Fruits of the Harvest: Recipes to Celebrate Kwanzaa and Other Holidays offers more than 125 treasured recipes from people of African descent all over the world: Jerked Pork Chops and Fresh Papaya Chutney from Jamaica; New-Fashioned Fried Chicken, a dish from the Deep South; and Tiebou Dienne, Senegalese herb-stuffed fish steaks with seasoned rice. In addition to main courses, there are recipes for a full range of dishes, from appetizers to soups, salads, side dishes, vegetables, breads, beverages, and, of course, desserts. Fried Okra, Antiguan Pepper Pot, Ambrosia Salad and Potato Salad, Garlic-Chedder Grits Soufflé, Caipirinha, and Sweet Potato Tarts in Peanut Butter Crusts are but a few of the delights featured here.
And along the way, learn about African American culture, including the seven principles of Kwanzaa and how people of African descent all across the globe celebrate the best their cultures have to offer through food and communion. Fruits of the Harvest: Recipes to Celebrate Kwanzaa and Other Holidays isn't just a cookbook -- it's a source of inspiration for the most extravagant of holiday gatherings as well as for a simple Sunday dinner.
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About the Author
Eric V. Copage, a reporter at the New York Times, has also been an editor at the New York Times Magazine and a music columnist for Essence.
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Fruits of the HarvestRecipes to Celebrate Kwanzaa and Other Holidays
By Eric Copage
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.Copyright © 2005 Eric Copage
All right reserved.
Patience Devaux's Bahamian Grouper
with Tomato-Thyme Gravy
Cook's Notes: Here's another quick main course that can give you an instant taste of the Islands. Once the fish is marinated, the whole process goes rather quickly. In the Bahamas this would be served Pigeon Peas and Rice (see page 178).
2 grouper filets (about 11/2 pounds each), about 1 inch thick
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
V2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 fresh hot chile pepper, such as serrano, seeded and minced
3 cups water
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried
Cut the grouper filets vertically into six pieces about 3 inches wide and 5 inches long. In a medium bowl, mix the lemon juice, salt, a pepper. Add the grouper and toss to mix. Let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then remove the grouper from the marina and pat it dry with paper towels.
Heat the oil in a large skillet. Dredge the grouper in the flour, shaking off any excess. Cook the grouper over medium-high heat, turning once, until lightly browned on both sides, about 5 minutes . Transfer the grouper to paper towels to drain, and set aside.
Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the oil in the skillet. Add the onion, garlic, and chile pepper, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Then stir in the water, tomato paste, and thyme, bring to a simmer, and cook for 5 minutes.
Return the fish to the skillet, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmcr until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.
Cornmeal and Okra Polenta
Cornmeal and Okra Polenta
Serves 4 to 6
Cook's Note: Creamy golden yellow with a soothing texture, the comfort dish ne plus ultra for okra-lovers. In fact, since the unpopular gluey texture of the vegetable is negated in cou cou, it could probably even be served to non-okra-lovers.
6 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 pound okra, stems and tips trimmed, cut into /2-lnch-thi1k rounds
2 cups yellow cornmeal, preferably stone-ground
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of the water and 1 teaspoon of the salt to a boil over high heat. Add the okra and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the okra in a sieve set over a medium bowl, reserving both the okra and the cooking liquid. Return the cooking liquid to the saucepan and bring to a boil.
In a medium bowl, gradually whisk the cornmeal into the remaining 3 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Whisk the cornmeal mixture into the boiling liquid, reduce the heat to low, and stir until the mixture has thickened, about 2 minutes. Fold in the reserved okra.
Cover the pan tightly, and place it in a larger saucepan or skillet of simmering water. Steam until quite thick (a wooden spoon will stand up in the mixture for 10 seconds), about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the butter.
Transfer the mixture to a buttered 2-quart round bowl, cover, and let stand for 10 minutes. Invert onto a serving plate and unmold. Dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Cut the cou cou into thin wedges, and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.
Excerpted from Fruits of the Harvest by Eric Copage Copyright © 2005 by Eric Copage. Excerpted by permission.
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