A lot of what has defined our country was born in Detroit. The auto industry, assembly lines, The Temptations, Aretha, Kid Rock and Eminem (even if he’s not your bag, he is one of the most influential musicians in the last 15 years). These days, the news out of Detroit isn’t about new wheels and music. It’s about destruction, ruin and the mass exodus from a city once dubbed “the Paris of the Midwest.” Much of the mainstream news out of Detroit reeks of failure.
Here’s the thing: yes, the Motor City has taken a beating in recent years. Yes, it has a lot to do with the fall of the auto industry. Yes, much of the city is desolate and abandoned (check out this eerie slideshow from Time.com. And yes, all in all, things have been looking bad for D-Town for quite some time. When we decided to bring Bizarre Foods America there last summer, I expected some squalor. What I found amazed me.
Detroit is one of the most culturally diverse cities I’ve visited in a long time. In between those great urban expanses of bleakness, there are inspirational pockets of urban vitality. It’s home to the largest Arab-American population in the country, not to mention its thriving Polish, Mexican and Bengali communities. What’s more, people from all over the United States have relocated to Detroit. I’ve eaten some of the best soul food in the country here. Oh, and did you know that Detroit is home to the largest farmer’s market in the US? Eastern Market is simply amazing, and peppered mostly with entrepreneurs who are bringing this city back in a big way.
Historically, the city of Detroit depended heavily on a single industry. For a long time, it thrived, but when it crashed, it crashed hard. I don’t think turning around big industry is the key to rebuilding Detroit. It’s about a lot of individuals making a difference on a micro level. From farmers to rock stars and everyone in between, this impassioned community is committed to hanging on. Instead of saying “not my problem,” citizens are doing what’s right for the community. I met guys who literally spend their weekends mowing the grass at their local parks because the city doesn’t have the budget for it (of course, this motley group is having a fun while they’re at it. C’mon, who wouldn’t want to drive a souped-up tractor?) There are kitchen guys who ditched restaurant jobs in order to introduce local, artisanal meats to the city. There’s the folks at Amar Pizza who’ve taken an American staple and put a traditional Bengali spin on it. I’d argue that this kind of cultural cross pollination defines America, and it’s the kind of thing Detroit is doing well, maybe even doing it better than any other city in the country. Out of an absurd challenge, has come a renaissance.
If I was a betting man I would be taking Detroit and giving the points, even doubling down. Plenty of people gave Detroit up for dead, and maybe it was already dead and no one knew it, but this city is gaining traction in its neighborhoods and small enclaves of commitment and its thrilling to see. I can’t wait to get back there.
Catch Bizarre Foods America: Detroit Mon, Feb. 20 at 9|8C on Travel Channel.
I’m a both a seafood lover and a history fanatic—two big reasons why I can’t resist Boston’s siren song. I lived there at several points in my life, worked there, attended school there and some of my best friends live there (huge ups to Norm and Mike who have turned me on to many of the best places in my show and on this list). My dad lives in Portland, Maine, so I fly through Beantown several times a year.
Some of my all-time favorite restaurants are there, check out: o ya, Clio, Uni, Daily Catch, Neptune Oyster, Island Creek, Santarpios, No9Park, Rialto, Oleana, Sichuan Gourmet, Meyers and Chang, Radius, Menton … shall I keep going?
You’ll see what I’m talking about on the Bizarre Foods America Boston episode. I could elaborate on why I love these places and what happened behind the scenes, but I think I’ll just let the footage speak for itself. Instead, let’s focus on what got left on the cutting room floor and what we couldn’t even fit into our filming schedule this time around. Here are a few of my other favorite Beantown spots.
New Jumbo Seafood
I love Boston’s Chinatown, and I can’t get enough of the food at Jumbo Seafood. I love the steamed whole shrimp, the lobster with ginger and scallion, the raw shaved geoduck and plenty of other Cantonese seafood favorites. It’s an iconic Boston place; people have been talking about it ad nauseum for years and it still lives up to the hype.
