A Bermuda short interlude…

May 4, 2015

image courtesy of http://www.flags.net

So… Bermuda is not a country, it is a British territory. I think deep down I knew this, but in my haste to bring you a continued stream of top notch factoids and culinary ventures…I forgot. So as a compromise (and because I already made the dish), let’s settle on an abridged entry.

Bermuda was first discovered by Spanish captain Juan de Bermudez in 1503. The island was surrounded by dangerous reefs so he did not actually go ashore. This is important to keep in mind, because 106 years later those reefs would save the lives of 150 English sailors including Pocahontas’ future husband John Rolfe. The ship Sea Venture was lost in a hurricane on its way to deliver much-needed relief to Jamestown colony. As it was a young ship, the timbers had not set fully and it began to take on water. The next day, land was spotted and the crew crashed the ship against the reefs to make it to shore. 350 to 450 people died, among who were Rolfe’s first wife and child, and those who made it were marooned for over 9 months.

This is widely believed to have been the basis for The Tempest by William Shakespeare, which was written within the following 2 years. Eventually, many of the survivors built a few boats and made it to Jamestown, where they found conditions far worse than they were on the island.

Bermuda marks the northern most point of the Bermuda Triangle and is in the middle of Hurricane Alley, which causes many of the phenomena attributed to the mysterious occurrences… also aliens. During the War of 1812, the British naval base of operations was Bermuda and where the attacks on Washington D.C. were planned.

The dish I made was a fairly straight forward Fish Chowder (say it Frenchy!). Although the recipe called for Red Snapper, I did some research and found that catfish would be an acceptable substitute and is probably easier for a lot of people to find at their local megamart. The real key to this soup is the clam juice. I cannot stress this enough, it will not be the same without it. You can buy this bottled at most supermarkets, or like I did, drain some cans of canned clams (using the meat for another application). This is a quick, easy dish and very flavorful, you just can’t go wrong!

Next time…we travel to Bhutan.

 

  


 

Bermuda Fish Chowder

3 servings

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1.5 stalks celery, chopped

1 carrots, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1.5 tablespoon tomato paste

2 cups clam juice

1 potato, peeled and cubed

1/2 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 bay leaf

1/2 pound red snapper (or catfish) fillets, cut into 1 inch pieces

——————————————

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add celery, carrots, onion, green pepper, and garlic; saute about 8 minutes.
  2. Stir in tomato paste, and cook 1 minute. Add clam juice, potatoes, canned tomatoes with juice, Worcestershire sauce, jalapeno pepper, bay leaf, and ground black pepper. Simmer until potatoes are tender, stirring about every 30 minutes.
  3. Add fish. Simmer until snapper is easily flaked with fork, about 10 minutes.

 

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