December 26th, 2016 / Stephane

By Chef David Meegoda

With 2017 just round the corner we wanted to put together some exciting recipes for you and the family. Prepared and created by New York chef, Chef David Meegoda, here’s our recipe special for New Year’s Day.

I wanted to give people another nice fresh options instead of the old boring Prawn Cocktail and use the technique of cevice and give it a Caribbean twist.
For the mains I was thinking for New Years Eve you want something hearty to lay your stomach for a night filled with drinks and enjoyment. So instead of the standard chili con carne I thought I give the readers a southern soulful food classic – a Chicken Gumbo. I accompanied the dish with Hopping Johns – the American Soul Food Version of Rice and Peas which is traditionally eaten for new years. In the southern United States, eating Hoppin’ Johns on New Year’s is thought to bring a prosperous year filled with luck. The peas are symbolic of pennies or coins.
And for Desert I chose the Latte Macchiato Panacotta because it’s easy to make, beautiful on the eye and enriched with caffeine to keep you going through the long night ahead of New Year’s Eve.


Starter: Caribbean Prawn  and Mango Cevice

Mains: Louisiana Chicken Gumbo with Hopping Johns

Dessert: Latte Macchiato Panacotta

Caribbean Prawn Cevice (Serve 4-6)

Prep 20 min

Cook 5 min

Total 25 min



36 peeled & deveined raw black tiger prawns

4 red onions, peeled and very finely sliced

4 red- and 4 green long chillies, deseeded, veined and very thin sliced

1 firm mango, peeled and cut into very thin sliced

1 bunch spring onions, very thin sliced

½ bunch coriander, picked and very finely sliced

2 oranges, 2 lemons and 2 limes segmented and cut into small pieces


Zest of 1 orange, lemon and lime

Juice out of 2 oranges, lemons and limes

200ml fresh orange juice

50 ml caribbean dark rum

Blanching solution for prawns:

1l water

250ml fresh orange juice

50 ml Caribbean dark rum

12 springs fresh thyme

24 whole pimento (all spice)

1 scotch bonnet pepper, poked

1 clove garlic, slightly crushed

Pinch of Sea Salt


  1. While prepping all the vegetables, put on a sauce pan on very high heat and bring all the ingredients of the blanching solution to boil. Let cook/reduce for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Blanch prawns in solution, meaning drop into boiling water, stir and take out immediately (once the prawns turn red)
  3. Cut prawns in halves, place in a large mixing bowl and mix with all the ingredients.
  4. Add dressing and season with maldon sea salt.

Hopping Johns (Serve 4-6)

Prep 20 min

Cook 25 min

Total 45 min


100g unsalted Butter

200g gammon – cut into small dices (bacon rashes, for non-pork eaters)

1 onion, finely chopped

½ red, yellow and green pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

2 carrots peeled & finely chopped

3 celery sticks peeled & finely chopped

2 garlic cloves peeled and grated

2 tins black eyed peas (drained & rinsed)

6 tsp Louisiana seasoning

1 bay leaf

2 (US) cups Basmati rice

3 (US) cups vegetable stock

2-4 Spring onions, finely chopped

Louisiana Seasoning (mix all ingredients together and keep remains for another time)

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp lemon pepper

1 tsp celery salt

3 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme


  1. Melt butter in a large saucepan on low heat
  2. Add gammon, carrots, celery, onions, peppers, garlic and louisiana seasoning
  3. Cook under medium temperature for approximately 5 minutes, stirring the vegetables occasionally, until slightly soft
  4. Add black eyed peas, rice, bay leaves and veg stock. Stir all components together and bring to boil. (Avoid stirring rice after this step until fully cooked).
  5. Once the liquid is below the rice level turn the heat down very low and cover the saucepan with lid. Steam the rice for 10 minutes.
  6. After 10 minutes, remove the saucepan from the heat and remove the lid.  Use a spoon to fluff up the rice and simultaneously mix under the spring onions.

Louisiana Chicken Gumbo (serves 4 to 6)

Prep 30 min

Cook 30 min

Total 1 hr


600g skin- and boneless chicken thighs, cleaned, washed and cut into chunks

300g of smoked gammon, cut into small cubes (for no pork eaters I suggest turkey rashers instead)

1 large onion, finely chopped

3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

4 celery sticks, peeled and finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, grated

3 green peppers, deseeded and finely chopped

300g okra, caped and slanted in half

Fresh coriander leaves for garnish

500ml chicken stock

50ml white wine

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

3 bay leaves

Louisiana Seasoning:

1 tbsp of plain flour

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp lemon pepper

1 tsp celery salt

3 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp garlic granules

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried basil


  1. Mix all seasoning together and use half of the mixture to rub the chicken. In a large pan over medium heat brown off the chicken in batches for a few minutes until all the chicken has a nice colour. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and keep to the side.
  2. Add the gammon and repeat the procedure of browning but don’t remove the gammon from the pan.
  3. Add the carrots, onions, celery, green peppers and cook for about 5 minutes stirring regularly until the vegetables are slightly soft. Then Stir in the grated garlic and the rest of the seasoning mix with the bay leaves and continue to cook for another minute.
  4. Pour in the white wine and let it reduce down to cook out the alcohol. Then return the chicken and any remaining juices to the pan and slowly add the flower while constantly stirring to coat all the ingredients.
  5. Once everything is equally coated, add the chopped tomatoes, pour in the veg stock, bring to boil and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Add the Okra, then cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper, add Coriander leaves in whole or cut into fine strips to garnish

Latte Macchiato Panna Cotta (Serves 4 large latte macchiato glasses or 8 smaller desert glasses)

Prep 5 minutes

Cook 5 minutes

Cooling time up to 3 hrs



450 ml double cream

450ml milk

90 g caster sugar

7.5 gelatine leaves (for 900ml of liquid)

1 vanilla pod

4 – 8 tsp of instant coffee granules

Whipped cream and a few coffee beans as garnish

1st layer:

150ml double cream

150 ml milk, 30g caster sugar

2.5 gelatine leaves (or amount for 300ml of liquid)

½ vanilla pod

2nd layer:

150ml double cream

150 ml milk, 30g caster sugar

4 – 8 tsp of instant coffee granules

2.5 gelatine leaves (or amount for 300ml of liquid)

½ vanilla pod

3rd layer:

150ml double cream

150 ml milk, 30g caster sugar

2.5 gelatine leaves (or amount for 300ml of liquid)

½ vanilla pod


  1. Soak gelatine leaves in cold water. In a small sauce pan bring rest of ingredients for first layer to boil and whisk gently.
  2. Remove gelatine from water and squeeze out the remaining water, add to the sauce pan and whisk until it’s fully dissolved.
  3. Pour mixture into latte macchiato glasses or other choice of desert glasses, place in fridge and let it set in the fridge for about an hour.
  4. Once the first layer is set repeat same procedure but this time add the instant coffee granules into the hot mixture. Let mixture cool down for a few minutes and then pour on top of the first layer. Cool down to set in the fridge for another hour.
  5. Repeat procedure of layer one for layer three. Pour mixture on top of layer 2 and let it set in the fridge until serve.
  6. Garnish with some whipped cream and coffee beans before serving



Chef: David Meegoda (First Class Chefs LTD)
Shot at Green Rooms Hotel
Photographer: Judita Kuniskyte
Food Stylist: Joanna Resiak

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