Jan 2, 2009


Happy new year everyone! Secretly I’m glad the holidays are over, it’s probably best for my thighs. Desperately need flavorful food with way less calories than what I’ve been consuming over the past few weeks of holiday foods. Oh boy, I fear the scale. So here’s a relatively low calorie and absolutely amazing sauce.

Literally translated, Crijo-jo means ‘local‘. It’s the name of a spicy Antillean sauce that I’ve grown to like very, very much. In the Dutch Antilles (yup, even though it’s the Caribbean; it’s still overseas territory of the Netherlands) this sauce is served with a variety of dishes. Personally I like to use it for smothering meat or poultry. Traditionally it’s made with Surinamese Madam Jeanette peppers -pretty much one of the hottest chili peppers around- but I doubt you can buy those abroad, so I opted for chili peppers in stead. Have to play fair!

Crijo-jo ranks right up there with my Stroganoff Sauce. It’s not just pretty spicy, it’s also chock full of flavor. The perfect combination between hot, acidic, sour and sweet. A real flavor bomb. You can make this with a variety of meats or poultry—especially spareribs are a match made in heaven! This will seem like a bizarre mix of ingredients to you -at least I thought it was the first time I cooked this myself about a decade ago- but trust me when I say it’s an amazing sauce!

Really, just trust me, did I ever let you down? :)


2 pounds pork chops
2 onions
1 leek
3 chili peppers
1 green bell pepper
4 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp white vinegar
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp dijon mustard
4 tbsp piccalilli (pickle relish)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup water
Lawry’s seasoned salt (or regular salt)
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp butter

Optional:  2 tbsp brown sugar


We’re gonna put everything in food processor to get a really fine mixture. If you don’t have photos to make, just toss everything in the food processor straight away :)

Cut up 2 medium sized onions.

Wash your leek thoroughly, you don’t want any leftover soil in there. Cut it in half and in thick slices.

Also wash and chop a green bell pepper. I’m sure other colors will work as well, but this is the (almost) traditional recipe and it calls for green bell pepper.


Happy face!! Sorry ’bout that, had to get it out of my system, it’s the toddler in me :) I love spicy foods but I realize not everyone does, so you can adjust the heat to your liking and will still end up with an amazing, flavorful sauce.

Coarsely cut up the amount of peppers you want to add—I’m going for the equivalent of 3 chili peppers. You can use more or less. If you want to go authentic; use 2 madam Jeanette’s (for those of you who can actually buy them).

Simply transfer everything to a food processor, or just put everything on a cutting board and chop things up really finely if you don’t own a food processor.

Now chop or blitz until you end up with a fine-grained mixture looking like this.

Heat 2 tbsp sunflower oil—you can use any type of vegetable oil, but sunflower oil gives a very characteristic flavor and is a high heat cooking oil. This is all the oil you’ll be using so it’s really not that bad. Sautee the vegetables for about 5 minutes.

Lower the heat or temporarily take the pan off the stove so the vegetables won’t burn while you’re adding everything.

Now brace yourself. In no particular order, add 4 tbsp tomato paste, 4 tbsp soy sauce, 4 tbsp white vinegar, 4 tbsp piccalilli, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp spicy mustard, 2 tbsp brown sugar, 1/4 cup orange juice and 1/2 cup water. Freaky combo, isn’t it? Oh, the brown sugar is my own addition; it’s not part of the original recipe so you can also skip it.

I’m telling you, though, it’s really, really good. Hold my hand and squeeze if you’re scared :)

Give everything a good stir until you end up with a sauce that looks like this.

Simmer the sauce, over low heat, for about 15 to 20 minutes, until part of the liquid has vaporized. Stir every now and then.

I still had some shoulder pork chops in my freezer that I had to use up, but grab whatever you prefer. Chicken works really good with this as well.

Cut your meat or poultry in coarse pieces. You could even leave them whole, but I prefer cutting them up. Season with salt and pepper -or lawry’s seasoned salt, as I like to do- and rub it in.

