the appetizer:

The Caribbean includes islands and countries as diverse as Cuba, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, French Antilles, Guadeloupe and Martinique, Haiti, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and The Virgin Islands. Common foods like seafood, chicken and coconut, as well as recipes like jerk and callaloo, unite these islands into a heterogeneous culinary paradise.

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Edam Cheese with Shrimp Stuffing

4 pound Edam cheese, peeled
3/4 pound raw shrimp, shelled,
   deveined, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 tablespoons butter
1 lg. onion, finely chopped
1 large tomato, seeded, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper
1/4 cup soft bread crumbs
6 pimiento-stuffed green olives, drained, chopped
2 tablespoons raisins, chopped
1 egg, beaten

Cut a 1 inch-thick slice off the top of the cheese. Using a spoon, scoop out the center of the cheese, forming a shell 1/2 inch thick. Hollow out the lid. Place the cheese in a large pot and pour cold water to cover. Soak for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, grate the cheese pulled from the center to make 2 cups; set aside. Prepare the shrimp and rinse in cold water; set aside. Drain the cheese shell well. Place the bottom in a baking dish with high sides just large enough to hold cheese. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a skillet. sauté onions for about 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Add the tomato and seasoning and cook until all liquid has evaporated. Transfer vegetables to a large bowl. Gently fold in the shrimp, grated cheese, bread crumbs, olives, and raisins. Then add the beaten egg.

Turn this mixture into the cheese bottom and top with lid. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Top should be bubbly and golden brown. Serve immediately.

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This page modified January 2007