CARIBBEAN - Summer 2022 (Jul-Sept) Cuisine of the Quarter

@MelMM as always, you inspire! Those doubles are gorgeous, both restaurant- and magazine-worthy. If they tasted half as good as they look you had an awesome dinner!


I have spent much of my vacations since high school in various parts of the Caribbean. A good part of it sailing. Most people in the US think of the Caribbean as being either Spanish speaking like Puerto Rico and Cuba or English as in Jamaica or the British Virgin Islands. There’s also a lot of Dutch and French with a smattering of smaller outposts of places like Denmark and Sweden. So the food is remarkably varied. My preference is for the French islands because the food is just so incredibly good. At a little restaurant that’s basically not much more than a cafeteria behind a strip mall sandwiched between a parking lot and a road I can get something like this -

Mahi mahi tataki with perfectly cooked frites. Cost me about $15.


Which islands have a Danish or Swedish element?

I know Curacao, Aruba and St Maarten have a Dutch colonial past.

Jamaica has at least one German village in the Blue Mountains, afaik.

I lucked out with good food in Grenada and a week of home cooking in Barbados.

When I was researching islands that had resorts with good food, Antigua was especially recommended for its food.

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I looked it up. Didn’t know St Croix , St John & St Thomas had been colonies of Denmark at one point.

And, I didn’t know St Barts had been a Swedish colony.

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A google search is a helpful resource. First went to the USVI many years ago. The supposed reason you drive on the left side of the road is due to the danish legacy. Doesn’t make any sense but that’s the story I was told.

Many of the islands have had multiple changes in colonial rule. St Barts being an example. While there are some elements from Swedish rule around, it’s primarily French these days though arguably the most famous bar keep and restauranteur on the island had the name Marius. There is a great story about the Cheeseburger in Paradise sign in front of Le Select.

Saba and Statia are also Dutch along with the ABC islands and St Maarten. SXM is often referred to as the dining capital of the Caribbean because of the concentration of good restaurants. Grand Case is packed from end to end. Anguilla also has some really good food.


My best friend in high school was from St Croix. She lived there because her dad was working for a Canadian bank that has branches throughout the Caribbean. Over his career, he and his family lived in Aruba, St Croix, St Thomas, St Lucia and Barbados. My friend married an American who was from NJ/ St Thomas. I was a bridesmaid at their wedding in Barbados.

My friend’s family is Bajan, and they might have been living in St Croix for 5 years, until Hurricane Hugo ripped the roof off their house, and my friend came to Canada to finish high school. Understandably, the past history re: the Danish colonizing St Croix never came up in conversation.

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Anyone made / eaten hudutu?

This was an interesting article.


I had an interesting appetizer at a Jamaican restaurant, Kingston Kitchen at the Village Inn, on Mackinac Island a couple of weeks ago. I’ve never had anything quite like them, in or out of the Caribbean - they called them Boom Boom Cheese Balls. Basically they were a deep fried ball of a breadcrumb-based mixture, well seasoned and with a strong cheddar flavor despite no visible bits of cheese. They served them with a jerk dipping sauce, heavy on the black pepper. Maybe an Americanized invention, but still delicious! Their jerk chicken and oxtail stew were also legit.



I thought this was delicious, although I think fish is maybe not the ideal protein (not sure it needs an animal protein at all, to be honest). Heavy on the Jamaican curry powder, lots of potatoes with onion, garlic and ginger, and the leftover fish. I used cod. My family doesn’t like flaky white fish, and I try to sneak it into dishes with lots of other stuff going on - one of them loved it, the other didn’t. It’s basically a big, spicy potato pancake, and not especially photogenic, so no picture.


It sounds like something that would be made with saltfish. I can see that working.

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It would work, but I don’t think it really needs that extra flavor.

Interestingly, in Barbados, I had a dish my friend’s family called Fish and Egg, made with leftover fried flying fish and eggs, and it was essentially a hash. They ate it in the morning.

She told me years later that it was a family recipe, not something other families necessarily ate. I can’t remember if potatoes were added.

Here is another fish cake, but made with sweet potatoes.

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Sounds tasty, even without the fish!

Reminded me of Pateta par Eeda ie Parsi eggs over potatoes — don’t know if you cale across or made that dish when My Bombay Kitchen was COTM?

My usual use for leftover fish is fish cutlets / patties which have mostly the same ingredients but need to be formed and fried — this is a clever way to get to a similar outcome with less fuss, so I will have to try it!

