Intrepid Optimist is the place where I can share my stories; fact, fiction and thoughts from the past and present. It’s Written by myself for people who believe adventure knows no age
A few years back I was on a short assignment in the Bahamas. I was fortunate to be accompanied around Nassau by an earthily, handsome Bahamian detective by the enchanting name of Darling – she was also a genuine one and I could not have succeeded without her help. During our time together she introduced me to some of the local cuisine, which depended mainly on seafood.
Conch (pronounced konk and if not properly cooked, tastes like leather boot soles) the most popular. It was dished up in almost every way possible; conch salad, conch fritters, conch burgers, conch chowder, scotched conch, and even scorched conch. The latter being served raw with lime juice and rubbed with hot pepper and smothered with fresh tomato and onion slices and served on a knife, I found it edible – just.
Darling’s favourite food and what to me seemed to be her permanent fare, was Conch burger. They were good in the hot, dead hours of the afternoon. We would eat, standing barefooted in the hot white sand along with ice cold bottles of Kalik Lager. T
This was normally at her cousin’s rustic and ramshackle beach bar, where we would be surrounded by a small noisy children and an even smaller and nosier litter of pink and black piglets.
Later in the evenings during the course of the assignment and in various insalubrious establishments, we would switch from the local beer to Bahama Mamas or other deliciously unassuming but lethal rum-based drinks.
To the memory of those few days in the Bahamas and trusting Miss Darling, that enthusiastically intrepid police officer, ultimately found what she was looking for, I offer this recipe for her sister’s famous Bahamian Conch Burger.
– 2 tbsp. tomato paste
– 1 kg (2 lb.) Conch, Abalones (available from many fish shops)
– 1/2 stalk celery
– 180 ml (3/4 cup) cracker meal made from broken cream crackers
– 250 ml (1 cup) bread crumbs
– 1/2 small onion
– Salt and chilli pepper
1. Finely chop or grind the conch meat, celery and onion.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Season with salt and chilli pepper.
3. Form the mixture into patties.
4. Heat oil in a frying pan and add the patties, cooking for three minutes or until lightly browned.
5. Serve on a bun with lettuce and tomato.
…and do not forget the ice cold beer accompaniment.
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