My next stopover was in Barbados which was another exciting prospect as the small amount of recipes I've made so far from the Caribbean islands have all been wonderful. The food of Barbados has influences from West African, Indian and British cuisines and their national dish is called flying fish and cou-cou. I wanted to attempt this meal more than anything even though it sounded tricky to pull off. Whilst hunting around for inspiration about how to achieve this I discovered that there was already a published recipe called Tofish and cou-cou in Caribbean Vegan by Taymer Mason. Thankfully I had drawn the four countries that would be appearing during Vegan MoFo prior to the start of September as this gave me enough time to order Taymer's cookbook online.
When the book arrived I flicked straight to the recipe I was interested in and decided that this would be a weekend project as there were several elements involved in making the dish. A couple of Bajan sauces that are integral parts in many of the Caribbean Vegan recipes needed to be prepared first. The rest of the components were a marinade for the tofish, a creole tomato sauce, a sauce to pour over the frying tofu as well as the polenta and okra dish called cou-cou. As I approached the meal in stages it didn't end up being as much work as I envisaged although I'm still glad that I didn't attempt this on a weeknight.
There were a large array of herbs and spices throughout the different elements in this dish but most of these were pantry friendly. Fresh parsley, thyme and basil provided the sauces with flavour along with plenty of onions, garlic, madras curry powder, paprika, ground cloves and black pepper. The only ingredient I had to track down was habanero chillies which are an integral part of Caribbean cooking and one of the hottest varieties in the world. I was able to purchase dried packets of habaneros at USA Foods.
We have never been fans of polenta so the cou-cou gave me the most angst as I wasn't sure if we would enjoy it and I also wasn't confident about being able to cook it properly. This turned out a lot nicer than any polenta dish I recall and combined with creole sauce it really was quite delicious. This meal was definitely worth the effort and the leftovers were gobbled up enthusiastically the next day. Although I've only had a quick glance through the cookbook there are plenty of recipes in Caribbean Vegan I'm looking forward to making after Vegan MoFo ends.
The Barbabos cherry contains the highest content of Vitamin C of all the fruits in the world. Eating one cherry a day will give you the full daily requirement of Vitamin C.