Breadfruit 'Tostones'

>> Thursday, 21 January 2016

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Tostones are twice fried green plantains and are very popular in Latin American cuisine. I love plantains in all stages - green, turning, ripe and over ripe - and making tostones is one of my favourite ways to enjoy green plantains.

Last year, while watching Andrew Zimmern visit St. Croix (one of the US Virgin Islands) on his show Bizarre Foods, a family with South American roots prepared a feast at their home. Among the many things they made were pickled green bananas and breadfruit tostones. While I use breadfruit to make many things from breads to puddings, to chips, to curry, I had never thought of twice frying them in the form of tostones. Since watching that episode I have been making breadfruit tostones often. Shhh, don't let the green plantains know, but I think that I might secretly love the breadfruit tostones more than the traditional plantain tostones! Whhaaaat?

The breadfruit tostones stay tender when cooled to room temperature unlike the green plantain tostones. The green plantain tostones when made should be eaten immediately if not they become a little dry and chewy.

To make breadfruit tostones, start by getting yourself a nice full, heavy breadfruit, peel, core it, cut into wedges and then into large chunks. Meanwhile heat some oil in a frying pan for shallow frying - the oil should come up about 1/2 inch in the pan.

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Fry the breadfruit in batches until golden and the outside is firm. Transfer them to a cutting board or work surface and use a heavy pan such as a cast iron skillet or some other thing that is heavy with a flat surface. Press down on the hot, fried breadfruit to smash it. Repeat until all are smashed.

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Working in batches, fry the smashed breadfruit in the same heated oil until golden and crisp on the outside. Drain on paper towels. Season with salt immediately when you remove them from the pan. Serve as a snack or side dish. If serving as a snack, condiments such as pepper sauce, hot sauce, ketchup and mayo will work but honestly, they are good on their own. If I make this in the evening, I eat it without condiments along with a big cup of tea.

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Culinary Treasures - An Online Food Project

>> Monday, 4 January 2016

We all have multiple histories - our personal history, our families' history, our history as a society, and as a nation. Guyana's 50th anniversary of independence is an ideal opportunity for us to share these stories. And I am trying to gather the many different personal histories that we share as Guyanese people in a series of Facebook posts called, Culinary Treasures.

For generations, culinary items such as pots, pans, rolling pins, swizzle sticks, mixing bowls, mortars and pestles, masala bricks, blenders etc., have been lovingly cared for, shared and passed from one generation to the next. Each has a story or memory attached to it.

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What story do YOU have about that hand grater, that dish, that ladle, that tawah, that pressure cooker? Think you don't have a story? So did my friend Jackie until we started talking about Culinary Treasures, suddenly she remembered the table that she'd used as a desk for years- it used to be the kitchen table in her grandmother's house; she gave it to her brother when she left for the States.

Dig deep in your drawers, cupboards, cabinets and memories for your stories. It may be something that was passed on to you or something that you grew up knowing and seeing being used all the time in your family. Or it may be something that you bought or received as a gift when you got married, or first moved into your home, that has been a part of your life through the years; something that you treasure or something that has served you well or still continues to.

I'd love to hear your stories and memories. And I encourage you to please use your smart phones, tablets etc. to snap a photograph of your treasured item and share them along with your story/memory.

If you are Guyanese, or of Guyanese heritage, have a Facebook account/profile and would like to contribute to the project, Culinary Treasures, inbox me and I'll add you to the group.


Happy New Year!

>> Thursday, 31 December 2015

In many ways, Tastes Like Home - particularly the newspaper column and blog, has and continues to be a journal and journey of my discoveries about food, how it connects us and how we interact with it. Over the years (9 years come January 7), I have been humbled by the enthusiastic response to my work. It is that enthusiasm and constant feedback - the good, bad, constructed and indifferent - that has kept me going. Thank you!

As we say goodbye to 2015 and welcome to 2016, I pray that all your days will be richly blessed, and that peace and joy will always be at home in your heart.

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