Caribbean Connection: Morgan Freeman and Friends Cookbook

September 10, 2010

Curry-Dusted Shrimp with Squash Choka

I’ll have to admit, when I first received the Morgan Freeman and Friends |Caribbean Cooking for a Cause cookbook, I was disappointed. I had seen him on one of the morning shows, promoting the book, and I had expected the book to be packed with recipes from islanders themselves. When I got the book, it was more about fancy hotels’ restaurants, and less about the simple island cooking, so it sat on my bookshelf for quite a while.

After a while, I started trying some of the recipes, though. First, a simple recipe, more like what I thought the book should be featuring, Pasta, Smoked Fish, and Cream. Then I ventured out a bit more and tried the Ital Soup. Then I decided to go the uber-fancy route, and make Chicken and Shrimp in a Pineapple Pontoon (a huge hit with my hubby, with an inspiring combination of flavors – orange and star anise… mmmm!).

For our anniversary dinner, I decided to make a 3-course meal from recipes in the book. For the main course, I made the very simple Lobster Curry, which came together in a snap. As an appetizer, Seared Indian Scallops and Shrimp, and for dessert, an Island Cheesecake that had just a hint of coconut (and being the first baked cheesecake I ever made, it came together easily). It was an amazing dinner, and one of my favorite parts was the squash choka that accompanied the Seared Indian Shrimp and Scallops.

This recipe actually seemed very simple, but was made up of 5 different recipes: the scallops and shrimp in their marinade; a gremolata with parsley, cilantro, and orange and lime zests; squash and tomato chokas, which had ginger, habaneros, garlic, and other spices mixed with the main ingredient; and finally a spicy beurre blanc, spiked with white wine and cumin. It was so good, I made a portion of the meal the other night, increasing the amount of seafood and choka to make a main course of it.

So, even though this book is full of fancy-schmancy dinners, there is a good mix of hearty versus nouvelle-style cuisine. Every recipe I’ve tried has been a hit in the flavor department, and many have been much more simple than I anticipated going in. It’s definitely worth the $14 price tag on Amazon!

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2 Responses to “Caribbean Connection: Morgan Freeman and Friends Cookbook”

  1. I made the Chicken and Shrimp in a Pineapple Pontoon for my husband, but substituted Scallops for the Chicken and it came out great. It was even better the next day. I will try it with the Chicken one day. I liked your reviews of this book. I love the book. I think the book is very nice. I especially like the amazing celebrities throughout the book.

    I plan on trying the other recipe you made Seared Indian Spiced Scallops and Shrimp. It seems a little complicated, but yummy.

  2. I’m glad you liked the review! You should definitely the try the scallops and shrimp; I swear it is much easier than it looks in the book. Plus, the squash choka is amazing! I’ve made that more than once as it’s own side dish.

    I’ll have to try subbing the scallops for the chicken, because that sounds tasty. I love my seafood!