A Taste of Abaco

WHEN I?m not selling Abaco real estate and splashing around in the crystal clear sea, one of my favorite things to do is cook.

Abaco is blessed with an abundance of fresh seafood, which lends itself well to both local and imported dishes. The sweetest conch, crawfish, grouper and a wide variety of other fish are found in the Sea of Abaco. Here are some of my favorite recipes.

Conch Fritters

  • 1 lb. conch
  • 2 oz. onion
  • 2 oz. celery
  • 2 oz. green pepper
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • ½ oz. baking powder
  • 12oz. flour
  • salt
  • Tabasco Sauce or hot red pepper minced
  • Cream
  • Cut the conch, and vegetables into ¼ inch dice. Mix the eggs, flour and baking powder and seasonings with sufficient fresh cream or evaporated milk to form a fairly firm batter. Combine all ingredients and allow to rest for 15 min. prior to deep frying. Note: Clams, squid or crawfishmay be used instead of conch. Serves 8.

    Stuffed Abaco Crawfish Shells

  • 10 crawfish
  • 1 medium onion
  • ½ medium sweet pepper
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • Small jar or carton of mushrooms
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dash of red pepper
  • Cilantro
  • 1 cup of evaporated milk or heavy cream
  • 10 oz of shredded cheese
  • Boil your crawfish about 20 minutes and dice into bite size pieces. Keep the shells intact for stuffing. Dice your veg and mushrooms, and sauté them in a little butter or olive oil. In a separate pot combine milk and cheese and heat gently until cheese melts. Add crawfish and vegetables in butter with melted mixture and mix well. Stuff the mixture into the shells and bake for about 40 minutes or until top is a little golden.

    Alternative- Put mixture into a baking pan and top with crushed Ritz crackers and pour about ½ cup of melted butter over Ritz. Bake for the same amount of time as above.

    Grilled Abaco Mahi Mahi

  • Mahi Mahi (we call them dolphin) filets cut into hand size pieces
  • Squeeze lime over dolphin
  • Season with salt and pepper and a little red pepper
  • Mix Italian salad dressing and mayonnaise together
  • Coat the dolphin with mixture
  • Let that marinate for at least an hour Grill until tender, about 7-8 minutes per side, Or according to your preference.

    Saturday Scorched Conch

    An Abaco Weekend Must

  • 6 large conch - cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 medium tomato- chopped
  • 1 medium onion- chopped
  • ½ sweet pepper- chopped
  • 1 orange - chopped
  • ¼ large sweet potato- chopped
  • ¼ cucumber- chopped
  • 10 limes juiced- maybe more depending on how much juice is in them
  • 1 orange - juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 bird peppers (optional)
  • Mix well together and enjoy!

    Mailin?s Surprise

    Something I threw together one night, but we really liked it .Hope you do, too.

  • Shrimp, pre-cooked, 16 oz
  • Cream of Mushroom Soup, 1 cup (8 fl oz)
  • Onions, raw, 5 cups, chopped
  • Garlic, 2 cloves finely chopped
  • *Corn Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Tri Color Rotini, 340 gram(s) - 12ox Box
  • chili powder
  • black pepper
  • oregano
  • basil
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • bay leaf
  • Cook rotini according to directions on box and drain. In the meantime put oil in medium or large frying pan and add onions and garlic along with oregano, basil, thyme, and rosemary. Fry down until onions are clear. Generously season shrimp with chili powder and black pepper. Add to frying pan. Add two small bay leaves. Let that fry together for about 7 minutes. Add cream of mushroom soup and stir. Simmer for about 5 minutes. Add rotini to shrimp mixture and mix well to coat rotini with creamy sauce. Serve and enjoy. You can serve this with garlic bread or dinner rolls.

    Chicken Salad

    Perfect for an Abaco picnic

  • 6 boneless, skinless chick breasts
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1.25 bottles (8oz) Kraft coleslaw dressing
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • parsley flakes
  • celery salt
  • sea salt
  • Chicken Salad
    Perfect for an Abaco picnic

  • 6 boneless, skinless chick breasts
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ½ cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1.25 bottles (8oz) Kraft coleslaw dressing
  • 3 tbsp mayonnaise
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • parsley flakes
  • celery salt
  • sea salt
  • Boil chicken until done. Cut up fine. Add finely chopped onion and green pepper and remaining ingredients. Add the salt to your liking. Eat with lettuce or on dinner rolls.

