Tag Archives: cod fish

Recipe #9: Saltfish and PawPaw (Papaya)

18 Feb

The recipe book said “Saltfish and Pawpaw.”  My first question.. what in the world is paw paw?! My father says that he thinks that at some point in his life he has had salt fish and papaya.  His mother may have cooked it for him and that is the last time he has ever had it. Just goes to show how old school some of these recipes are.  I have never heard of salt fish and papaya, ever! Matter a fact, before this project I had never even opened up a papaya… Made me a little nervous…Here goes…

Here is the recipe from the book:

  • 1/2 lb salt cod
  • 2lb green papaya
  • 6 slilces of bacon
  • oil
  • 2 onions
  • 1 tomato
  • 4 slices hot pepper
  • 1 spring of thyme
  • 1 cup water

Boil the salt cod in water for 15 minutes.  In the meantime peel and slice the pawpaw, discard the seeds, and set it aside.  When the fish is cooked, put it under some running water to cool, then remove the skin and bones and flake the fish.

Fry the bacon in a little oil, then remove from the pan and set aside.  Add the onions, tomato, hot pepper and thyme to the pan.  Stir for a few minutes and then add the flaked fish; stir again and add the slices pawpaw.  Pour in the water, cover the pan, and simmer until the pawpaw is tender and the liquid is reduced to a gravy.  Garnish the saltfish and pawpaw with the bacon.

OK here is what I did:

Like I said, I have never used or opened a papaya. Image

A little intimidating.. lol.

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Gorgeous. When I opened it, I got worried.  The Papaya was a little more ripe than I thought. I decided to go ahead and move forward with the recipe.  I scooped the seeds of the papaya out and began slicing.

I also began boiling some green bananas to go along with it.

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I followed the recipe exactly, except I added more thyme and a few red pepper flakes.

ImageSprinkled the bacon on top!! Bacon makes everything delicious!

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I had to taste it at this point. My goodness…divine!  A sweet, salty, spicy mix of flavors!

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I served it with some left over dumplings and the boiled green banana.  I was so nervous to try this, but it turned out so good. I am glad to have another saltfish recipe under my belt.

My dad also enjoyed it. He said I needed to make more gravy so the dumpling and the banana could soak some of it up. Next time, I will also try to find a less ripe papaya. My dad said it should be more green than pink, but he said quote “It nah taste bad, it taste good ya nuh” lol.. Keep it spicy!

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Recipe #8: Ackee and Saltfish with Fried Plantain and Dumplings

17 Feb

Ackee and Saltfish! Jamaica’s National Dish, made with Jamaica’s National Fruit, Ackee! I grew up eating Ackee and salt fish on Sunday mornings for years.  Then, for a while ackee disappeared from stores in the U.S. An ugly rumor that Ackee was poisonous spread and Ackee was banned in the United States.  Ackee is only unsafe if the pods are not opened before they are picked.  Luckily, the U.S lifted their ackee ban years ago, and we can eat ackee again!

Here is the recipe from the book:

  • 2 dozen ackees in pods
  • 1/2 lb salt cod
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 spring thyme
  • 3-4 slices hot pepper
  • 1 small tomato
  • black pepper

Choose ackees that are completely open, with the black seed and yellow fruit clearly visible in the pod.

Remove the ackees from the pods.  Discard the seeds and the pink membrane found in the cleft of each fruit.  wash them an put them to boil in a lard pot of water with the salt fish.  As soon as the ackees are tender, pour the contents of the pot into a large sieve, discarding the ware.  Separate the ackees from the fish.  Run some clod water over the fish so that you can remove the bones and skin, then flake it and set it aside.

Put the butter and oil to heat in a frying pan. Add the onions thyme and hot pepper slices, and tomato.  Stir for a few minutes then add the flaked fish.  Stir for a few more minutes then add the drained ackees, carefully stirring so as not the crush them.  Add a little more oil if necessary, sprinkle with plenty of freshly ground pepper, and the dish is ready.

O.K. Here is what I did.

Now, I had no intention of looking for actual ackee, and I don’t even think you can find the fruit in the states.  Luckily, you can get ackee in a can! If you go to almost any grocery now, ackee in a can is available.

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I drained the ackee from the water, and set it aside.

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Then, I followed the rest of the instructions.  I fried the onions, added the thyme, and used red pepper flakes ( I have to buy more hot pepper).  Image

I let that delicious smelling mixture fry for a while and then I added the salt fish that I had flaked from the previous cod fish recipe. (If you didn’t check out the last recipe.  Just take some cod fish fillets, boil them twice and then flake the fish.)  I let that fry again for a few mins, stirred the pot and then added my ackees. My mother and father do not like crushed ackee, so I made sure that I stirred very carefully. Also, I added quite a bit of black pepper at then end.  I covered the pot and let it simmer.

With the ackee, I fried up some sweet plantain. This is a great addition to the ackee.  I simply peeled the plantain and fried in hot oil.

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I also rolled out some dumplings. Which just consists of flour, salt, cornmeal and baking powder.  Then just add water.

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I separated the dough into flat circles and fried them until golden brown on each side. Then Sunday Brunch is served!

Ackee and saltfish with fried plantain and dumplings.  Delicious, and traditional!! Image

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Some people say ackee is an acquired taste, I just think it is delicious. It was also featured on food networks Diners, Drive Ins and Dives once.  If you want a true taste of Jamaica, THIS is the dish to make!! Keep it spicy!