My friend Chef Ken Oringer and his restaurant Clio did make it into the show. But let’s talk about Coppa where he and Jamie Bissonette take on housemade salumi, pizzas, pastas and heartier entrees (here’s to the crispy chicken with lemon). I love it here. Super simple plates that deliver every time.
If I could, I’d kick-off every night out in Beantown at B&G Oysters. The raw bar is unparalleled (I’m a sucker for oysters), and their wine list pairs perfectly with seafood. Don’t skip the fried clams if they’re on the menu.
Hamersley’s cassoulet easily claims a spot in my top five winter eats. It’s the perfect dish to tuck into on a cold night. Pork, duck confit and garlic sausage. Fantastic.
Craigie on Main
If the idea of trying something a little of the ordinary (cock’s combs, crispy pig tails, braised oxtail pastrami) sits fine with you, celebrate a special occasion here. Go for a prix fixe menu and let Chef Tony Maws wow you with his ever-evolving arsenal of seasonally-driven menu. Great brunch too, by the way.
Ken and Jamie do it again. Do these guys ever sleep? What can I say, when Ken picks a concept, he nails it. A meal at Toro is like stepping into a chic Barcelona tapas bar. Try the Jamon de La Quercia, Iowa’s take on acorn-raised ham and the tuna conserva—Spanish tuna belly with tomato tapanade and celery leaves. Then again when I am there I always get seconds of the uni sandwich.
This old-school butchery (they’ve been around since 1939) is still very relevant today. I love the staff at Savenor’s—they really know their stuff. From helping you make the perfect meaty selection, to advice on how to best cook a leg of lamb, aged beef, or maybe even frog legs (you never know what might be in stock), Savenor’s does it for me.
Of course traveling doesn’t always lend itself to well to cooking at home. Satisfy your meat craving at the super hip Butcher Shop. Charcuterie, steak tartar, beet salad, hot dog a la Maison—basically all the stuff that’s trending right now. Who cares when it all tastes great.
Mike’s City Diner
For a meal like mom used to make, head to Mike’s City Diner on Washington Street. This local favorite is known for their hearty breakfasts and home-cooked dinners—Mike’s turkey dinner with all the fixin’s hits the spot.
A super casual Japanese hot pot pig out in Chinatown. Get there!
For more insight on my favorite Boston eats (plus a fascinating segment on how some folks at Harvard are shaking up the food world), tune in to Bizarre Foods America: Boston @ 9|8C on Monday, Feb 13. High-five.
Seattle is one of the great food towns on the planet, and visiting in the summertime is something that food lovers should check out for themselves. In our show we covered a lot of familiar territory, but there are a few things to clarify, on screen, and off.
First…yes, the cow placenta was real. It tasted like liver. I have wanted to try this for a decade, but with placenta, freshness counts. This was the first birthing in a clean enough environment at the right farm (thanks George!) and I was thrilled.
Like the colostrum, this is a traditional superfood that is part of our ethnographic history. Cheers! George and Kristin saw me sending pictures in real time of the birth to my family back home and they generously offered to allow my son Noah to name her. He picked Jessie. Seabreeze Farm continues to update us on the calf’s progress and I consider the farm to be one of the best places I have ever visited in the history of the show.
Speaking of which, I leave on Wednesday to shoot our 100th episode. Thanks to all who made it possible. It’s an amazing milestone and one which everyone associated with the making of the program should be very proud.
Our 100th episode will take place in Las Vegas and seeing as how that is the city where all things are possible, I am very excited to finally shoot there after five years of trying.
