In keeping with specific topics on particular days, I am designating Fridays as Come Eat Fridays! Yummy yummy. I love to eat! It is amongst my top three favorite activities. I particularly love Haitian food.
On Fridays, I will share a Haitian dish with you, accompanied by pictures, and general directions on how to make said dish, and I will also post a link to a wonderful site that has a plethora of in depth recipes. A lot of people, Haitian Americans included think that all Haitians eat is rice accompanied by a meat dish. That is a fallacy fair friends. I think many people, particularly busy professionals who are managing a household and a full time job maybe two, get stuck in a rut. Therefore they stick to the tried and true, rice and beans. There are so many delicious root vegetables, grains, and animals in Haiti, that there is no reason to eat the same predictable boring meal. So I invite you to vinn manje ave m (come eat with me)!
Today's dish is labouyi banann (plantain porridge). Haitian porridges can be made with finely milled cornmeal, plantains, or *sweet potatoes (not the ones Americans traditionally use for pie though). This porridge is traditionally eaten in the evening, because it is a sweet dish. Yeah, I still can't wrap my mind around it either, but the time of day won't matter once you have the first taste.
You will need:
Green plantains, ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks, **star anise, nutmeg, ***vanilla extract, brown or white sugar, lime, ginger, carnation milk, water
Cut the tips of the plantain, and the ridges on the side (some people remove the peels, but I think it is best to leave the peels on because they are full of vitamins and nutrients).
Quarter plantains and blend or puree on high with water until you have a smooth mix.
Grate about a teaspoon of a lime peel into the pot. Remove peel from ginger, and grate a teaspoon of ginger into the mix.
Pour mix in pot. Cook over medium fire with star anise, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla extract to the porridge. Stir in about 2 pinches of salt. Stir occasionally to remove lumps and to prevent burning. Lower fire under porridge. Once it is cooked, strain porridge through strainer/colander to remove excess pulp. When cooked, it should resemble grits or Cream of Wheat. Add add condensed milk and sugar to taste. Let cool before eating. Haitians enjoy this porridge with Haitian bread. Bonn apti!
*Haitian sweet potato/patat
-pics taken from Google search and nancytoussaint.org
Head over to Potomitan to get more recipes! If you try this at home, I'd love to know how it came out. What are some of your favorite Haitian dishes?