Tag Archive for Reunion cookery

A Different Kind Of Pie

French Réunion Island where I grew up has a multi-ethnic population, hailing from France, the West coast of Africa, the East Coast of India (Malabar coast), Pakistan (people came when Pakistan was part of the British empire), and Indochina. Its cooking reflects the diversity of its population, each group’s culinary traditions enriching the common cooking pot.

An example is Paté Créole, a savory meat pie probably of French and Indian origins served on feast days, particularly at the beginning of the Christmas or New Year’s Eve meal.

So I think it’s an appropriate pie for Thanksgiving. Read more

The Sixth and Seventh Days Of Christmas (more lemon recipes)

On the Sixth Day of Christmas, with still over 7 pounds of Meyer lemons left from my citrus order orgy, I made Réunion Island Lemon and Onion Salad.

Lemon and Onion Salad from Reunion Island

Lemon and Onion Salad (Reunion Island Style)

In winter, I often hunger for bright spicy flavors to liven up the stews and braised dishes that are characteristics of this time of the year. Which is often when I return to my roots of Reunion Island, when I particularly reach into the spice cabinet for pungent curcuma, floral vanilla beans, fresh ginger and other flavors reminiscent of Reunion Island. Truth be told, I use those flavors all year long, but I crave them in winter. Read more

Rougail Zucchini

rougail-zucchini-001

The English call them marrows, and – at least according to Agatha Christie (The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, if I remember correctly) – take great pride in growing the zucchinis to very large vegetables. They call young zucchinis “courgettes” (the French word for zucchinis) and the big one “marrows”. In the US, we call them baseball bats and we lock our cars in the summer so treacherous neighbors don’t surreptitiously leave bags of them as “gifts”.

But, people, marrows have their place – besides the compost pile, that is. One just has to rethink how to use them.

First, they will keep for several weeks at room temperature – unlike young fruit which get limp real fast. So you don’t have to use them right away.

Of course, we make zucchini bread. And would you believe it, but I finally made my first zucchini bread – ever? Very good at breakfast, I must say. Also very versatile, since the zucchini tastes pretty neutral: add a couple of tablespoons of poppy seeds for a little crunch and an Eastern Europe inspiration; some chopped candies ginger and honey for a spicy cake; chunks of apples or pears for a creamier cake. Etc. You get the idea.

How about zucchini pancakes? (recommended by my friend Rose; I have not made that, but it’s worth a try… I suppose). Zucchini fritters, that’s quite tasty too.

Grated and squeezed hard, packed in one-cup containers, they also freeze well. None of that mushy texture. So you can make zucchini bread in winter.

But faced by mounds and mounds of grated zucchinis at the end of the season, and memory jogged by a post of Michael Ruhlman, I thought about the rougails from my native island. Read more