This is one fella you can take out of the Caribbean, but you can never take the “Caribbean” out of him. I’ve had the opportunity to dine in various countries / restaurants around the world and while many of the dishes I’ve experienced we’re definitely tasty, I will always head back ‘home’ to the islands when I need something comforting. Such is the case when I eat dishes containing yam, dasheen, green banana, eddoes, cassava and other ingredients we refer to as being ‘provision’. I’ll always remember weekends when mom would prepare this dish for me, my brother and dad.. my sisters we’re somewhat picky eaters.
1 Yam 3-4 lbs (white yam)
1 cup salted cod (prepared)
1/2 onion (sliced)
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic (diced)
2 tablespoon olive oil
4 sprigs thyme
10 cherry tomatoes (or 1 large – sliced)
1 scotch bonnet pepper (optional.. no seeds)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 scallion (chopped)
Note: I’ve posted this recipe under Gluten Free (as well), so kindly go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific Gluten Free dietary needs.
Prepare the salted cod (soak, boil, drain, rinse and shred) and set aside.
Peel the yam (please get actual yams and NOT sweet potatoes some people refer to as being yams). Try West Indian, Asian and Latin markets.. ask for soft boiling white yam. The variety I used was from Africa, which cooks very fast. Then cut into large pieces, cover with water and bring to a boil. Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt to the water when it comes to a boil. Cook on a rolling boil until the yam is tender, but not falling apart. It can take between 20-30 minutes depending on how large the pieces are and the variety of yam you get. TIP! Some yams may cause skin irritation when peeling, so I’d suggest wearing gloves or coating your hands with some vegetable oil when peeling/handling.
As the yam boils, prepare the other ingredients.
Poke the yam pieces with a pairing knife… if there’s no resistance, they’re fully cooked. Drain and set aside.
Heat the olive oil on a medium flame in a wide pan, then ad the shredded salted cod to the pan. Lower the heat to low and cook gently for 3-5 minutes. Then add the onion and garlic and cook (on low) for another 2-3 minutes. Then turn up the heat to medium and add all the other ingredients and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Toss in the cooked yam pieces and mix well, to coat with the stewed salted fish.
You have a couple options here. You can mix well, heat though and you’re done. Or you can cook a bit longer and allow the yam pieces to develop a sort of crust (my fave). You’ll notice that I didn’t add any salt to the dish as the yam was cooked in salted water and the remaining salt from the salted fish will be enough – but you can adjust to your own liking. Add as much Caribbean Sunshine (Scotch Bonnet) as you can handle and do remember to wash your hands with soap and water immediately after handling such hot peppers.
This is definitely COMFORT on a plate for me. If you can’t source Yams, you can use Taro/Dasheen, cassava, green cooking bananas, eddoes, sweet potatoes or even regular potatoes would work.