Sunday, December 23, 2012

Bonus Territory: US Virgin Islands: Callaloo and Fungi

Our final territory takes us to the Caribbean and the US Virgin Islands.   The US VI has its own version/s of the wonderful cuisine of the larger Caribbean.   Being somewhat overwhelmed by recent holiday baking, we opted for a healthy dinner.  (These recipes are also gluten-free, for my xgfx pals.)

Callaloo is always some form of cooked greens, but which greens, how cooked, and with what other ingredients?  The answers vary widely.   We opted for this recipe from the VI, which is already vegan, and includes sweet potato, eggplant, and okra, in a 50-50 mix of spinach and chard.

Fungi - which goes by other names in other parts of the Caribbean - is a cornmeal-okra mixture, which is astonishingly fluffy (and delicious).   I started from this recipe, but made a few small edits.  Here's our version:  Chop 10 oz fresh okra, and boil for about 5 minutes (until soft) in salted water.  Drain.   Mix together 1/4 c fine yellow cornmeal and 3/4 c cold water, and set aside.   Bring 2 1/2 c water to a boil.  Pour in the cornmeal-water mix, whisking constantly, and cook for about 1 minute.   Gradually pour in 1 1/4 c additional cornmeal, continuing to whisk.  It will thicken quickly.  Pull off the heat, and stir in the cooked okra, 2 T vegan margarine, 1/4 t salt, and black pepper to taste.   Return to a low heat, and cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes.   You will be surprised by the texture!

Serve the callaloo over, or alongside the fungi.   I'm looking forward to the leftovers tomorrow!   I doubt I'll get to another post before Christmas, but the remaining states (Delaware, Oregon, South Dakota - plus a DC finale) will be coming along in the near future.   Happy Holidays!

No comments: