Monday, March 1, 2010

Cluinary Tour - My Haitian Dinner

When I saw the fun Culinary Tour on Foodalogue I knew that I had to try it out and play along. This week the tour stop was Haiti. So I invited my Mom and Dad over for a Haitian Dinner.
First up was Pikliz - a Haitian spicy pickle.

I chopped up 1/2 a head of cabbage.

Then finely chopped up 2 carrots and 1 onion in the food processor.

Then I mixed everything together and added a habanero pepper. Almost every recipe called for a scotch bonnet pepper or two, but I could only find habaneros.

I packed the whole mix into a BIG jar, with 2 tsp salt, 10 pepper corns and then I added white vinegar to fill up the jar.

Next was Joumou (pumpkin) soup and Diri ak pwa (red beans and rice).

I used squash that my Grandma grew in her garden and gave me - plus tomatoes I grew in my garden and canned.

Diri ak pwa
1 Tbs butter
1 small onion - chopped
1/2 yellow pepper - chopped
roasted garlic paste
tomato sauce - 1/2 cup
red beans, cooked - 2 cups
1 tsp. thyme
2 tsp. oregano
1 bay leaf
rice - 1 cup
1 3/4 cups stock
salt to taste

Saute onion in butter, add chopped pepper and rice. Add tomato sauce and spices, then add stock and red beans. Finally add garlic paste and bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 15- 18 mins.

JouMou Soup
2 cups pumpkin or squash - cooked
1/2 head of cabbage - chopped
2 carrots - chopped
1 small onion chopped
2 small potatoes chopped
garlic paste
stock or water - 4 pints
tomato sauce - 1/2 cup
2 tsp. lime juice
1/2 cup spaghetti - broken into small pieces
salt to taste
Saute the onion, add all the vegetables, spaghetti, tomato sauce and stock. Bring to a boil. Add garlic past and lime juice. Cover and simmer for 15 mins or until potato is tender.

Diri ak pwa cooking.

Adding spaghetti to Joumou soup.

Finally, Labouyi Bannann (banana cream).
1 unripe plantain
2 small ripe banana
1 - 12oz evaporated milk
1 - 12oz can of coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
dollop of lime juice
Blend the plantain and banana together and then add the mixture to a saucepan. Add milks and vanilla and spices. Simmer over med. heat until thick.
I added some fresh ginger, but that wasn't in the recipe.

Plantain and banana.

Cooking Labouyi Bannann.

I found these sodas at the grocery store. I'm not sure if they drink them in Haiti, but they were good. The coconut one was the best. The champagne flavor tastes like a cream soda.

I made Mayi Moulin - white cornmeal mush to go with the soup.
1 cup water
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup white cornmeal
Boil water and salt. Add cornmeal and stir together. Form mush into balls and place one into each bowl. Then pour soup around mayi moulin.

Whole dinner laid out.

Diri ak pwa

Joumou soup and mayi moulin

With added pikliz

And now with some fresh spinach.

Labouyi Bannann with cream and cinnamon.

Well, it was definitely a very interesting dinner! Minnesota and Haiti are very, very far apart. A lot of the Haitian recipes that I found included ingredients that I had never heard of and would never, ever find in the local grocery stores. So, I did a little improvising. I do not guarantee that any of these recipes are authentic, but they tasted good!
I actually like the cornmeal mush ball with the soup. It was a good combination and I have never eaten a cornmeal mush ball!
The red beans and rice were hands down the overall favorite.
The big excitement of the night was when my Dad 'accidentally' ate the habenero pepper from the pikliz jar.
Let's just say he couldn't finish the meal.......
I'm still trying to figure out how you 'accidentally' eat a huge, bright orange pepper. ?


  1. Very ambitious undertaking. You did a great job. Thanks so much for bringing this to Culinary Tour readers.

  2. Wow, I always love seeing a new post from you! Never know what you're going to cook next; you give me so many ideas!! :) It's fun to think of food that would normally be eaten on an ocean island when I'm sitting here looking out at a Minnesota winter landscape...

  3. Joan - Thanks for hosting the challenge! It was really fun!

    phishlady- Thank you soooo much! It is really amazing how cooking food from another country can show you/explain something about that country. It's really like visiting that country!

  4. OMG, a complete Haitian dinner. Good job!!! Everything looks so delicious. As to the accident with the habanero pepper: maybe your dad thought it was just a plain, not so spicy pepper? Hope you had enough milk at home for him ;-).