Growing up, I had a cousin, J who would always toast bits of dried crayfish and dry pepper. He would add this to palm oil and serve it over boiled yam and plantain.
I think about him and the sauce a lot. And then lately, I’ve been thinking about making a vinaigrette of it. With cane vinegar.
And that I’ve done. In it, we have all the elements I remember so well – the smoky pungent crayfish, the kick of dried hot chilies and surprisingly? Bitter from the scent leaves. I was shocked that instead of the herby, citrusy flavours I expected bitter was what arrived. Still, it lends some dimension to the mix.
And yes, when all’s said and done, toasted and mixed in, seasoned, thinned with vinegar…and tasted, you get the mix of flavours. The heat, the sour from the vinegar comes as a shock too, it doesn’t hit you till the end…that slight fire at the back of your throat.
[yumprint-recipe id=’63’]I’m excited about trying this tonight at my Thanksgiving dinner. So so so excited. Interested in seeing how it’ll work with plantain flatbreads which I hope will work out :). We wait.