Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Side Dishes

There are a number of delicious sides that I could have chosen to feature in this page but I decided that it would be best to present the most classics recipes that you will find in the Haitian plate.  Ranging from the Vegetable Medley that one will find at every pit stop on the street to the delicate Pumkin or Yam souffle of the elite table.  Either way, you have many to choose from and these recipes can serve as a base for any vegetables, roots or fruits that you would like to saute, eat in the form of a salad or as gratin or souffle.  Certainly do not rest on just the models that are illustrated in this page be creative! as long as the ingredients are fresh and tropical it is sure to be a winner.



1 kg of carrots
80 g of butter
1 teaspoon of sugar
2 Tablespoon of parsley


Start by washing, peeling the carrots and cut the carrots into thick round cuts and set aside. 

In a pan, melt the butter and the sugar, mix well and add the carrots.  Sautee the carrots for a few minutes and cover them with water and a bit of salt.   Allow the carrots to cook half covered until the water has evaporated.  (20 minutes)

Then add the chopped parsley, stir and check for doneness with a knife. Continue cooking if necessary, stirring occasionally so that the carrots do not stick. Turn off the heat when you think carrots are cooked.

Serve hot.



1 medium green papaya about 16 to 24 oz
1 tsp. vinegar, 
1 pinch 
Chopped parsley,
 80 g butter or margarine, 
Pepper or pepper to taste. 


1. Peel the green papaya with a vegetable peeler. Split in half (reserving the white papaya seeds inside for a       future use if you like the taste of nasturtium). Reserve one half of the papaya for future use.

2. Cut the remaining half-papaya into very long and very thin julienne.  Cover papaya julienne or diced with a     wet paper towel and reserve.

3. Once it is grated, throw it in boiling salted water to which is added a spoonful of vinegar. 

4. Cook for 10 minutes at boil point and drain. Add butter or margarine and chopped parsley. 
Serve hot.



3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 cups finely diced white onion (about ½ large onion)
½ scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and washed
4 lb (about 6 bundles) fresh spinach, washed, and torn (or use ready to use bagged spinach)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon salt or to taste


In a heavy 4 quart round pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium setting.

Add garlic and sauté for one minute.  Add onion and scotch bonnet pepper and sauté for 3 additional minutes.

Add spinach and toss to coat with oil.  Cover and cook until spinach is tender, about 5 minutes. 
Uncover, increase heat to medium high, add black pepper and stir-fry until almost no liquid remains, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Add salt to taste and remaining oil at the last 3 minutes.  Discard scotch bonnet pepper.  
Serve hot

Serve 6



2 lb trimmed green beans
½ scotch bonnet pepper, seeded and washed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 chicken bouillon cubes, crushed
1 tsp tabasco sauce
1 tsp salt
3 tablespoon of vegetable oil

Bring 7 cups of water to boil.  Add beans, pepper and garlic.  When boiling restarts, reduce heat to medium, cover, and boil until the beans are just tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.  
Drain carefully.  Remove garlic cloves and mash them with the back of a spoon to form a smooth paste.  Set aside.
Heat oil over high setting in a 4-quart pan.  Add cooked mashed garlic, beans, salt, pepper bouillon cubes, scotch bonnet, and Tabasco sauce.  Sauté for about one minute.  Discard pepper.  
Serve hot.
Serve 8 to 10 



½ pound medium shrimp
¼ cup vegetable oil
½ pound fresch crab meat
½ cup sliced shallots
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
¾ teaspoon salt
1 scoth bonnet pepper, seeded and washed
½ teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1 cup cubed boiled white name root (yam) or boiled cassava (1/2 inch cubes)
3 Florida avocados, halved lengthwise, pitted and sprinkled with lime juice.


Quickly blanch shrimp in 4 cups of foiling water for 1 minute in a 3-quart heavy pan.  Drain. Discard water or reserve it for another use.  Peel and devein shrimp.  Discard shells.  Cut each shrimp crosswise into 3 to 4 pieces.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat in the same pan.  Add shrimp and crab and sauté for 3 minute.  Add half of the shallots, half of the granulated garlic, half the black pepper, 1 tablespoon vinegar and ½ teaspoon of salt and sauté for 3 additional minutes.  Remove from heat.  Keep hot.

Put remaining oil, remaining shallots, remaining garlic, remaining black pepper, remaining vinegar, remaining salt, pepper and mustard in a jar. Cover jar with lid and screw tightly.  Shake jar until dressing thickens about 15 to 30 seconds.  Pour into shrimp –crab mixture and mix well.   Thoroughly mix in the cubed yam.  Season with additional salt and black pepper if necessary.  Put avocado halves on a serving plate, poke a few holes in the flesh with a fork. Remove and discard pepper, then fill avocado halves with the shrimp-crab mixture.  Serve immediately with small spoons).
Serve 6

Wash pepper, cut it in half and remove seeds and membranes.  Then rub it gently under fresh running water for 15 seconds.