Second…I am hearing from a lot of folks on social media ask me what’s bizarre about geoduck, a Slayer coffee machine or salmon collar soup? I would remind everyone that our show is about exploring culture through food. If edible oddities are your thing, then just focus on the sight of me peeling a fresh 10-pound slab of cow placenta, still warm, off the field just feet from where we birthed the calf. For those that want to see what the Seattle food scene is all about, look for Marination, Taylor Shellfish, Maneki, Pike Place Market, Seabreeze Farm, Slayer, Intellectual Ventures and Nathan Myhrvold and his whole team, and all the other amazing spots we featured…
Third…Canlis. I have been a broken record for six months, but staying relevant as a restaurant for almost 70 years is amazing in and of itself. For the brothers who run the namesake restaurant, it’s a stroke of managerial genius to hire a chef of Jason Franey’s talent and then work together to produce some of the country’s most food-forward cuisine (while still keeping a classic steak and baked potato for the long-time regulars). As I sat there one night watching the sky turn black over the harbor, I wondered how many restaurants looked as good in day or night time, empty or full? I was one of the first customers of the night and the last to leave and I still remember that meal and the way the room made me feel. What an amazing place.
Fourth…pizza. Say what you want, tell me I am drinking the kool-aid but if you eat the pizza at Serious Pie you will keep going back, it’s that good. Tom Douglas is a masterful restaurateur and tireless promoter of the city. Applewood, a proprietary dough recipe, and a 600-degree oven is something more pizza chef should consider.
Fifth…to all the insanely smoking-hot tattooed twenty-something babes in motorcycle boots and vintage sleeveless dresses who flirted with me the whole week I was running around your city, I say thank you. You made me feel like a 16-year-old boy again.
Sixth…the local cherry and berry season was in peak of season when we were there. Holy crap. End of story.
Thanks Seattle, see you soon.
Is there any city in America that evokes such a profound salivary response as New Orleans? Just listen to the name, and you can taste it. Every time I visit New Orleans, I’m reminded of how truly special this city is. From the amazing food to the robust music scene, there is serious passion pulsating through the Big Easy.
A mix of influence from Europe, Africa, the West Indies and the American South, you can’t really put your finger on what New Orleans feels like. It’s unlike anywhere else in the US, or the world for that matter. Bringing Bizarre Foods America here was a no-brainer. I could shoot 10 more shows in NOLA and still not run out things to talk about. We never got to half the restaurants, markets, family homes, 2nd line parties, dives and joints as I would have liked to, and before I die I am going to get John Besh on one of my programs if it’s the last thing I do. But, moving on!
I’ve spent a lot of time here, and it wasn’t until this last trip that I learned this fun fact: New Orleans is home to the largest population of Vietnamese outside of Vietnam. Literally right outside the city proper, you could easily convince yourself that you’ve stumbled into Southeast Asia. Makeshift backyard gardens fronting the canals that run through the neighborhoods, markets specializing in fresh Vietnamese produce and traditional Vietnamese cooked foods. What I especially love is how this enclave has adopted many local ingredients like boiled peanuts and made them their own. Conversely, locals have come to appreciate Vietnamese cooking traditions. It’s a cross-cultural pollination of the best kind, and will only help the city continue to grow and evolve. I met a few duck and chicken farmers in the parking lot of a Viet market one weekend morning and walked up to chat with them. They looked like they were straight out of a Hee Haw skit, the spitting image of every rural Southern stereotype you can imagine. And they were eating rice noodle pancakes with chopsticks. I asked them if they ate a lot of Vietnamese food and they said that yes they did, every day. They said it was spicy, flavorful, healthier than their own cooking and cheaper than eating at a fast food joint. Music to my ears. They also said that Post Katrina the Viet community sheltered their friends and family, fed them (the Viet survival skill package is pretty awesome!) and helped them rebuild. What’s more , is that the Vietnamese buy hundreds of fresh live poultry every week from their farms…that’s an amazing story.
Other highlights? Cooking this with musician & amazing Creole cook Kermit Ruffins. Don’t recognize this furry creature? Hint: you may have seen it rummaging through your trash.
Hunting frogs in the bayou with my friend, Chef Don Link. I spent the next day cooking and eating with his family. They were the most gracious hosts, and I was touched that they let me, a Jewish guy form New York, try his hand at Cajun cooking for the day.