Once the sauce has thickened a bit, it’s time to brown the meat. I’ve used 2 tbsp butter and quickly browned it over high heat, just to sear it and get a bit of color on there. If you want to go low fat, you can first lightly grill the meat or chicken.

Transfer the meat to the sauce, combine everything and put the lid on and simmer over very low heat for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Serve the meat or chicken in a big bowl and serve the rest of the sauce on the side. This is incredible stuff, especially when you serve it with a big chunk of bread and a green salad on the side, even though it goes well with anything, from rice to potatoes.


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    1. 1

      Hi , the sauce looks absolutely yummy! but what is picalilli? Thats foreign to me. Any substitute for that please? …looks really easy..almost similar to Malay cooking but picalilli is new to me. hope u can tell me what it is exactly. thanks. Cheers.

      Zurin on Jan 2, 2009 @ 12:43 pm Reply
    2. 2

      Zurin, picalilli is just pickle relish.

      Kay on Jan 2, 2009 @ 1:01 pm Reply
    3. 3

      Oh, boy! LOVE the sound of that combo.

      Ann from Montana on Jan 2, 2009 @ 2:01 pm Reply
    4. 4

      Thanks Kay! I mite just try this. U make it look and sound so good.

      Zurin on Jan 2, 2009 @ 4:56 pm Reply
    5. 5

      Hi, Kay,

      This looks delightful! If your fans can’t get Mme Jeannette peppers, they might be able to find habanero peppers, which look and taste similar (nice and fruity) and are also blazing hot. Thanks for the printable recipe option — most useful and so pretty!

      Judy on Jan 2, 2009 @ 5:53 pm Reply
    6. 6

      Ooooh! This sounds super flavorful. This would be good with some Asian fajitas.

      Melissa on Jan 2, 2009 @ 7:33 pm Reply
    7. 7

      This sounds like a very flavorful dish! I love your recipe cards… they’re so cute!

      Karen on Jan 2, 2009 @ 7:33 pm Reply
    8. 8

      This sounds wonderful!! always looking for something simple for meat dishes.

      LOVE the recipe cards also. Do you plan on updating all the recipes with them? Do you realize that I have to buy a binder now to house your recipes that I’ve printed out!!!

      Thank you! and Happy New Year! (haven’t made the oliebollen yet….)

      Kat on Jan 2, 2009 @ 11:39 pm Reply
    9. 9

      Kat, I thought it was a fun feature to add. There’s no way I could find the time to updating all the recipes -doubt I’ll even have the time to add them to all future recipes- but I’ll try my best :)

      Kay on Jan 2, 2009 @ 11:41 pm Reply
    10. 10

      Hi Kay,

      If i’m not mistaken, madame jeanette peppers can be bought in the US too and in Asia. Best bet to get them in the US is in Chinatown or tropical stores.
      I love love madame jeanette. But becarefull when handling them. Don’t rub your eyes or go anywhere near your face when handling them. Best way to work with them is wearing gloves. :)
      Btw, love your new recipe cards too.

      akemi on Jan 3, 2009 @ 12:21 am Reply
    11. 11

      This looks amazing. We are away on vacation, but as soon as we get home I’m going to try this. I believe that we can get the mme jeanette peppers, but definitely habaneros. Funny, I always thought that piccalilla was just something that old ladies in the southern US pickled and jarred when their cucumbers ripened. Had no idea it was international.

      Karen (KayKay) on Jan 3, 2009 @ 5:15 am Reply
    12. 12

      Happy New Year, Kay! This dish sounds so yummy and flavorful, I just know it’s something I’d really enjoy! It’s so different from what I usually cook, so I’m glad to find something new to rescue me from my cooking rut! I’m so embarrassed, I have 2 really dumb questions. Are you using sweet pickle relish or dill pickle relish? Also, can I either skip the hot peppers, or can you recommend a substitute? My little munchkins won’t eat spicy foods (sssh, ok, I’m kinda wimpy, too). Thanks, Kay!

      p.s., I also love your cute recipe cards. Thanks so much for doing them!

