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Haitian food

Haitian Legume Beregen Melange [stewed eggplant + mixed veggies]

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Haitian Legume Beregen Melange [stewed eggplant + mixed veggies]

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One day, I’ll make a video to help you with the Kreyòl pronunciation of this dish. 

In the meantime, to eliminate confusion, I should clarify that Haitian legume is not beans. When we say legume, we are referring to a delicious stewed mix of vegetables that is so well-balanced and rich in flavor. The version I’m sharing with you is vegan, but I assure you, even a meat lover will enjoy it! 

I particularly love legume with rice and beans [diri kole] - the national dish of Haiti. I also grew up enjoying it with boiled plantain as well as white rice and bean puree [diri blan ak sos pwa]. I’ll provide recipes for these other dishes another time. 

The process of preparing legume does require several steps - each one is creating layers and layers of deep flavor. So don't jump ahead! 

Also, the best time to enjoy legume is on cold nights as it retains heat really well. But any day you need comfort in a bowl - this is perfect! 

Serves: 4

You’ll need:

  • ½ pound eggplant, cut into thin rounds

  • ½ pound cabbage, shredded

  • 1/4 pound string beans, cut in half

  • ½ pound carrots, diced

  • 5 oz fresh spinach

  • ½ medium yellow bell pepper, chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves (2 chopped, 2 whole)

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • 4 sprigs of thyme

  • ½ cup chopped parsley

  • 3 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 scotch bonnet pepper (or habanero)

  • water

  • 2 tsp dry spice blend

  • 1½ tsp salt

Instructions

Place a large pan over medium-low heat, add 3 tbsp coconut oil (or oil of your choice). Add half of the chopped onions and sauté until tender. 

Reduce heat to low, add tomato paste and dry spice, plus additional oil to keep from burning out. Stir this mixture until well blended. Add 2 chopped garlic cloves and lightly sauté. Stir in thyme and parsley. Continue stirring everything being careful not to burn garlic. Add a teaspoon of oil if the pan starts to get dry. (In this part of the process, you’ll want to monitor the bottom of the pan, continue adding small amounts of oil to prevent pan from drying out, which may burn out all the delicious layers of flavors you’re creating.)

Bring heat to a simmer, add your veggies layering them accordingly: eggplant, 2 whole cloves of garlic, remaining onions, cabbage, spinach, and scotch bonnet pepper. Keep the pepper whole, do not cut or puncture. 

Add 1½ cups water and raise heat to medium.

Cook vegetables until thoroughly soft (monitor and add water as needed). Once you’ve reached this texture, REMOVE the pepper and discard*. Then mash the vegetables with a pestle or wooden spoon until the mixture is well blended, but not too mushy. 

Add carrots and string beans and continue cooking for 5 min. You should still have enough liquid in the pot, but if the pan dried out, add 1/4 cup of water to steam carrots and string beans. 

Next, add bell peppers. Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes or until all liquid is cooked out. Stir everything together until well mixed.

*If you want your dish to have heat, add back in the pepper and puncture it with a fork. Keep it in until ready to serve.

Serve with rice or boiled plantain. Bon Appetit! 

p.s. if you're interested in coming to a live demo where I will prepare this dish on 7.22.18 at 10.30am, rsvp here!

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Haitian polenta + red snapper [Mais moulin avec PWASON]

Haitian cornmeal, aka polenta, aka mais moulin (my-E, moo-lenh), is a creamy, delicious and filling dish that I grew up on and love. There are great varieties of mais moulin recipes, but today we're keeping it simple. While the simple, plain, yet beautiful yellow meal isn't out-of-this-world tasty on it's own, it is a knock-out once paired with delicious sautéed red snapper and pikliz… Please observe photo above…also observe that you're drooling…get napkin, clean up, and proceed to cooking...

You'll need:

Mais moulin (serves 2):

  • ½ cup cornmeal/polenta/mais

  • 2 1/2 cup water

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  • Black Pepper to taste

Red Snapper:

  • 1 lb red snapper filet

  • 2 tbsp Organic Haitian Dry Spice Blend or your favorite seasoning combo (if using just salt + pepper, reduce salt by half)

  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil

  • 1 tbsp butter

  • 1/2 small white onion sliced

  • 1 small tomato diced

Topping:

  • Pikliz to taste

Instructions:

Add water to a small pot and bring to a boil. Stir in cornmeal salt, pepper, and oil. Reduce to low heat, stirring occasionally to keep smooth. Cook for about 10 min or until thick. If too thick add small amount of water (in tbsp increments) and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.

While your mais moulin is cooking, Heat small sauce pan over medium heat, add coconut oil and butter. Sprinkle even layer of seasoning over snapper filet and place into pan. Cook about 4 min per side. Remove cooked filet from pan. Add tomato and onions to pan, allowing juice from tomato to deglaze pan and soften onions. Cook 2 minutes.  

Plate up, layering fish over mais moulin, topping with pikliz and tomato & onion sauce.

Serve. Smile. Eat. Smile. Bon appetite!

 

 

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