As I said in my entry for Antigua and Barbuda, Caribbean food is a bit of a danger zone for me, because I don't like cooking with a number of the prominent ingredients (such as coconut and raisins). There are a lot of countries in the Caribbean, so this is going to come up many times over the course of this project. In perusing food blogs for this project I've noticed that a lot of other people who have "cooked the world" shared my dubiousness here. However, I do absolutely love seafood, so I'm going to keep the meals I cook for these countries focused on that (much like I've noticed that my meal planning for a lot of upcoming African countries, whose cuisine also relies heavily on items I don't like, such as red palm oil and plantains, seems to center on fairly safe but still varied chicken stews and braises).
Conch stew is a popular dish in the Bahamas. I ate conch years ago and didn't love it, so I took the cue of many blog posts I read and substituted lobster. I also added spinach, because I often add spinach to any soup, stew, or pasta dish. It's delicious and filling and good for you.
This reminded me almost of a Manhattan Clam Chowder, but with lobster and some extra spice that was just delicious. I also loved the crisp zing that the lime brought to it. This stew is a popular breakfast or brunch item, but I am a breakfast hater who is never hungry until 11 am or so, and I don't like brunch (just make up your mind and eat breakfast or lunch or both - and on the weekend, I think no such pretense is needed for bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys). I thought that this made a fine dinner. In the Bahamas, it's often served with a bread called Johnny Cake, which I didn't make, but it sounds sweet and tasty. Here's a recipe.
Bahamian Lobster Stew (recipe from The Bitchin' Kitchin')
2 uncooked lobster tails, chopped into chunks
1 medium yellow onion, diced
14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes
4 small Yukon Gold potatoes, chopped
1 1/2 t thyme
4 T vegetable oil
2 T all-purpose flour
1 1/2 T tomato paste
1 1/2 T ketchup
Sriracha hot sauce or red pepper flakes, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups seafood stock
In a large pot, add the oil and allow to heat up for a minute.
Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Let the roux simmer for about 3 minutes. Be careful not to let it burn.
Add the tomatoes, onions, thyme, pepper sauce/red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Stir and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
Add the potatoes, tomato paste, and ketchup. Stir and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Add the seafood stock and the juice of one lime to the large pot.