Florida avocado (also called choquette) whenever possible.  It has a smooth skin.  And it is a lot bigger and tastier than California avocados.  If you are using California avocados you will need six avocados instead of three.  Be sure not to use overripe avocados.  Cut avocado in half lengthwise, then remove the pit. Learn how to remove the avocado pit in the glossary of this book. 



For 2 people
1 Carrot
1 Chayote
1 Turnip 
1 Zucchini 
Olive oil 
Cut the vegetables carrots, turnips, zucchini, the chayote in small dice or julienned. 
In a saucepan boil all the vegetables in salted water for fifteen minutes. 
Then arrange them on a plate by adding a dressing of olive oil salt pepper garlic parsley.



1 kilo of potatoes
Half a stick of butter
1 fat garlic cloves
A big handful of parsley
salt to taste.

Place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover by several inches.

Bring to a boil over high heat, add 1 tablespoon salt, and reduce to a gentle boil. Cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes.

Drain into a colander. Using paper towels or gloves to protect your hands, peel potatoes, and cut into ¾-inch chunks while still hot. Drizzle with vinegar; set aside.
In the meantime, crush finely the garlic in a wooden mortar and add it to potatoes, butter and salt together, and the finely diced parsley. The potatoes should be covered with flecks of parsley.



3/4 pound potatoes
2 large beets, roasted
2 carrots
1/2 small red onion, minced
2 tablespoons minced scallion
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar or sherry vinegar
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup Mayonaise
Freshly ground pepper
1 small can of sweet peas


Place potatoes, beets and carrots in a large pot with enough water to cover by several inches add salt to taste.

Bring to a boil over high heat, add 1 tablespoon salt, and reduce to a gentle boil. Cook until potatoes, beets and carrots are tender when pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes for potatoes and less for carrots and more for the beets. Drain into a colander.

Using paper towels or gloves to protect your hands, peel potatoes, and cut into 1-inch dice while still hot. Drizzle with vinegar; set aside.

Peel the beets and cut in small dice. In a large bowl, combine with the potatoes, celery, onion, hard-boiled eggs and chives.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the vinegar, mustard and salt. Whisk in the olive oil and the mayonnaise. Add the peas to the potatoes and toss with the vegetables. Add freshly ground pepper, taste and adjust salt. Serve right away or refrigerate.



4 potatoes
1 carrot
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup of sweet peas (frozen and thawed, or canned)
1/2 onion, minced
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup green bell pepper, diced
Half an apple
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Olive oil
salt (optional)


Place potatoes and carrots in a large pot with enough water to cover by several inches add salt to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat, add 1 tablespoon salt, and reduce to a gentle boil. Cook until potatoes and carrots are tender when pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes.

Drain into a colander. Using paper towels or gloves to protect your hands, peel potatoes, and cut into 1-inch dice while still hot.  Drizzle with vinegar; set aside.

Take out the carrots, apple then peel and dice and add to potato.

In a bowl, place cubed potatoes, carrots, sweet peas, onion, red and green bell peppers and mix with mayonnaise. Add black pepper. Stir and add salt to taste.



2 large sweet potatoes (about 1.25 pounds)
2 tbsp. light mayonnaise
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
2 large celery stalks, coarsely chopped (about 3⁄4 cup)
½ cup thinly sliced red bell pepper
½ cup coarsely chopped fresh pineapple
¼ cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 small green onion, thinly sliced (about 2 tbsp.)
Chopped parsley, for garnish


Place potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover by several inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, add 1 tablespoon salt, and reduce to a gentle boil. Cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, about 25 minutes.

Drain into a colander. Using paper towels or gloves to protect your hands, peel potatoes, and Peel off skin and cut into ¾-inch chunks while still hot. Drizzle with vinegar; set aside.  Using a fork, prick sweet potatoes in several places.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper until blended. Add sweet potato chunks, celery, red pepper, pineapple, pecans, and green onion to mayonnaise mixture. Toss gently until evenly coated.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serves: 4.


For 4 people 
Preparation time: 30 minutes 


2 chayotes
100 g of minced meat 
80 g of crumb 
100 g parmesan or gruyere cheese 
2 cloves of garlic 
Butter, milk 
1 onion 
1 green onions
1 piece of bread 
Salt and pepper 


Cut chayotes into two halves and remove the heart.

In salted water cook chayotes, and cool. Carefully scoop out the chayote flesh by living the skin intact.  

