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The English Picnic, Caribbean Style



Saturday, May 26, 2007.



By Franka Philip



The English summer beckons and with it, many weekends of great weather, picnics and barbecues. If we were recreating a typical British summer picnic (and by that I mean cooking everything, not popping off to Marks and Spencer and buying a picnic pack) we’d probably make Cornish Pasties, Roast Chicken Sandwiches, Sausage Rolls, Pork Pies, Scotch Eggs, Cucumber Sandwiches and Victoria Cake.

Somehow that list doesn’t have the same appeal to me as Saltfish Accras, Pholourie, Spicy Chicken Wings, Ham Croquettes, Festival, Bake and Shark, Black Bean Hummus and Coconut Sweetbread.

Not only am I salivating at the thought of eating all of that fantastic food, but I’m getting a bit nostalgic at the thought of hanging out on the beach on a sunny day with a bunch of friends talking a load of nonsense and enjoying life
Caribbean style.

No doubt, my friends and I will try to recreate this
Caribbean picnic in England at some point this summer but one thing we’re unlikely to have is bake and shark, as shark is not easy to find. But I was looking through Marcus Samuelsson’s Soul of a New Cuisine and I found a recipe for Crab Burgers that was inspired by the Bake and Shark sold on Maracas Beach in Trinidad.

Samuelsson says about the wonderful Bake and Shark; “Sitting on the beach washing down the sandwiches with a cold Carib beer was one of those perfect moments that come only when you’re travelling.”

Here’s his recipe for Crab Burgers that I’ll definitely be trying over the summer.

Crab Burgers
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
¼ cup chopped coriander
1 cup cooked black beans, rinsed if canned
½ teaspoon salt
1½ pounds crabmeat
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil


1. Combine the jalapeno, coriander, beans and salt in a food processor and puree until smooth. Transfer the puree to a bowl and gently fold in the crabmeat and two tablespoons of the flour.


2. Spread the remaining 2 cups of flour on a plate. With wet hands to prevent sticking, shape the crab mixture into six patties, approximately 4ins in diameer and 1in thick. Dregde the patties in flour and shake off any excess.


3. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, add the patties in batches if necessary and cook for 4 minutes on each side.


Taken from The Soul of A New Cuisine by Marcus Samuelsson



Franka Philip is a food expert and a journalist with the BBC in London. She blogs at www.cancookmustcook.com


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