Christmas with a Twist!

Christmas with a Twist!

A collab with Avant-Garde Vegan and Grace Jerk!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

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Grace Jerk teamed up with UK based, vegan chef Gaz Oakley, better known as Avant Garde Vegan to create a Vegan Christmas dish with a Twist!

Gaz used Grace's Jamaican Jerk Seasoning to create a Whole Roasted Jerk Paste Encrusted Cauliflower Wellington, a twist on the English holiday classic, typically done with beef.

Grace is a household name, both yaad and abroad, and brings rich flavour, culture, energy and that island spirit of nostalgia and tradition into the homes of people across the globe. Gaz, being a lover of Jamaican flavours and spices, was super excited for the challenge, and is ecstatic about the recipe that he's come up with! Indeed, no stranger to Caribbean flavours and not afraid to add a little extra heat to his meals, Grace's Jamaican Jerk seasoning was the perfect addition to take this meal up a notch!

Enjoy this Q&A below from Gaz himself where he shares a bit about his love of Jamaican culture and cuisine and how he infuses a little Jamaican flair and flavour into his vegan diet using Grace Jerk!

Thursday Food (TF): Where did your love of Jamaica, Jerk and our culture come from?

Gaz Oakley (GO): My earliest memory of Jamaican culture was through the music my mum and auntie played to me from a very young age. They're big Reggae fans. And then later on in life, friends with Jamaican heritage introduced me to the food often when we visited Bristol, Birmingham or London. And in the last few years I moved close to Brixton which has an incredible Jamaican community. Getting access to the incredible produce has been a dream.

TF: As a vegan, what is your favourite Grace Jerk product and how do you like to use it?

GO: The Grace Jamaican Jerk Seasoning paste is perfect for so many vegan recipes: tofu, vegetables, curries or even cauliflower!

TF: What is your favourite Jamaican dish to cook and why?

GO: Well my favourite ingredient has to be ackee. It's extremely versatile, can absorb flavour so well, and its creamy consistency, so often missed in a vegan diet, is beautiful.

TF: What is your favourite dish to add jerk to?

GO: Simply marinating tofu in the jerk paste, then cooking it ideally on a barbecue or in a smoking hot cast iron pan.

TF: What's your favourite holiday dish to cook and enjoy with loved ones?

GO: Well, of course, my Grace Jerk Crusted Cauliflower Wellington!

Grace Jerk Cauliflower Wellington Roast

Ingredients:

1 medium sized cauliflower

2 tbs Grace Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, or less depending on how spicy you like it

2 tbs tomato purée

1 tbs balsamic vinegar

2 tbs maple syrup

1 tbs olive oil

Roasting vegetables

2 carrots, chopped roughly

2 sticks celery, chopped roughly

1 leek, chopped roughly

250g/8.810z chestnut mushrooms, chopped roughly

2 red onions, chopped roughly

3 cloves garlic

4 sprigs thyme

Juice 1 lemon

2 tsp sea salt

Duxelles

200g/8.81oz mushrooms, chopped roughly

2 tbs olive oil

2 shallots, chopped roughly

1 tbs dried thyme

1 tbs dried sage

Spinach Layer

300g/10.58oz fresh spinach

1 tbs olive oil

Pinch sea salt

Pastry

1 roll/block ready made vegan puff pastry

Glaze

2 tbs maple syrup

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs soy milk

Gravy

3 tbs tomato purée

3 tbs plain flour

1 & 1/2 cups/360ml vegan white wine

2 tbs marmite/soy sauce

1 litre vegetable stock

Pinch sea salt & pepper

Method:

First up, preheat your oven to 180 degrees C.

Mix together the Grace Jamaican Jerk Seasoning, tomato purée, balsamic, maple and olive oil in a small mixing bowl.

Add the roasting ingredients to a large baking tray then place the cauliflower in the centre, so that it's surrounded by the roasting vegetables. Brush the Jerk marinade mixture over the cauliflower generously.

Squeeze over the lemon juice and sprinkle with salt then place the tray into the oven to roast for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the mushroom layer. Place a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add a little oil. When the pan is hot add the mushrooms, shallots, thyme, and sage. Saute the mixture for 4-5 minutes and season with a little salt & pepper. When the mushrooms have caramelised, transfer the mushroom mixture to your food processor and blitz until it's lightly chopped.

Set the mushroom mix aside too cool. Meanwhile in the same frying pan placed over a high heat add a little more oil then add the spinach, sauté the spinach until it's wilted adding a tiny pinch of salt whilst it is cooking.

Once the cauliflower has been in the oven for an hour, remove it from the oven.

Take the cauliflower out of the tray and set it aside to cool, leaving the remaining vegetables in the tray - these vegetables will form the base of the gravy.

To make the gravy place the roasting tray over a low heat on your stovetop and add the tomato purée and plain flour.

Cook the flour out whilst stirring for a minute or so then deglaze the pan with the white wine, marmite & vegetable stock.

Scrape the bottom of the pan to release any flavour that may have stuck. Let the gravy bubble away & thicken up for 15 minutes or so. Once the gravy has thickened, pass it through a sieve into a saucepan. Check the seasoning, then set it aside until you're ready to serve.

Once the cauliflower, mushroom mixture & spinach has cooled. Roll out your puff pastry to around 3mm thick and big enough to be able to wrap up your cauliflower.

Whisk together the glaze ingredients in a small bowl.

Spread the mushroom mix into the middle of the pastry, leaving a 2inch border then top with the spinach. Place the cauliflower on top up-side-down. Then grab the edges of the pastry and wrap the cauliflower up. See the tutorial video above for more detailed instructions.

Place the Wellington onto a lined baking tray (the right way up) & then into the oven to roast for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry is golden & crisp.

Serve the wellington right away with the gravy & all your Christmas trimmings.


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