Soak a small piece of bread in milk and drain. 

In a pan, add to chayote flesh, bread, some breadcrumbs and a large piece of butter. Salt and pepper. 

In a separate pan, fry the chopped bacon and minced meat with spices. 

Fill each chayote shells, alternately with a layer of skin, a layer of cheese, a layer of meat, a meat layer. Sprinkle with cheese and breadcrumbs. 




6 aubergines
800 g of minced meat
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
Olive oil
150 gr grated cheese parmesan or gruyere
500 ml béchamel sauce
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven 

Cut the eggplant into 2 lengthwise. Make a few cuts in the flesh (without piercing the skin). Brush with olive oil using a brush.

Put in the oven and cook for about 30 minutes until the meat is tender. Drain the eggplant, taking care not to nick the skin.

Sauté 1 chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, add the meat and let it brown. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, chopped garlic and simmer for about 40 minutes, uncovered to dry preparation. 

Add the chopped eggplant flesh coarsely. Salt and pepper, mix well and cook for about 10 minutes.

Fill the eggplant shells.

Prepare a béchamel sauce thick enough and add nutmeg and grated cheese 50 gr. Spread the sauce over the eggplant. 

Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve with rice.



1 pound very lean ground beef
1 pound steak, minced, or 1 pound beef chunks
3 large tomatoes, minced
1 bunch parsley, stemmed and minced
3 scallions, minced
2 large onions, minced
4 Scotch bonnet peppers, seeded and minced
5 cups rice, rinsed with cold water
1½ (8-ounce) cans tomato paste
4 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon black pepper, or to taste
½ cup ketchup
1 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 small lime, cut in half
3 cabbages
3 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled

Mix ground beef, minced steak or beef chunks, tomatoes, parsley, scallions, onions, Scotch bonnet peppers, rice, 1 can tomato paste, 3 teaspoons salt, black pepper, ketchup, ½ cup olive oil, onion powder, and garlic powder. Squeeze lime into mix.
Core and parboil the cabbage leaves. Slice leaves in half and trim the rib. Use inner smaller leaves whole but remove rib if necessary to allow rolling. Each leaf should be about 3 inches in length. Cover bottom of large pot with cabbage leaves.
Take 1 tablespoon of mechie mixture and place along the rib of each individual cabbage leaf. Fold the ends of cabbage leaf over the mixture and roll up. Place rolled mechies in the pot very close to one another so they don’t open up and fall apart. Make 3 tight layers. Place a small lid on a plate over themechie to hold it in place.
In a bowl, mix ½ can tomato sauce with 3 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt. Pour into pot until water is leveled with the mechie. In a mortar and pestle crush garlic cloves with 1 teaspoon salt. Mix with 1/2 cup olive oil and pour over mechie. Cover pot and steam on medium low heat for 30 minutes or until water evaporates (not completely).
Instead of Cabbage it can be  wrapped with grape leaves or stuffed in peppers or eggplants. If using eggplants, soak in salt water for 1 hour as many small eggplants as you want to stuff. Roll the eggplants with the palm of your hand to soften them. Remove leaf from top.

Cut 1½-inches off the head and save the piece. Take out pulp without breaking the skin of the eggplant. Cover bottom of medium-size sauce pot with cabbage leaves. Fill each eggplant with the mix to 1-inch from top. Trim head that was cut off so it fits as a lid on eggplant.

Place in pot very close together. Mix ¼ cup of tomato sauce with 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt and pour over eggplant and cook for 30 minutes on low heat.

In a mortar and pestle add 1 teaspoon salt with 2 or 3 large garlic cloves and crush garlic. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and pour over eggplant and cook another 30 minutes on low heat. Make sure water does not fully evaporate while the eggplants are cooking.



1 fruit bread,
 50 g butter, 
1/2 cup of milk, 
salt, pepper, 
2 or 3 eggs,


 Cook breadfruit in salted water after peeled and sliced. When cooked, the mash. Add milk, stir off the heat egg yolks. 

 Beat the egg whites and add to the mixture with pepper and chopped parsley. 

  Place in a buttered gratin pan. Bake 1/2 hour. Let cool, unmold and serve cold.



2 pound of yams 
60 grams of butter 
250 ml of milk 
3 eggs yolks and 4 whites
3 scallions 
Salt, black pepper 
Grated parmesan cheese 


Peel, cut the yams into cubes and wash.  In a pot cook the yams in salted water for 20 minutes until tender. 

Mash the Yams to obtain a thick paste.

Add to the paste, the butter cut into small pieces and pour in progressively the milk, by stirring constantly. Salt, pepper and small onions that have been peeled and finely diced. Mix and add the egg yolks. 

