Preserved or boxed foods are foods of convenience that are useful when running late or when in search for a quick meal. However, there is no substitute for homemade, Caribbean/Bajan style cooking. Therefore, we present 5 popular boxed dishes and their Caribbean/Bajan alternatives.
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- In a large bowl mix 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 and a half teaspoons of baking powder, a ½ a cup of sugar, 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg and a ½ teaspoon of salt together.
- Add 2 tablespoons of softened, unsalted butter to the mixture and stir. Slowly add a a ¾ cup of water, and stir with a spoon.
- Using the spoon, scoop balls of the mixture into a frying pan or deep fryer until golden brown.
- Serve hot, or lukewarm with sausage or salt fish (Adapted rom Its Recipes).
- Wash and boil 7 peeled potatoes until tender, and set them aside in a separate bowl.
- Mash these potatoes until completely smooth.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of butter, a ¼ cup of milk and a ½ cup of grated cheese to the potatoes and stir until it reaches your desired level of smoothness.
- Add desired seasoning or herbs, for example oregano, to the potatoes and continue to stir.
- Serve with an additional small block of soft (but not completely melted) butter at the top (Adapted from Simply Trini Cooking)
- Boil a few cups of salted water
- Take a pack of macaroni (any kind) and add to the boiling water.
- Cook until the macaroni is tender.
- Preheat the oven to 300-350F.
- Drain the macaroni, return it to the saucepan and add 1 onion (diced), 4 cups of grated cheese, 1 cup of evaporated milk, 1/3 cup of ketchup, 1 table spoon of yellow mustard and 1 beaten egg to the saucepan and stir (the mustard and egg are optional but are useful to add colour and hold respectively)
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour the mixture into a dish and add more grated cheese to the top. Fine breadcrumbs and cayenne pepper can also be added as a topping.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
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- Dice green seasoning, celery, marjoram and thyme. Soak about 3 packs of Eclipse Biscuits in one cup of water and add more water if needed.
- Add garlic, onion, fresh herbs, marjoram, green seasoning, sweet and hot pepper, iodized salt and pepper to taste.
- Mix the biscuits, seasoning and herbs together and add water to obtain the desired texture.
- Bake in a dish at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown, or use to stuff a turkey or a chicken (From Network Barbados).
- Preheat the oven to 400F (205C). Lightly grease and flour one 9 or 10 inch circular pan.
- By hand or with a spatula, cream 2 cups of butter and 1 and a ½ cups of sugar together until light and fluffy. Add 4 eggs all at once and beat well.
- Sift 3 cups of all-purpose flour and 4 and a ½ teaspoons of baking powder together.
- Add this to the butter mixture along with 1 cup of milk. Continue to beat well (the batter will be doughy).
- Add another cup of milk along with 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, and 1 tablespoon of almond extract.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake at 400F (205C) for 1 hour. Reduce heat to 350F (175C) and continue baking for an additional 15 minutes (From allrecipes.com).
So, the next time you grocery shop and think about picking up a few boxes of Kraft Mac and Cheese, go instead for a few packs of macaroni and some cheese and do it the Caribbean way. It may be more time consuming, but it is certainly worth it!
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