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16294: LMB-Recipes 5 (fwd)

From: LMB <lauretteb@yahoo.com>

Cabbage Rolls
Mechie - Chou Farci

by Mirta Yurnet-Thomas

Syrians and Lebanese migrated to Haiti in the nineteenth
century and brought along their cuisine. Haitians also
prepare this Arabic dish, originally cooked with lamb, with
beef and hot peppers. Stuff the mechie mix in cabbage, as
illustrated in this recipe. You can stuff grape leaves and
eggplants as well.
This recipe is a favorite among the Antoine family, whose
great grandfather migrated to Haiti from Lebanon to
establish businesses. Paul Antoine, who taught his children
to love both Haitian and Arabic cuisine, was born in
Port-au-Prince. He later moved his family to Hinche, Haiti.

Yield: 18 to 20 servings

Ingredients - Mechi Mix:

1 pound very lean ground beef
1 pound steak, minced, or 1 pound beef chunks
3 large tomatoes, minced
1 bunch parsley, stemmed and minced
3 scallions, minced
2 large onions, minced
4 Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and minced
5 cups rice, rinsed with cold water
1½ (8-ounce) cans tomato paste
4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon black pepper, or to taste
½ cup ketchup
1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 small lime, cut in half
3 cabbages
3 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled
Mix ground beef, minced steak or beef chunks, tomatoes,
parsley, scallions, onions, Scotch bonnet peppers, rice, 1
can tomato paste, 3 teaspoons salt, black pepper, ketchup,
½ cup olive oil, onion powder, and garlic powder. Squeeze
lime into mix.

Core and parboil the cabbage leaves. Slice leaves in half
and trim the rib. Use inner smaller leaves whole but remove
rib if necessary to allow rolling. Each leaf should be
about 3 inches in length. Cover bottom of large pot with
cabbage leaves.

Take 1 tablespoon of mechie mixture and place along the rib
of each individual cabbage leaf. Fold the ends of cabbage
leaf over the mixture and roll up. Place rolled mechies in
the pot very close to one another so they don’t open up and
fall apart. Make 3 tight layers. Place a small lid on a
plate over the mechie to hold it in place.

In a bowl, mix ½ can tomato sauce with 3 cups water and 1
teaspoon salt. Pour into pot until water is leveled with
the mechie. In a mortar and pestle crush garlic cloves with
1 teaspoon salt. Mix with 1/2 cup olive oil and pour over
mechie. Cover pot and steam on medium low heat for 30
minutes or until water evaporates (not completely).

Mechie can be wrapped with grape leaves or stuffed in
peppers or eggplants. If using eggplants, soak in salt
water for 1 hour as many small eggplants as you want to
stuff. Roll the eggplants with the palm of your hand to
soften them. Remove leaf from top. Cut 1½-inches off the
head and save the piece. Take out pulp without breaking the
skin of the eggplant. Cover bottom of medium-size sauce pot
with cabbage leaves. Fill each eggplant with mechie mix to
1-inch from top. Trim head that was cut off so it fits as a
lid on eggplant. Place in pot very close together. Mix ¼
cup of tomato sauce with 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt
and pour over eggplant and cook for 30 minutes on low heat.
In a mortar and pestle add 1 teaspoon salt with 2 or 3
large garlic cloves and crush garlic. Add 1 tablespoon
olive oil and pour over eggplant and cook another 30
minutes on low heat. Make sure water does not fully
evaporate while the eggplants are cooking.


Hen with Cashews
Manman Poul ak Nwa - Poulet aux Noix de Cajou

by Mirta Yurnet-Thomas

Haitians from the northern part of Haiti cook with cashews.
Edith Thomas often prepares this dish for the family on

Yield: 6 servings


1 cup cashews
1 hen (or small chicken), cut in 8 to 10 pieces
1 lime
3 tablespoons pikliz, or to taste
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 shallot, sliced thin
1 scallion, chopped
½ green bell pepper
½ red bell pepper
1 parsley or cilantro sprig
1 thyme sprig
2 to 3 whole cloves
½ tablespoon salt, or to taste
¼ tablespoon black pepper, or to taste
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup sos ti-malis
In small pot, boil cashews in 2 cups water over low heat
for 1 hour and put aside. While the cashews are cooking,
clean hen with lime, rinse with water and drain. Marinate
hen with pikliz, garlic onion, shallot, scallion, and green
and red pepper. Put marinated hen in large pot and parsley
or cilantro, thyme, cloves, salt, and pepper. Cook over
medium heat, covered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The juices will evaporate allowing the meat to start

Dissolve tomato paste in 1 cup water and stir into the
chicken 1/4 cup at a time and cover until it evaporates. Do
this 4 times (until you use up the cup of dissolved tomato
paste). The idea is that you want the meat to become brown
on all sides. This process takes 40 minutes.

