Sunday, 28 August 2011

Guest Post by Wijkie Maduro: Sopi Mondongo - Comfort Food on the Island of Aruba

Just because Autumn is looming, doesn't mean you can't enjoy a bit of culinary sunshine! This guest recipe has been written by Wijkie Maduro, and gives us an insight into what is regarded as comfort food on the island of Aruba, situated in the heart of the southern Caribbean, 15 miles off the coast of Venezuela. Enjoy!

On Aruba, the abundance, full flavor and diversity of cuisines prepared by world-class chefs; fine international wines; casual, elegant, al fresco and creative ambiances, and attentive service combine to create very special dining experiences. Aruba resorts often include luxurious culinary experiences such as delicacies such as frogs’ legs, duck, venison, foie gras and chateaubriand.
Aruba comfort foods are not quite as elegant, but just as tasty. Sopi Mondongo is a soul-food soup that is best enjoyed while lounging in a hamaca (hammock) in a cool shady spot.
Enjoy this traditional recipe by Wijkie Maduro.
Ingredients:
  • 1 pound cleaned cow's stomach, cut into chunks (or substitute tripe)
  • 1 pound cow's heel (the jelly adds flavor)
**Note: If heel not available, add enough bone to equal 2 pounds.
  • 1 pound cow's white-bone (the marrow is also a flavor-adder)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 beef boullion cubes
  • 1 3/4 quarts of water
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 stalk celery with leaves, diced
  • 4-5 fresh basil leaves
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled, cut in chunks
  • 1 plantain, peeled, cut in chunks
  • 1/2 calabas (West Indian pumpkin) or Hubbard squash, cut in chunks
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • "just a touch" ground cumin
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Method:
In large kettle place cow meat, heel and bone with salt, freshly ground pepper in water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and cook for 2 1/2 hours or until meat is soft.

Strain and return stock to kettle. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium, and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Let rest for 10 minutes and serve.
During your Aruba all inclusive vacation make sure to try out this soup (or if not, you can always ask your local butcher for cow’s stomach, heel and white-bone upon your return home).

Thank you to Wijkie Maduro for this guest post. If you would like to share your favourite comfort food with us please do email me.