Our Vegetarian Cookbook Club seems to be well underway now. As of today’s date we have had three meetings at the Mitchel Branch of the New Haven Free Public Library and one at the North Branch of the Bridgeport Public Library. These two locations should serve us well.
January’s cookbook was Provisions – the roots of Caribbean cooking by Michelle Rousseau & Suzanne Rousseau. The recipes are from a restaurant the authors owned in Jamaica. For us “white bread” northerners this book served to explain a section of the grocery store that we have been questioning for sometime. YAMS No, not the orange sweet potatoes from grandma’s Sweet Potato Pie. These yams are BIGGER but, just as easy to cook. We tried Yellow Yams, Dasheen, Batata (Sweet Potato), and Eddoes both boiled and roasted. The recipes are in the book, please check them out.
In Bridgeport, the highlight of our evening was the Scotch Bonnet Peppers. Or at least I am going to blame the mishaps of the evening on them. Scotch Bonnet Peppers are indigenous to the Caribbean Islands and Central America. They are hot. No, let rephrase that they are HOT. The jalapeno pepper is hot. They rate between 2,500 and 8,000 SHU on the Scoville scale. Scotch Bonnet Peppers are between 80,000 – 400,000 SHU.*
Everyone can’t eat spicy foods. As we we were preparing the Callaloo in Coconut Milk recipe, we put the addition of the peppers up for a vote. Well, we decided to add them and the Fire Alarm went off. (It could have actually gone off because I was directly underneath the sensor but…..) We had to evacuate the entire library and stand outside, keep in mind it is January in Connecticut, waiting for first for the Fire Trucks to arrive and then do a full inspection of the building. It was about a half hour before they gave us the OK to return inside. We headed back in to well roasted Batata and Eddoes served with Vegan Margarine and Haitian Pikliz (more Scotch Bonnet Peppers). The Yellow Yams, Dasheen, and Batata mashed with Coconut Milk, Nutmeg, and Salt and Pepper.
Pick up the book and try the recipe then, join us for the next meeting. All the upcoming dates and times are listed on my website on VEGETARIAN COOKBOOK CLUB page
The Scoville scale is a measurement of the pungency (spiciness or “heat”) of chili peppers and other spicy foods, as recorded in ScovilleHeat Units (SHU) based on the concentration of capsaicinoids, among which capsaicin is the predominant component.*