05 November 2009

Morgan Freeman & Friends Caribbean Cooking For A Cause

Well, this may not exactly be a “celebrity” cookbook in the sense that Freeman is not actually the cook. Freeman is more of an “eater” than a cook and he is an avid sailor. He spends a great deal of time sailing the Caribbean and visiting many wonderful restaurants. When Grenada was devastated by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, Freeman gathered his friends to help with the Grenada Relief Fund.

As more and more areas were hit by hurricanes, including our own devastating Katrina, the Grenada Relief Fund expanded and changed its name to, Plan!t Now. Plan!t Now provides people in high-risk areas the knowledge and information as well as advocating for the power of preparedness.

SO Freeman gathered his Hollywood friends, like Kevin Bacon and Michael Douglas who cajoled the chefs at their favorite resort locations to offer up recipes for this fundraising endeavor, Morgan Freeman & Friends Caribbean Cooking For A Cause. The book is filled with lovely publicity picture of celebrities frolicking on the beach, or staring dramatically into the camera

or sidled up to an occasional chef.

There are so many ways this could be really bad, and yet it is quite nice. The chefs provided really lovely island dishes. The book is arranged by island, so you will find dessert and drinks surrounded by stews and okra, so if you are looking for a menu, you are on your own.

Here is a pair of recipes from Mustique. They come from Alfre Woodard’s chef. The drink and fritters will make a nifty appetizer course. The sorrel drink features hibiscus which is found in the Caribbean during December, which makes it a hard ingredient to find, however, Red Zinger tea features hibiscus so it provides a fine substitution.


10 cups cold water
1 tablespoon rice
5 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves 12 whole allspice berries
2 pounds fresh sorrel, washed
2 cups sugar
2 ounces Jamaican white rum or red wine

In a large pot, combine the water, rice, ginger, cloves and allspice. Bring to a boil and add the sorrel. Remove from the heat, cover and let stand for 24 hours. Strain off the liquid and add the sugar and rum, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into bottles and refrigerate.
If you use the Red Zinger, you can leave out the rice and steep for less than 24 hours. I would leave the tea bags in for about 20 minutes and then let the rest ride overnight.

Festival Bread

Canola oil, for frying
1 cup ground yellow corn meal
3/4 cup All-Purpose flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 – 1 cup cold water

In a large deep pot, heat 1” of oil to 350 F.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder. Add 3/4 cup water and mix to form a dough, adding more water if necessary. Divide the dough into pieces, 1/2 teaspoon each, and roll into ovals. Slip into the oil and fry for 3 to 5 minutes, or until golden.
Festival Bread is a kind of sweet hush-puppies, eaten in much the same way as savory one, with fish.

So maybe Morgan Freeman didn’t actually cook anything, but he is working for a good cause.

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