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Kitchen Talk With Chef Theo Smith

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday Food is in the kitchen today with Chef Theo Smith, the owner and catering executive of Great House Caterers Ltd. The Branson Centre Official entrepreneur and recipient of the 2013 Prime Minister National Youth Award of Excellence in Entrepreneurship was recently declared one of the winners of the Sir Arthur Guinness “Made of More Entrepreneurship Challenge” 2016 Loan Competition [For Great House Caterers]. This timely loan has allowed Smith who has a BSc in Food Service Management from UTech and has been honing his skills for the last seven years; to expand his catering operation. We share more...

 

 

 

My passion for food started... from my early teens when I got tired of what was being served in my household and wanted to get in the kitchen so I could prepare dishes that I had an interest in. Soon after this, I enrolled in a teen cooking course created by my mentor Dr Heather Little-White, which then inspired me to choose culinary arts for my career path.

 

The most important ingredients in my larder are... salt, garlic, olive oil and any herb, thyme, chives or basil.

 

 

My inspiration comes from... my curiosity. Whether it's my curiosity to combine certain ingredients or to simply try a traditional dish in an unconventional way.

 

 

Today's selection of hors d'oeuvres are:

Lychee Seduction Cocktail

Escoveitched Fish Canape

Ackee & Saltfish Crostini

Loaded Potato Croquettes with Escallion Sour Cream

Rosemary Lamb Poppers with Jerk Coconut Cream Sauce

Parmesan Chicken Bites with Arrabbiata Sauce

Garlic Pepper Shrimp with Pineapple Salsa

 

 

I selected these menu items... as I wanted to showcase comfort food in a cocktail setting.

 

When trying out these recipes Thursday Food readers ought to... be creative, add their own twist and make it theirs. These recipes are a guide, so I encourage everyone to bring their own twist to the table and share the creations, as there is no better way to bring people together than with food.

 

 

I look forward to the feedback of Thursday Food readers... Please contact me at theo@ghcaterers.com

 

 

 

Garlic Pepper Shrimp Recipe with Pineapple Salsa

4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

11/2 shrimp, peeled & deveined

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

1-2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper, minced

1 whole onion, minced

1 sprig of thyme, stripped

1 red onion, diced

1 sweet pepper, diced

1-1 1/2 cup pineapple, diced

1 1/2-oz butter

Salt & Black Pepper (to taste)

Vegetable oil (as required)

Method:

Seasoned peeled & deveined shrimp with minced garlic, onion, thyme, scotch bonnet pepper, salt & black pepper, then allow to marinate.

In a mixing bowl, mix together pineapple dices, red onion & sweet pepper, then add a pinch of salt to taste & refrigerate.

In a skillet over medium high heat, add butter & sautee shrimp until cooked then remove from the stove.

Serve the hot garlic pepper shrimp on top of the fresh pineapple salsa, shaking off any excess butter.

Note:

Fresh mango can be used instead of pineapple for the salsa, as well as papaya.

The cold, fruity & tart salsa is a perfect contrast to the hot, spicy & garlicy shrimp; however you can also serve the shrimp with a warm salsa or chutney.

To control the amount of heat from the pepper, add the scotch bonnet in small portions & taste before adding more to the shrimp, as it's being cooked.

 

 

Lychee Seduction Cocktail Recipe

 

Makes Five Servings

 

Ingredients:

1 litre lychee juice

8-10 oz coconut rum

3oz juice from cherries

5 lychee (for garnish)

5 Maraschino cherries (for garnish)

 

Method:

Place lychees and cherries in the refrigerator to chill.

In pitcher, add lychee juice, juice from the maraschino cherries and coconut rum.

Stir well to combine the ingredients, then refrigerate.

Add a lychee and cherry to each glass, then pour lychee cocktail mixture into each glass.

 

Note:

To carry this cocktail to another level, lightly crush 4 fresh mint leaves, then add to lychee cocktail mixture and allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. When serving, removed crushed mint leaves.

 

Loaded Potato Croquettes with escallion sour cream

Enough for 4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

3-4 cups mashed Irish Potato

4 strips cooked and diced bacon

3-4 oz Edam Cheese, shredded

1 clove, garlic, minced

1/2 onion, minced

2 leaves fresh,, minced basil

2 whole eggs, beaten

1 cup flour

11/2 cup breadcrumb

1 stalk escallion, minced

1 cup sour cream

Salt and black pepper as required

Vegetable Oil, as required

Method:

In a large mixing bowl with mashed potatoes, add minced onion, garlic & basil, then thoroughly mix together.

Add shredded cheese & diced bacon to the potato mixed, combine, then add salt & black pepper to taste.

Prepare for breading by placing flour & breadcrumbs in two separate bowls then beaten eggs in another bowl.

Roll potato mixture into small balls, then roll each ball individually into flour, then in the beaten egg mixture, followed by rolling them in the breadcrumbs mixture and set aside.

Mix together, sour cream & minced scallion then add a pinch of salt and refrigerate.

Once finished breading, then fry these ball until golden brown.

Serve hot with the scallion sour cream on the side.

