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
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.
– Kayotic Kitchen Recipe Card -
Click here for printable size.