January Jolt.

At the beginning of every winter, I intend to do things differently than I did the year before, and the year before that. I mean to comb through my cookbooks, make grocery lists, and stock my shelves with the kind of pantry staples that will make me want to subvert my addiction to Seamless Web with a reliance on my recipe collection. Instead, though, I find myself in that familiar position of stasis. I just don’t feel like cooking. Or planning. Or shopping.

For times such as these (a.k.a., January to March), I require simple meals to get me out of that negative head-space and into something a little bit more accepting and enjoyable.

Bake and saltfish, another Trini staple, is often just the thing to break the duck. Made almost entirely from ingredients with long shelf lives, the fried bread is as simple to make as pancakes and comes with the satisfaction of an oven-baked loaf, minus the work; the filling can be thrown together with little more effort than tuna salad would require, especially if you buy skinless, deboned, salted fish. Fresh tomatoes and onions add a jolt of color, sharpness, and acidity, and keep the shopping list nice and short, to boot. With its minimal preparation—and enough end product for two meals—this dish could be considered a baby step, but at least it’s one in the right direction.

Saltfish Buljol
From the Naiparima Girls’ High School Cookbook

½  lb. saltfish
½ cup finely chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup finely chopped onion or spring onion
1/3 cup finely chopped sweet peppers or pimentos [Left these out, with no discernible harm done.]
¼ tsp. white pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

1. Break fish in pieces and place in saucepan with cold water. Boil for 10-15 minutes; drain.

2. Remove skin and bones; shred finely.

3. Combine fish with tomatoes, onion, hot pepper, sweet peppers, white pepper and olive oil; stir well. Serve with hard-boiled eggs, hops or coconut bake and sliced avocado pear.

Fried Bake
From the Naiparima Girls’ High School Cookbook

4 cups flour
1½ tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder
1½ cups water (approx.)
1 cup oil for deep frying [I’m deep-frying deficient and used a few tablespoons of oil in a nonstick skillet instead, with good results.]

1. Sift flour, salt and baking powder.

2. Add enough water to make a soft dough.

3. Knead for about 10 minutes, then leave to rest for 1/2 hour or more.

4. Cut in pieces and roll each piece to 5″-6″  in diameter and 1/4″ thick.

5. Fry in hot oil, turn once and fry until brown. Drain on kitchen paper.

Tagged , ,

2 thoughts on “January Jolt.

  1. Mich says:

    Sounds delicious!

Don't be shy. Write something here.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: