La Source : Cooking for a Cause

By Tsz on September 19, 2011

Sometimes it’s easy to lose track of the big picture.

Being a freelance designer, I find myself stressed on a day-to-day basis in trying to complete enough projects to get by. In a sense, I’m living the life of a starving artist—sort of, as I have managed to eat pretty well in spite of it all.

Because of my lifestyle, I will admit that I’ve got a bit of a tunnel vision. Work, make rent, pay down student loans. Repeat each month. This seemingly endless cycle plays a toil on my psyche—and I’ve just started my working career!

So, I find it vital to my sanity to step out of my shoes periodically, see what is going on in the world and give back however I can.

Last week, I’ve had the opportunity to cook with my friend Tim at a fundraiser for La Source and Generosity Water. La Source is a documentary about a small village in Haiti called La Source and its inhabitants in their continuing struggle in bringing clean water to their village.

We decided to showcase Haitian cuisine so we created a menu of simple comfort dishes:

1. Riz National, a rice and Kidney beans pilaf that’s boldly flavored with salt pork, cumin and cloves.

2. Boulette, Haitian meatballs with a spicy tomato sauce.

3. Pikliz, Haitian pickled vegetables.

The fundraiser was a success due to the team and master planning by Carlin. Quite happy to be able to participate and help out by doing what I loved. For more information about La Source, please visit here.

Before I sign off, here’s a little simple recipe for making Boulette at home!

Boulette with Spicy Haitian Sauce
Serves 4

1 bag of your favorite frozen meatballs (I went with beef)
1 28oz can chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup canned pineapple
1 small onion, finely minced
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Hoisin (not traditional, but it makes the sauce!)
1/2 Scotch bonnet pepper, finely minced (use less/more to taste)
Salt to taste
Chives (optional)

1. In a 375-degree oven, roast the meatballs in a heavy duty roasting pan. This should take around 30-40 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, blend the tomatoes and pineapple in a food processor until smooth.

3. In a large sauce pan over high heat, cook onions and garlic with the oil until brown and soft. Pour in the tomato-pineapple puree and continue to cook on high heat.

4. Once the sauce is boiling, add vinegar, sugar, Hoisin and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings to your preference.

5. Reduce for 15 minutes on medium heat until the sauce is thicken. Ladle over meatballs and garnish with chives. Best served over rice!

{Group photo by Anabel Choi}

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