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I don’t remember making that (but that doesn’t mean I didn’t). The egg and milk mixture in this basically disappears. I guess it’s there just to hold it all together. LLD is going to have the leftovers with eggs.


I’m behind in posting my COTQ stuff. I had to do some Jamaican patties this quarter. I used the recipe from Jubilee, adapting it to be GF and vegan (the latter just required using Impossible meat instead of beef). I had made this recipe twice before with good results. And it was good this time, but my pastry was a little different. I looked at my notes from before, and the only thing I can think is that I changed the pastry blend. I also had a more vibrant gold color on my previous batches. The top photo is my recent version. I’m posting a previous version below for comparison. The patties were served with the Jamaican rice and peas from the Dunstan Harris book, which were excellent. Made as written except that I did have to add additional water to my beans as they were cooking.


Another dish I had to get to this quarter was mofongo. Mofongo usually has pork rinds worked into it, which presents a challenge for a vegan. Actually, there are vegan pork rinds, and they are readily available. But I didn’t want to do that. There used to be a Dominican restaurant here in town that did a version of mofongo I really liked (pre-vegan). They didn’t use pork rinds, but instead a lot of butter and they worked a bit of cheese in there (mozzarella, IIRC). So I went that route, with lots of garlic cooked in vegan butter and then more butter and some Miyoko’s vegan mozz worked into the mash. And it was just like what I remembered from that restaurant (which is now gone, unfortunately). Served with Daring chicken cooked with peppers, onion, tomato, etc.


Last night was okra in sofrito sauce, from Caribbean Vegan, by Taymer Mason. This book has been better than expected. I was happy to come across this recipe, since I’ve been getting a lot of okra in my CSA box. The recipe has you sauté okra, then remove half the okra from the pan and set it aside. I decided to do my okra in two batches instead, and set the first batch aside, then sautéed the second batch and proceeded with the recipe. You add onions, garlic, green pepper (I used jalapeño here) and habanero to the sauté. You are also supposed to add some vegan ham, which you are to make from a recipe given in the book. That ham is made from wheat gluten, so it’s a no-go for me. The author gives the option of using a vegan sausage, so I went that route and used a vegan Cajun sausage (from The Very Good Butchers). I also doubled the amount, as I was making this as a main dish rather than a side, so two links to get about three large servings. Fresh tomatoes go in as well. One thing the author recommends is using a Spanish-style tomato sauce. I did this in this dish and in my mofongo above, but I’m not crazy about that sauce. Way upthead I made a creole chicken where I didn’t use it (there was a little bit of plain passata in that dish but it was less saucy overall), and I liked that better. I think I would have liked this better with just passata as well. But still, it’s okra and sausage and peppers and tomatoes, and I am not about to complain about that. Served with some seasoned rice.



I bought green plantains (almost a month ago!) with a plan for tostones/patacones. Finally had a peaceful day and wanted to use them for something I had not made before, and mofongo it was.

I looked up recipes, and they all seemed very consistent – fry the plantains (like step 1 of tostones), mash garlic, add plantains and mash them, adding broth as necessary to moisten, plus crushed pork rinds or similar.

I decided to start the way I usually do for tostones – steaming the plantains instead of frying them. Then I cut them into slices, pan-fried to get some texture, and then went to the mashing step. It took more arm strength than I had today, so I moved it to the mini food processor to help me along, and then went back to mashing. Instead of chicharron, I minced and crisped half a rasher of bacon.

The mixture was fantastic in flavor, but I wanted a bit more texture, so I formed it into 4 large cakes / patties (from 2 plantains) and pan-fried them to crisp up the outside a bit.

Ok, these were DYNAMITE! I don’t know why I’ve never made this before. I’ll definitely be making it again! Reading up a bit more, looks like there are variations across the Caribbean from Cuban Fufu de Platano to Dominican Mangu, so lots of texture and flavor variations to try!

I had a Green Mojo from a Cuban restaurant earlier in the week that was on my mind, so I looked through some recipes and winged it – cilantro, garlic, cumin, lemon juice, cumin, oil, vinegar. It was lovely with the salmon that was part of dinner, but unnecessary with the Mofongo because the garlic and bacon were so intensely flavorful already.


Zhoug sauce from Trader Joe (refrigerated section) is terrific and easy.

Wish I had a bite of your dinner!

Leftover Mofongo cakes have made a good breakfast and snack so far :yum: