Sunday, May 16, 2010

Callaloo and Coo-coo

One of the traditional pairings in Trinidadian cooking, this is a satisfying meal by itself, and goes well with stewed chicken or fish. Callaloo may be served as a soup, or thicker, as a vegetable paste.
Callaloo has also taken on meanings beyond the culinary; a callaloo is a melange, a mix up, a potpourri, but always palatable and goes down well. Coocoo is a creole version of polenta, foofoo, a wholesome corn-based staple. Enjoy them together.


Dasheen (taro) leaves, 15 young or rolled leaves (or a bundle as sold in the market or grocery)
Ochros, 15
Pumpkin, large wedge, about one pound, peeled and sliced or cubed
Onion, one large, peeled
Salt, half teaspoon
Water, 3-4 cups
Powdered coconut, half pack
Garlic, 3 cloves
Hot pepper, whole

Remove stems and put leaves in a deep pot. Remove stems from ochroes and cut in pieces, add to pot with pumpkin, sliced onion. Add just enough water to boil the vegetables until they are soft.Cover and allow to cool. When vegetables are cool, blend in the osterizer with garlic and coconut powder. Return to pot and heat over low to medium heat with hot pepper on top. Stir the callaloo to prevent sticking. Remove from heat when it is bubbling.


Water, 4 -6 cups
Ochros, 6, sliced across in one inch pieces
Butter, 2 tablespoons
Promasa cornmeal, 2 cups
Salt, quarter teaspoon
Garlic, one clove chopped

Heat water with ochros, butter, salt and garlic until bubbling vigorously. Add cornmeal and continue to cook at high heat, stirring. Mash up any lumps that form. Reduce heat to low-medium and continue cooking until the mixture stiffens but is not sticking to the pot.  Turn the coocoo into a bowl and allow it to cool before slicing.