Yes, what a name--DUCKANOO! I had to try it! Well, maybe I wouldn't have had it not been that it is naturally gluten free, and I knew I could make it completely lactose free as well. Ever since a friend gave me a tip in making lactose free foods by replacing regular milk with coconut milk, I've just had to try out some new recipes. When I saw I'd have to boil this duckanoo thing, I thought I'd give it a whirl...in the boiling water! This was my first time making these little duckanoos, and oddly enough, you can probably try to form them into looking like ducks if you wanted to! Okay, I haven't written DUCK or DUCKANOO quite enough, so DUCK, DUCK, DUCK...DUCKANOO, DUCKANOO, DUCKANOO. (Thanks for letting me get that out of my system!) These sweet Caribbean cake packages are steamed in small parsels to retain moisture. My kids thought it was a pretty tasty treat--especially when I put a little whipped cream with it. Hubby got non-dairy whipped topping. I was surprised that it doesn't taste overwhelmingly coconut-y (is that a word?). It has a very mild coconut flavor. Certainly something novel to try!
1-1/2 cups cornmeal (finely ground, if you can find it)
6 oz. shredded sweetened coconut
1 (14 oz.) can coconut milk
1/4 cup raisins or craisins
2 TBSP butter (or margarine for lactose free), melted
3 TBSP raw sugar (brown sugar is fine if you don't have raw)
2 tbsp water
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Traditionally, banana leaves are used, but if you're like me and don't live near banana trees, you can use tin foil (or boiling bags) to cook the duckanoo.
In large covered pasta pot, boil water. Place the cornmeal in a medium-sized bowl. Blend the coconut and the milk in a blender or food processor until smooth. It'll look something like this. Stir the coconut mixture into the cornmeal...
...then add all of the remaining ingredients and stir well.
Take 4 or 5 pieces of foil and fold them into 5 x 6-inch pockets, leaving an opening on one end. Make sure all sides are well sealed by folding over the edges a few times each.
Put a couple of spoonfuls of the cornmeal mixture into each foil pocket and fold over the final edge of foil a few times to seal tightly.There's gotta be a way to pinch in a little foil and tuck these around to make them look like ducks!
Place the foil packets in a large pan of boiling water.
Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Lift the packets out of the water and carefully remove the foil. Serve the duckanoo alone or with lightly whipped cream (or for lactose free--with non-dairy whipped topping). Best when served warm!
Options to try:
Next time, I'd like to add orange juice instead of plain water, and put in 1/2 tsp lemon or orange zest instead of the nutmeg.
This is not something I'll be making on a routine basis, but it's fun to do once in a while...and especially when Joe hasn't had any bready foods for a long time. Ooh, wouldn't it be fun to have a Tamale and Duckanoo party? You know, tamales in corn husks and duckanoos in banana leaves. Oh, and stuffed grape leaves for appetizers. What multicultural parcel-meal possibilities! Okay, it would be way too fussy...and a little too multicultural. Never mind! But do try the duckanoo sometime.
This recipe was based on one from The Complete Mexican South American & Caribbean Cookbook.