Barbecues: fluid, leisurely gatherings where friends can come as they are and do as they please. Their generally casual aire and built-in conviviality could not better represent the St. Barth style of food or entertaining. We enlisted the help of some of our island favorites, designing a menu whose simplicity is as pure as the island’s white sand loveliness.
Sunsets are sacred in St. Barth, not only because of their lush, wanton beauty but because they call for proper apps and a pre-dinner drink! Drawing from the proficiency of Maya’s to Go and the local Marché, all you need is a creamy French cheese, mustard, olives and a baguette for a hearty and enjoyable hors d’oeuvre.
- 2-3 French cheeses
- 1 sliced baguette, preferably fresh from the oven
- French mustard
- Assorted olives from your local olive bar
Take a page from the island and keep serving simple. Set cheeses out a 1/2 hour prior to sunset. Arrange on cheese board or plate with cheese servers.
Pile the above ingredients into individual vessels (or better yet, try a paddle layout like our set from Calypso St. Barth). Set out and enjoy.
GATHER ‘ROUND | PLAT PRINCIPAL
We’ve waxed wistful about Maya’s enough that it’s no surprise she served as our main course muse. Her trademark plate, a simply fresh catch accompanied by perfect vegetables and a round of perfectly formed white sticky rice, always hits the mark. Additionally, her tangy-sweet tomato mango salad is the kind of pitch-perfect treasure you dream about (and regularly attempt to recreate).
Maya’s Salad of Tomato & Mango
- 3 medium tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 large, ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 cups julienned basil leaves
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar with the olive oil; season with salt. Add the shallots and 1 cup of the basil and toss well. Arrange the tomatoes on a platter and top with the mango slices. Drizzle with the dressing, garnish with the remaining 1 cup of basil and serve.
Maya’s Fresh Catch of the Day
- 1 lb. French string beans, rinsed and stemmed
- 1 cup white rice (medium grain or jasmine)
- 6 (5 to 6-ounce) mahi-mahi fillets
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large lemons, cut into wedges
According the instructions on the package, prepare roughly 4 cups of steamed rice.
Place a medium pot of water over high heat. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large mixing bowl three-quarters of the way with ice. Cover the ice with water. Place the ice bath next to the stove. When the water reaches a rapid boil, drop the string beans into the water and stir gently. Let the beans cook for 2-3 minutes, until they are bright green and slightly tender. Using a large slotted spoon or tongs, lift string beans from the water and drop into the ice bath. Let sit for 1 minute before draining. Place string beans into a bowl and sprinkle with salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
Prepare the grill or grill pan to medium high heat. Brush the fillets all over with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Lay the fish on the grill, rounded-side down, and leave it until you can lift the fish without it sticking to the grill and there are distinct grill marks, about 5 minutes. (Test it by gently lifting a corner–if it sticks, cook it a bit longer and try again). Carefully turn the fish over and cook until firm to the touch, about another 5 minutes. Remove from the grill onto 6 plates, and squeeze a lemon wedge over each filet.
To each plate, add a scoop of rice (or use a small glass bowl to make a mold) and divide the haricot vert evenly among the plates.
LA FIN | DESSERT
Whether at Maya’s proper or the To Go outpost, there is no sweeter ending than her flourless chocolate cake. Simple, decadent and utterly delicious, it is the type of dish you may demur when offered but never fail to see disappear from the plate (down to the last fudgy crumb!)
Maya’s Famous Flourless Chocolate Cake
- 4 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces
- 5 eggs, separated
- Pinch salt
- 2/3 cup sugar
- vanilla bean ice cream or unsweetened whipped cream
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour a 10-inch round cake pan.
Combine the butter and chocolate and melt in a double boiler over barely simmering water. Whisk together the egg yolks, salt, and all but 3 tablespoons of the sugar. Stir the melted chocolate into the egg yolks until thoroughly combined.
With an electric mixer, on medium speed, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the remaining sugar and continue to whip until the egg whites are stiff, but not dry,
Carefully fold the chocolate mixture into the egg whites. Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn out onto a rack immediately. As the cake cools, the center will sink and crack – do not worry.
Serve with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream or a dollop of unsweetened whipped cream.