Here’s another classic recipe with a slightly different take. Traditional ‘Broff” is usually made with fish, but more-so fish heads (ocean fish). Unlike our thick and heavy Caribbean Soups, this broff (broth) is supposed to be lighter in consistency and textures, and meant to be a cure for hangovers. My uncle was exceptional at making fish broff, especially on a Monday after a weekend of too many adult beverages.I do credit him for my broff making skills and for always allowing me to be part of the prep and cooking.
1 1/2 lbs shrimp with heads on
6 cups water
1 large onion
1 teaspoon teaspoon salt (divided/adjust)
1 tablespoon veg oil
1 tablespoon butter
4 stalks celery (diced/divided)
3-4 scallions (chopped/divided)
1 carrot (diced)
10 sprigs thyme (divided)
3 tablespoon Parsley (chopped/divided)
2 cups diced pumpkin
2 cups diced sweet potato
1 teaspoon black pepper (divided x 3)
1 /2 teaspoon Caribbean Green Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt (seasoning the shrimp)
4 large cloves garlic
2-3 green cooking bananas
Important! If doing this recipe gluten free, please go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs. Especially the noodles you decide to use. Where I say “Divided” in the ingredient list, divide it evenly in each occasion I mention for the said ingredient.
I used shrimp with the heads and shell on as I wanted those things to make a sort of broth or stock from. So with that in mind, I cleaned and deveined the shrimp and set aside. The shells and head etc, I rinsed under cold water and allowed to drain.
Then in a deep saucepan add the butter on a medium flame, followed by celery, onion, thyme, black pepper, scallions and parsley. Stir well, then reduce to low and cook for 4 minutes. Now raise the heat to medium and add the shrimp shells and head, and stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Now go in with the water, stir well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes.Skim off any frothy impurities at the top and discard.
As this stock simmers, prep the carrot, pumpkin and sweet potato (try to keep them cubed the same size). Cut the green cooking banana, into 1/4 inch rounds. Keep in water so they don’t go discolored.
Heat the vegetable oil in a wide/deep pan on a low heat. Then go in (as we did with the stock) onion, celery, thyme (just the leaves), parsley, pimento peppers (sliced), black pepper and scallion. Cook for 4 minutes, then go in with the pumpkin, carrot, sweet potato and green cooking banana. By now the stock should be ready (carefully) strain it. Add this stock to the pot and bring everything to a boil.
Add the rest of the salt and float the scotch bonnet pepper – Do NOT break or it will release a ton of heat. As it comes to a boil, skim off any froth and discard. Reduce to a rolling boil and cook for 20-25 minutes or until everything is tender.
10 minutes before the boiling part is done, I’d recommend seasoning the shrimp. Very basic.. Caribbean Green Seasoning, black pepper and the salt mentioned for marinating the shrimp. Mix well and let it sit as I said.. 10 minutes.
Depending on the type of noodle you get or choose to use (I found a pumpkin noodle at my Asian market), you’ll want to factor in the cooking time near the end. With mine I needed 3 minutes or so, so it went in near the end.
With everything tender, it’s now time to add the seasoned shrimp and give it a good stir. Since we don’t want to over-cook the shrimp, all I did was turn off the stove, cover the pot tightly and allowed the residual heat to fully cook the shrimp (about 8-10 minutes).
Remember to taste for salt and adjust accordingly.
The extra step of making the stock is very much worth it. And be sure to add a bit more water if you find that it’s overly thick. This is meant to have a lot of broth..thus the name. Now.. is it a cure for hangovers? I don’t know and I don’t think I’ve ever been drunk to test that myth, but I’m positive it’s very tasty and not heavy. Be sure to add some regular potatoes if you wish.
Do you own a copy of my cookbook ?- The Vibrant Caribbean Pot 100 Traditional And Fusion recipes Vol 2