here are dozens of cookbooks offering recipes for traditional Caribbean cuisine, and although the "Caribbean" islands themselves reflect many different external influences - Dutch, English, French, African and East Indian - there is a remarkable similarity from restaurant menu to restaurant menu throughout the chain. Fundamentals are fish (usually poached or pan-fried with stewed onions and tomatoes), fried chicken legs (I swear there are no chicken breasts here!), meat stews (goat, mutton, or pork - usually from cuts hard to identify! ), rotis (like burritos stuffed with curried meat, conch or fish), all served with peas and rice (a.k.a. rice and beans), "Provision" garnishes (slices of boiled dasheen (root), plantain and green banana - all filling starches), and a little salad (usually tomato and cucumber.) It is all tasty, filling and cheap, if not low fat!
One recipe people have always heard of and rarely tried is Callaloo. In the islands it is made with the huge elephant-ear like leaves of the dasheen plant. You can make it with spinach. The only difference is that dasheen leaves MUST be cooked at least 30 minutes (do not even think of tasting dasheen leaves until fully cooked; it is like eating fiberglass!!!!) while spinach is best if added during the last 5-10 minutes of cooking.
2 Tbs. bacon fat
(I know, I know
you can use olive oil if you feel better about
In large soup pan, saute onion, seasoning peppers, garlic and meat in bacon fat for 8-10 minutes. Stir in chicken stock. Add pumpkin, carrots, potatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in spinach, fresh or frozen (or pre-cooked dasheen leaves), thyme and pepper and simmer another 5-10 minutes.
Puree soup, all or part, in blender and serve hot.