December 2, 2011

Friday's 'Not so' Frugal Foodie: Bajan Delights

In keeping with the whole "I'm proud to be a Bajan" emotions I had going on this week, I asked a few friends from home to send me their personal recipes for some Bajan dishes that we would have been eating on Independence Day as we celebrated around the world. These dishes aren't particularly keeping within a certain budget though but Independence Day called for a little extra effort :) The two known Bajans in Holland got together on Wednesday and made baked chicken + macaroni pie, which proved to be quite an effort considering we're in a country known for their cheese. Apparently they're too sophisticated for us island folk and don't understand the concept of simple 'cheddar' (ie Rat cheese) so Luke had to compromise and used a more mature gouda (48+) for a stronger flavour...the result?

A very cheesy, gooey macaroni pie! Delicious even if it was Dutch style:

8oz/250g macaroni (we used the American style macaroni)
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
12oz/375g sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 egg
1 cup 8floz/240ml milk
2 teaspoons grated onion
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ketchup 
Some extra grated cheese for on top

What to do:Preheat a moderately hot oven 350F, 180C or Gas Mark 4.
Bring water to the boil and add the broken up macaroni and salt. Boil it uncovered until it's just tender but not overcooked (about 8 minutes). Drain the macaroni thoroughly, put it back into the same hot saucepan it was cooked in and mix in the butter. Mix in the grated cheese with the macaroni a bit at a time, while it's still warm. Whisk the egg until fluffy and add the milk, onion powder, white pepper, salt, pepper sauce and mustard. Pour in with the macaroni and mix. Place in a greased baking dish. Top with a little butter and some grated cheese (or a lot in our case). Bake in the centre of the oven for about 30-45 minutes depending on the depth of the dish.

Bul Jol 

Kimberly from Pastel Pink Paisley made this delicious Bul Jol dish, which can be served as a starter or as a side with your main meal:

1/4 lb dried saltfish

1/2 medium onion -sliced very thin

1 medium tomato -cubed

1 clove garlic - minced
1/4 cup green bell pepper -cubed

5-10 sprigs of thyme
1/4 cup marjoram - Chopped
1 green onion (scallion) -chopped
Dash of black pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

What to do:
Place the salted fish in a deep bowl and boil enough water to completely cover it. After the water reaches boiling point (I use our electric kettle) pour it over the fish and allow it to soak for about 15 minutes or until it’s cool enough to work with. This water will help remove most of the “salt” that was used to cure the fish, or you’ll be stuck with a very salty dish. Not only does the hot water help remove the excess salt, it also makes the fish a bit tender and easier to shred. Drain and rinse with tap water, then shred the fish into tiny bits. Try and squeeze out any remaining water that it may still have as best as possible. Now slice, dice and chop the pepper, onion, tomato, scallion, thyme, marjoram and garlic and add to the bowl with the shredded saltfish. Give it a good dose of fresh cracked black pepper and mix. Finally, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and just before it starts to smoke, pour the heated olive oil onto the everything in the bowl. Mix thoroughly and serve.

Auntie Vanita's Corn Pie

Sam from Something Samarah celebrated Independence Day over in London and made her mum's famous corn pie:

2 tins cream style corn
2 tins reg corn kernels
2 eggs
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp brown sugar
Splash of Angostura Bitters

What to do:
There has to be equal amount of cream style corn to regular corn so make sure the tins are the same size. Combine all ingredients and bake for 30-40 mins in a medium baking dish, until the pie is set. Easy peasy and super yummy!

Pumpkin Fritters

Steph from All a Roo's made these Bajan favourites (Warning: They're incredibly morish!!):

450g pumpkin boiled and mashed, or use the mashed kind in the tin
1 egg beaten with two tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/2 cup (about 60g) of flour

What to do:
Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl until fully combined. Heat some vegetable oil in a shallow frying pan over a medium heat. The oil should be very hot but not bubbling or smoking. Drop the mixture into the oil a teaspoon at a time. Cook each fritter for about a minute and then turn it over and cook for further 45 seconds. Make sure that both sides are golden-brown. Place finished fritters into a colander lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with some extra brown sugar and cinnamon before serving.

Bajan Chicken

No Bajan meal would be complete without some seasoned meat and in most cases it's going to be either chicken, fish or pork. I'm going to give a rough outline of how I did some 'Bajan chicken' with what's available here in Amsterdam. As I said before, I don't usually follow recipes so I've left out measurements as I chop these up very finely, throw it all together and taste as I go along:

black pepper
white pepper
sweet basil
sweet marjoram
sweet & hot peppers
barbecue sauce (or 'taffelsaus' in Dutch)
brown sugar

What to do:
Soak the chicken in lime & water for as long as possible beforehand to get rid of the 'raw' flavour. Marinate in the seasoning for about an hour before cooking and then stick it in a baking dish covered in foil. The chicken should take about 40 minutes on a low heat, depending on how much there is and which cuts you use. Once the sauce is bubbling and the chicken looks white, take off the foil and cook it for another 10 minutes to brown the top. Any leftover sauce can be used as a gravy.

So there you have it, a few Bajan favourites! Here we are enjoying our feast with my Dutch housemates (Who are totally loving the Bajan flag that is now permanently residing in our living room)

They also complained of 'itis' after our meal...but that's another story.


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  1. Have been looking for a good pumpkin fritter recipe forever! Yayyy

  2. I came across this blog in a desperate attempt to find bajan cuisine on Holland (nothing is in vain if you believe hard enough ). But your recipes have sufficed. THANK YOU!

    1. haha awesome Kisten, thank you! I believe there are some roti/Jamaican places in Amsterdam and Rotterdam as well!