Bahamas, Aruba & Anguilla: Oooh I Wanna Take Ya

So January 1st Bridget and I set our way out to our first country’s cuisine of Ireland.  The Irish breakfast we had was just okay and nothing exciting.  We made a challenge where we would eat cuisines from at least 75 countries in 2015.  As the year went on we struggled to find spots but made our way to getting to our goal.  And on this night, December 5th, we not only hit our goal but exceeded it.

We thought one way to celebrate this challenge we decided to visit the Caribbean.  In doing so we found meals from Bahamas, Aruba and Anguilla (sadly no Kokomo.)  Also, Kokomo is not a country as it’s a island near the Florida Keys (fun facts).

We started the night drinking a Bahamian beer: Kalik.  It is basically a Corona without being labeled as such.  Not my favorite beer in the world.

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For dinner I found a few recipes that would get us through this amazing Caribbean adventure.  The main dish was an Aruban cuisine called Bolitas de Jamon (ham balls).  They not only were fun to say in each language but were quite interesting to make.

Took ground ham, which I didn’t even know it was a thing, mixed it with bread crumbs, eggs, onions and spices.  Made some ham balls, threw them in the oven and bam you had Bolitas de Jamon.  The balls were mixed in sauteed apricot preserves for some flavor.  They not only fell apart but were crumbly in the mouth.

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While cooking the ham balls we made side dish that was an Anguillan cuisine, pigeon peas and rice.  The hardest part of this dish was finding pigeon peas.  White rice was cooked with thyme, butter, hot sauce and the pigeon peas in a pot.

The pigeon peas and rice were a perfect compliment with the ham balls.  The ham balls broke apart as you ate them and mixed well in with the rice.

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Just when you think that was all we had for dinner, you have guessed wrong.  We went all out with Bahamian and made a Bahama Mama Carrot Cake.  I am not too sure how “Bahamian” this dish was but it was fun to make and eat.

I am no baker but this was very easy to make, plus I had a great sous chef helping. On top of the usual ingredients for a carrot cake (carrots, sugar, flour, eggs and baking soda) we also added crushed pineapple, vanilla, walnuts and many spices.

Thanks to the strength of Bridget she stirred up the ingredients and we poured it into the pan.  After baking on 350° for an hour we let it cool and made a sweet cream topping.  Covered the cake in this cream and had ourselves a giant Bahama Mama Carrot Cake!

We may not have been able to have a drink with a tiny umbrella while sitting on the beaches next to a blue ocean.  However, ham balls and Bahama Mama carrot cake were the next best thing.  Sadly we did not eat in our swimsuits, which I am sure most of you were hoping.

-Matt

 

 

 

 

 

 

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