Belize: Reviving the Home Cooked Cuisines

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After the disaster that was last night with Burmese we had low expectations for tonight’s cuisine.  The one big difference to tonight’s cuisine was that we didn’t have to make a paste to marinade the chicken.  Belize turned out to highly exceed our expectations and erased the disaster memory that was Burmese.

Belizean cuisine is a mix of latin flavors with a touch of Caribbean.   For the main dish we made a Kriol (Creole) food, stewed chicken. I marinated a whole chicken, cut up, in a red recado paste, otherwise known as Red Achiote Paste.  And RED it is; my fingernails were stained for 3 days.  I even have a pair of shoes with stains on them still.

The chicken would eventually be put in the crock pot and come out as stewed chicken.  To go with the chicken we made another Belizean staple: red beans and rice.  What gives this rice and beans its own flavor is the addition of coconut milk.  We made this from scratch and probably have enough for a small city in Belize.  Maybe the capital, Belmopan (who said you can’t learn during this challenge).

On the side we made what might be one of the best latin foods ever, fried green plantains.   After they were fried we threw in the same oil what probably would of been enjoyed by itself, Johnny Cakes!  Johnny Cakes are a mix of doughnut and biscuit.  If Bridget would of let me I would of fried these, put them on a plate and hid in the other room eating them without letting anyone else have any. Unfortunately, I had to share and give Bridget some too.

After a disappointing Sunday night, I was close to never wanting to cook another country’s cuisine again.  Our Belize dinner brought back my optimism of the cooking part of this challenge.  Latin/Caribbean flavors may be more up our alleys since we’re both from south Florida.  Whatever it was,  I now look forward to cooking another cuisine in the comforts of our kitchen.  (But maybe nothing near Burma.)

-Matt

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