BEST of Antigua and Barbuda food : Fungee and Pepperpot !
Read our previous posting: “Best of Angola food: Moamba de Galinha!”
Fungee and Pepperpot is the national dish of Antigua and Barbuda.
That is somewhat strange, as pepperpot is a hearty meat stew, more frequently associated with colder climates.
Fungee is cornmeal with okra.
Both fungee and pepperpot are food preparations whose origins apparently predate the arrival of Columbus to the islands of the Caribbean!
So fungee and pepperpot is probably as authentic a Caribbean dish as you will find.
Recipe from InternationalCookingProject.blogspot.com, which modifies the traditional recipe to account for local ingredient availability:
-1 lb. corned beef brisket, cut into 1″ pieces
-1.64 lb. ham, cut across lengthwise (the original recipe didn’t specify an amount; this is what I used)
-8 c. water
-2 T. vegetable oil
-1 lg. onion, chopped
-4 green onions, chopped
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-1 habañero pepper, seeded and minced
-14 oz. can of whole tomatoes, drained
-1/4 c. tomato paste
-1 T. fresh chives, chopped
-1/2 tsp. ground thyme
-1 med. eggplant, cut into 1″ pieces
-1 lb. acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1″ pieces
-1/2 lb. yam, peeled and cut into 1″ pieces
-1/4 lb. fresh baby spinach
-16 oz can blackeyed peas, drained
-1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1) In a 4 qt. Dutch oven, bring the corned beef, ham and water to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until the meat is tender, about 1.5 hours. Drain the meat, reserving both the meat and the cooking liquid. Coarsely chop the ham.
2) While the meat is simmering, take the time to peel and cut all of the vegetables.
3) In the same 4 qt. Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, green onions, garlic and habañero pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened, about 4 minutes.
4) Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, chives and thyme, breaking up the tomatoes with a spoon. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
5) Stir in the eggplant, squash and yam. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in meat and reserved meat cooking liquid. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until vegetables are done, about 20 minutes.
6) Stir in the peas and spinach. Cook until the spinach has wilted, about 5 minutes.
7) Season with pepper.
8) To serve, scoop 1-2 cups over fungee.
Ingredients:-4 c. water
-2 c. yellow cornmeal
-1 tsp. salt
-6 okras, sliced
1) Place water, okra and salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook until okras are done, about 5 minutes.
2) Remove about 2 c. liquid from pan.
3) Meanwhile, add cold water to cornmeal a little bit at a time until the cornmeal reaches a pasty batter. (I think that I ended up using about 1 c. cold water).
4) Add cornmeal mixture to okra water. Over low heat, stir continuously with a wooden spoon until mixture becomes fairly stiff. (I did this for about 7 minutes; I think I should have stirred for closer to 10). When the mixture breaks away clearly from the pan, the fungee is ready.
5) Butter a bowl. Turn the mixture into the bowl and shake it into the shape of the bowl. Turn it out onto a serving dish,
6) Serve with pepperpot.
Read our related posting: “Antigua and Barbuda, land of the 365 beaches!”
Read our next posting: “Best of Argentina food: the asado!”
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