27/03/2012

Creamed Callaloo

Creamed Callaloo is a Jamaican favourite.

Callaloo, traditionally, uses amaranth leaves as the main constituent ingredient.

Amaranth is a superb source of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B6, vitamin C, riboflavin, and folate, and dietary minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper and manganese. Paleo superfood!

You could use spinach, kale or any combination of these deep greens as the base, but amaranth is the more authentic.

Begin by boiling the greens. I boiled in some crab juice poured off from another meal I was making - Callaloo with flavours of the sea seems to work out really well.


Once soft, chop in some other ingredients - shallot, garlic (I used wild garlic, which is seasonal), okra, Scotch Bonnet pepper, thyme and black pepper, adding a little chicken stock. Simmer for a few minutes, then blend together roughly - you still want some structure, not a purée.

The aim is to get enough liquid evaporated off so that this is not technically soup, yet not too much that it turns dry. Okra helps hold a thickened soup balance here.

Once achieved, pour in some cream. Traditionally, coconut milk would be used and should - I was out of coconut milk, but did have some cream. Lacto-paleos, feel free to try either; more purist paleos, carry on with coconut milk.

Meanwhile slice some scallops and flash fry in a little butter and fold into the soup.

Finally, garnish.

I had some chopped egg white and some shaved truffle, which is very seasonal at the moment. Garnish with whatever you have to hand - simple fresh herbs would do just fine.

You get a warming glow from the Scotch Bonnet, but the fattiness of the cream offsets it just enough that you can taste all these fine flavours.

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