Each Thursday afternoon the True Blue Bay Marina at the south end of Grenada has a cooking class presented by Esther and Omega. Admission is 10 EC and transportation is 10 EC ($3.75); beer or rum punch is 5 EC.
These gals have been cooking together so long, they tend to complete each other’s sentences. There also seems to be a friendly completion for best cooking ability and punch line delivery.
Do you know what a christophene is?
They cook with local ingredients making local dishes. Some cruisers tend to stick with dishes that they know and do not try the local dishes. That is why you generally see a cheeseburger on most menus. We find that it is more interesting and economical to try the local dishes.
When handling a christophene it is important to wear gloves because peeling it is a very sticky process.
Esther prepared Christophene Au Gratin, but says it also makes a great Christophene Cream Soup.
Christophene Au Gratin:
-3 Christophenes. Peeled, halved and seeded
-1 cup cream (approx)
-½ cup grated cheddar cheese
-¼ cup bread crumbs
-3 tbsp unsalted butter
-Salt and pepper to taste
-Boil Christophene in salt water until tender
-Remove from water and cool
-Cut into ¼ inch slices across the width
-Arrange in baking dish
-Pour cream over christophene to halfway up
-Season with salt and pepper
-Spread cheese across the top, then bread crumbs
-Dot the top with butter
-Bake at 350 degrees until tender and golden brown
Another popular side dish is Callaloo. It is served like we serve spinach, and like spinach it supposedly has a very high iron content. Esther and Omega say, “it is good for your man,” but refrained from explaining that statement.
Pollie has successfully made Callaloo with this recipe:
Local Seasoning Peppers
(small red, green or yellow peppers with only a hint of hot)
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound fresh callaloo leaves or spinach (about 8 cups of leaves), ribs/stems discarded, well rinsed, and chiffonaded
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 3 cups water
In a large saute pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 4 minutes. Add the garlic, peppers, thyme, salt, and pepper, and cook stirring for 30 seconds. Add the greens and cook, stirring for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and the water. Cook, stirring, until the leaves are tender and the liquid is slightly reduced, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and adjust the seasoning, to taste.
Serve hot or warm with rice and hot pepper sauce on the side.
Fish Baked in White Wine
Fish seems to be the most popular main dish.
Fish Baked in White Wine:
10 slices of fish (they used Maui Maui)
1 cup white wine
1 pkt butter (melted)
5 tbsp flour
10 local seasoning peppers (coarsely chopped)
5 Strands chives or spring onions (chopped)
1 Lg Onion (coarsely chopped)
1 Cup cream
Salt & pepper
Season fish (you have to attend 3 classes before you get the seasoning recipe) slices, place on a baking sheet or dish. Sprinkle chopped onions, chives, seasoning peppers and garlic over fish. Add wine.
Pour melted butter over fish slices and sprinkle with flour.
Bake 5-10 mins. Remove from oven and drain water from baking sheet or dish. Place the fish water in a separate pot then add cream, salt and pepper to taste. If too thin add a little corn starch or flour to thicken. Pour over fish and serve.
While Esther is busy cooking, Omega fills in the voids by explaining other local food.
Introduced to the West Indies by Captain Bligh, breadfruit readily grows and is used much like potatoes. To prepare, the fruit is roasted over a fire until the skin is black. Omega prepared a taste for us by peeling off the blackened skin and frying chunks in seasoned oil. They tasted much like home fries.
The Thursday cooking class is very popular with the cruisers and usually has about 40 people in attendance.