A big shout out to the folks at Rick Phillip’s Seafood Company for some of the most amazing crawfish I’ve ever had. Cleaned my sinuses right out. And let’s not forget this amphibious treat [photo]. Whole-cooked gator seasoned with Cajun napalm (their intense homemade spice rub), cooked in a ‘Cajun microwave’– basically an impressive homemade version of the famous Cuban-Chinese Caja China. Now that’s some ingenuity.
Feasting on po’ boys (lots of debris, please), shucking oysters, eating the best fried chicken–ever (thanks Willie Mae’s), making boudin and hog ponce from scratch with a guy named Bubba Frye (you can’t make that up), and I even got a cooking lesson from the Queen of Creole, Leah Chase.
This city never ceases to amaze me. Watch the episode and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. Catch the Bizarre Foods America: NOLA premiere on Monday, January 30 at 9|8C.
Bizarre Foods America, your time has come. The need for Americans to see themselves as we really are (talking ‘bout you Kardashians!), the desire I have to make the unfamiliar familiar, and the bloodlust for the type of insider information that is actionable makes this the best season of Bizarre Foods ever. I mean really, how many of you went to Maun Botswana and from there to the Aha Hills like I told you to? Now there are no excuses, especially since we kick off the series in the Twin Cities– the place I’ve called home since 1992. I leaned on lots of friends and family, former and current colleagues to make this episode happen, and couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out.
Minnesota winters can be brutal (but I still love ‘em). The summers, on the other hand, are unparalleled. We filmed most of this episode in July– at the height of our growing season. Folks here don’t take a single sunny day for granted, and from May-September, you’ll find Minnesotans outside biking, running, walking, fishing, or swimming. Chefs take full advantage of ingredients grown locally (sometimes even in their own backyard); diners love eating al fresco. Most Minnesotans are nudists. Look for the gratuitous montage shots of some of our favorite hidden beaches near end of the show.
Our hotdish cook-off at the Uptown VFW was one of the most fun segments to film. My wife and son were there, along with my in-laws.
Molly brought her 85-year-old grandmother, Arlene. She’s the mother of 12 boys (yes, you heard me right!) and relied heavily on these types of no-fuss hotdishes for the better part of her cooking life. Grandma Mogren has hung up her apron strings for the most part, so Molly offered to whip up her grandma’s Pizza Hotdish recipe for her. Slaving over boiling noodles and a hot oven sans AC when the heat index hit 105 degrees… that’s a labor of love.
As for other entrees, you won’t believe the things people submitted. Maybe it’s my jaded New York upbringing, but I don’t think lime Jell-o, olives and cottage cheese should ever go together. Ever. Oh, and I can’t wait for you to meet Lola, whose extreme cleavage slightly upstaged her Jell-o salad. Play a game at home when you watch this act and let me know if you can tell which of the ladies who made Jell-o are hammered. Answer: Most of them.
But let me just say in complete honesty that the best moments of this show, some of the absolute best moments in the history of Bizarre Foods, wound up on the cutting room floor.
Anyone who has ever eaten hot dogs at The Gopher Bar and Tilia can imagine how that little ‘compare and contrast’ moment played out. (the ones shown above are from Tilia, by the way).
The guys at Travail surprised me with “Durian Eight Ways”– meaning eight bite-sized courses featuring one of my least favorite foods. I was simply stunned, and props to Bob who made four separate durian desserts. They were so well executed that I almost forgot they were made with durian… almost. We also failed at capturing Dusti, Molly and Beth (the ladies from my office) talking ad nauseum about the “hot kitchen staff at Travail.” Apparently these gals can’t resist the tatted up, bandana-wearing young chef type. I am seriously worried about them.
My day at the Hmong market– I loved the green papaya salad so much that I served it at my 50th birthday party.
Manning the kitchen at Haute Dish and slinging the special I came up with– Andrew ZImmern’s Offal Hotdish (though I loved it, diner’s mixed reviews leads me to think it won’t be back on the menu any time soon).
