Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day 151! Saint Lucia - Baked Stuffed Bread Fruit - Up Next, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines



1262 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA
Never before has a recipe required the assistance of so many friends to come to fruition. Many, many heartfelt thank yous to high school friends, Lynnette and Marylou for their good-natured and tireless efforts to find the fruit, and special mention to Yves-Rose for sourcing the breadfruit at a local store I never knew about. Girl-friend fist-bump to Lulu for schlepping to Cambridge to get the fruit on a 100 degree day, then driving it out to my house in a cooler lined with freezer packs to avoid spoiling. Lulu, if BPS doesn't find you a good teaching job soon, you may want to consider organ-donor transport as a new career. Finally, extra special thanks to Susie, the owner and proprietor of Tropical Dimensions, located in the heart of Inman Square, Cambridge for stocking this usual and difficult to find fruit! Without everyone's persistent sleuthing to find the illusive breadfruit, also known as lam veritab in Haitian and fruita de pan in Spanish, Tonight's Baked Stuffed Breadfruit from the beautiful Caribbean of country of Saint Lucia could never have happened.

Located in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the boundary of the Atlantic Ocean, Saint Lucia is a Windward Island Country. Named after Saint Lucy of Syracuse, the island is part of the Lesser Antilles, which sits north/northeast of Saint Vincent, northwest of Barbados and south of Martinique. In addition to this island's beautiful climate, beaches and historic sites, it is also home to two Nobel Laureates: Arthur Lewis, the first black man to win a Nobel Prize in Economics (other than in the Peace category); and, Derek Walcott, a poet, play-write, writer and visual artist who won his Nobel Prize in Literature in 1992. First inhabited by the Caribs and Arawak Indians, the island was colonized by the French in 1660. For the next decade, England fought France for control of the island, during which time the island changed hands seven times. Finally, on February 22, 1979, Saint Lucia became an independent state. The country now celebrates this momentous date as a national holiday.

Cuisine in Saint Lucia is influenced by British and French traditions, as well as by the bounty of tropical fruits and vegetables indigenous to the island such as mangoes, oranges, tangerines, avocados and breadfruit. One of Saint Lucia's most famous dishes is bouyon, a dish that can be cooked using fish, chicken, meat, plantains, bananas, yams, dumplings and coconut water and/or milk. Garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, parsley, cloves and allspice are frequently used spices.

A few words about breadfruit. Interestingly, the fruit grows on a flowering tree that is in the mulberry family, Moraceae. Breadfruit grows on many Caribbean islands, as well as in South East Asia and Haiti. The fruit got its name as many believe that when cooked, it imparts a potato-like flavor that tastes and smells like freshly baked bread. There are many ways to eat breadfruit, which vary from country to country - everything from boiling, to baking, to frying and mashing. We thought it tasted like a cross between a potato and a baked apple, with a starchy texture slightly similar to cassava. It was very good, but I think it would have been better if I'd had a tutorial from someone who cooks regularly with the fruit. Regardless - it was tasty, fun to cook with - not to mention thrilling to located!

Peel, parboil, core and stuff breadfruit








 Make Filling







Island Jerk Spice




Baked Stuffed Island Spice Breadfruit (Adapted from food.com)

1 large breadfruit, (full, but not ripe)
3/4 lb. lean ground beef
3/4 lb. ham, minced
1 cup onion, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
1 medium tomato chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tsp. Island spice Jamaican jerk spice (recipe below)
2 tbsp. canola oil
  1. Peel and parboil breadfruit whole in salted water; remove from water and cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly grease a baking pan.
  3. Lightly fry chopped onion, scallion and tomato in oil; add minced meats and jerk seasoning and cook until meat is almost done.
  4. From stalk end of the cooled breadfruit, cut out the core and scoop out enough of the pulp to make room for the meat stuffing. 
  5. Fill the cavity with meat mixture.
  6. Bake in oven till soft and of a nice golden brown color, about 50 minutes. If pan appears dry, add a little water.
Island Jerk Seasoning (Adapted from allrecipes.com)

2 tsp. dried minced onion
2-1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. ground allspice
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

In a small bowl, stir together all spices. Store in airtight container.

(C) 2010-2011, What's Cooking in Your World?/ Sarah Commerford/All Rights Reserved 




3 comments:

Astrid said...

Your friend is amazing! Driving miles to get a breadfruit - lol! Interesting recipe. We get breadfruit here too, but not so common in the family so we don't have it often. People here seem not to care about local fruits and vegetables, often I see breadfruits rotten on the trees... Sad.

LogoVida said...

Hi! I'm a new follower of your site. I just discovered you on FoodieBlogroll. I see I'm jumping on board half-way through the trip, so I guess I have a lot of catching up to do. This is a very fun way to learn about foods from around the world. Love all the pictures. Finally I can learn what to do with all those odd fruits and vegetables.

sadie said...

Hi LogoVida! Thank you so much, and welcome to my wacky adventure! I'm learning as I go too, sometimes more successfully than others!