Saturday, June 30, 2012

"All the signs pointed towards Antigua. The island had warm, steady winds, a complex coastline of safe harbors, and a protective, nearly unbroken wall of coral reef." ~ from Antigua's Tourism homepage

Panorama by Antigua & Trinidad Steel Bands on Grooveshark

Our most recent BITE gathering took us to the island of Antigua.  

As we each searched out recipes for our respective dishes, we were all struck by how similar many of the spices were to the ones that we used in last month's Moroccan themed dinner.  I think that this can be attributed to the following fact:

                    "Most Antiguans are of African lineage, descendants of slaves brought to the island                                 centuries ago to labor in the sugarcane fields."

We began our evening with a rum and pineapple drink.  Chris, our hostess, had rums from various Caribbean countries, so we each had a different one to try.

Tierney combined two different recipes for our appetizer and put it all on a bed of greens.  The shrimp cakes were absolutely delicious - unexpected - sweet and crisp - they were a huge hit!
Spicy Mango and Avocado Salad topped with Coconut Curry Shrimp Cakes
 As hostess, Chris was responsible for the entree.  I have eaten a lot of fish and seafood in my day, but I'm not actually sure that I've ever had red snapper!  It is a very flavorful fish,  which I tend to be fond of. It had a different texture than I think any of us were expecting.  It was meatier - I compared the texture to being more like chicken than most fish I'm accustomed to - but very flaky and tender.  The coconut gave it an added sweetness and crispiness.
Coconut Crusted Red Snapper with Pineapple Salsa 
 The accompanying pineapple salsa was just perfect for this dish.  Alternately sweet, tart and spicey - it was also perfect all on its own.
Coconut Crusted Red Snapper with Pineapple Salsa 
Ellen also made the Spicy Mango and Avocado Salad!  Sadly - I managed to not get a picture of hers - sorry about that Ellen!  While I am not an avocado fan (I have tried!), the mango was wonderful - and it all had a terrific bite to it.
Spicy Mango and Avocado Salad
Lastly, I made Papaya Pie.  I have never purchased, let alone sliced, a papaya before.  I was unprepared for what its insides really look like!  The brilliant color and contrast between the flesh and the seeds - it is a really beautiful piece of fruit!

Papaya Pie

The pie itself really became a parfait - it was so soft and airy the we had to scoop it out with a spoon and put into glasses!  I followed the recipe to a T - but the "pie" part of it was a flop!  I suppose it had to happen sooner or later - one of our recipes wouldn't be quite what we expected.  All in all though - it was pretty good.  I thought that it tasted very "fragrant".

Once again - a wonderful evening spent with wonderful company.  Next month - a bit of a departure from our "countries" theme.  "Decadence" is what we are going with - things that are rich or only saved for special occasions - I, for one, can't wait!  I will have appetizers - so I have begun to put my mind to what "decadent" delights I can come up with - I am always open to suggestions!


  1. I love your BITE gathering reports!!!!!

    PS: Somehow, "Decadence" is a term that always makes me think of the times of Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, Mary Shelley ...maybe something british...

    1. I can see that! I think that whatever appetizers I make - melted cheese just has to be a part of it!

  2. Your shortbread crust was perfect with the papaya pie, and Chris also made her coconut crusted fish recipe with mahi mahi - which she sent me home with. It was sweeter than the snapper, and more tender & moist. What a delicious meal we all enjoyed. I'm going to keep my Decadence side dish a secret!