Note:

Saltfish can be used as a substitute for the bacon, and Cheddar Cheese instead of Edam.

 

Ackee & Saltfish Crostini

4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

1 tin of ackee

4 oz saltfish, soaked & flaked

1 onion, chopped

1 stalk, escallion, chopped

1 sprig thyme, stripped

1-2 whole plummy tomato, deseeded & diced

Salt & Black Pepper (optional)

Vegetable Oil as required

2-3 Green Plantains

 

Method:

1 Peel plantains and cut in 1 inch rounds, then fry until cooked & remove from oil.

2 In a skillet over medium high heat, sautee onions, tomato, thyme & escallion.

3 Add ackee to skillet and sautee, then add pre-soaked saltfish that has been flaked to the skillet and sautee then remove from stove.

4 Press the fried plantains, lightly salt them & re-fry, then remove from oil.

5 Using the twice fried plantains as the base, top with a spoonful of ackee & serve.

Note:

A good substitute for the plantain is breadfruit.

 

Escoveitched Fish Canape

4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs Basa Fish Fillet, cubed

1 stalk of escallion, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 sprig, thyme, stripped

Flour (as required)

1 pack, Water Crackers (125g Package)

3/4-1 cup, vinegar

1 onion, julienne

1 carrot, julienne

1 sweet pepper, julienne

1-2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper, minced

6 grains pimento, crushed

1 tsp brown sugar

Salt & black pepper (as required)

Vegetable Oil (as required)

Method:

Place cubes of fish in a bowl, with minced onion, escallion, thyme leaves, salt & black pepper, then mix and allow to marinate.

In a small sauce pot, allow vinegar & sugar to boil, then add carrot, sweet pepper, onion, pimento & scotch bonnet pepper, then remove from heat.

Lightly flour cubes of fish and fry until golden brown, then set aside.

Remove majority of the liquid from the escoveitched dressing.

Once ready to serve, top each water cracker with a cube of fish, then neatly top with escoveitched dressing and serve immediately.

Note:

You can quickly dip each fish cube into the escoveitched liquid, then allow to drain before adding to the water cracker.

 

 

 

Rosemary Lamb Poppers with Jerk Coconut Cream Sauce

Makes 4-6 Servings

 

Ingredients:

1-11/2 lbs lamb chops, deboned

2 sprigs Rosemary, stripped & minced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

1 onion, minced

1 stalk escallion, minced

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup flour

11/2-2 cups Panko

1 stalk escallion, minced

1 tin coconut milk

1-2 tbsp jerk seasoning

Salt & Black Pepper (as required)

Vegetable Oil (as required)

 

Method:

Cut lamb into 1 1/2 inch cubes, then season with minced rosemary, onion, garlic, escallion, salt & black pepper and allow to marinate.

Shake off excess seasoning, prepare for breading by placing flour & panko in two separate bowls then beaten eggs in another bowl.

Roll each lamb cube separately into flour, then in the beaten egg mixture, followed by rolling them in the panko mixture, then set aside.

In a small sauce pot, bring the coconut milk to a boil, add the jerk seasoning & add salt if needed, then allow to reduce & remove from heat.

Fry the breaded lamb cubes until golden brown, then remove from oil & allow to drain.

Serve hot rosemary lamb poppers with a dollop of jerk coconut cream sauce on the side.

 

 

Parmesan Chicken Bites with Arrabbiata Sauce

4-6 Servings

Ingredients:

1-1 1/2 lb chicken tenderloin

4 clove garlic, minced

1 onion, minced

1 stalk, escallion, minced

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup flour

1 cup Panko

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated

6 oz tomato sauce

1-1 1/2 Scotch Bonnet Pepper, minced

2-3 leaves fresh basil, minced

Salt & Black Pepper (as needed)

Vegetable Oil (as needed)

 

Method:

Cut each chicken tenderloin into 3 pieces, then season with _ the minced onion, a _ of the minced garlic, escallion, salt & black pepper and allow to marinate.

In a sauce pot, add 1-2 Tbsp of oil, lightly sautee the remaining of the minced onion & garlic, then add the tomato sauce & simmer.

Add minced scotch bonnet pepper to the tomato sauce, then basil, as well as salt & black pepper to taste, then remove from heat.

Mix together the panko and grated parmesan in a bowl, to be used for the breading process.

Shake off excess seasoning from the chicken, then prepare for breading by placing flour & parmesan mixture in two separate bowls then beaten eggs in another bowl.

Roll each chicken bite separately into flour, then in the beaten egg mixture, followed by rolling them in the parmesan & panko mixture, then set aside.

Fry the breaded chicken bites until golden brown, then remove from oil & allow to drain.

Serve these parmesan chicken bites hot, with the arrabbiata sauce on the side.

Note:

An arrabbiata sauce is a spicy tomato sauce with garlic. Arrabbiata literally means angry in Italian. You can however control how spicy this sauce is, by adding the scotch bonnet in small parts, then tasting before adding anymore.

Red Pepper Flakes can be used instead of Scotch bonnet pepper.