After a day spent soaking up the sun and wading in the Bahamas' clear warm waters, nothing beats a hearty and delicious meal of Caribbean cuisine. Delicacies like conch fritters, pigeon peas, salt pork and guava duff delight and satisfy with a confluence of flavors brought from Africa, Europe, East India and the Americas.
At the Grand Lucayan Resort in Freeport, Executive Chef Basil E. Dean infuses traditional tastes of the islands into the menus of his four on-property restaurants with innovative dishes like his coconut mushroom bisque.
“I derive my inspiration from the classics,” explains Chef Basil. “But i add a little personal touch. For instance, my coconut mushroom bisque uses just a handful of mostly local ingredients, but packs quite a punch.”
Left: Chef Dean; right: The Grand Lucayan Resort, Bahamas.
Coconut Mushroom Bisque Ingredients 1.5 lbs fresh coconut 2 medium Irish potatoes 3 oz chopped garlic 4 oz coconut oil Salt and black pepper to taste 4 oz coconut oil 2 medium diced onions ¼ oz salt 12 oz coconut water 4-6 cups chicken stock 8oz coconut milk 1oz fresh thyme leaves
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees
Add the fresh coconut, potatoes, and garlic with 4 oz coconut oil in a large bowl; season with salt and black pepper. Spread the mixture into a baking dish. Add the mushrooms coconut oil in a separate bowl; spread into a separate baking dish.
Bake the potato mixture in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Place the mushrooms in the oven and continue baking until the potatoes are soft and slightly browned, about 25 minutes more. Remove both dishes from the oven and set aside.
Using coconut oil in a large stock pot over medium-low heat; cook the onion in the oil until completely soft, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir the roasted potato mixture and the mushrooms into the onions, along with salt and the coconut water; allow the mixture to come to a simmer, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes. Stir the mushroom broth and thyme into the mixture. Place a cover on the stock pot and cook to allow the flavors to blend, about 20 minutes.
Allow the soup to cool slightly before a blending filling the pitcher halfway. Hold the lid firmly with a folded kitchen towel and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree; transfer blended batches to a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup in the pot. Stir the coconut milk, if using, into the finished bisque to serve.