We celebrated the Caribbean Islands today. Yes, there are some athletes in the Winter Olympics from the Caribbean. We had a Mango Fool for snack and Trinidadian Pelau for dinner.

The recipe we generally followed for Mango Fool was from the Usborne World Cookbook, which calls it a special treat from Barbados.

To make Mango Fool, you need:
  • 2 ripe mangoes
  • 2/3 cup chilled whipped cream
  • lime
  • 5 oz plain yogurt
  • 1 TBSP coconut milk
Slice mangoes lengthways. Make cuts along the flesh and slice chunks of mango away from the skit. Remove the peel and put the chunks of mango into the blender. Puree it.

Cut the lime in half and squeeze out the juice into the mango puree. Stir the yogurt and the coconut milk into the mango. Gently fold in the whipped cream and mix until everything is blended together.

This recipe only made about 24 oz, which, split 5 ways, didn't leave much for anyone. It was pretty good although a little more textured than the kids liked. Bug added honey to her's to make it sweeter.

Let me put a note in here to tell you how much I appreciate how supportive Chip has been throughout the Olympic week. I'm sure he thinks I'm insane sometimes but he's ready to help me if I need it. He slices, he dices, he grills, he makes Egg Drop Soup while I am at cherub choir practice, he pitches in when he can tell that the while Olympic cooking is starting to wear on me. It's been wonderful knowing that he's ready and willing to help!

For dinner, we prepared Trinidadian Pelau (recipe found here).

To prepare this version of Trinidadian Pelau, you need:
  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 whole fryer chicken or thighs, drumsticks breasts etc.
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 tomato cut up
  • Thyme, chives
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • Salt, pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups rice (use white rice, trust me!)
  • 1/2 cup raisins
Heat brown sugar in oil until melted and caramelized. Add chicken and brown in the hot oil.

Add onion, garlic, tomato, vinegar, thyme, chives, salt, pepper and curry powder and cook stirring for 3 - 5 minutes. Add about 2 cups of water and cook covered until chicken is tender, adding more water if necessary to prevent burning. This took about 25 minutes.

When chicken is cooked, measure liquid in pot (we had 1 cup left) and add water to make up 4 cups (twice the quantity of rice). Add all of the rice. Make sure you are using regular rice, not minute rice. Also beware of using brown rice. Apparently I used too much rice when I prepared
our Korean food and we didn't have the 2 cups of rice. So I used 1 1/2 cups of white rice and 1/2 cup of brown rice. BAD IDEA - trust me.

Cook covered over medium heat until rice is cooked and all water is absorbed, stirring occasionally. This took about 20 minutes. Add the raisins about 5 minutes before the rice is done.

The Verdict: um... remember how I said to trust me about the rice. Yeah... I am definitely not a good cook. In fact I don't even like cooking! Feel free to ask yourself why in the world I would do this Olympic cooking when I don't enjoy cooking. I ask myself that frequently but I enjoy being out of my comfort zone for a little while. I actually don't mind cooking in short spurts, particularly if the recipes are easy but very different than what I usually prepare. That said, I don't have enough experience to know about various substitutions (thank you Google!) or to know that the brown rice would impact the entire recipe. Now I do!

The flavor of the brown rice overpowered the entire flavoring of the pelau. No one really liked it and we ended up wasting quite a bit of rice. The chicken was terrific with a really good flavor but the rice mixture really made the meal not so good. I really feel that using only white rice would make this a good, flavorful meal but I'm not sure I could get the kids to give it another chance. On the plus side, Ebabe loved the raisins!
1 Response
  1. Sara Says:

    Looks like an interesting dish to try. Live and learn! Brown rice takes a lot longer to cook than white rice. Maybe it had a stronger flavor because it was a bit underdone? The chicken looks good! It's amazing when you see all these recipes back to back that a lot of them are quite similar. Different cooking methods and different spices but lots of elements in common! You're all doing a great job tackling them all!

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