You may know Juga-Naut as one of Notts’ finest hip hop emcees and producers, but he’s also got mad skills behind the stove, fronting his own Caribbean-inspired catering company as Chef-Jugz. With winter now upon us, we thought we’d ask him to don his chef hat and come up with a couple of recipes to trounce the traditional Christmas turkey and bring a bit of warmth to those long cold nights…
My favourite thing about the UK is its multiculturalism – the fusion of different people in quite a small country. And this means it’s amazing for food: how many delicious kebabs or jerk chicken plates have you eaten in your life? However, due to a smaller Mexican population, we have less exposure to good Mexican food, which I like for its heat and freshness. I also love Chinese food, so I decided to mix the two for a dish full of flavour and crunch. I wanted to use a non-typical Christmas bird, so duck seemed perfect. It’s always a special occasion to eat traditional roast duck in a good Chinese restaurant. If you have never had duck before, don’t be scared of cooking with it – it’s not as gamey or expensive as you think.
The tacos will really cheer you up during the winter months, and bring some sunshine to chase away the seasonal blues. Trust me, with the intense flavours brought together from two different cultures, these are incredible and are sure to impress.
It does take a little bit of prep time, though, so it would be great to do on a Saturday night in with your people and a bottle or two of lager (I recommend Corona or Moretti) listening to some rare grooves.
Spicy mayo sauce:
Mix all of the marinade ingredients together well in a small bowl, then rub onto the duck and marinate for two hours, or overnight if possible – the longer, the better.
In a hot pan, fry the duck in a little vegetable and sesame oil until golden brown (be careful it doesn’t burn due to the honey in the marinade). Then move to a small baking tray/tin and put in the oven at 180°C for twelve to fifteen minutes.
While the duck is roasting, shave some white cabbage with a peeler, thinly slice the spring onions and prepare the pomegranate. To make the spicy mayo sauce, mix the ketchup, mayo, sriracha, lime juice and some seasoning. This will dress the taco.
Take the duck out and leave to rest for five minutes, then slice into thin strips.
Take the tortillas and brown them over an open flame on the hob until warm, charred and soft. If you have an electric hob, just heat them through in a dry frying pan.
Spread or drizzle the spicy mayo onto the bottom of the taco, then add the shredded cabbage, layer in the duck, and top with spring onion and pomegranate. Garnish with coriander and a squeeze of lime.
To watch Chef Jugz prepare the Fly Fusion Duck Tacos, have a goose at this here video...
For me, music and food are the elixirs of life. They are my passions and I practise in both arenas to improve and become the best artist I can be. In this era, more than ever before, food is cool, chefs are celebrities and people want to spend their money on experiences. Food is an essential experience that changes your mood instantly, and it can leave a lasting memory ingrained in your mind. If you try these recipes, you can be sure that those memories will be of good food cooked with love!
Serves 8 - 10
This dish takes it back to being a kid, with cold, cold winters and a stew bubbling on the stove made by mum, dad or grandma. A seasonal winter one-pot veggie stew is the ultimate in British comfort food, and it’s cheap too. Proof that it’s possible to eat very healthy and filling food on a tight budget. It’s full of flavour and, like all the food I cook, is heavy on the seasoning and soul. The dumplings in this recipe are of the harder Caribbean Sunday soup style, not the fluffy, smaller, fun-to-find-while-eating kind.
This dish is easy to make, not only because it’s all done in one big pot, but it also reheats well so it should last you a good few days. It would be ideal on a cold, dark winter evening, with a glass of strong red wine, listening to some seventies prog rock.
Use your biggest pot. Crush the garlic cloves and roughly chop the celery and white onion. Add to the pot with olive oil. Fry for a few minutes on medium heat, then add all the seasoning and spices, with a pinch of salt. Stir thoroughly and let simmer.
Peel the butternut squash, cut in half and remove seeds with a spoon (you can save these for a delicious snack later). Chop the squash, potato, parsnips and carrots into approximately two inch pieces and add to the pot. Stir thoroughly.
Boil water and add the Bouillon or stock cubes to make a stock. Add a splash of this to deglaze the bottom of the pot and move any bits that have stuck. Then add all the stock.
Bring to a roiling boil, cover and let it cook for around thirty minutes on a medium heat. Then chop the corn into four pieces per cob and add to the pot. Simmer for twenty minutes more.
To make the dumplings, use two generous handfuls of plain flour, a pinch of salt, and a small amount of tepid water. Place the flour and salt in a bowl, and mix tiny splashes of water with a fork until it becomes a slightly sticky dough. Flour your hands, take small pinches of dough and roll them into a sausage as long as your palm. Add to the pot as you go. Once all of the dumplings are in, cook the stew for fifteen minutes more, keeping the lid on. No peeking!
The stew should now be ready. Add further salt and pepper to taste, then serve with crusty bread or hard dough bread and salted butter. To roast the butternut squash seeds, spread them on a tray with a little oil and a pinch of salt, and roast for ten minutes.
Like what you see? Call Chef-Jugz…
If these recipes have got your tastebuds tingling, you’ll be pleased to know Chef-Jugz is available for private dinner parties in your own home, event and party catering, pop-up restaurant events, or even cooking lessons. Get yersen to his website to find out more and secure his services.