the native Belizean iguana “Bamboo Chicken.” Considered a delicacy, the meat is stewed and served with white rice, vegetables, and fried plantains. The iguana egg is also enjoyed as a special food. Dügü (Feeding of the dead) Dügü is a Garifuna feast held to appease dead spirits and bring healing to the living. Families gather together to celebrate and show respect to the spirits of their ancestors.  Mangoes Over 20 types of mangoes grow in Belize with such favorites as Julie, Number Eleven, Slippery, Bellyfull, Blue and Hairy mango. The Universe The Maya, a prevalent indigenous culture in Belize, perceived their universe to be quadripartite. They thought the earth was four-sided, like a crocodile or turtle, and floated in primordial sea. Cow-foot Soup Feel sick after a night of partying? Try cow-foot soup. Made with cow’s hoof that has been stewed and seasoned with local herbs and spices, this hearty soup is served hot with white rice cooked in coconut milk. Hurricanes The capital, Belize City, was moved to Belmopan in 1970 after …

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Red Recado Seasoning Paste

What is Red Recado? Red Recado is a seasoning paste used throughout Central America, particularly the Yucatan peninsula. The paste tastes strongly of annato and ancho chili powder, an earthy blend a little bit like paprika or saffron. However, because there are several other ingredients included in Red Recado, the flavor profile is much more complex and so totally different. Some say that chicken cannot be served in Belize without Red Recado. This week we’re making “Stew Chicken” with our recipe for Recado. If you order Recado online you’ll find the seasoning comes in a pasty ball that gets dissolved into your cooking liquid. My recipe is more like a wet mud mask. Hmm. That’s not too appealing. Let’s say it’s more like super tasty red mud. 🙂 Warnings: Annato is used as a dye in food, cheese, and clothing. Use caution when handling or you’ll end up with stained fingers or permanently splattered clothing. Recipe: The three hard to obtain ingredients in Red Recado are annato seed, Mexican oregano, and ancho chili powder. I …

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Menu: Belize

Special thanks to those of you on our Facebook fan page who voted for this week’s Global Table dessert. Although my husband is sad because he voted for Lemon Meringue pie, I’m thrilled because I am super curious how pone tastes.  Since I love sweet potatoes, I’m guessing this dessert will be right up my alley. On another note, this week is also interesting because we’ll learn how to make red recado seasoning (see Stew Chicken). I am always looking for new seasoning ideas; I hope that this pungent spice paste becomes a “go to” for our meals in the future. Stew Chicken [Recipe] Chicken thighs stewed in with peppers and red recado (a seasoning paste made from a blend of annato seed, ancho chili powder, Mexican oregano, vinegar, orange juice, garlic, onion and other spices). Johnny Cakes [Recipe] Johnny cakes are somewhat like a biscuit. In Belize they are often eaten for breakfast with refried beans, sausage, and eggs. Here, we serve them sliced open and piled high with stewed chicken. Fried Plantains [Recipe] …

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About the Food of Belize

I hope you had a splendid Memorial Day weekend.  As for myself?  Well.  When it comes to long weekends I over-book and under-accomplish.  After creating a ten-item honey-do list, I typically only manage to “check off” half of one item.   The reason I didn’t get anything done?  We went out and had fun splashing at the water park,  romancing on a dinner date, rummaging at yard-sales, swimming with a friend, and more! There’s worse things than undone chores, let me tell you. All that running around did get me a bit frazzled. I needed something familiar, yet a little exotic, to soothe my brain after a hectic holiday weekend … which is why I’m happy to dive into the cuisine of Belize. For those of you who have been following along, you’ll see that their food is somewhat similar to the Caribbean food we’ve explored in past weeks, with the common overlapping of flavors from Europe, Spain, South America, India, and Africa. However, Belize is unique in the number of Mexican inspired dishes they enjoy. …

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