A ‘Pop Up’ Culinary Adventure

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

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One week after Jamaica Observer Table Talk Food Awards 2015 Caterer of the Year Alexa Von Strolley gave Kingston its latest culinary destination, she, along with eight of her culinary peers, cooked up a storm at Kayter Pop-Up Gourmet Kitchen located at 18 Ballater Avenue.

The result: a scrumptious spread of the not-so-traditional.

Thursday Food naturally left with the recipes and reckon that like us, you might wish to try a few.

Bon Appétit!

Camembert and Smoked Gouda Fondue with Truffle Salt by Brian Lumley


1 clove garlic

150ml Chardonnay wine

400g Camembert cheese

200g smoked Gouda cheese

1 tsp truffle salt


Rub the garlic clove on the bottom as well as up the sides of the fondue pot, then discard.

Pour in the wine and add the cheese. Bring to a gentle simmer over very low heat until the cheese has completely melted.

Remove from the heat and season with truffle salt. Keep warm over a small candle or flame and serve warm.

Creamy Avocado Cauliflower Rice by Allison Porter - Smalling


3 heads cauliflower (florets chopped fine similar to rice size)
1 avocado
½ cup coconut oil
1 cup cilantro
1 ½ tbsp lime juice
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
25 ml sesame oil
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp cumin
1 tbsp Badia complete seasoning
Black pepper


Pour coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sauté chopped cauliflower florets with complete seasoning for about 5 to 10 minutes or until it has reached the desired texture.

In a food processor or blender, combine cilantro, lime juice, cumin, garlic, olive oil, avocado, sesame oil, salt and pepper until smooth and creamy.

Pour blended mixture over cauliflower and serve immediately.

Cucumber Spinach Salad by Allison Porter - Smalling

5 cucumbers (seeds removed, thinly sliced in long strips)
2 cups spinach
½ cup purple onion
½ cup yellow sweet pepper
½ cup red sweet pepper
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
2 jalapeño peppers (diced)
1 ½ tbsp sugar
1½ tsp sea salt
1 ½ tsp pepper


Combine all ingredients in a dish except for the spinach and toss until evenly coated.

Place in refrigerator for about 1 hour.

When making the salad, place spinach leaves at the bottom of salad bowl; using a slotted spoon combine the vegetables and place in the middle of the bed of the spinach. Sprinkle some of the liquid from mixture over the salad. Parmesan cheese and black sesame seeds for garnish.

Chef’s Note: You can cut jalapeño in rings and use as garnish.

Bouchon Bakery’s TKO Cookies by Rebecca Karram

The recipe I used was out of the Bouchon Bakery Cookbook by Chef Thomas Keller.

It is as follows:

Makes: eight 3-inch sandwich cookies

White Chocolate Filling


4 ounces (125 grams) 35% white chocolate, chopped

0.5 ounce (15 grams) unsalted butter

½ cup & 1 tsp (125 grams) heavy cream

Chocolate Shortbread

1 ¾ cups and 1 ½tbsps (259 grams) all-purpose flour

1 cup and 1½ tbsps (87 grams) unsweetened alkalised cocoa powder

3/8 tsp (1.6 grams) baking soda

8 ounces (227 grams) unsalted butter

2 tsps (6 grams) Kosher salt

¾ cup and 1 tbsp (161 grams) granulated sugar


For the filling:

Melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring constantly.

Bring the cream to just under a simmer.

Pour the cream over the melted chocolate and whisk to combine.

Pour into a container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 1 day, until completely chilled.

For the shortbread:

Place the flour in a medium bowl, sift in the cocoa and baking soda, and whisk to combine.

Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Turn to medium-low speed and mix until smooth.

Add the salt and mix for another 15 to 30 seconds.

Add the sugar and mix for about 2 minutes, until fluffy.

Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Add the dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing on low speed for 15 to 30 seconds after each, or until just combined, then mix until the dough begins to come together.

Mould the dough on the work surface and, using the heel of your hand or a pastry scraper, push it together into a 6-inch-square block.

Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until firm. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)

Position the racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F (standard).

Line two sheet pans with Silpats or parchment paper.

Unwrap the dough and place it between two pieces of parchment paper or plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, pound the top of the dough, working from left to right, to begin to flatten it, then turn the dough 90 degrees and repeat (this will help prevent the dough from cracking as it is rolled).

Roll out to a J-inch-thick sheet. If the dough has softened, slide it (in the parchment) onto the back of a sheet pan and refrigerate until firm enough to cut.

Using the fluted cutter, cut rounds from the dough. If necessary, push the trimmings together, refrigerate until firm, and reroll for a total of 16 rounds. (Any trimmings can be baked as is, cooled, and ground in the food processor to use as cookie crumbs over ice-cream.) If the dough softens, return to the refrigerator until the cookies are firm enough to transfer to a sheet pan. Arrange the rounds on the sheet pans, leaving about one inch between them. (The dough can be shaped in advance; see Note.)

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, turning the pans around halfway through baking, until the cookies are fragrant, with small cracks on the surface. (Because the cookies are so dark, it can be difficult to tell when they are done.) Set the pans on a cooling rack and cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

To assemble the cookies: Place the filling in the bowl of the mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat until smooth. Transfer to the pastry bag.

Turn half of the cookies over. Pipe 1/2-inch-long teardrops in a ring on each one, beginning 1/2 inch from the edges of the cookie, and then, working toward the centre, pipe concentric rings of teardrops to cover the cookie (use 18 grams of filling per cookie). Top each with a second cookie and press gently to sandwich the cookies.

The cookies are best the day they are baked, but they can be stored in a covered container, at room temperature if unfilled, or refrigerated if filled, for up to 3 days.

Tuna Poke by Alexa Von Strolley


4 servings

2 cups short-grain sushi rice

1 ½ tsp Kosher salt, plus more

3 tbsp mirin, divided

3 tbsp soy sauce, divided

½ tsp on sesame seeds, plus more for serving

¼ cup unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

¼ English hothouse cucumber, sliced in half lengthwise, sliced crosswise into half-moons

1 Scotch bonnet pepper, thinly sliced

2 escallions, thinly sliced

¼ cup mixed fresh citrus juice (such as lime, lemon and grapefruit)

2 tbsp white soy sauce or soy sauce

1 tsp toasted sesame oil

¾ pound highest-quality fresh tuna, cut into ½-inch pieces

Tobiko (for serving; optional)


Rinse and drain rice in a fine-mesh sieve several times until water runs clear. Let sit 30 minutes.

Combine rice and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan, season lightly with salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover saucepan, and simmer until rice is tender, 18-22 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork; keep warm.

Mix in a clean small bowl with 1 tbsp mirin, 1 tbsp soy sauce, and 1/2 tsp sesame seeds; let sit 5 minutes.

Whisk vinegar, sugar, 1 ½tsp kosher salt, and 2 tbsp water in another small bowl. Toss cucumber with a pinch of salt in another bowl and squeeze to expel excess water. Add cucumber and Scotch bonnet to brine and let sit at least 10 minutes and up to 1 hour to pickle.

Soak escallions in a medium bowl of cold water until they begin to curl, about 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze dry.

Combine citrus juice, white soy sauce, oil, remaining 2 tbsp mirin, and remaining 2 tbsp soy sauce in another small bowl; set ponzu aside.

Toss tuna, drained pickles, scallions, and ponzu in a large bowl; season with salt.

Just before serving, toss avocado into tuna mixture. Divide rice among bowls and top with tuna mixture, more sesame seeds, and some tobiko, if using.

