For the first few months on the island, the love birds lived Westbourne, the beach residence of Canadian gold-mining millionaire Sir Harry Oakes. The alluring Breezes Resort & Spa Bahamas, now sits on the property that was once Westbourne. Thousands of lovers, honeymooners, groups, families and friends from across the globe, continue to flock to the same beach that brought solace and joys untold to the ex-monarch. But apart from the crystal clear waters of Cable Beach, and the luxurious accommodations, they come for the food!
I visited the resort recently, and had the opportunity to see some of the world-class gastronomic treasures that executive chef Nigel Clarke was creating for his guests. The super-inclusive Breezes Bahamas offers several dining choices including Italian, French and, since last week, Japanese. But my real interest was in the local flavours, so I headed to the main kitchen to begin my exploration. The choices were as spicy as they were dazzling but I settled on two signature Bahamian culinary delights-the mouth-watering Bahamian peas soup and, not surprisingly, in the land of conch, the eternally delicious conch fritters. Here are therecipes below to make your summer sizzle:
Bahamian Peas soup
1/2 cup pigeon peas
1/2 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup flour
1/3cup corn on the cob
1/3 cup Irish potato (cut in cubes)
1/3 cup salt beef (cut in cubes)
1/3 cup ham (cut in cubes)
4 gallon chicken or beef stock
2 tbsp chop thyme
2 bay leaf
1/3 cup carrot (cut in cubes)
1/3 cup sweet potatoes (cut in cubes)
1 tsp hot pepper (chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a stock pot add the beef, ham, bay leaf, thyme and Pigeon peas to cook
2. After meat is cooked, add the remaining ingredients and slowly simmer for another 30 minutes.
3. Season with salt and pepper.
2lb conch (diced)
2 medium onion (diced)
2 head celery (diced)
1 green pepper (diced)
1 bunch fresh thyme (chopped)
2 tbsp hot scotch bonnet pepper (chopped)
2 tbsp baking powder
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 gal water
salt and pepper to taste
2 gal cooking oil
1. Place conch, onion, celery, green peppers, thyme and hot pepper in a large mixing bowl.
2. Add flour, tomato paste and baking powder. Add water and mix to a thickened batter. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Allow to sit for 15 minutes.
4. Place cooking oil in a deep pot and allow to heat up to about 300 degrees Celsius.
5. Using a cereal spoon, scoop small balls and slowly drop in oil.
6. Allow to fry for about 3 to 5 minutes until fritter is light brown in color.