Curaçao

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Unusual Fact: The name Curaçao is believe to have from the Portuguese word for heart, coracao, and was known as a centre for trade.

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Image from Go-Unesco

Curaçao (pronounced cure-a-sow) is most commonly known as a kind of alcoholic beverage that coincidentally my parents we drinking at a party the night before we ate from Curaçao. We ate what is considered Curaçao’s national dish. Keshi Yena (pronounced kay-shee YAY-na) or stuffed Edam cheese.

Image - DS Lands
Image – DS Lands

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This edam cheese is stuffed with a mixture of wicked flavours. It’s got everything from tomato sauce to parsley. I wouldn’t change anything in this mix. We did struggle finding one big round of edam cheese to stuff so instead we got three approximately 7cm by 4cm block of edam for individual portions. We hollowed these out.

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If you are going to use this technique then make sure you put some baking paper in between each block as they will melt together. This recipe is form the Curaçao Chronicle so you can’t get any more Curaçao-ian.

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This is quite a heavy meal. With all that cheese and a meaty thick filling we needed something to balance it off. So we made a caribbean salad. This salad is not special to Curaçao in anyway we just needed something with slightly caribbean flavours to off set the heaviness of the stuffed Edam.

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This salad is really nice. The only change I would make is adding some palm sugar into the dressing and slightly less lime as it is pretty acidic. Though the mango and coriander in it were delicious.

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Stuffed Edam

Mum 8

Dad 8

Me 8

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Keshi Yena

Recipe from The Curaçao Chronicle

Ingredients

  • 2 sliced onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1 small Edam cheese (2 to 2 1/2 lbs)
  • 2 lbs. shredded cooked chicken
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped and peeled
  • 1/4 cup sliced olives
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/4 minced hot pepper (or hot sauce to taste)
  • 1/2 cup raisins and chopped prunes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 5 eggs

Slice the top off the cheese and reserve. Gently scoop out the inside, leaving a 1/4 to 1/2 inch shell. The cheese should resemble a hollowed out pumpkin. Sauté the remaining ingredients, except the eggs, in the butter; simmer for about 20 minutes. Beat 4 eggs and stir into the mixture. Spoon it into the cheese shell, replace the top and spread remaining beaten egg on top to seal.

Grease a shallow baking dish and fill it with about 1 inch of water; set the cheese in the dish and bake at 350° F for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. The cheese will expand and flatten slightly but will keep its basic shape. Serve piping hot, cut into wedges.

Leftovers are good reheated.

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Caribbean Salad

Recipe from The Food Network Canada

For the Salad Base:

6 cup of mixed salad greens

3 green onions, sliced

½ cup of fresh cilantro leaves

1 cup shredded coconut, toasted

1 mango, peeled, pitted and sliced

For the Coconut Lime Dressing:

Zest and juice of 2 limes

½ cup of coconut milk

1 Tbsp of fresh ginger, grated

Salt and pepper

For the Salad Base:

1. See Dressing directions.

For the Coconut Lime Dressing:

1. Put dressing ingredients into a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss with the greens.

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