Today, me and my host family worked together to make lunch. Mom made Split Pea Cook-up, my little sister smashed garlic and cut tomatoes like a pro, and I made seasoned-baked fish and a salad to go with it. It was a good Saturday afternoon learning from each other and sharing what we all love–food.
Like I’ve mentioned before, I’m learning recipes simply by watching. This is my first attempt to write it down so bare with me. Come, leh we go!
SPLIT PEA COOK-UP
What is cook-up?
Cook-up is an Afro-Guyanese dish made of rice, coconut milk, some kind of legume/bean, and any rank (aka meat) of your choice. People eat this on several occasions: a baby shower, birthday, BBQ, or just because. It’s a Guyanese home favorite. There are many ways to mix it up and make it taste how you like, but what doesn’t change is how delicious rice is cooked in coconut milk. So freaking good.
- 1 cup dry split peas (or use 1 can if you can find some)
- 2 cups of rice
- 1 2/3 cups of coconut milk (or 13.5oz can)
- 1 cup of water
- onions (diced)
- 5 stems of celery w/ leaves (diced)
- if you’re in America, use about 3.
- 1 hot pepper (diced)
- salt/all purpose seasoning (in Guyana, you can use cook-up seasoning)
- I’ve never pressurized anything before, but that’s how people do things in Guyana. My host mom gave me these sweet directions to share with you: place pressurizer on med-hot heat, add about 1 to 2 cups of water into the pot, add your peas, cover with lid, and let it pressurize until you hear the first whistle. Host mama says it shouldn’t take long. I’m going to guess between 5-10 minutes.
- Of course, if you don’t have a pressure cooker and don’t want to boil your peas for a long time, you can just buy the can.
- Sautee celery, onion, and hot pepper in some oil on medium heat.
- Add split peas.
- Pour coconut milk and water.
- Add rice into the pot with everything else until it is fully cooked.
- Add salt and all purpose seasoning to taste.
SEASONED BAKED FISH
- 1-2lbs of fish (cut into fillets)
- Sorry, I don’t know what kind we used… but the flesh was white.
- 3-4 stems of celery w/ leaves
- 4 tomatoes (diced, large)
- 1 whole garlic (minced)
- 1 lime
- soy sauce
- Marinated the fish with lime, garlic, oil, and a little bit of salt.
- In a one or two large pans, bake the fish (skin facing up) at 450F (or 240C) for 20-30 minutes.
- While the fish is baking, cut your celery and tomatoes.
- Once the fish is fully cooked, add the celery and tomatoes to the pan.
- Lightly pour soy sauce onto the fish. I don’t use much because the fish is already salty. We don’t want to over do it so make sure the fish ISN’T drowning in it.
- Place back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until tomatoes are soft.