Sunday, 18 November 2012

Family Food.



Mixing in the vinegar
My mum, dad, and brother are coming to Grenada! I'm pretty excited for my family to be here during the holidays. Before I became sick last week, my mind visited my family in Canada and even my family further away in the Philippines. I am half-filipina and have loved the people, food, and culture since childhood. Especially the food. Filipino food wears the crown of all ethnic foods. Of course, I may be a little biased but never have I enjoyed eating more than when my mouth is full of bihon, adobo, lumpia, atchara, rice, and sinigang. (I'll upload recipes for all of those as I make them.) Grenada doesn't contain the most asian-friendly grocers but this tropical country carries huge varieties of tropical fruit. As I was browsing the vegetable market with friends, I noticed the piles of green papaya. I came home and told Justin of my tomato, guava, and papaya adventures. When I had finished, I suddenly blurted out "I can make atchara!" Two weeks later, I proudly walked in the door with a couple of large papayas ready for pickling. Atchara (also atsara) is a papaya "appetizer" made from sugar, vinegar, ginger, garlic, and several veggies. It's amazingly simple to make but so yummy to eat. Each province and area in the Philippines has its own version of this dish so recipes vary on preparation and ingredients. My family is from the West Visayan region of the Philippines so I found an ilonggo recipe and gave it a try. My recipe is missing a few traditional veggies due to unavailability but still, the results were wonderful. Give it a try.


Sliced papaya with seeds inside
Atchara Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 large green papaya
  • 1 red pepper
  • 3 inch piece ginger
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot stick
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp white sugar
  • 5 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt
  • Storage container (I used clean pasta sauce jars)
Shredded papaya

Preparation

  1.  Shred papaya, sprinkle lightly with salt, and squeeze excess water. Place in bowl and set aside.
  2. Place vinegar and both sugars in sauce pan. Bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Take off heat and set aside.
  3. Julienne red pepper and ginger. Slice garlic and carrot.
  4. Mix veggies with papaya. Pour vinegar/sugar mixture into bowl. Mix well
  5. Place mixture in storage container ensuring the majority of vegetables are submerged in brine.
  6. Refrigerate for at least a week before serving.

My asian-at-heart husband loves this. He loves it almost as much as he loves me. It's not totally authentic but Justin thinks it improves with age. We enjoy it with any fried or cooked meats with rice and a splash of soy sauce. One, almost two jars have disappeared. Perhaps another trip to the market is in order.

My recipe was adapted from here.

Finished Product. So good!
Full jars waiting to be eaten










Justin had some good food to survive my week-long lieu from the kitchen. He had some culinary adventures of his own..but you'll have to ask him about it. 

I'm still recovering from Dengue. All that remains is a bit of fatigue. Surprisingly, I still love Grenada. Not surprisingly, I hate mosquitoes more now than I ever have before. A war has been declared with mosquitoes being my sworn rival. I'm planning on winning. :)