Sunday, September 25, 2011

Breadfruit Oil Down

breadfruit oil down
Oil down (Oil dong) is a traditional Caribbean way of cooking starchy vegetables in a coconut milk reduction. Jamaicans call it run down. In Trinidad the most popular oil down ingredient is breadfruit which technically is a fruit but for cooking purposes it is treated like a vegetable. Because the breadfruit is sweet and buttery the accompanying meat tends to be a bit of something briny like salted cod or salted pig tails. Sometimes callaloo leaves are used along with a colouring agent like roucou or tumeric. This is an simple but filling one-pot meal that doesn’t require require a ton of dishes as everything simmers together in one pot until the breadfruit and meat are cooked through. The meat can be omitted for a vegan / vegetarian alternative.

Breadfruit Oil Down
1 1/2 lbs salted meat (beef, or, pig tails, etc)
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
Leaves scraped from 1 sprig thyme
2 tbsp chopped chive
5 small seasoning peppers, or mild green chilli, finely chopped
2 tabpspoons vegetable oil, for frying
1 med breadfruit (2-3 lbs), peeled, core removed
4 cups coconut milk
3 seasoning peppers, finely chopped

Put salted meat or cod into a pot with water. Bring to a boil and drain, repeat three times to remove salt. Cook until almost tender. Drain. Sauté onions and garlic in hot oil until onions are translucent. Add chive, thyme and salted meat, breadfruit, peppers and 4 cups coconut milk. Add salt to taste. Cover pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes until breadfruit is cooked and tender.  Dish is done when liquid is almost absorbed and breadfruit looks somewhat mushy. I like more of a sauce with  my breadfruit so I usually remove it from the heat sooner than the 45 minutes.