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Arts & Culture

A Hearty Start to Thanksgiving

tchaka

By Nadege Fleurimond

Nadege Fleurimond is a caterer and event planner in New York City. Her recently released coffee table cookbook, Haiti Uncovered: A Regional Journey into the Art of Haitian Cusine, is a culinary travel guide focusing on the traditional cuisines of the various regions of Haiti. Follow her on Instagram @nadegefleurimond and on twitter @nadegcooks

This year instead of providing you the usual and traditional Thanksgiving fan fare, I challenge you to try this Haitian traditional dish called Tchaka. To call Tchaka chili is like slapping tchaka in the face. The depth and dimension is way beyond chili. It is the perfect Fall dish and combines two of Thanksgiving most popular ingredients, squash and turkey. Instead of smoked turkey, often time, smoke pork bones are used as well.

It is pretty easy to make, and I suggest you start your simmering in the early morning, so your guests can have a hearty, soupy filling meal as they wait for the big reveal of the turkey dinner.  Ou Pare?

Ingredients

1 lb. (1 bag) of broken dry corn (mais casse)

1½ cup of red beans

1 package of frozen cooked winter squash

1 can Coconut Milk

3 crushed garlic

5 cloves

4 twigs of thyme

2 sprigs of parsley 1 and ½ lbs. smoke turkey (for meaty tchaka, use 2 lbs.)

1 Small white cabbage (or large kale leaves), chopped

Half of one yellow onion diced m

1lb of carrots, medium diced

1 medium Green pepper, diced

1 medium red pepper, diced

1 tbsp. of seasoned salt

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 scotch bonnet pepper, whole

Directions

In a soup pot, wash dry corn and peas add in 12 cups of water and bring them to a boil (use a soup pot)
Boil slowly on medium heat covered

After 20 min add in clean smoke meat and crushed garlic  until beans and corn are cooked, approximately 30 to 45 minutes

Add in scotch bonnet, cabbage, carrots, seasoned salt, thyme, parsley,  cloves, garlic powder and onion powder (Add water if needed as you are looking for a soup like/chili consistency)

Add winter squash and coconut milk into mixture let simmer for 15 min

In a small frying pan sautée onion, r.ed and green peppers for 5 min and add to corn mixture

Add salt and pepper to taste and let simmer for another 10 min or until desired consistency

Haitian Times

Haitian Times

The Haitian Times was founded in 1999 as a weekly English language newspaper based in Brooklyn, NY.The newspaper is widely regarded as the most authoritative voice for Haitian Diaspora.
Haitian Times
Nov. 25, 2015

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