Doug Flicker blowing my mind in the kitchen at Piccolo. The man is a genius.
I felt like a total badass fishing for garbage fish with a cross bow, even though my aim was abysmal. And look at the lake at night. Heaven.
Checking out the Twin Cities budding food truck scene. They legalized it last year in Mpls (and can still only be downtown for whatever dumb reason), and I couldn’t be happier. I was very sad we only visited one truck.
Two words: Juicy Lucy. Whether it’s at the 5-8, Matt’s Bar, the Blue Door Pub or at home, we love those suckers here. Just try to not burn your mouth on molten hot cheese.
And these are just a few highlights from the Bizarre Foods America premiere. Watch it Monday, January 23 at 10|9C on Travel Channel.
Hello World, we are back. See our air dates below for the FIRST HALF of our most amazing season yet. We went All-American for a few reasons.
First, after 5 years on the road overseas I wanted to see if my theories about food and culture applied at home the same way they do in far off lands. I wanted to see if Darwins theory about islands as preservation points applied to inner cities and the immigrant experience. I wanted to see if social change and entrepreneurism could solve the food crisis in our country. I wanted to see if I could get a good bowl of laksa in the Midwest. I wanted to show you the ins and outs of the cities I love and travel to all the time, introduce you to friends old and new, famous faces and anonymous food genius’. I wanted to explore the world of alternative foods in my home country to see if I could get YOU to eat more of them in your daily life. Hard to do that when I an showing you all about Icelandic Hakarl or Samoan sea cucumber intestines fermented into a table condiment. But you can access all the foods in this special season, and we prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that one mans weird is another mans wonderful, even if that man is your neighbor.
Check in at end of week and I will give you the behind the scenes scoop on our Twin Cities episode that kicks off the new season next Monday night.
Episode Premiere Date
Twin Cities Jan. 23*
New Orleans Jan. 30
Seattle Feb. 6
Boston Feb. 13
Detroit Feb. 20
West Virginia Feb. 27
Charleston March 5
Savannah March 12
*The Twin Cities premiere episode will air on Monday @ 10|9c, but starting Jan. 30, Bizarre Foods America moves to it’s regularly scheduled time, at 9|8c.
As you’ve probably noticed on BF, it’s not always about sitting down and enjoying a meal. Sometimes you gotta work for your dinner. That’s when you look to the folks at Broken Arrow Ranch– an artisanal producer free-range venison, antelope, and wild boar meat. The family-owned business out of Texas Hill Country is serious about their meat, field harvesting only truly wild animals. I was thrilled to hit the field with these guys, hoping to track a deer.
After a full day of hunting, I ended up getting the beautiful sika deer (pictured above)– an Asian species that they’re raising on the ranch.
Within minutes of shooting the animal, the deer was hit with electrical stimulation. This causes a contraction of muscles which ensures a thorough bleed out, guaranteeing a mild-tasting meat and longer shelf life sans funky preservatives. It also tenderizes the meat (typically 40 percent to 60 percent more tender than non-stimulated meat).
The carcass is then hauled to a mobile processor, which is right out in the field with us. Broken Arrow has one of their meat cutters (guy in blue hat), as well as a USDA inspector (guy in white hat) onsite. The animal is expertly broken down, then the cuts are placed into a mobile cooler.
I’ve hunted my entire life and have never seen anyone do this– ever. The process isn’t an easy one, but it’s worth it. This is hands down some of the best meat I’ve ever tried. So incredibly fresh and tender. It’s quality is unparalleled.
Chef Rene Ortiz of La Condesa whipped up this fantastic deer heart escabeche. That’s some fresh pluck.
Chef Ortiz also did these amazing tortilla cooked with bacon fat, stuffed with seared deer loin, cumin yogurt, and habanero harissa.
I got in on the culinary action, putting these jalapeños stuffed with deer liver, heart and kidney wrapped in cherry smoked bacon onto the grill for some slow roasting chile goodness.
