Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Back to my roots

At one point or the other everyone goes back to their roots, the child goes back to the mother. At burials the priests say ashes to ashes dust to dust. How many of us have dreamt of creating our family tree? Go back to the birth place of our parents? We all have at one point or the other, in one way or the other, spiritually, physically, we have all taken one step to going back home, back to our roots. My journey home like any journey starts with one step and for me that has to do with the cooking.
As you already know, that is if you have read my other posts, my grandmother is from the Caribbean (see blog post Monday, July 4, 2011 Sweet memories). I was not the only one who learnt from her. My mom makes a pig snout and lentils soup with dumplings that is lovely. Being away from home for so long I missed it a bit, now that I am back I have decided to make my own version of it, minus the dumplings and a pinch spicier. Haa!
Now not many people outside of the black community eat pig’s snout. You see most of the people living in the Caribbean are of slave descendants. Slaves, they didn’t know when their next meal was, or what they were going to eat. What they had, was what the white masters did not want, the dirty bits. The pig’s ears, tails, the animal’s insides. To make it last, or change the taste they would add a lot of spice and herbs and other things just to make it edible.
Many great things have come from those old ancestral methods, like salt fish, smoked meat, the use of root vegetables that look like some alien’s excrements and so many fruits and vegetables the colour of the rainbow. As far as I am concern the Caribbean island is the garden of Eden split in hundreds of pieces.
Anyway let’s not stray from the subject like I always do. On the menu today
Pig’s snout in spicy lentil soup:
What you need:
500g of lentils
8 to 10 pig’s snout
(this can be bought at any Chinese market, it is found in brim. One thing you should know about pig’s snout is that it is marinated in salt so no need to add any to the snouts. It’s also very cheap and vey fatty)
1 packet of chicken soup or chicken stock
Ginger, Garlic, Cloves, Chilli 
In a pot pour in lentils and cover with water. Bring to the boil.
While lentils are boiling rinse pigs snout cover with water, add ginger, garlic clove, half an onion, 3 cloves. Bring to the boil and let simmer for an hour. Skim the top regularly.
After an hour checks your snouts to see if they are cooked, it should be firm but you should also be able to cut through them with a folk. Once they are ready drain them out of the water and cut into small pieces and set aside.
Check your lentils to make sure that they are cooked. When the lentils are ready, add chicken soup powder and add water. If you are using chicken stock there is no need to add any water.
Bring your lentils back to the boil add a small teaspoon of chilli, not too much, you don’t want it inedible. You just want to give it a touch of heat.
Taste your lentils make sure there is enough salt. Don’t forget that you are going to add the pig’s snout which is already salted.
In a pan sauté your pig snouts to add a little colour, and then add some finely diced onion, when the onions are translucent add the all to the lentils soup. Let simmer for five minutes and serve hot.
I like to add some flaked roasted almonds or some fresh grated carrots on top.

I hope you like this one. If you guys know of any nasty bits like this and you are not sure how to prepare it or can’t come up with anything please share I am more than happy to help you out. You can email me or leave a message on my facebook page.
Until next time just remembers, mix cook eat and love.

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