Alternatively, you can put the hen in the oven for 45
minutes to 1 hour at 350ºF until meat is brown. Add sos
ti-malis to the hen. Add cashews and cook, covered, for
another 20 minutes. When it is cooked, see if it needs a
zing; if so, add another tablespoon of pikliz, or more salt
and pepper to taste.
Polenta, Beans and Coconut
Maya Moulen Kole Ak Pwa Ak Kokoye -
Polenta aux Haricots Rouges et a la Noix de Coco

by Mirta Yurnet-Thomas

There are two ways to make this dish: a quick and easy way
and a tastier, more natural, but more time-consuming way.
Dominique Thomas, who loves to cook typical African dishes,
makes this dish from time to time.

Servings: 4 to 6

Easy Way:

1 tablespoon oil
¼ cup ground spices
2 (15½-ounce) cans red kidney beans
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1(13½-ounce) can coconut milk
4 cloves
1 cup coarse cornmeal
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
Heat oil. Add ground spices and sauté for 5 minutes on
medium heat. Fry the beans and add seasoned salt for 5
minutes. Add coconut milk and cloves and let boil for 5
minutes. Add 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add
cornmeal and salt. Lower heat and cover. Let cook for 25
minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

Tastier Way:

1 cup dried red kidney beans
1 coconut
2 tablespoons oil
1 small onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
¼ green bell pepper, minced
2 parsley sprigs, destemmed and minced
2 teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
4 cloves
1 cup coarse cornmeal
Boil kidney beans in 6 cups water, uncovered, on medium
heat for 1½ hours or until beans are fork tender. Strain
beans and keep liquid.

Crack the coconut open. Dislodge coconut from the shell and
grate it. Boil grated coconut in 4 cups water, uncovered,
on medium-low heat for ½ hour. Strain coconut and set water

In a saucepan, heat oil. Fry the cooked beans with the
onion, garlic, green pepper, and parsley for 5 minutes. Add
coconut water and bean water (total 4 cups), salt, black
pepper and cloves. Bring to a boil and add cornmeal. Cover
and cook for 40 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. You want
liquid to evaporate but you do not want cornmeal to stick
to the pot.
Pumpkin Soup
Soup Joumou - Soupe Au Giraumon

by Mirta Yurnet-Thomas

The pumpkin used for this soup is called calabaza, commonly
known as Cuban squash, West Indian pumpkin, and giraumon.
This soup is traditionally served on New Year's Day and is
prepared early New Year's morning with lots of pumpkin and
lots of beef. All Haitians commence the New Year with this
soup, no matter where they live. Haitians, on January 1,
make up with friends they have lost throughout the year.
They wish all others well. The kids receive gifts, money,
food, and mainly cake. If people visit, they offer them
homemade grenadine sherry and "Joumou"".

Haitians do not cook a lot of food on New Year's Day
because they are preparing for the Ancestor's Day
celebration of January 2, which is a tribute to the
ancestors who fought for Haiti's independence. On New
Year's day, they clean the house and prepare the turkey for
the feast of the following day. This is the biggest meal of
the year; animals are slaughtered and everyone's best is
served. Haiti gained its independence on November 18, 1803.
However, the Declaration of Independence was not signed
until January 1, 1804, and it is officially celebrated on
Ancestor's Day, January 2. On this day, the president
addresses the nation and parades take place.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings


2 pounds calabaza pumpkin, peeled and cut into large chunks
2 pounds beef neck bones
1 lime, cut in half
2 scallions, including the green tops, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
1 shallot, minced
2 chives, minced
1 green pepper, sliced thin
2 tablespoons Pikliz
2 tablespoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
4 celery stalks, cut in 1-inch pieces
10 cabbage leaves, cut in 4 pieces each
1 leek stalk, sliced in 1-inch pieces (optional)
2 large carrots, peel cut in 1-inch pieces
4 to 6 whole cloves
½ cup spaghetti (or macaroni or a little of both)
2 large potatoes, peeled and cut in 4 pieces each
1 Scotch Bonnet pepper, whole and pricked with a fork twice

1tablespoon butter (optional)
Soup Dumplings
In a medium pot, cook pumpkin over medium heat in 6 cups
water for 30 minutes. Purée pumpkin in the water.
While pumpkin is cooking, clean meat with lime, rinse with
cold water and drain. Marinate meat with scallions, onion,
garlic, shallot, chives, green pepper, pikliz, salt and
black pepper. (You can marinate meat from 1 hour up to one
day in advance for flavor enhancement.)

In stockpot, add the meat with 1 cup water and cook covered
over medium heat for 40 minutes. Add 3 cups water and
puréed pumpkin and bring to a boil for 40 minutes.

Add celery, cabbage, leek, carrots and whole cloves. Cook,
uncovered, for 20 minutes. Add pasta, potatoes, hot pepper,
and butter and spoon in dumplings. Cook, uncovered for 20
Taste it. If it needs more salt and/or pepper, add to

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