Anguilla: Pepperpot Soup & Sweet Potato Balls

Greg has the "Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant" cookbook, which is a goldmine of vegetarian and pescatarian recipes. What's best about this particular cookbook is that it has ethnic and regional recipes from cooks at Moosewood Restaurant. I love reading all the little tales that accompany the regions and recipes.

The section I browsed last weekend was "The Caribbean." Many of the recipes were from the cook's travels in Anguilla. Anguilla is not really a country, but is a British Overseas Territory. It is one of the northernmost Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. I tried to find recipes from St. Lucia, as I have been there before (and it was a stunningly beautiful, wonderful place with great food). It would've made for great blog fodder. Sadly, there were no St. Lucian recipes I could find that a) Had major ingredients that were readily available to me, and b) I actually wanted to eat (salted fish and what not). SO. I'm going to count these "Anguillan" recipes as my St. Lucian recipes, because they're all part of the same big chain of islands and I'm sure they all have similar foodstuffs.On a related note, St. Lucia is incredible and amazing, and everyone should go there at least once in their lives. I stayed at a resort called Anse Chastanet, and I doubt I'll ever stay at a finer, better kept resort as long as I live (unless I return there, of course).

The Mariner's Pepperpot Soup
(from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook)
-1 large onion, chopped
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-2 tablespoons vegetable oil
-2 celery stalks, chopped
-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
-1 large green bell pepper, chopped
-1 large red bell pepper, chopped
-2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
-1 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
-1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste--I added quite a bit more)
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon cloves
-6 cups vegetable stock
-1/2 cup dry white wine
-1 cup cooked brown rice
-Minced fresh parsley

1. In a soup pot, saute the onion and garlic in the oil until the onion is translucent, 5-10 minutes.

2. Add the celery, carrots, peppers, tomatoes, and spices. Saute for another 5 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.

3, Add the stock, wine, and rice and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Servings: 6-8
Calories: Unknown, but really hearty and not bad for you!

A whole lotta preppin' going on...

Sweet Potato Balls
(from the Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant cookbook)
-1 pound sweet potatoes
-1 egg, beaten
-1 small onion, minced
-1 tablespoon milk
-1 tablespoon butter
-3/4 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger root (**NOTE: I haven't shared my feelings on this yet, but I LOVE bottled minced ginger. Oh my god. It's the greatest, most time savingest measure I've ever discovered.**)
-2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
-1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
-Pinch of cayenne-
-Salt and pepper to taste
-1/4+ cup of vegetable oil (I needed more than 1/4 cup)
-2 cups bread crumbs (they recommend wheat; I was too lazy to drag out the food processor, so used the premade kind that are awful for you and are inferior to fresh)

1. Cook the sweet potatoes. Either bake them and scoop out the insides, or peel them and then steam or boil and drain.

2. Mash the cooked sweet potatoes and mix together with all the ingredients except the oil and bread crumbs.

3. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet on medium heat.

4. Place bread crumbs in a bowl or plate. Form little balls by dropping a heaping tablespoon of the sweet potato mixture into the bread crumbs, dredging each ball through the bread crumbs.

5. Fry several balls at a time in the hot oil, rolling around occasionally to brown on all sides.

6. When golden brown, drain them on paper towels and serve immediately, or keep warm in the oven until you're ready to serve.

--Optional: You may stuff each ball with an olive or little cube of sharp cheese by poking them into the center of the ball with your finger. Roll the balls in bread crumbs and fry as above.

Servings: Not known, but yields 20 balls. These AREN'T very good for you, given that they're fried in oil, but they're so, so tasty. We ate 3 or 4 balls each with our soup.

Verdict: This was one flavorful, addictively delicious meal. It was very hearty for being 100% vegetarian. Greg still thinks that Hungary wins, even though he liked Anguilla very much.


Anonymous said...

oooohhhhh, I'm totally re-creating this meal. The sweet potato balls look amazing. Thank you!!!


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