Week 70. Barbados. CouCou and Flying Fish

**Before you read on, this week was a disaster. The dish tasted nasty (my fault) and the photo didn’t turn out. The photo I have used is lifted from the internet and taken from someone infinitely more skilled at making this dish. To that person I applaud your silky Caribbean Skills. **

I’ve got a lottery ticket in my wallet. It’s been there since Friday. The draw was on Saturday and I haven’t checked it. I love the idea that I am possibly a millionaire. I am also possibly not a millionaire, but on the balance of it I prefer to think that I am.

I think it is about time I won. For the last 18 months I have been receiving £20 per month from my brother and his wife to add to the mini-syndicate my wife and I formed. Each week I buy ten lines. We have won £86.40 in total. We have spent over £750. But that’s not the point is it…it’s a game with a big prize which we might one day win and then it will all be worth it. Yeah right. In the meantime I have to explain to everyone that I did remember to buy the tickets and after a year and a half if we used all the winnings we can just about afford a takeaway. I recently had a great idea. I now don’t check the tickets for a week after a draw. This way I can buy the ticket for the following week before I check the previous week, and even if the previous week is dead I am already possibly a millionaire in the following week. Bar loss or theft, I am therefore always a possible millionaire.

I’d love to have two million pounds. I’d buy a massive house with a big kitchen and a toy room for the children so they can create mountains of mess which doesn’t impinge on my living space. Once a day I can tidy it up and I don’t have to constantly trip over it. Kids are dangerous. In a relatively accurate estimate Henry (aged 3) has over 400 balls in our house. These balls range from tiny marble to basketball and they are scattered all over the place, in the sofa and occasionally on the kitchen floor. I have bruises all over my legs from skidding on them and crashing into the furniture and today when creating this blog I cut my finger whilst skidding on a marble whilst holding a kitchen knife, which I used for balance and stuck it into my opposite hand. A big house, a play room and a ball ban for every other room.

The dish I made for Barbados was not one of my favourites. It looked ok and there were elements of the dish I liked, but overall it was confused. I welcome any Barbadian correcting me on how do create this dish, but look online and there are many conflicting recipes and lots of critique on what is the best way to cook it is. I used a combination of all, but wouldn’t recommend the way I did it as it was overly bitter and not spicy enough. I think this could be a good dish if you had the right recipe so I ask of the Bajan population to help me out. How should I make it?

In summary I made a base of cornmeal mixed with chopped Okra which had been simmered in butter.

On top of that I put the flying fish (I used Mackerel as there aren’t many flying fish in London) stew. The stew was made of Red Peppers, Okra, Parsley, Marjoram, Thyme (too much) and chopped tomatoes. Added to this was a healthy glug of Bajan Sauce which I made separately and blended it. Most recipes stated that the sauce should sit for a week before being used – and this could be the issue as it was tart and the vinegar really came through.

  • 6 large Scotch Bonnet  seeds and stems removed, chopped
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 small cloves garlic
  • tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and boil for about 15 minutes. Adjust the consistency with water. Puree in a food processor or blender

Finally, Barbados is a beautiful Caribbean country. Hurricane Sandy would have given the island a very tough time last week. I hope the recovery from the damage is with speed. If you have a great CouCou and Flying Fish recipe, please do contact me.

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