Virgin Islands Cooking
By Carol Bareuther

Virgin Islands Cooking      The definitive cookbook of the Virgin Islands with over 120 tasty, time-tested, easy-to-use recipes of Traditional and Contemporary Caribbean cuisine from the Virgin Island’s best chefs and restaurants. A complete cookbook with sections for appetizers, beverages, salads, soups, side dishes, breads & baked goods, soups, red meats, poultry, fish & shellfish, sweets and "extras" (sauces, jams, and spices).
     Traditional West Indian recipes include fungi, docouna, fritters, kallaloo, goat water and cassava bread, along with dessert favorites such as stewed gooseberries on a stick, tie-tie sugar cake, dundersloe, jawbone and soursop ice cream.
     It is also chock full of interesting ‘inside’ information. Do you know how Johnny Cake and Dumb Bread got their names? Do you know how to make a soup from a cactus? Or use aloe flowers to accent your salad? Or hibiscus flowers to make a tea?
     (155 pages, illustrated)

ISBN 0-9631060-6-6        Price: $18.00

Excerpts from Virgin Islands Cooking


Fish and fungi is so popular in the Virgin Islands that it could be called the unofficial national dish.
     While most visitors to the island are familiar with a variety of fish dishes, fungi is unfamiliar. Fungi can best be described simply as a stiff cornmeal mush. It is made from fine milled cornmeal. The trick is to stir the fungi properly so that it is velvety smooth, not lumpy. Fungi can be served plain or with the addition of okra.
     On a historic note, fish and fungi’s roots lead back to the days of slavery. Danish Law allowed each slave six quarts of Indian meal and six salt herring per week. Occasionally, there were other foods thrown into the ration like yams. But the mainstay of cornmeal and fish led the African women to the creative result of fish and fungi.
     Today, fungi is usually served with boiled local fish and topped with gravy.

Okra fungi
10 ounce package frozen cut okra
2½ cups boiling water
1½ cups fine yellow cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter
¼ teaspoon salt pepper, to taste

     Place frozen okra in boiling water. Cook until just barely tender.
     In a medium saucepan, bring 2½ cups water to a boil. To make fungi that is free from lumps, mix about ¼ cup of the cornmeal with ¾ cup water in a separate small bowl. Then, add this mixture back into the larger pot of boiling water. Then, add the rest of the cornmeal into the pan in a slow steady stream, while stirring constantly.
     Add hot cooked okra to cooked cornmeal. Stir well. Stir in the butter, salt and pepper. Simmer for about 5 minutes more. Serve piping hot with Boiled Fish West Indian Style.

     Makes 8 servings. Per Serving: 132 calories, 3 grams fat, 7 milligrams cholesterol and 98 milligrams sodium.

Avacodo Recioe


     In the Caribbean, a pate is a fried pastry filled with meat and/or vegetables. In 1988, the Virgin Island’s Daily News 'Best of the Virgin Islands Awards' for the most delicious pate went to Augustus Beaupierre, owner of Little Bopeep restaurant on St. Thomas.
     What makes his pate so special?
     "It’s the crust," Beaupierre said. "Most people don’t know it, but the crust of a pate is as important as the crust of a pizza. It shouldn’t be too hard or too soft."
     Another characteristic of a good pate is the quality of the ingredients used to make the filling. "I use only good quality beef," Beaupierre said. "That way, it’s not too fatty. I also use up to sixteen different types of herbs and spices for seasonings."
     At the Little Bopeep restaurant, Beaupierre sells pate made with beef, conch, chicken, shrimp, lobster, saltfish, and vegetable fillings. His beef pate is, by far, the most popular.

Little Bopeep Meat Pate
5 cups flour
¼ cup vegetable shortening
2 tablespoons baking powder
¼ to ½ cup water

Pate filling:
½ pound lean ground beef
½ small onion, chopped
1 small stick celery, chopped
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons green bell pepper, chopped
Dash oregano
Dash black pepper
1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
2 teaspoons tomato paste
Dash parsley flakes
Dash garlic powder
¼ small hot pepper, chopped (or to taste)

     To make dough: place flour, shortening, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add enough water to make a dough. Knead for 10 to 15 minutes. Let dough sit for 20 minutes.
     To make ground meat filling: cook beef in a large frying pan with onion, celery, bell pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, oregano, parsley flakes, salt, tomato paste, Kitchen Bouquet and hot pepper. Continue cooking until ground beef is well cooked and vegetables are tender. Stir often while cooking to blend ingredients well. Use a large strainer to remove excess fat from the meat mixture.
     Divide dough into two pieces. Roll flat and place 1-1/2 tablespoons of ground beef mixture into center of flattened dough. Fold dough over filling using a fork to seal ends so that the filling is completely sealed inside like a turnover. Use dough cutter to cut excess dough around the pate to give an even shape.
     Deep fry in vegetable oil or shortening at 360 degrees until golden brown. Makes about 8 pates. Per pate: 418 calories, 11 grams fat, 15 milligrams cholesterol and 344 milligrams sodium.


Copyright by Carol Bareuther. All rights reserved.
To order by mail:
send a check or money order to
American Paradise Publishing
POB 781
St. John, VI 00831

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