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Creole recipes of Martinique

From beguine to the zouk music, Martinique dances to the rhythm of "sunset cocktails". A generous manna, it offers baskets of crustaceans and fishes of the open sea: red crabs, lobsters, chatrous (octopuses), lambis, sea breams; and an armful of vegetables and fruits with melodious names: soursops, pawpaws, gombos, chayotes!

Martinique, it’s 1’080 km2 to discover. From its beaches caressed by the winds to its "Montagne Pelée" and its tropical forest, from its Lamentin Plain to its ridged hills. An island where summer is eternal, 26ºC on average. You’ll be "creolised" in between the music and the sun, the spicy or vanilla flavoured savours. And there, you will definitely taste and enjoy, why ever not, a stuffed crab, a gratin of chayotes and banana with rum sauce. These are the recipes that I suggest (for 2 persons).

Stuffed crabs and gratin of chayotes (main course)

Stuffed crabs

- 2 cooked crabs
- 1 onion
- 1/2 glass of soft bread crumbled in some milk
- Thyme, bay leaf, parsley, salt, chilli (optional)
- A few drops of lime
- A little olive oil
- Breadcrumbs

Open the crabs, remove the inside and collect the meat caught in the cartilage.
In the olive oil, brown the minced onion, crab, herbs and the soaked bread. Then, add the salt and the lime.
Stir over a low heat so as to dry up the mixture, which needs to be quite compact.
Pour the mixture in the crabs’ shells and sprinkle the breadcrumbs.
Brown for a while in the oven.

Gratin of chayotes

- 2 chayotes
- 15g butter
- 1 glass of milk
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1 glass of soft bread
- Salt, pepper
- Grated Gruyère (cheese)
- 1 garlic clove, chopped

Boil the chayotes for 20-25 mn.
Cut them lengthwise and remove the pulp with a small spoon, then crush it thoroughly with a fork (or in a mixer) along with the bread.
On the heat, mix the flour, butter and milk, then, add the pulp and the garlic. Leave to thicken. Season with salt and pepper.
Fill in the skin of the chayotes with this mixture; sprinkle the Gruyère and brown in the oven just before serving.

Caramelized banana with rum sauce (dessert)

- 2 bananas
- 1 knob of soft butter
- 1/2 a sachet of vanilla powder, or, the pulp of 1/2 a vanilla pod
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1/2 glass of orange or pineapple juice (or any other exotic fruit)
- 2 tablespoons rum
- Some raisins

Cut the bananas lengthwise and brown them in a frying pan with the butter.
Keep aside the fruits in a plate.
Still on the heat, pour the sugar in the frying pan and allow it to slightly caramelise.
Add a handful of raisins, the vanilla, the orange juice and the rum. Cover up and allow it to cook for about 5 minutes.
Coat the bananas with this sauce. Serve warm.