Greetings from the Islands, Man!
Alright, that was my best attempt at sounding like a Bahamanian… and it was pretty lame. There is so much to be said for their way of life in general. They are a people who literally coined the phrase “don’t worry, be happy” and when you think of Bahamas you immediately trigger thoughts of glistening white sand beaches, drinks with umbrellas and rum, flowered shirts and probably a Rastafarian or two. It’s quite the imagery. I loved getting to know the Bahamas a little more closely this week on our Brovsky Adventure, since it’s a far cry from the cold and mountains and fall leaves here.
THE DINNER: It was pretty cool getting to pull recipes for this week. The Bahamas are a melting pot (much like the USA) for cuisine and culture. Settled by the Spanish, but ruled by the British and now under new Self-Rule as an independent nation (you, go, Bahamas! It’s your birthday, it’s your birthday…). They naturally eat a whole lot of seafood. No surprise there. They also have a emphasis on fruits, mainly plantains and focus a lot of their flavor profile on Spanish cooking. Their most famous two dishes are Fried Conch and anything with Rum in it. Ok, so in Colorado, and really anywhere stateside you’re not going to be able to find Conch meat readily. This was something we discovered. We were a little disappointed because that recipe for fried conch looked out-of-this-world good. But I digress, we settled on a chicken and rice recipe that turned out to be scrumptious.
Junkanoo Chicken was simple and pretty quick. The one real complaint was actually to do, not with the ingredients, bu with the recipe. It’s ingredient list was incomplete and when you get down to the recipe part, it starts calling for things (like “soy sauce”) that were never on the ingredient list to begin with. This happened with three of the ingredients and we just so happened to have them on hand, so should you venture with us to make this dish, read the recipe to find those “secret” ingredients and you will, like us, have to guess at a measurement for those as it wasn’t provided. All that aside, it turned out to be a delicious meal. I’m not a huge fan of chicken, but the saffron rice stole the show for me. Plus saffron just smells like hugs from angels.
Junkanoo Chicken Recipe: http://www.bahamas-travel.info/recipes/junkanoo_chicken.htm
OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:
Ease of prep and cooking: THREE STARS out of five for this Dinner.
Alright- to be fair, it wasn’t necessarily “hard” that earned this three stars. It’s overall execution was a one-point-five star. It was not hard at all and was actually pretty straightforward. The reason it gets a three is due to that ridiculously disorganized recipe that had three ingredients that weren’t mentioned in the ingredient list. No chef likes to be surprised in the midst of a recipe… so for that reason alone this one gets a little bit of a high score. You’re all aware of the “secret” now, so you should tackle this one with ease!
Best dish of all time scale: FOUR STARS out of five for the Dinner
There was nothing spectacular about the ingredients. Nothing exotic or foreign. Nothing shocking or strange. But together they made such a happy plate of food. It’s easy to see why the Bahamanians are so laid back and with bellies full of this kind of food, why they are happy isn’t a hard thing to follow. The rice was so good. The chicken mixture was pretty great. Overall it was satisfying and complete. Holy cow, was it filling! This was one of the meals in a long time we didn’t go back for second helpings on– not for lack of wanting to, it was good, but because we were completely stuffed to the gills from the first plate. It was a solid meal.
The Adventure continues into week #25 as we take on food from New Zealand! Back across the International Date Line as daylight savings moves into the states this weekend! Don’t worry, we won’t forget to set the clocks 🙂
Don’t worry, be happy and eat well till next time,
– L & K