Fun fact: When I tell my parents a week in advance that I’m coming over so we can cook one of my grandmother’s recipes together and they say okay, this is what happens when I show up: “You want to do what?” “But we don’t have any of that stuff.” “So we have to go to the grocery store?” “But I don’t feel like cooking.” Welcome to my life, people! Instead, my dad made us a drink with four ingredients that he called a cocktail and when I asked him to elaborate, he said it was a Haitian Rum Cocktail. “Now you can write about that.” So, I did…
Gigot de porc en chemise may be my favorite of my grandmother’s recipes that I’ve made so far. Here’s why: it translates to leg of pork in a shirt. And that shirt is bacon. You read that right. The SHIRT IS BACON!!! In other words, this is a bacon-wrapped pork leg. Covered in a bechamel sauce. OH MY GOODNESS!!
So let’s get to it.
Sardines au parmesan is tasty, easy to make and works well as a party appetizer or snack.
I did something I probably shouldn’t have done when you’re an invited guest: I brought a dessert that I had never tested before. I was looking through my grandmother’s recipes and saw le massepain au beurre, a name I didn’t totally understand but the instructions were simple and I understood that butter was a major ingredient which is always a good idea, so I decided to go with it.
It’s been a while since I made one of my grandmother’s recipes so I thought I’d trot out one of her fancier ones: lobster!
I don’t want to say that I hate eggplant, but I would really rather not eat it. So it was to my dismay when I saw how many recipes in my grandmother’s notebook called for eggplant. The vegetable has a beautiful color and a funny shape, so that is two things going for it. But the taste is not something I would call an asset for that vegetable.
But this post shouldn’t be about how much I hate – sorry, strongly dislike – eggplant. This post should be about how much this dish tasted like home. Many Haitian recipes call for some combination of evaporated milk, cheese, mustard, tomato paste, garlic, onion, salt and pepper. I grew up with those flavors. Now when I eat something with only two or three seasonings or herbs, the taste feels empty. With this recipe for aubergine a la creme (eggplant in a cream sauce), each bite was a burst of various flavors that blended so smoothly together. Dare I say, the strong taste of sauce maybe even helped mask the taste of the eggplant?
One summer break during elementary school, my grandmother, my father’s mother, came from Haiti to stay with us. While she was there, my parents asked her to write down all the recipes she had memorized in a notebook. Over the course of the summer, she wrote down in her script handwriting every recipe, from marinades to desserts, she could remember. I’ve thought for a while of making every recipe in the book as a way of connecting with my grandmother and of learning more about my Haitian culinary roots. Now that we have our own house, I thought it time to start the Kreyol Kitchen. In addition to documenting how we, as first time homeowners, are tackling making our house a home, I’ll document on this blog how I tackle these recipes, from the easy to the hard, and share those recipes with you. Stay tuned for deliciousness!