Garlic Cheddar Biscuits by Charissa Henry

Makes: 8 biscuits


2 cups flour

1 tbsp baking powder

¾ tsp salt

½ tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp sugar

¼ cup shortening

1 cup grated Cheddar cheese (sharp is best)

1 cup milk

Garlic Butter Glaze:

3 tbsp melted butter

½ tsp dried parsley

1/8 tsp garlic salt

¼ tsp garlic powder


Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, garlic powder, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter or fork to cut the shortening into the dry ingredients till shortening is about the size of peas. Stir in the cheddar cheese. Add the milk and stir lightly, till just barely combined. Don’t overmix or the biscuits will be tough. Use a ¼-cup measuring cup or ice-cream scoop to place balls of dough on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 425°F for 13-15 minutes or till golden brown. Combine all glaze ingredients and whisk well. Brush over hot biscuits.

Fromage de tête (Head Cheese) by Haleem Card


A whole pig head

A pigs trotter

5 or 6 garlic cloves

Optionally, some vegetables cut in large cubes to flavour the stock (carrots, leeks, onions and celery are all good options)

2 bay leaves

Salt and pepper to taste (optional)


Using a clean hacksaw, cut the pig’s head into quarters, straight down the middle then each half into quarters.

Place the whole head in a large pot and cover with cold water.

Add the aromatic vegetables, crushed garlic cloves, salt and pepper and bay leaves. Since the stock will be part of the final dish, it’s important to give it some taste with either aromatic vegetables or spices or both.

Slowly bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let simmer until the meat is fork tender (about 3 hours).

Remove the head from the water, wait until the meat can be picked without burning yourself and then pick the meat in small pieces and place in a shallow container.

Strain the liquid and simmer for another 2 hours, or until reduced by half. The longer you let it go, the more gelatin will be extracted from the bones and the more gelatinous it will get when cooled.

Once the stock is done, pour some over the cooked pork meat, just enough to allow the meat to be combined.

Place the container in the refrigerator and let it cool.

Enjoy your lovely home-made head cheese on crackers, or toasted crostini.

Coconut Curry Mussels by Simon Levy

Serves 2

Total time: 20 minutes


2.5 pounds mussels

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp butter

1 sprig thyme

1 sweet onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp Scotch bonnet pepper (add to taste)

2 tbsp red curry paste

1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk

1/4 cup chicken (or seafood) stock

2 green onions, sliced

Baguettes or bread for serving


Thaw mussels in water if using frozen mussels or if using fresh mussels, keep the mussels refrigerated until you’re ready to use. Once ready, place them in a large bowl of ice-cold water. Scrub the outsides of the mussels and remove the string (or “beard”) by using a towel or paper towel to pull it out. Discard any mussels that have opened already. Keep the mussels in the ice water.

Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat and add the butter and coconut oil. Once it’s melted, stir in the onions, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 5 minutes, until slightly softened. Stir in the curry paste and continue to stir until it’s distributed throughout the entire pan of onions. Cook for 5 more minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and stock, stirring until it’s smooth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring continuously. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the mussels and toss. Cover the skillet and cook about 5 to 6 minutes. Garnish with the sliced green onions. Stir the mussels well so the broth makes it into the shells. Serve immediately with baguettes.

Brioche buns by Chef Andre Sewell


1/2 lb melted unsalted butter

3 1/2 tsp yeast

3/4 to 1 cup milk

1/4 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp salt

3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour


Thoroughly combine all dry ingredients.

Combine all wet ingredients, until eggs are beaten smooth. Start out with 3/4 cup milk, reserving the 1/4 cup in case dough is too dry.

Pour dry ingredients into wet and knead with the dough hook attachment of a stand mixer, until dough is very smooth and elastic.

Lightly grease a bowl, place dough in, cover and let proof in a warm place, for 60-90 minutes; until doubled in size. Place dough in fridge overnight to further develop flavour and to make it easier to work with.

Remove dough from fridge, portion, form into balls and let proof on baking tray one final time, for 90 minutes, until doubled in size.

Brush with melted butter and bake in preheated 350°F oven for 30 minutes, until internal temp reaches 190°, or until bread springs back when poked.

Remove from oven when finished and brush with more melted butter. Rest for 10 minutes before cutting/tearing.


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