Hi Everyone, a plate of boil and fry of any ground provision or a combination thereof is so satisfying that all you need is one meal of it and you are set to go for a very long time – sometimes an entire day!
Cassava and green plantains are my favourite single-variety ground provisions for boil and fry. I only include sweet potatoes and yams when I am making a combo boil and fry. I guess if I had to pick a favourite out of the lot it would be boil and fry cassava.
I like the cassava best because it is so soft and buttery when boiled. To see it split naturally from being cooked in boiling salted water is a thing of beauty. I usually have to restrain myself from prying a piece away and nibbling at it.
When it comes to the frying part of the dish, I do the fry-up with lots of onions, a couple cloves of crushed garlic, minced hot pepper, fresh herbs such as thyme and green onions and if available, tomatoes. And when I want to make a deluxe boil and fry, I added frizzled salt fish to the sautéed ingredients. Ooh la la!
The name of the dish says it all – it is about boiling the ingredient and then frying it. The two-step cooking reveals different textures for the eating pleasure. The other thing that I like about boil and fry is the practical name of the dish. Oh we Guyanese people, we call it as we see it.
Always boil the ground provision in salted boiling water, this the only way to really season the ground provision. If you add salt when it is finished cooking then you are just adding taste to the outside and leaving the inside bland.
Fry (sauté) the aromatic and seasoning ingredients until they are tender and melded. It is important that this mixture be seasoned as well. The purpose of the frying at this stage is to coat the ground provision with the mixture and cooking it just long enough that the mixture sticks to the ground provision and not be left in bits at the bottom of the pan.
This method of cooking ground provision – boil and fry – is an excellent way to introduce people to ground provision or to try and persuade the non-loving-ground-provision-people to have another try.
A plate of boil and fry is a meal in itself. The savoury seasoning mixture that coats the ground provision hits all of the right flavour notes on your tongue and you immediately feel satiated. One of the problems I always have with eating boil and fry is that I can never finish all that I serve myself. I always, always, take more than I eat. I get greedy because I love it so much and true-to-form, half way into the meal, I am completely full, leaving the rest for another day. Boil and fry is one of those things I like to have as leftovers so that I can heat it up in the morning and enjoy it with a large mug of tea. I know with a breakfast like that I am ready to go cut some cane right?
Boil & Fry Cassava
2 pounds cassava
Salt to taste
1 cup diced onions
Minced hot pepper to taste
½ cup diced tomatoes
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (thyme, marjoram, parsley)
¼ cup sliced green onions (white and green parts)
1. Peel cassava, cut into large pieces and put into pot with water, cover and bring to a boil; when the water comes to a boil, add salt to taste.
2. Cook cassava until it cracks and a knife inserts easily. Drain, shaking off the excess water.
3. Heat oil in pan until very hot.
4. Add onions and sauté for 1 minute; add hot pepper, tomatoes, garlic, herbs, salt to taste and sauté for another minute or two.
5. Add cassava, reduce heat to medium and toss/stir, ensuring that the provisions are coated with the sautéed aromatics.
6. Let fry for 4 to 5 minutes.
7. Stir in green onions, remove from heat and serve as is or with fried fish, or sautéed salt fish or smoked herring.
You can opt to add frizzled salt fish after direction # 4 and then continue with the recipe.