    For more on Bahamian cooking, visit
    Bahamian Recipes
    Recipe Island

    Boil chicken until done. Cut up fine. Add finely chopped onion and green pepper and remaining ingredients. Add the salt to your liking. Eat with lettuce or on dinner rolls.

    For more on Bahamian cooking, visit
    Bahamian Recipes
    Recipe Island

    From Cherokee Sound...

    ABACO CULINARY DELIGHTS

    Old Recipes Still Revered Today

    When Lee Pinder moved to the Bahamas from Ohio almost 50 years ago, she fell in love with the taste of the Bahamas.
    A resident of Cherokee Sound, Abaco, she loves the juicy, sweet fresh tomatoes of Abaco.
    Many of the recipes she treasures were compiled by Abaco women, the majority of whom have sadly passed on. The ladies compiled the cookbook, First Abaco Cooks.
    ?Their recipes were simple, but delicious and prepared with items found in any pantry,? says Lee.
    Here, Lee shares some of her favorites.

    ABACO CONCH CHOWDER

    8 med. size conch,

    cleaned and put through a food grinder (can also be bruised and cut into chunks)
    1 tin of mixed vegetables
    2 fresh tomatoes, diced small
    2 T. BBQ sauce
    2 T. Lea & Perrins Sauce
    1 tsp. fresh thyme*
    1 T. Flour
    ½ C. cooking oil
    1 med. potato, peeled and chunked
    1 Lg. carrots, peeled and sliced
    1 stalk of celery, sliced
    Salt & Pepper to taste
    6 C. water
    Brown flour in oil. Par boil conch and throw off first water (which will be foamy). Combine all ingredients, adding more water, if needed, and boil gently for one hour.

    Myrtle Albury
    Cherokee Sound,
    Abaco

    ABACO TOMATOES

    From Anna Pinder of Cherokee Sound, Abaco

    When I was a little girl Daddy had a garden and every summer he
    grew lots of tomatoes. Momma would put the biggest part of
    them up in mason jars for the family?s use during the long winters.
    The skins were saved to make wine, which was clear as gin, but
    packed quite a wallop. Then there were the last pickins of green
    tomatoes that she cut floured, seasoned and fried. But,
    my favorite were the ones she stewed with sugar and served hot
    over big thick slices of homemade bread. Island cooks gave
    this delicacy a name and served it to their families over their big
    light doughs that are almost a must with some native dishes, i.e.
    pigeon, turtle or whelk stew. This recipe is one of the comfort
    foods that goes back a long way.

    OH, BE JOYFUL

    Spear the whole tomato on a long fork and hold over a flame for a
    few seconds till the skin cracks, then peel off skin. Cube tomato
    and put into a pot covered with an equal amount of sugar. Bring
    to a boil and cook over a low heat till sugar is dissolved and mixture
    thickens. Serve warm as a desert over day old bread or, better still,
    over big light doughs.

    ABACO CORN STARCH PUDDING

    8 C. of Water
    4 C. Sugar
    1 tsp. Yellow Food Colouring
    Combine in a large pot and bring to a boil

    In a separate bowl mix
    ½ box (8 oz.) of Corn Starch with a little water,
    but only enough to stir (don?t make it too thin)
    drizzle into boiling pot stirring continuously
    until thickened.

    Remove from heat and let cool a little and add
    l tin of sweet milk
    1 tin of Carnation cream
    4 slightly beaten eggs
    1 oz. of vanilla essence
    ¼ lb. of butter

    Pour mixture into two large pans and
    bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until lightly browned
    Some like it with a meringue which should be put
    on about 14 min. before done so it can brown, or
    also can be served with whipped cream or Cool Whip.

    Teressa Pinder
    Cherokee Sound,
    Abaco