While spending the week vacationing on St. Croix, former President Jimmy Carter tried some Crucian style potato stuffing.
"It reminds me a bit of the sweet potato soufflé we have at home, but with a little spiciness to it," Carter said, expressing a hope he could get Virgin Islands first lady Cecile deJongh’s family recipe.
Just in case deJongh is hesitant to give up her culinary secret, here is one recipe for potato stuffing for the Carter family. This comes from "Native Recipes," the University of the Virgin Islands Cooperative Extension cookbook of traditional Virgin Islands cuisine.
- 3 pounds potatoes
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1/2 stalk celery, minced (optional)
- 1/4 medium sweet pepper, minced OR
- 6 Puerto Rican sweet peppers
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 2 teaspoons parsley
- dash black pepper
- 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 -1 cup milk
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 2 eggs
Peel potatoes, boil in salted water, drain and mash. While potatoes are boiling, warm frying pan and add oil and butter. (Pan should not be too hot or butter will scorch). When oil is heated add minced onion, celery and sweet pepper. Cook over low flame until tender. Add thyme, tomato sauce, parsley, black pepper and sugar. Cook about three minutes.
Add this mixture to mashed potatoes and mix thoroughly. Add milk, raisins and eggs. The mixture should be a little more moist than mashed potatoes. If not sufficiently moist, add a little more milk and butter. Pour in a greased flat baking pan of the type used for puddings and bake at 325 degrees for about 45 minutes to one hour. Top should be golden brown when done. Makes 12 servings.