Hopefully you’ve had time to try the Smoked Herring With Cabbage recipe I shared with you last week. A truly classic dish made with subtle differences throughout the Caribbean. This time we’ll do one mom would always make for dad whenever she had leftovers from the cabbage and smoked herrings combo. Since we had a variety of banana trees in our kitchen garden at the back of the house, we always made use of the ‘cooking fig” (green cooking bananas) supply we always seemed to have.
5 green cooking bananas (green fig)
1 tablespoon parsley
1 table spoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/2 bell pepper (sweet pepper)
2 cups leftover smoked herrings with cabbage
Important: If doing this recipe gluten free be sure to go through the entire list of ingredients to make sure they meet with your specific gluten free dietary needs.
* It may be helpful to watch the recipe video (below) to better understand what I mean.. cut off both ends of the green cooking bananas and discard. Then using a pairing knife, cut a shallow (thickness of the banana’s skin) line the full length of each banana. This will make it easier to peel once they are fully cooked. Place them in a pot, cover with water (slightly salted) and bring to a boil. After about 15-20 minutes on a rolling boil, they will go very dark and start to float. Take off the fire, drain and allow to cool. The cut we made will open up and you can now peel the skin off.
As the bananas boil you can prep the other ingredients(chop the parsley, garlic, tomato and sweet pepper).
Once cooled and the skin is removed, cut each banana into 1 inch sized pieces and set aside.
Heat the oil in a wide sauce pan on a medium flame, then add the chopped pepper, parsley and garlic and lower the heat to LOW and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Now go in with the pieces of cooked banana and mix well, finally it’s time to add the leftover smoked herring with cabbage and heat though. Mix well and cook for about 4-5 minutes.’
Finish with the chopped tomato to brighten up the dish a bit. Serve warm..wicked one-pot dish.
Instead of green cooking bananas you can also use Sweet Potatoes, Yam, Dasheen (or Taro), Eddoes and my great aunt’s favorite.. boiled cassava. This recipe is one of those I reach for when I’m homesick for the Caribbean, as it takes me back to a happier time on the islands. I can still remember the steam spiraling off our plates, that distinct scent of smoke herrings and the freshly picked scotch bonnet pepper (half-ripe) dad would have on the side. Ever so often between bites he would crunch down on the “Caribbean Sunshine” and you’d hear that crisp sound. Followed by him sucking back air between his teeth and the familiar “this pepper hot boi”.