On Bizarre Foods America, this is where my deer story will end. But wait! There’s more for you blog readers. The deer I shot was purchased by Chef Robert Wiedmaier of Brabo in Old Town Alexandria (outside of DC), and is currently available on their menu.
Chef de Cuisine, Chris Watson said they’re running these two dishes (created by Chef de Cuisine, Chris Watson) made from my sika as a weekend special. He expects them to sell out quickly, so you gotta get there today or tomorrow. How good do these look?!:
Pan seared venison loin with tagliatelle pasta, venison ragout, Brussels sprouts and venison sausage, natural jus.
Pappardelle with venison ragout chanterelle mushrooms and mustard greens.
If you’re in the DC area, try to get to Brabo this weekend. Trust me, these dishes are going to be insanely good.
Gearing up for Andrew’s next Appetite for Life season (they’re doing a big road trip through the southern US. “Like” them on Facebook for updates on the shoot schedule), figuring out the details on AZ’s Carts in the Parc event at the NYC Food & Wine Festival, and tackling about one gazillion other projects… we’ve been swamped at Food Works. But no matter how many things piled up on our to do lists, we still made time for our annual state fair trip.
The Zimmern family loves the Minnesota State Fair. They’d go every single day if possible (this year, I think it was 11 out of 12 days). They have specific walking routes for efficiency. They’ve got weird food rules, like you can only eat cheese curds from the Mouse Trap, and the only malt worth slurping comes from the little old ladies at the Kiwanis stand. The state fair is like a religion to these people.
For the past three years, we’ve opted to forgo the office holiday party and instead do a Food Works day at the fair. The Zimmern clan, the Kugler family, our latest hire Beth, and yours truly, spent last Friday eating our faces off and taking in the Great Minnesota Get-Together. Highlights:
Rafferty & Hattie got to take the first bites of our Gizmo sandwiches (apparently, Hattie didn’t want to share). I think we’re all in agreement that this is our favorite fair food. Thanks to Iowans Carla (pictured above with AZ) & Kirby Wood for bringing this Italian meat torpedo to us Minnesotans.
Fun Fact: Andrew doesn’t like rides. His wife does though! Rishia & Hattie on the scrambler:
The weirdest of weird items at the fair wasn’t deep fried and on a stick. It was the Strib’s mustard-flavored lip balm. Next pic, Beth & the Hattmeister on the sky ride. Looks like Hattie hogged all the photos.
We made a quick work-related stop to talk with John and Elizabeth at Twin Cities Live. As we exited the building, AZ stepped in a bunch of goat poop. It was awesome. Later, we met up with our office neighbor (and the most hardcore massage therapist I know), Pui.
I had to dip early, but was psyched I got to check out this beautiful stuffed badger at the DNR exhibit before I split. The only thing that would’ve been cooler is if it were a honey badger, ’cause honey badger don’t care. What’s your favorite fair food?
Last night, AZ & I headed to NE Minneapolis for Eat Ramen Help Japan. The gist: six chefs created ramen dishes, us patrons paid $10 per noodle bowl, and all proceeds went to Second Harvest Japan. It was probably the best food event I’ve been to in the Twin Cities. Simple, straightforward, not trying to be too hip or trendy, just good food and good people getting together for a good cause. And the weather finally cooperated! Andrew, one of the evening’s official noodle judges, remarked that it had a San Francisco/Brooklyn-y vibe. Nice work to all of you who put in so much hard work to make this a success.
Here are some of my favorite pics from the night. Enjoy!
Pork belly deliciousness from the Masu team.
Chef Tim McKee & Masu co. working up a sweat. Don’t worry, I believe the soup was sweat-free.
I hear this guy is really good at cooking and yoga. True story.
My besties, Margie and Liz, getting their slurp on.
Moto-i’s broth-free noodles dominated. Andrew voted them numero uno. Agreed. There was a perfectly-cooked, soft-boiled egg in there, people!
Warehouses of NE. Who needs ramen when they make Cheerios around the corner?! Oh relax, I’m kidding.
