Executive chef and principal of Ashebre Oji Jaja has injected new life into Mondays. With no disrepect to reheating Sunday leftovers the culinary artiste has taken his artistry to Instagram Live with what is shaping up to be a weekly event, notably ‘In The Kitchen with Oji’. The series kicked off lunchtime on Monday with the preparation of a relatively easy three-course meal.
The menu relied heavily on plant-based products kicked up several notches with Jaja’s line of seasonings: Ashebre Gourmet Condiments.
The main — Jaja’s Peri Peri Coconut Ramen — featured pan-seared tofu marinated for 10 minutes in the lines Blackening Spice; the sides, notably the pak choy, corn, carrots, and avocado, picked that morning from Jaja’s aunt’s garden, were enhanced by the seasoned coconut milk and added to the Ashebre Peri Peri sauce. The proof of a good meal is in diners’ satisfaction, and lunch guests Catherine Goodall and Keneea Linton-George had nothing but rave reviews. “This is certainly not what I would typically eat,” said Goodall. “But the meal was amazing from start to finish.” For Linton-George the dessert, a charcoal scoop of passion fruit and coconut ice cream served with fresh mango, pistachio crumbles and garnished with fresh mint, was an impressive conclusion.
Thursday Food snagged a few recipes. Our suggestion is that you order dessert from Jaja. Ashebre Gourmet Condiments are available at Butcher Block Gourmet Store, General Food Supermarket, The Commissary, and Loshusan Supermarket in Kingston as well as select supermarkets in Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.
Peri Peri Coconut Ramen
2 tbsp Ashebre Peri Peri Sauce
8 oz tofu (two 4 oz slices)
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp Ashebre Blackening Spice
3 tbsp chopped scallion
2 oz julienned carrot
1/2 cup sweet corn
4 oz noodles
1 oz chopped pak choy
2 tbsp coconut oil
Salt to taste
3 cups water
Heat water in a small stock pot, add salt to taste. When water comes to a boil add noodles and cook according to package instructions. Drain and put aside.
In a small sauce pot over medium heat, whisk together coconut milk and Ashebre’s Peri Peri sauce and season to taste, allow sauce to come to a gentle simmer.
Season tofu with Ashebre’s Blackening Spice.
Heat a small skillet, add coconut oil. When heated add the tofu and allow to sear on both sides (2 mins each).
Plate pak choy, carrot, corn, and noodles.
Immerse with stock and finish with scallion and tofu.
Peri Peri Grilled Cauliflower
1 tbsp Ashebre Peri Peri Sauce
8 oz cauliflower, blanched
3 tbsp coconut milk
10 oz gnocchi
1 tbsp pesto
1 tsp puréed garlic
1 oz chopped scallion
3 tbsp coconut oil
Salt to taste
In a small bowl combine Ashebre Peri Peri Sauce and coconut milk.
Add salt to taste.
Add cauliflower and allow to sit for four minutes.
Add water to a small stock pot and season with salt, place over medium heat, cover and allow to boil. When water begins to boil add gnocchi and cook according to package direction. When cooked strain and set aside.
Add coconut oil to a grilled pan. When heated add cauliflower and sear on both sides for four minutes each. While searing the cauliflower, add small sauce pot to the heat with coconut. Add garlic and sauté with salt. Toss in cooked gnocchi.
Drizzle gnocchi and cauliflower with Ashebre Pesto Oil and garnish with scallion.
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