      Niteowl Nancy on Jan 3, 2009 @ 6:56 am Reply
    13. 13

      Akemi, was always told they couldn’t be bought in the US!

      With a toddler running around I don’t want to chop madame jeanettes for fear I’ll get it on him. I always keep a jar of madame jeanette sauce in the fridge as well. Great stuff! Easier to dose as well.

      Kay on Jan 3, 2009 @ 7:50 am Reply
    14. 14

      Nancy, picalilli is more sour than sweet, really, but I’d go for sweet pickle relish over dill, because the flavor of dill doesn’t really belong in this dish. You can up the mustard a little then to balance things.

      Sure thing, just use a minimum amount and you’ll still end up with a great tasting sauce.

      Kay on Jan 3, 2009 @ 7:53 am Reply
    15. 15

      On the way to prepare some for dinner – (with spareribs) I love the way you use spices (and chillis!!) , very daring, just like me!

      aadila on Jan 3, 2009 @ 11:04 am Reply
    16. 16

      Kay, this looks AMAZING. I had a few steaks that have been in the freezer for quite a while. Pulled them out yesterday to thaw and now I know what I’m going to do with them!!

      Robin on Jan 3, 2009 @ 10:10 pm Reply
    17. 17

      This sauce does sound really tasty!

      Kevin on Jan 4, 2009 @ 3:30 pm Reply
    18. 18

      This sounds like something Zac and Ron would LOVE. I’m printing it out to try it next week – already bought the meat for this week so the pork will go on the next shopping list :-D

      Happy New Year Kay!!

      xoxo, K

      Kristy on Jan 4, 2009 @ 9:00 pm Reply
    19. 19

      The thick consistency of this chili reminds me curry! I think I will love this!

      Mrs Ergül on Jan 6, 2009 @ 3:08 am Reply
    20. 20

      I was scrolling through the photso-I giggled at the face! Wow, you photos are so good. I am very jealous and humbled by your talent.

      tamilyn on Jan 6, 2009 @ 7:06 am Reply
    21. 21

      Hi! I just absolutely love your website…..I also came over from Pioneer woman cooks, and check your blog everyday…..I love the photos! Forgive the usage…but it really is food p*rn…..and I’m addicted! But I don’t know if anyone’s mentioned the aversion to cilantro (I love it, personally) but it might be genetic….some people have a deep aversion to it because on their tongue it tastes waxy, soapy…is that the case with you? My sister has this unfortunate ailment too!

      Lastly, I wanted to make this this weekend, and wanted to know more about piccilli…is it basically just relish? In the states (I’m from NY) I have this in my pantry…do you think this would work? Thanks!

      ADP on Jan 6, 2009 @ 11:54 pm Reply
    22. 22

      yummy ! this looks soooooo tasty !!!

      Fidel spent nearly 3 years in the Dutch N/A (and I visited quite a bit) and I can tell you we had some yummy dishes.

      This dish is making me dream of the islands…. this looks like just what we need right now to beat the winter doldrums & to think we are back in the warmth of people, sea and sand.

      Now to find the chillies/peppers that will work for us both (he likes hot, I like just a bit of bite…..)

      medstudentwife on Jan 7, 2009 @ 4:56 am Reply
    23. 23

      ADP, I definitely think the Heinz Sweet Relish might work … just up the mustard with about a tbsp then to balance out the sweetness with something a little more acidic.

      Kay on Jan 7, 2009 @ 8:53 am Reply
    24. 24

      I love this website! I found it through the pioneer womans site(check it out) http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/
      I can’t wait to make this recipe on Sunday!

      Colleen on Jan 16, 2009 @ 5:03 pm Reply
    25. 25

      This is amazing! And I love your step-by-step pictures. Bookmarked: thanks!

      [eatingclub] vancouver || js on Jan 20, 2009 @ 7:03 am Reply

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