Season's Greetings From Culinary Artiste Oji Jaja


Season's Greetings From Culinary Artiste Oji Jaja

Thursday, December 19, 2019

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Thursday Food takes great pleasure in sharing festive season recipes courtesy of one of The Rock's premiere culinarians.


“I would like to see Thursday Food readers use a lot more local proteins and produce in non-traditional ways this festive season. For example, whet appetites with a Jerk Chicken Breadfruit Bisque followed by a Spinach Sorrel Salad and of course enjoy my new line of condiments.”


Sorrel Bellini

Freshly made sorrel, sweetened and spiked with white rum, your favourite bottle of prosecco


Jerk Chicken Breadfruit Bisque


4 oz roasted breadfruit (peeled, cored and diced)

1 oz celery (small diced)

2 oz onion (small diced)

3 each garlic (chopped fine)

1 whole bay leaf

1 whole Scotch bonnet

8 oz whole milk

4 oz heavy cream

2 oz butter

Salt to taste



In a heavy saucepan, melt butter and sauté celery, onion, and garlic.

When onions become transluscent add Scotch bonnet, bay leaf, milk and cream and bring to a gentle simmer.

Add breadfruit and allow to simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove bay leaf and Scotch bonnet pepper and purée.

If too thick, add more milk until a pourable consistency is achieved.

Season with salt and serve with pieces of jerk chcken and fried beadfruit.


Spinach Sorrel Salad


1 bag baby spinach

4 oz goat cheese

2 oz raw cashew

3 oz poached sorrel

1 bottle Ashebre mango-basil vinaigrette



Combine all ingredients and serve cold.


Poached Sorrel


4 oz fresh sorrel petals

4 oz brown sugar

8 oz water

1 bay leaf

1 star anise

1 tsp ginger

2 oz white rum



In a heavy saucepan, combine all ingredients and simmer until a syrup consistency is achieved.

Sorrel petals will maintain their integrity.

Remove from heat and cool.

Store in refrigerator until ready for use.


Sun-Dried Tomato and Oyster Mushroom Chicken Roulade


4 oz sun-dried tomato (chopped fine)

4 oz fresh oyster mushrooms (chopped)

16 oz chicken breast (boneless)

2 tbsp blackening spice

4 tbsp Ashebre peri peri sauce

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp Ashebre spicy basil pesto

Salt to taste



Heat oil in a heavy sauté pan and add mushroms.

Cook until mushrooms are tender.

Season with salt and remove from heat and set aside to cool on a tray.

Butterfly chicken breast and use a mallet to flatten.

Season lightly on each side with blackening spice.

In a bowl, combine sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms and pesto.

Place 2 tbsp of the mixture on the inside of the chicken breast.

Roll and fold in the ends so a cylindrical shape is acquired.

Put in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Heat oil in a heavy sauté pan and add chicken.

Turn periodically until golden-brown all around.

Remove from pan and serve with peri peri sauce.


Blackened Lobster Tails


4 lobster tails (halved and removed from shell)

4 tsp blackening spice

4 tbsp Ashebre passion fruit vinaigrette



Preheat grill to 350°F.

Season lobster tails with blackening spice.

Place on grill flesh side down.

Turn periodically until fully cooked.

Remove from grill and place on a platter.

Drizzle with passion fruit vinaigrette and serve immediately.


Lemon Butter Salmon Fillet


16 oz skinless salmon filet (4 equal portions)

2 whole lemons

4 oz butter

2 tbsp coconut oil

Salt to taste



Heat oil in a heavy sauté pan until lightly smoking.

Season salmon with salt and place flesh side down.

Sear until edges become golden-brown.

Turn and add butter.

When butter becomes slightly brown, squeeze lemon juice and remove from heat immediately and serve.


Forbidden Rice Risotto with Gungo Peas


4 oz japonico rice (cooked)

1 oz onion

1 oz scallion (chopped)

0.5 tsp ginger (chopped fine)

0.5 tsp Scotch bonnet pepper (chopped fine)

4 oz gungo peas (cooked)

4 oz coconut milk

0.25 tsp all spice (ground)

0.25 tsp thyme leaves (chopped)

1 oz whole butter

Salt to taste



Melt butter in a heavy saucepan.

Add scallion, onion and ginger and sauté until onions become translucent.

Add gungo peas and sauté for another 2 minutes.

Season with salt, add rice and Scotch bonnet pepper.

Finish with coconut milk and fresh thyme.

Simmer for 2 minutes or until fully incorporated and heated through.

Adjust seasoning and serve immediately.



Red Thai Curried Vegetables


4 oz cauliflower florets (blanched)

4 oz broccoli florets (blanched)

4 oz carrots (medium diced and blanched)

4 oz Ashebre peri peri sauce

4 oz coconut milk



Heat coconut milk and peri peri sauce in a heavy saucepan.

Add cauliflower, broccoli and carrots.

Simmer for 2 minutes and serve immediately.

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