Recipes: Going Dutch

Sizzling recipes from the Dutch Caribbean


Continuing our sojourn through the remarkably diverse islands of the Caribbean, it is time to move away from the mainstream to a group of islands known as the A.B.C – Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. Based on the relationship with Holland, a lot of their local cuisine has also developed an Indonesian flavour, which is probably more in keeping with the islands’ culture than the heavier, staid Dutch cuisine.The following recipes come from the Dutch Indonesian heritage.

SOLIMAR STEAK MARINADE

2 cloves crushed garlic

1/2 onion finely chopped

1/4 tsp. ground geera

1/4 tsp. ground chili pepper

 1/4 tsp. celery salt

1 tsp. Pesto

1 dash Worcester sauce

1 dash tabasco

freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients in a food processor until well blended. Brush onto steaks, both sides, cover with plastic and refrigerate for 4 hours. Remove from refrigerator at least 1/2 hour before grilling to bring meat to room temperature . If you are using a lower grade meat, a little puréed green paw paw may be added to act as a natural meat tenderizer.

BEEF STEAKS IN PEANUT BUTTER SAUCE

If you are cooking in the USA:

1 lb. US Choice Striploin trimmed and cut into thin 3″ strips about 1/2″ wide

2 oz. Solimar steak marinade

2 oz. peanut butter sauce

Marinate the meat and thread onto bamboo skewers. Grill over high heat turning often until done. Serve on a platter with peanut sauce as a dip

Peanut Sauce

8 oz. peanut butter

1 oz. chopped garlic

1 oz. shado beni (cilantro)

1/2 oz. butter

3 oz. heavy cream

Melt butter in a heavy bottom skillet and fry the garlic, reduce heat and add cream. Bring to the boil, add shado beni and again, reduce heat. Briskly whisk in peanut butter until a smooth even consistency is achieved. Do not allow to boil. This causes the butter and cream to separate. Check seasoning and serve immediately.Freshly ground white pepper can be added at the end.

SPICY FISH STEAKS

In this spicy fish curry, tender Grouper steaks are simmered in aa hot sauce lightened by coconut milk. The heat can be adjusted to taste by changing the amount of chilis.

8 x 4 oz. 1 1/2″ thick boneless grouper steaks

1 large chopped onion

5 small hot red chili peppers

1 1/2 cup fish stock

1/3 cup tamarind liquid

1 stalk fresh lemon grass

3/4 tsp. tumeric

1 1/2 cup fresh coconut water

2 tsp. chopped mint leaf

salt and white pepper to taste

In a blender or food processor, combine onions, chilis and 1/2 cup of fish stock. Blend to a smooth paste. Pour into large frying pan, add remaining stock and lemon grass, tumeric and seasoning and bring to a slow boil. Add tamarind liquid, coconut milk and again bring to boiling point. Gently place fish into liquid, reduce heat and simmer until fish is cooked. Remove fish to a warm serving platter, remove lemon grass and reduce the sauce by one third. Spoon over fish and garnish with chopped mint leaves

FESTIVE YELLOW RICE

(Nasi Kuning)

Ideal as an accompaniment for satays.

1 lb. long grain rice

1 1/2 cups coconut milk

1 stalk fresh lemon grass

3 cups water

2 1/2 tsp. tumeric

salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste

1 bay leaf

Cut lemon grass lengthwise and tie into a small bundle. In a large thick-bottomed saucepan, combine lemon grass, coconut milk, water, tumeric, seasoning, rice and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.Reduce heat and simmer until all liquid is just absorbed. Stir occasionally. Check rice is cooked, remove lemon grass and bay leaf, fluff with a fork and serve immediately