Fine Haitian Cuisine by Mona Cassion Ménager

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Isabelle Fassinou

Fine Haitian Cuisine by Mona Cassion Ménager

Post by Isabelle Fassinou » Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:48 am

As this is one of my favorite book, I wanted to provide information about it.
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Fine Haitian Cuisine A Broad Collection of Haitian Recipes
Mona Cassion Ménager

Book details:
A wide-ranging collection of Haitian home-style recipes for delicious, authentic, and traditional dishes. The book is the expression of Mrs. Ménager's lifelong love and appreciation of Haitian food. Thoughtful suggestions accompany the recipe and a useful glossary is also provided. Fine Haitian Cuisine is a gastronomic delight, an extraordinary trip through good memories, traditions, and a way of life. It is both entertaining and informative. It will be a great gift for Haitian-Americans raised in the USA, and anyone interested in Caribbean cuisine. Consider it as a gift for weddings, Christmas, Mother's Day, birthdays, and other occasion.
2005, Educa Vision, Inc., 450pp, Color illustrations, Hardcover
ISBN 1-58432-370-1 $45.00

Book review:
From the Publisher:
Haitian cuisine, with its strong African and French influences, holds a unique position in the world of Caribbean cooking. The food is hearty, sensuous, and sometimes adventurous. The recipes of Fine Haitian Cuisine range from traditional Haitian dishes and drinks to the latest Port-au-Prince creations. The recipes are great for special occasions and party events, but can also be enjoyed as casual everyday meals.

Book excerpt:
From the Introduction:

Haitian Cuisine is Creole and is derived mostly from African and French cuisines, with a dash of Native American and Spanish influence. In Creole cooking, food is cooked with a respectable amount of spices and herbs among which tomato, onion, and pepper are customary. Our cuisine includes a few hot dishes but it is not always hot. Very often the hotness of a dish is left to the cook's discretion and the preference of the table companions. Garlic, onion, shallots, pepper, chives, leeks, cloves, parsley, tomato or tomato paste, thyme, habanero chile, bitter orange, lime, and vinegar are what one would call “must-haves” in order to achieve the taste of Haitian cooking….

Here is a note about our common way of braising meat and a way to simplify it. Not every cut is suitable for braising but when it is, the meat (beef, prok, goat, lamb, conch) is usually marinated, then sautéed over medium high to high heat. As it browns and as the meat juices evaporate, the marinade diluted with a small amount of boiled water is gradually added, a little at a time, and allowed to evaporate while the meat is being tossed with a large spoon. This is done until the meat gradually reaches a beautiful golden color. This prevents the meat from sticking to the pan, thus avoiding scorching. After the last addition of diluted marinade has evaporated, a small amount of boiled water is added, the pan is covered, and the meat is cooked over medium to medium low heat until the liquid evaporates. This is what we call in Haitian Creole “sue vyann.”

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