Haiti is located in the continent of North America. It has the Atlantic Ocean to the north, Dominican Republic to the east, Caribbean Sea to the south, Panama, Costa Rico, Nicaragua and Honduras to the far southwest, Jamaica to the west and Cuba to the northwest.
The capital is Port-au-Prince.
The official languages are Haitian Creole and French.
The climate is warm, humid and has variations on the temperature due to the elevations. The staples are rice, maize, wheat flour, sorghum, beans, peas, yams, cassava, sweet potatoes, bananas, plantains and edible oil (https://reliefweb.int/report/haiti/haiti-staple-food-market-fundamentals-march-2018#:~:text=The%20main%20staple%20foods%20in,plantains)%2C%20and%20edible%20oil).
HAITIAN GRIOT (https://www.caribbeangreenliving.com/haitian-griot-3/):
- 3 lb pork shoulder, cubed
- ½ C sour orange juice
- ½ C lime juice fresh, about 2-3 limes
- 1 TBSP kosher salt
- 1 TBSP parsley, chopped
- ½ TBSP thyme leaves only
- 2 stalks scallions, chopped
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil for frying
- 1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional)
- Remove juice from limes and put aside. Do not throw away the lime juices.
- In a bowl, add meat and rub lime pieces on each meat pieces to clean. Rinse with cold water and put aside.
- In a separate dish, add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT oil and then stir. Make sure you do not break the hot pepper if using.
- Add meat in a bag or bowl with all the spices and let marinate for at least 30 minutes before cooking. Marinate for a longer period of time for more flavor enhancement.
- Add meat ad marinade into a heavy pan or pot and boil on low to medium high heat covered for about 30-45 minutes until meat is tender.
- Remove meat from pot and fry in batches in hot oil at 350F.
- Remove from oil and place on plate covered with paper towel to remove excess oil.
MAKAWONI AU GRATEN (Haitian Macaroni and Cheese) (http://loveforhaitianfood.com/makawoni-au-graten-haitian-macaroni-and/):
- 2 x 16oz packs of rigatoni or penne pasta
- 16 C water
- 1-1/2 tsp seasoned salt
- 2 TBSP butter
- 2x 12 oz cans evaporated milk
- ½ C onions, finely chopped
- 1/3 C bell peppers, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 C mayonnaise
- 2 C grated parmesan cheese
- 3 C Gouda (Dutch) cheese
- In a large pot, salt the 16 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add pasta and allow it to cook for 10-15 minutes or until al dente. Drain and set pasta aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In the same pot, on medium heat, sauté butter, garlic, onions, and bell peppers for 1- minutes or until visibly tender.
- Add pasta to the sautéed ingredients, along with 1 can of evaporated milk and mix well. Then add seasoned salt, mayonnaise, 1 C grated parmesan, 2 cups gouda and remaining can evaporated milk to pasta, continue to mix. Salt to taste.
- Pour pasta mixture into a 15”x10”x2” rectangular baking dish, sprinkle remaining cup of Parmesan and Gouda cheese on top layer. Place pan on the middle rack in oven uncovered and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until top is golden brown. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
DOUS MAKOS (Haitian Fudge) (http://haitiancooking.com/recipe/dous-makos-haitian-fudge/):
- 2 C of sugar
- ½ C of whole milk
- 1x 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
- 8 TBSP butter
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp of Star anise extract
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Red food coloring (optional red layer)
- ¼ tsp cocoa powder (optional for dark brown layer)
- Wax paper
- Mini loaf pans
- In a 3-quart non-stick pot, add all ingredients (except food coloring and cocoa powder) and cook on medium heat until sugar dissolves while stirring constantly.
- Once sugar dissolves raise heat to high and continue stirring for 20-25 minutes or until mix has a lava consistency. If you have a candy thermometer it will be around 239F.
- Remove the pot off the heat and continue stirring for another 10-15 minutes. The mix will start to lose its shinny color as it cools.
- OPTIONAL: If you want to make the signature stripes, take half the mix and separate the half into 2 containers. Add 2 drops of food coloring in the first and a ¼ tsp of cocoa powder in the second. Mix thoroughly.
- Place wax paper in the mini loaf pans and fill it with the mix.
- Allow the mix to cool and harden for about an hour.
- Remove the mix from the pan and slice vertically.
- Store in a cool place.
I am sssooo happy that I had my battle buddy and some of her family here to eat this meal with me. We enjoyed it!!