JOURNEY CAKE BISCUITS

Food, music and the arts. 

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The truth about Bahamian Johhny Cake with a bonus recipe;

Journey Cake Biscuits.

Google Johnny cake and undoubtedly you will run into a history that puts the orgin of these local favorites as somewhere on the Atlantic Coast of America. Go figure!

Seems as though they passed over a slew of indigenous Caribbean people, the African slaves, Spanish and English colonizers that were more likely responsible for this recipe.


Although I dare not claim that these delights are endemic to our region, I will say that all signs point to the Taino people and the regions invaders as the originals. Albeit in a different form that we see today.


One of the major differences of the original recipe from today is that it was most likely made with milled corn, pork fat and no leavening or rising agent. In fact, in some places, it still is. Also, it was probably made with mature coconut water or coconut "rush" which is fresh made coconut milk. Recipes and cooking time would have also been adjusted so that the shelf life on these treats would be longer. They were in fact called, "Journey cakes" because they lasted for days and were a staple for Bahamians tending cotton fields and gone on exploration up through the Americas. Later it became a side and because of the language and diction differences was called Johnny. cakes.


Chef notes: The three most important parts of culture are; food, music and the arts. Please help me share the rich food culture of The Bahamas not just to the world but first wiyh each other, especially our kids. They deserve it.

 

Journey Cake Biscuits. 

Ingredients

3 lbs all purpose flour

4 oz organic cane sugar

3/4 oz fine sea salt

3 oz baking powder

1/2 lb cold unsalted butter

1/2 lb cold shortening or bacon fat

8 oz coconut milk

8 oz buttermilk

8 oz heavy cream

3 regular size eggs

M.O.P.

Sift all the dry ingredients together. Mix all the wet excluding the butter and shortening. (Dice the butter and keep both cold.)

Cut the shortening and butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like wet sand. Add the wet and combine. Do not over knead. Mix gently until absorbed. Shape the dough and roll into a square about 1 1/2 to 2 inches. Cut the dough square into equal individual portions.

Add to a greased pan and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Remove and bake immediately. 

Bake for 12 to 14 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Serve with whatever you like. My favorites are;

*Ham butter

*Pimento cheese

*Boil or stew fish

*Any kind of souse

*Soft cooked eggs

The truth about Bahamian conch fritters

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THE TRUTH ABOUT CONCH FRITTERS THAT NO ONE WANTS YOU TO KNOW.


Fritters are found in many cuisines. The French beignets, Italian bigne, Jamaica Stomp & Go, and Greek loukoumades are the first type of fritter.


However google "Conch Fritters" and you inevitably find an invention created in The Bahamas. After extensive forensic-like research, noone is credited for the recipe and it is most likely first made with dry conch and little to no rising agent similar to the Stomp and Go, salt cod fritters found in Jamaica. Ask any elderly Bahamian and they will certainly tell you that conch fritters were always made with;

1. Dry conch.

2. Conch bubbie, the conch eyes

3. Conch skin

4. The water used to rehydrate the dried conch.

5. Chopped up vegetables, hot peppers and herbs like wild thyme; A far cry from today's recipes.

Also due to the lack of refrigeration and the use of dried conch, early conch fritters often had a very sharp tangy taste from the fermentation that naturally occurred.

One other important cooking feature of past conch fritter recipes was the smokey notes the fritters often got after being fried in pig fat or lard over open cedar wood flames in a cast iron skillet dedicated only to frying foods.


Finally, according to my sources from Cat Island, conch fritters were originally sold 6 for 4 shillings on street corners, parks, beaches and alike by the wives of fishermen in different settlements. They were also served in old newspaper with pepper sauce and not the Calypso sauce (mayonnaise based ) we know today.


Finally, finally I don't know about you, but sharing these food facts gets me excited. I think our food history is so much more than tasteless fritters being sold in a hotel for 12 dollars for 6 in some fancy plate. There are so many stories to be told by the food we make and they should be shared.


If you have a recipe you want me to explore or one to share hit me up and I will certainly see what I can come up with.

#242totheworld #conch #saltlife #socialgastronomy #bahamian #recipes #fritters #research #seatospoon #castiron #skillet #facts #tourism #hospitality

#food #culture

 

 

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Watermelon on da vine.

 I'm not sure  if there's a term for chefs that see things in color that is as cool as synesthesia for musicians , but there should be and it would explain how I see red and green when I see the word             "watermelon" .

 

The Bahamian folk song, "Watermelon spoiling on the vine" is one of my favorites and so is this dish. So simple, but yet so complex in flavor.

Add this is one of the few dishes I make where the garnish is vital to the overall experience of the dish. As you will learn I love soups and how you can make any soup seem sophisticated. But that's for later. For now you will need: 

A blender or juicer 

A melon baller

A fine mesh type strainer 

A skillet and other typical kitchen tools. 

INGREDIENTS

1 large local watermelon 

2 limes 

1/4 oz fresh ginger  peeled

A splash or two of Tabasco 

6 large shrimp. Peeled and deveined  ( I use a 13/15 shrimp)

2 tsp store bought blackening spice ( I have some in the making for purchase at a later date)  

Garnish with Green Leaf Farms edible flowers, chives and micro greens. ( Stop being cheap! #yesisaidit)

METHOD OF PREPARATION (M.O.P. for all future recipes)

Cut the melon in half.  And place it in a bowl to reserve all of the liquids. Then use the melon baller to make the perfect melon balls. Then freeze for about 4 hours along with the serving bowl. Yes put the clean bowls in the freezer as well.

Using a juicer extract the juice of the all the remaining water melon and the ginger.

*If using a blender use the collected juice to get it started.  DO NOT ADD WATER! Then strain with a fine mesh sieve. 

Then simply add the juice from one lime ( Yeah I said 2 but you can never tell with limes. Taste it first and if you want or need more add it. It should taste bright and watermelony  not like limeade!). At the Tabasco.

Reserve and chill 

Simply season the shrimp with the blackening and sear in a cast iron skillet. To properly blacken something you should have a intensely hot skillet and a drop or 2 of regular oil. Not EVOO!   REMEMBER TO COOK THE SHRIMP LAST MINUTE. AKA "A LA MINUTE" in kitchen terms.

This way you have a contrast of hot and cold....citrus, sweet, spicy and some bitter from the edible flowers. Culinary perfection. 

Plate up as seen.

 

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Simple can sometimes be the best.  

 

Keep it clean and simple  

Keep it clean and simple  

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This dish combines the sum of the whole to make it work.  

 

Dimple ways to plate up at home.  

 

The muse for this dish.  

......Conch ain't got no bone.

It's election day in our amazing Bahamas and the streets are filled with Bahamian pride. With that in mind we are sharing not 1, not 2, but 3 amazing seafood recipes and a video!

What says Da' Bahamas like seafood? So when everything has settled and we are all back to doing what we do, come back and try one or all of these amazing recipes. Then take a picture and post it with the hashtag #mrpopupbahamas and be entered to win some amazing prizes. 

Have a safe and beautiful day Bahamas!  

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#mrpopupbahamas

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Did you know that a conch is mollusk? 

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Did you know that although conch is found throught the Caribbean, the preparation is the most unique in the Bahamas? 

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Regional cuisine!