Preheat the oven 

Beat the egg whites and stir it into the mashed yams. Mix well by folding gently the egg white into the mixture.

Pour the mixture into a soufflé dish. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for about thirty minutes. 

Serve immediately.



3 chayotes
½ pound of smoked bacon 
1 large onion 
4 Cloves 
Salt and pepper 
1 Scotch bonnet pepper 


Start by peeling the chayotes, wash and you cut into large dice.

In a pan sauté in olive oil, chives, parsley and a quarter of the chopped onion.

When everything is nicely browned, add the bacon. Allow to brown before adding chayote. Stir well and cover. 
Meanwhile, peel and mash the garlic. Add unbroken scotch bonnet pepper and 4 cloves. Reduce heat. Let it simmer for 30 minutes under careful monitoring. 
Add a little more water if needed. 
When serving sprinkle the chayote with chopped parsley. Serve warm, this recipe is great with grilled chicken.



• 500g Pumpkin (or squash)
• 1 onion
• 3 cloves of garlic
• 25 cl of milk
• 3 eggs yolks and 4 whites
• 30 g of butter
• 20g flour
• 50g grated cheese
• 1 pinch of grated nutmeg
• salt and pepper


Peel the pumpkin and cut into large dice.

Cook the pumpkin in boiling salted water for 15 to 20 minutes, then drain and place it into a food mill and mashed.

Preheat oven 

Peel and chop the garlic and onion. Melt the butter in a saucepan for a couple of minutes and add the onion and garlic. 

Let this mixture sweat for 3 minutes then add the puree, while cooking gradually dilute the mixture with milk. Add, salt, pepper and sprinkle with nutmeg.

Remove from heat. Break the eggs, separating the whites from the yolks. Beat the egg whites until stiff with a pinch of salt. 

Add yolks to the previous preparation, then fold in the egg whites.

Grease, flour and coat with breadcrumb a soufflé dish and pour in the preparation. Place in the oven immediately for 20 min cooking, without opening the oven.

This recipe is great with grilled steak.



1 small Pumpkin (2.5 lb)
3 tbsp oil in soup
1 Onions
5 garlic
fresh thyme


Peel the pumpkin and clean out the seeds.
Cut the pumpkin into 2 cm cubes, big dices.
In a big pan add the pumpkin and finely chopped onions , oil , minced garlic , thyme , salt and pepper.
Set to simmer and cover. Turn the pumpkin mixture two or three times
Cook until water has completely evaporated. If necessary add a more oil and serve by sprinkling the pumpkin with chopped parsley.

If the pumpkin is harvested still young it is not necessary to add water during cooking. If it is hard (old) , it will be much stronger and require a little water to facilitate cooking.



6 for people
4 or 5 cucumber
Béchamel sauce
1 large handful of grated cheese or 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese to taste
10 cl of cream
1 pinch of nutmeg
For the béchamel:
40 g of butter
40g flour
50 cl of milk


Peel cucumbers lengthwise, then wash them in cold water. 
Meanwhile, boil water in a large saucepan. Once washed, cut the cucumber into thin slices, less than 5 mn thick.

Put the sliced cucumbers in boiling salted water and cook at least 20 minutes. More cucumbers they will be cooked more fluxes.

 Prepare your béchamel:
In a small pot, melt the butter over low heat and add flour the mixture should look like a cream. 
Then gradually pour in milk by stirring constantly.

 Let the mixture thicken over medium heat.  Add Salt and pepper to taste. Off the heat add the cream and cheese.

Put the cucumbers in a baking dish and cover with béchamel sauce. Feel free to mix cucumbers and sauce, salt and pepper again. Sprinkle with cheese and a large pinch of nutmeg.

Bake at  350  for about 15 minutes.



4 chayotes
2 onions 
100 g bacon 
50 g of grated cheese 
40 g butter 
2 tablespoons oil 
1 teaspoon of chopped parsley 
1 tablespoon of breadcrumbs 
Salt and pepper 


Cut chayote in half and remove the hearts.

Cook the chayote for 25 minutes in boiling salted water, then drain and cool. Scoop out the flesh of the chayote gently with a spoon. 

Mix the flesh collected.

In a pan fry the bacon in oil with chopped onions, parsley and a little pepper.

Add mashed chayote and simmer for 5 min.

Fill the skins (shells) of chayote with this mixture and sprinkle with bread crumbs mixed with grated cheese and slices of butter.

Bake 15-20 minutes.



Heart of Palm
Béchamel Sauce
Grated Cheese 


Immerse the heart of palm in salted boiling water until they are cooked.  Remove from heat and drain in a colander. 

Prepare a béchamel sauce, add the cooked pieces of palm heart, sprinkle with grated cheese and bake in the oven.