Our Favourite Bahamian Holiday Recipes
One of the things that makes this time of year so very special are the many traditions that mark the occasion. For us, nothing symbolizes tradition and holiday more clearly than all of the delicious foods and drinks that line our tables during this season.
With that sentiment in mind, we’ve put together a collection of our favourite Holiday Recipes to share with you from each of our extraordinary guides on our Bites of Nassau Food Tasting & Culinary Walking Tours. Although they’re certainly edible all year round, these locally-flavoured recipes are the secrets to the goodies that we wait the entire year to indulge in, and we hope you’ll be able to enjoy them in your homes too!
*We should warn you in advance that most of our selections below happen to be sweet treats
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for 2015, from all of your fellow foodies at Tru Bahamian Food Tours!
Murray’s Guava Cocktail
Murray Says: “I first started making it for dinner guests from the liquor I make. It’s perfect to enjoy on a tropical Christmas day.”
- 2 shot glasses of guava liquor
- 4 tablespoons of guava jam
- 1 club soda
- 2 cups of ice
- Crush in food processor and enjoy on a tropical Christmas day.
Alanna’s Auntie’s Lobster Salad
Credit: Cooking With Sugar
Alanna Says: “This is the appetizer my aunt prepares each year to start off our Christmas Day meal. It’s Bahamian lobster at its best and because it takes such a long time to peel and shred the meat from the shells, it’s truly a treat. Bon appetit!”
- 2 large lobster tails
- 1 medium to large size onion, chopped
- 2 large celery stalks, chopped
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 tsp chopped hot pepper (bird or goat, preferably)
- Salt to taste
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2-3 limes, squeezed
- For garnish: 2 boiled eggs, shelled and sliced, 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges, Parsley (not Italian)
- Boil lobster tails until shells are red
- Remove lobster from shell, shred meat as finely as possible
- In large bowl, combine shredded lobster meat, chopped onion, chopped celery
- Add salt and hot pepper to taste
- Add lime juice to taste
- Fold in mayonnaise, just enough to moisten
- Garnish salad with egg slices, tomato wedges and fresh parsley
Alex’s Mango Ice Cream, Russell Family Special
Alex Says: “Every summer, my mother, aunt, and I pick a few bags worth of mangoes from nearby trees. Then we skin, seed, purée and freeze them for December. This recipe has become a fixture on my family’s Christmas Dinner Menu. From our table to yours, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 cup purée mango
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- the juice of half a lemon
- Mix purée mango and lemon juice
- In a separate, large bowl, whip heavy cream until slightly stiff
- Carefully incorporate the half and half, condensed milk, mango mixture and salt until everything is properly combined
- Depending on the type of ice cream machine you have, it may be best to allow the mixture to cool in freezer for about 2- 3 hours
- Add mixture to the ice cream machine following the directions for its make and model
- Put in the freezer overnight
Claire’s Coconut Mango Cheesecake
Credit: Nutmegs Seven
Claire says: “It’s my go-to special dinner party recipe, as eaten by the director of All Is Lost, and underwater director of photography of Pirates of The Caribbean and Life of Pi, amongst others in my food catering days.”
- 1 1/2 cup Graham cracker crumbs
- 1 1/2 cup Sweetened Shredded coconut, toasted
- 1/4 cup Sugar; 1/2 cup Unsalted butter (1stick), melted
- 4 pk Cream Cheese (8oz), room temperature
- 3/4 cup Sugar, 3 large Eggs, 1 large Egg yolk
- 15 oz Cream of coconut canned (available in liquor dept of most supermarkets)
- 1 cup Whipping cream, 1 cup Sweetened shredded coconut
- 2 large fresh mangos (I use raspberry coulis if mango is out of season!)
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- For crust: Wrap outside of 9 inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4 high sides with foil. Mix graham cracker crumbs, coconut and sugar in medium bowl. Add butter and mix to blend. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of prepared pan. Chill while preparing filling.
- For filling: Beat cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar in large bowl until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in egg yolk. Add cream of coconut, whipping cream and shredded coconut; beat until just blended. Pour into crust.
- Bake cheesecake until puffed and golden, about 1 hour, 25 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool completely. Refrigerate until well chilled (Can be made one day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated.)
- Puree 1/4 of mango slices in blender until smooth. Transfer to small bowl. Sweeten to taste with sugar, if desired. Using small knife, cut around cheesecake to loosen. Remove pan sides. Arrange slices on cheesecake and drizzle with puree.
Lexi’s Long Island Coconut Tarts
Credit: Foodsmiths Foodie
Lexi Says: “My grandma always makes coconut tart as her specialty around any holiday. She goes and collects the coconuts herself from our neighbours’ yards and makes pans especially around Christmas.”
- Sweet Dough
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 cups flour
- 3-4 tbsp water
- Coconut Filling
- 3 cups coconut grated finely
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 water
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp nutmeg
- To prepare coconut filling: Combine grated coconut, sugar, water, vanilla and nutmeg in a sauce pan over medium heat flame. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mixture begins to dry (until it looks like a crumble). Cool while making dough.
- To prepare dough: Blend shortening and butter. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla and mix until well blended. Then add baking powder and milk. Once the ingredients are well mixed, add the flour to the mixture a cup at a time along with one teaspoon of water to ensure the dough holds well. After combining all the flour with the wet mix, knead dough until stiff enough to roll out.
- Separate the dough into 2 pieces, each piece rolled out to fit into a 13 x 9 baking pan.
- Roll out one piece and lay it on the bottom of the pan, greased lightly with shortening. Top the bottom layer with coconut filling. Take the remaining half of dough, roll it out, and lay it atop the layer coconut filling.
- If you want to make the tart more decorative, roll it out and cut into 1/2 inch wide strips. Lay half of the strips across the length of the pan and the other half across the width. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown.