The world cuisine country chosen for October's My Kitchen, My World is Tonga. My friend Margaret is always encouraging us all to explore food in different cultures, and the first week of November she will have a round-up of all the Tonga recipes made for October so you can see them at the MKMW site.
I can't say that I really knew where Tonga was at the beginning of the month (somewhere in the South Pacific was as close as I could remember)...I had sort of a general idea, but if you gave me one of those little stick pins and told me to pin it, I would have a 50/50 chance of missing it. At the end of the month, I am proud to say, I can at least get the little stick pin in the correct place on the map. Not so much with understanding the food and cuisine of Tonga.
When I started my search for a recipe to make, the first one I came across was "Octopus in Cream Sauce." Hmmm...not so much a sure-fire hit here and where does one get octopus exactly? It's not a regularly stocked item at my market. I don't live close enough to Detroit to score one (those of you who live in Detroit will get that little joke, those who don't, it's probably best you don't know).
The next "hit" was a set of instructions on how to build an "umu." Hmmm...what's a umu? It's a pit "big enough to hold a day's worth of food." Again, not thinking I want to make a recipe that starts with "first you dig a pit...."
This wasn't looking promising until I spied a recipe using a Papaya (sometimes available at a market here, and I did get lucky in that regard as Polynesian food can be a bit of a challenge for someone who lives in say, Indiana, a far cry from anything tropical).
As I read the recipe further, I couldn't think where I was going to come up with the taro leaves or banana leaves used (in countless recipes) as you wrap things in these before you put them in your fire pit, until I came across a very simple recipe that said, "If you are out of banana leaves, you can use tinfoil." Bingo, tinfoil I can score in the non-tropics of Indiana.
So, here is my
simple, yet delicious, Tongan recipe for Papaya with Coconut Cream Sauce, a recipe that allows the use of a plain old everyday oven and tinfoil. Simple, delicious, and very tropical tasting.
Papaya with Coconut Cream Sauce
Coconut Cream or Coconut Milk
Halve and seed the papaya. Fill the cavity with coconut cream (or coconut milk). Wrap in banana leaves (or tinfoil if you are short on banana leaves). Bake at 250 degrees F for 25 minutes.
destination is Poland. (Anyone can participate any time with no
advance or further commitment, so it you have something you would like
to explore and make from Poland, join in and leave your link!)