Spice up your Turkey Day with some Cajun flair

Does your grandmother's age-old turkey and stuffing recipe leave you longing for something with a modern and unexpected flair? Chef Jimmy Bannos of Heaven on Seven restaurant shares his unique take on three traditional holiday favorites.

Jimmy Bannos’ Jamaican Jerk Thanksgiving Turkey with Jerk Cream Sauce

Ingredients

    • 1 15-18 lb Turkey
    • 2 lbs Plugra butter (or other European style high-fat content butter)
    • 2 Tablespoons Angel Dust Cajun Seasoning (recipe follows)
    • 2 Tablespoons Jamaican Jerk Seasoning (recipe follows)
    • 1 Cup Jamaican Jerk Marinade (recipe follows)
    • 1 teaspoon Kitchen Bouquet
    • Jerk Cream (recipe follows)

Preparation

Baking Directions:

The night before roasting the turkey, rub the bird with the Jerk Marinade, inside and out.  Rub the outside with Angel Dust and Jamaican Jerk Seasoning. Refrigerate overnight.Cut one pound of butter into cubes. Carefully work your fingers between the skin and the meat of the breast. Work butter cubes in between and distribute evenly.Melt the last pound of butter, stir in the Kitchen Bouquet.  Place the turkey in a deep roasting pan. Gradually pour melted butter over the bird, massaging the mixture into the skin as you go.Place the turkey into a preheated 450 degree oven and roast for one hour uncovered.  After the first hour, cover with aluminum foil and continue to roast until done (approx. 15 minutes per pound). Baste the bird every half hour to ensure a crisp, golden skin.

Angel Dust Cajun Seasoning

Ingredients

    • 3 tablespoons Hungarian paprika
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons Spanish paprika
    • 5 teaspoons salt
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
    • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder

Preparation

Baking Directions:

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. Use as needed and store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Dry Rub Jerk Seasoning

Ingredients

    • 2 Tablespoons onion powder
    • 1 Tablespoon ground allspice
    • 1 Tablespoon ground thyme
    • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 2 teaspoons ground cloves
    • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon ground habanero chile powder
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon Hungarian paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.  Store in an airtight container.  The mix can be kept for up to two months.

Jimmy's Jamaican Jerk Marinade

Ingredients

    • 2 Tablespoons ground allspice
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 1/2 cup sliced green onions, white and green parts
    • 1 Tablespoon seeded, chopped habanero chile
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
    • 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
    • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed Key Lime, or regular lime juice
    • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
    • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
    • 1 Tablespoon dark rum
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons peeled, grated fresh ginger
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons cane syrup or light molasses
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
    • 3/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon habanero hot pepper sauce
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Prepare the marinade by adding the allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves to a small skillet.  Heat the spices over medium-low heat for 45 to 60 seconds, stirring frequently.  Transfer to a coffee grinder and grind to a fine powder.  Put the spice mixture and the remaining ingredients in to a blender and puree into a thick paste.  Store in a covered container and refrigerate for up to a week.

Jerk Cream Sauce

Ingredients

    • 2 1/2 cups Heavy Cream
    • 1 Tablespoon Jimmy’s Jamaican Jerk Marinade (recipe follows)
    • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
    • 1/2 teaspoon Roasted Garlic Puree (recipe follows)
    • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon Hungarian Paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon Spanish Paprika
    • 1/4 teaspoon Chile Powder
    • 1/8 teaspoon Angel Dust Cajun Seasoning (recipe follows)
    • 1/8 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon Ground White Pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
    • 2 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, chilled and cut in pieces

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan over high heat.  When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes.  Strain the sauce through a fine mesh strainer, return it to the saucepan and stir in the butter.  Set aside.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 pounds small Yukon Gold potatoes
    • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    • 1 tablespoon Roasted Garlic Puree (recipe follows)
    • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Scrub potatoes. Boil in salted water for 30 minutes.  Drain. Cool slightly until potatoes can be handled comfortably, then peel and transfer to a large bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream, butter, and garlic puree until mixture just comes to a boil. Pour over the potatoes while mashing with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Collard Greens

Ingredients

    • 4 pounds fresh collard greens
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 1/2 cups diced yellow onion
    • 2 tablespoons Roasted Garlic Puree
    • 1 tablespoon seeded, minced jalapeno
    • 1 cup shredded pickled pork
    • 1/2 cup diced tasso ham
    • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon Angel Dust Cajun Seasoning
    • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
    • 3 cups water
    • 1 cup bottled Italian dressing

Preparation

Baking Directions:

Wash the collard greens several times in a large quantity of water; drain well. Pull the thick center core out of each leaf and discard; tear leaves into medium-sized pieces. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat; sauté the onions until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic puree and jalapeno and cook another minute. Add the pork and ham, and brown for 3 minutes.  Mix in the vinegar, sugars, Cajun seasoning, salt, red pepper flakes, and ground black and white peppers, stirring to coat the onions and meat. Add the greens, water, and dressing to the pot. Toss the greens as they begin to cook down and the liquid comes to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour and 25 minutes.

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