Creole Recipes From the Seychelles
First, a little background about this spectacular location. The Republic of the Seychelles is made up of a group of 115 islands situated in the western Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa. Within this magnificent archipelago there are 41 mid-ocean inner granite islands and 74 low-lying reef islands and coral atolls.
The main island of Mahé, home to the international airport and the capital city of Victoria, is the main tourism center and boasts some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Originally settled by the French, the islands were ceded to the British in 1814, after Napoleon was defeated at Waterloo, and continued under British rule until 1976 when they achieved independence and became a republic. The rich and diverse culture of the Seychelles reflects the diversity of the people—Africans, Europeans, and Asians—who have settled there over the islands’ history.
One of the most charming and interesting spots I discovered was La Plaine St. André. Located in a 200-year-old, beautifully restored plantation house, there is a rum distillery, gallery, and newly opened bar and restaurant. There are guided tours of the Takamaka rum distillery and of the grounds, where a variety of herbs and medicinal plants are grown and you can see the ruins of the original plantation’s kitchen and boathouse. Then, when you’re done, relax and enjoy a lovely meal.
The owners of La Plaine St. André have been gracious enough to share two of their special recipes with me —one for a fabulous Bourgois Fillet (red snapper fillet) with passion-fruit sauce, accompanied by steamed vegetables, and an herb-butter rice. And the other for their special Creole Cervesa Mojito made with (the passion fruit is listed, but optional), mint leaves, lime juice, their Takmaka rum, and—yes—topped off with beer. (For more information about the Seychelles and stunning photos read my extended article here: The Seychelles, A True Island Paradise)
Bourgois is a large, local red snapper and is considered a special delicacy of the Seychelles archipelago. A wonderful way to enjoy this fresh and delicious meal, you can serve the red snapper drizzled in passion-fruit sauce with steamed, seasonal vegetables and herb-butter rice.
Ingredients You Need…
- Two 10 ounce Bourgois / Red Snapper fillets with the skin on
- A selection of fresh vegetables – sweet vegetables such as pumpkin & carrot work well with this dish
- 1 cup of premium basmati rice
- A selection of fresh garden herbs – coriander and parsley liven up the rice beautifully
- 8 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, plus 2 Tablespoons/or a splash of extra virgin olive oil to saute the snapper
- Salt & pepper
- 1 fresh passion fruit (around 1/8th cup of pulp or fresh juice)
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream
What to Do…
- Put your prepared vegetables in the pot, begin steaming as the fish is being sautéed. Start your rice first, and through whilst you prepare your sauce and fresh fish.
- For the sauce…
- Add the pulp of one fresh passion fruit (or 1/8th of a cup of fresh juice) to a sauce pan.
- Heat the passion fruit through so that it reduces just a little.
- Add ¾ cup of cream whisking as you do so, you will also need to add a splash of water at this point or your sauce will thicken very quickly and look more like a passion fruit mousse.
- Add around 8 Tablespoons of butter and a pinch of salt and pepper and keep whisking till the sauce thickens to a smooth & silky consistency. Set Aside.
- For the fish…
- Place a 2 Tablespoons of butter, or a splash of olive oil, to a frying pan and bring this to a super-high heat.
- Place the fish into the pan, skin-side down, and allow this to sizzle away till the side of the fish turns a cooked-white colour through almost three quarters of its thickness.
- Flip the fish over and cook for a few minutes on the other side (*By turning the fish only one time whilst you cook it, you will keep the flesh nice and moist and the skin deliciously crispy)!
- To serve…
- Finely chop a handful of herbs and drop them into the rice with 2 Tablespoons of butter and mix thoroughly.
- Lay the steamed vegetables on the plate and place the fish, skin side down, on top of them with the herb butter rice on the side.
- Lightly drizzle the sauce over the top of the fish
- And most importantly, grab yourself a ‘Creole Cerveza Mojito’, sit back and tuck right in to your tropical taste sensation!
CREOLE CERVEZA MOJITO
What’s this you ask? It’s “a feisty fiesta fix of minty Mojito goodness, given the sega-shake of the Seychelles with a shower of island, beach-friendly beer!” To make your very own Creole Cerveza Mojito at home. You can make this without any professional bar equipment, to do this you will need the following.
- One tall glass
- One long tea spoon
- One Tablespoon for measuring
- One clean tea towel
- One large handful of cubed ice
- One wooden rolling pin
- One chopping board
- One sharp knife
- 2 tots (about 1 1/2 ounces) of Takamaka Bay white rum
- One bottle of light-bodied lager (Mexican beer works very well)
- One fresh passion fruit (optional)
- A handful of fresh mint leaves
- The juice of one fresh lime
- Sugar syrup to taste (You can make this easily by boiling a cup of sugar and a cup of water with a squeeze 1/4 tsp. of fresh lemon juice for a few minutes. This syrup will then keep in the fridge and can be used whenever you feel like having a few friends around for a little social cocktail party.)
How to make the Creole Cerveza Mojito…
- Add a handful of mint leaves to a tall glass, making sure to remove any stalks or stem.
- Cut the passion fruit in half and add the pulp to the glass, press it through a tea strainer with your spoon if you wish to remove the seeds.
- Pour in 1 Tablespoon of sugar and 1 ½ Tablespoons of fresh lime juice.
- Gently press the mint leaves against the side of the glass with the back of a long handled spoon and smear the ingredients around the inside of the glass to mix the flavors.
- Smell it, and take a little taste of the ingredients. The leaves should have released their minty aroma and the flavor should have mixed well with the sour passion fruit.
- Pour in the rum and fill up the glass with ‘cracked’ ice, crack the ice by wrapping some cubes in a clean tea towel and smashing them with a rolling pin.
- Churn the ingredients through the ice with your spoon until the ingredients are well mixed and the mint is spread evenly through the glass. Top the glass with more cracked ice and add a splash of chilled Seychellois light-bodied beer (or your favorite beer) to finish it off.
- Add two straws, a wedge of lime and a sprig of mint for garnish.
- The best thing about this cocktail is that it just keeps going, the more you drink it, the more you can top it up with a chilled beer. Although the mojito flavor will become less concentrated with each sip, the essence of the mojito will add character to your beer till the very last drop!
- And now… Relax into the slow-life of the Seychelles and appreciate island life at its best as your ice-cold cerveza dives into a totally-tropical fresh-fruit mojito.
Editors’ Note: Carolyn Paddock writes about products and services that are beneficial for travelers. The products and services mentioned are neither commissioned by nor written in cooperation with the product company or manufacturers.