Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Rice & Other grains


Along with corn, cassava, millet, and fruit, rice is a major element of the contemporary Haitian diet. It was unknown in Haiti however, during the days of the Taino, the original inhabitants of Haiti. The Taino people's staple food was yucca, better known as cassava or tapioca (in a processed form). In fact cassava is still eaten in Haiti today. It is still prepared using the method developed by the Tainos. The Taino diet also consisted of meat from small mammals and fish.

Haitian rice which is most likely of West African origin has been cultivated in Haiti for over 200 years. Rice is the staple food of Haiti and up until the 1980s Haiti was self-sufficient in its production. In the mid-1980s Haiti's domestic rice production decreased rapidly. By the1990s rice imports outpaced domestic rice production. This displaced many Haitian farmers, traders, and millers whose employment opportunities are extremely limited.

Haiti was once a self-sufficient rice producer, importing little to none of the rice consumed by its population every year. Yet, since the 1980s, rice production in Haiti has collapsed, threatening the economic well-being of Haitian rice farmers and tens of thousands of others who participate in the cultivation, processing, and sale of Haitian rice. Though this decline can be blamed on a variety of causes including the poor condition of Haiti's natural environment, and several other factors that have handicapped Haitian farmers ranging from lack of access to capital, to the poor conditions of irrigation canals, trade liberalization policies are at the center of this phenomenon.

RICE

How it is Prepared

Rice is prepared a number of ways in traditional Haitian cuisine. Most commonly it is prepared as part of the main course of the meal and eaten with beans. Another favorite is when it is boiled in water in which the fungus called "djon djon" was previously soaked, causing the rice to turn black and to take on the distinct flavor of djon djon. It is also used to make rice pudding, which is a favorite dessert of many Haitians. 

White rice

Ingredients

2 cups long grain rice
1 scallion (optional)
water
1 Tbs of oil
Salt, to taste

Instructions

sautee the scallion in the oil, when brown, add water and salt

when water starts boiling wash the rice three times and add to boiling water.

allow water to evaporate completely

reduce fire to the lowest degree and cover the rice.

Cook for 20 minutes and serve.


Riz National (Rice and kidney Beans)

Ingredients

2 cups of brown rice (can also be made with white rice)
1 cup of dry kidney beans (or fresh beans)
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup of coconut milk
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ c salted pork fat or lardons (optional)
scallion
1 chicken bouillon
¼ teaspoon salt
black pepper
bouquet garni
scotch bonnet pepper
Tri-tri (optional)

Instructions

1. You can soak the beans overnight or simply place them in a pot and add 4 cups of water and cook the beans until they are tender but not split tender.  It should be cooked within 45 minutes and the water reduce to half of what it was.

2. When the beans are cooked.  Strain the beans into a strainer separating the water from the cooked beans.  and set aside.. 

3. Grin into a paste the garlic, scallion two tig of parsley and a bit of coarse salt. 

4. In a dutch oven,  heat the  oil. Add the salted pork fat/lardons and let it fry until golden and than add the paste made of scallion, garlic etc...let it fry for 2 minutes and add the peas and cover for 3 minutes.  Stir to avoid that the beans sticks to the bottom or to burn. When the bean has absorb the spices.

5. Add the water that beans had been cooked into, the milk, the bouquet garni, scotch bonnet, salt
chicken bouillon, salt and pepper to taste and a slice of butter if you like and let boil. You can also add the Tri-tri if you decide to add it to your dish.

6. When the water starts to boil, wash the rice three times under cold water and add it to the pot and stir to avoid lumps.  Do not stir it again and wait for water to evaporate.

7. Bring to a hard boil until all water evaporates. Stir the rice and reduce the heat, cover tightly and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Simmer 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the remaining liquid and is fluff.

Fry onions in a bit of oil

Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary with salt and pepper. Fluff the rice and peas with a fork and serve hot on a warm plate and drizzle the fried onions on top!

Variation:
This recipe can be done with black beans but it will not be called "Riz National"

RIZ DJON DJON (Mushroom Rice—Black)

Makes 6 servings.

Ingredients

½ cup dried mushroom (djon djon)
1 pound of deveined shrimp
¾ cup of peas
1 ½ teaspoons salt, divided
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
4 to 5 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 to 3 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1 green pepper, cored, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste
2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 bouquet garni (composed of 2 sprigs of parsley and thyme tied together)
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice 

Instructions

1. Heat a small pot on top of the stove and add the Djon Djon to toast, when a nutty smell starts to permeate the air add 3 cups of water and let boil.

2. Meanwhile in a large sieve or colander, wash the peas under running water until the draining water runs clear. Set aside.

3. Grin into a paste the garlic, the green onion and the parsley a little bit of salt.

4. In a large, heavy skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add paste, shrimp and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the peas, stir and cover with medium heat for 10 minutes and uncover and add pepper, salt and cloves. Watch carefully for any sign of burning.

5. In a large sieve or colander drain the Djon Djon to recuperate the black water in a bowl and set aside. Add the remaining water to the boiled Djon Djon and press with a spoon or by hand to remove all bring out all the remaining color and drain through the sieve, add this to the black water in the bowl.

6. When the peas are tender and intact add the black water to which will add ½ teaspoon of salt to taste and black ground pepper, bouquet garni and butter.