The Zimmern family album, coming soon to a Sam Goody near you.
Noodle art meets fine (or at least kind of trippy) art.
So many mouths to feed, so little work space!
The Dakota’s made-to-order ramen. Oxtail & squash & foie, oh my.
Hope everyone has a fantastic weekend. Stay cool, eat well, and if you can, make a donation to Second Harvest Japan.
Tomorrow night is the final new episode of the season. We are in Jamaica, so why not throw a party? Make a pitcher of the YellowBird Cocktails, cook some fritters, stir up some island jambalaya (which is how I always think of the Asopao), and get your bizarre food funk on. Hope you enjoy the show tomorrow night (Tuesday, July 19) at 9pm E/P on Travel Channel. I am shooting a new season even as we speak, so don’t worry, more new eps on their way….
Trinidad Yellow Bird Cocktails
This makes a large pitcher suitable for getting schnockered with a few friends.
1 1/2 cups Cointreau
3 cups Appleton amber rum
10 mint sprigs
1 cup simple syrup
Juice of two limes
Juice of 3 oranges
3T Agnostura bitters, more or less to taste
Pour all the ingredients into a large pitcher filled with crushed ice.
Stir vigorously, season with simple syrup if you like it a tad sweeter.
Salt Cod ‘Stamp and Go’ Fritters with Dipping Sauce
1# dried salt cod, rinsed in several changes of cool water over a few hours and soaked overnight in a cold water bath in the refrigerator.
1 and ½ cups sifted flour
1 and ½ t baking powder
3 eggs, lightly beaten
6-7 T ice water
2 medium onions, finely minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup celery leaves finely minced
1 scotch bonnet pepper, finely minced
1T fresh thyme leaves
1t ground black pepper
Vegetable oil for frying
Clean, trim and shred the fish.
Mix the fish, baking powder, flour, beaten egg, and just enough water to create a batter consistency the texture of loose cement.
Stir in the onion, garlic, scotch bonnet pepper, thyme, black pepper and salt.
In a pot on the stove set up your frying station with oil heated to 375.
Drop the mixture by tablespoonfuls into the oil and cook until golden.
Drain on paper toweling and serve hot with the sauce.
1 small onion, minced
6 scallions minced
1 fresh chili pepper cleaned and minced (scotch bonnet)
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2t dried thyme
1 roasted red bell pepper, pulsed in a food processor or ground in mortar with a pestle
2T minced parsley
One half cup boiling water
juice of 1 lime
2T peanut oil
Combine all the ingredients except the water, lime and oil in a bowl and stir to combine.
Add the water. Cool, add remaining ingredients and serve
Asopao de Pollo y Mariscos…Chicken, Shrimp and Rice Stew
2T fresh oregano leaves
2T fresh thyme leaves
4 garlic cloves sliced thin
6 boneless chicken thighs, cubed in 1” pieces
2 slices fruit wood smoked thick cut bacon, cut in 1” pieces
5T olive oil
1 scotch bonnet pepper
1 large onion, minced
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped
½ cup grated coconut, toasted….don’t use the sweetened kind
1 cup white wine
2 cups long grain white rice
4 cups rich homemade chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup fresh or frozen cooked green peas
1 # wild ocean caught shrimp, U-15 size work best, peeled and deveined
Juice of 1 lime
Mix the chicken, thyme, oregano and garlic.
In a large non reactive heavy skillet on medium heat, heat the oil and saute the chicken to brown on all sides.
Add the bacon and saute until browned.
Add the onions, peppers, hot pepper and stir for a few minutes to cook through.
Add the tomatoes.
Add the rice and coconut and stir to coat with vegetables. Add the wine and cook for a few minutes to cook away half the liquid.
Add the chicken stock and freshly ground pepper to taste. bring to a boil and cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes
Remove the cover and stir in the shrimp, peas and lime juice.
Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes more.
Season to taste with sea salt, and serve immediately.