It’s been beastly hot and humid, and I’m due to give birth any day now. Without a usable porch and grill, I haven’t been able to take the cooking outside. This past weekend, I wanted something spicy, cold, and a little bit decadent. It was also critical that I not have to turn on my oven or stove if at all possible.
When I was thirteen, I went to Bermuda with my family. It was there that I fell in love with Bermudan Fish Chowder. Bermudan Chowder gets its punch from sherry pepper sauce & dark rum. Sherry pepper sauce is a condiment unlike any hot sauce you’d find in the States. It’s a deep golden color, very thin, and both hot and smooth. Fish chowder would have been lovely, but would have required a lot of time in front of the stove. Instead I contemplated caribbean flavors and came up with this cold salad.
- 1 lb cooked, cold lobster
- 2 avocados
- 2 mangos
- 2 habanero peppers
- 1 lemon or lime
- 3-4 TBS dark rum
- 1 tsp fresh ground allspice
- 1.5 tsp brown sugar
This is a forgiving and “to taste” recipe. Mince your habaneros very fine, then add to a bowl with the dark rum, brown sugar, allspice, and half the zest & half the juice of a lemon or lime. I used a lemon, but I think a lime would have been better. Add a pinch or two of salt, mix until salt & sugar are dissolved, then cover & set aside for at least an hour. The finer you’ve minced your habaneros, the more of the flavor will be drawn out into the liquid.
Dice your avocado and toss with the rest of the lime juice to keep it from browning. I’d aim for a smallish dice to allow you to get bites with a little of everything, but larger chunks are fine if that’s your preference. I’d also recommend using at least one avocado that’s ripe but not too soft, and one on the softer side. If you have a softer avocado, you can put 1/4 of it aside for mashing with the dressing.
Chop mangos, and lobster meat to a similar size as your avocado. Toss in with the avocado & return your thoughts to the dressing. Gently strain your habaneros from the dark rum. You will be left with a rich, spicy, but thin liquid. If you have avocado set aside, you can mash a bit in to thicken the dressing. If not, don’t worry about it. Add back as much of the habanero as you think you’d like. I added back about half a habanero, minced almost to paste. That was just hot enough for my lips to tingle a bit by the end of a serving. If you like things pretty spicy, you could skip the straining & just go for adding it all in. This creates four servings for a light lunch or appetizer.