7. When the black water boils, add the rice and stir for 1 minute or until the grains turn somewhat opaque.

8. Bring to a hard boil until all water evaporates. Reduce the heat, cover tightly and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Simmer 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the liquid.

Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary with salt and pepper. Fluff the rice and peas with a fork and serve hot.

Riz & Peas or (pigeon peas)

Ingredients 

2 cups of brown rice
1 cup of fresh peas or frozen
2 tomatoes
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 cup of coconut milk
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
¼ c salted pork fat or lardons (optional)
scallion
1 chicken bouillon
¼ teaspoon salt
black pepper
bouquet garni
scotch bonnet pepper
Tri-tri (optional)

Instructions

1. Grin into a paste the garlic, scallion two twig of parsley and a bit of coarse salt. 

2.  Remove the skin off the tomatoes and cut it into chunks

2. In a dutch oven,  heat the  oil. Add the paste made of scallion, garlic etc...let it fry for 2 minutes and add the peas and tomatoes, add 3 tablespoon of water and cover for 8 minutes. Stir to avoid that the beans sticks to the bottom or to burn. When the peas has absorb the spices.

5. Add coconut milk into pot and let it fry with peas for 2 minutes and add about 3 cups of water or just enough to cover the rice, NOT TOO MUCH! you don't want the rice to be moochy and the bouquet garni, scotch bonnet, salt chicken bouillon, salt and pepper to taste and a slice of butter if you like and let boil. You can also add the Tri-tri if you decide to add it to your dish.

6. When the water starts to boil, wash the rice three times under cold water and add it to the pot and stir to avoid lumps.  Do not stir it again and wait for water to evaporate.

7. Bring to a hard boil until all water evaporates. Stir the rice and reduce the heat, cover tightly and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Simmer 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the remaining liquid and is fluff.

Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary with salt and pepper. Fluff the rice and peas with a fork and serve hot.

Variation:

This rice is great and it is perfect with fish or "Legume"

Riz Jardinage (Garden Rice)

Ingredients 

2 cups of white rice
1 large carrot
2 tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced 
1 potato peeled and diced
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil 
cabbage chopped in chunks
1/2 c of Spinach (optional)
¼ c salted pork fat or lardons (optional)
scallion
1 chicken bouillon
¼ teaspoon salt
black pepper
bouquet garni
scotch bonnet pepper
Tri-tri (optional)

Instructions

1. Grin into a paste the garlic, scallion two twig of parsley and a bit of coarse salt. 

2.  Remove the skin off the tomatoes and cut it into chunks

3. In a dutch oven,  heat the  oil. Add the pork fat/lardon and fry until golden brown and add the paste made of scallion, garlic, onions etc...let it fry for 2 minutes and add the potato and tomatoes, add 3 tablespoon of water and cover for 8 minutes. Stir to avoid that the potatoes to sticks to the bottom or to burn. 

4. Add the vegetables and let it fry  for 2 minutes and add about 3 cups of water or just enough to cover the rice, NOT TOO MUCH! you don't want the rice to be moochy and the bouquet garni, scotch bonnet, salt chicken bouillon, salt and pepper to taste and a slice of butter if you like and let boil. You can also add the Tri-tri if you decide to add it to your dish.

5. When the water starts to boil, wash the rice three times under cold water and add it to the pot and stir to avoid lumps.  Do not stir it again and wait for water to evaporate.

6. Bring to a hard boil until all water evaporates. Stir the rice and reduce the heat, cover tightly and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Simmer 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the remaining liquid and is fluff.

Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary with salt and pepper. Fluff the rice and peas with a fork and serve hot.

Variation:

This rice is great and it is perfect with fish or "Legume" or simply add cod fish when cooking the rice.

Simple Tomato Rice

Ingredients 

2 cups of white rice
6 tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced 
scallion
1 chicken bouillon
¼ teaspoon salt
black pepper
bouquet garni
scotch bonnet pepper

Instructions

1. boil a pot of water and quickly blanch the tomatoes to remove the skin.  Once the skins are removed, cut the tomatoes, strain the core through a seive to collect the tomato juice. and dice the tomatoes.

2.  Grin into a paste the garlic, scallion two twig of parsley and a bit of coarse salt. 

3. In a dutch oven,  heat the  oil. Add the tomatoes and fry for 3 minutes and add the paste made of scallion, garlic etc...let it fry for 2 minutes add 3 cups of water and cover for 8 minutes. 

4. let the water boil and add  the bouquet garni, scotch bonnet, salt chicken bouillon, salt and pepper to taste and a slice of butter if you like and let boil. 

5. When the water starts to boil, wash the rice three times under cold water and add it to the pot and stir to avoid lumps.  Do not stir it again and wait for water to evaporate.

7. Bring to a hard boil until all water evaporates. Stir the rice and reduce the heat, cover tightly and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting. Simmer 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and has absorbed all the remaining liquid and is fluff.

Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary with salt and pepper. Fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot.

Variation:

This rice is great and it is great if you add smoked herring in it.

Mais Moulin/Cornmeal (Polenta)

Mais moulin can be served on its own, with sos pwa nwa (black bean sauce), with sos ti-malice (a hot
sauce, that I will make another week), and with a variety of other sauces. It is often served with fish.
1T butter
1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/4t dried thyme
1/4c canned diced tomatoes
1/2t salt (approx)
1 1/4c medium grind cornmeal
2 1/2c water
1c to 1 can coconut milk (light OK)
Method



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