Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bayou-ish Jambalaya with Blackened Cauliflower

The awesome folks at Dizzy Pig are getting ready to release a new seasoning called Bayou-ish, so they sent out some samples to vendors to test out.  Well, one of the Nalls' samples trickled its way down to me so last night I gave it a whirl.  Now when I see "bayou" anything I want andouille sausage and shrimp.  Basically, I want jambalaya.  But we didn't exactly get the traditional jambalaya veggies in the Crop Share this week, so I cheated a bit.  So yes, before Emeril or any other Cajuns out there come after me with pitchforks, I do realize that "the trinity" is completely absent from my jambalaya and I may be committing a mortal sin by even calling this dish "jambalaya."  But, I try to work pretty close with in the parameters of what we get each week so that I or any of you don't have to go out and buy 50 other items of produce.  So please forgive me and I trust if one of you glorious Cajun's ever devise gluten free beignets you will not withhold the majesty from me.

Now a little bit about this Bayou-ish seasoning.  It's intended to withstand high heat, so if you're a fan of blackening fish or chicken, this is the way to go.  If I knew I wouldn't kill the Mister and myself with the smell I would have mixed this up with some gluten & dairy free breadcrumbs, breaded up some catfish and seared the heck out of it.  So instead, I went with my cheaters jambalaya and to roll in the Crop Share I did blacken up something, the one item I can only stand if it's cooked into submission...cauliflower.  I roasted that stuff in some Bayou-ish and olive oil at 430 degrees until it started to char, and that is the point in which I can consume cauliflower and not want to spit it out.  The roasted cauliflower really gives a nice hint of nutty sweetness to the jambalaya, and I had enough in my sample to use half of it on the cauliflower and the other half in the base sauce for the jambalaya.  So once they release this flavor, you'll be able to make this entire dish from one sample pack.  Problem is, then you're out, and I'm already dreaming up some Bayou-ish spiced shrimp po'boys with a vegan remoulade mixed with some more of the Bayou-ish.  Also, their seasonings are lower in sodium than most other seasoning mixes, but you don't feel like you're missing anything.  All I did was throw in a dash of salt at the very end and that was the only other additional seasoning I needed to add!

So what do you do in the meantime if you want to make this dish?  Grab yourself any all-purpose Creole seasoning from the store and give it a go.

Bayou-ish Jambalaya with Blackened Cauliflower

For the blackened cauliflower:
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Dizzy Pig Bayou-ish seasoning

For the jambalaya base:
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sweet onion, chopped
12 oz andouille sausage, sliced on the bias
1 lb shrimp
6 oz tomato paste
2 tsp Dizzy Pig Bayou-ish seasoning
2 cups water
2 cups rice, just undercooked
2 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped
Pinch of Kosher salt

Preheat oven to 430 degrees.  Toss cauliflower in olive oil and Bayou-ish, and spread evenly in a baking dish.  Bake for 30-45 minutes until it has started to char a bit.

While the cauliflower is roasting, prepare 2 cups of rice according to package directions and remove from heat just a few minutes early to leave it slightly undercooked as you're going to finish it in with the rest of the ingredients.

In a large saute pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium high heat.  Add in garlic and onion and saute until the onion is translucent, about 2-3 minutes.  Toss in sausage and cook until slightly browned.  Add shrimp and cook for an additional minute.  Stir in tomato paste and Bayou-ish seasoning until well blended and cook for 2 minutes until you start to get a bit of a char on the bottom of the pan.  Deglaze with 1 cup of water, scraping all the bits off the bottom and then add the second cup of water.  Bring to a simmer and add the rice, folding in to fully incorporate.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.

When cauliflower is done, add that along with any of the pan drippings to the jambalaya.  Stir to fully mix, and add lemon juice, parsley and a pinch of Kosher salt.  Now I like to get a bit of a crust on the bottom, so for this you'll want to kick the heat back up to medium high for about 3-5 minutes and just take care to not completely burn the bottom of the jambalaya, you want a nice golden brown crust.  Or just leave on medium low heat and let the flavors set up for that remaining 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand for at least 3 minutes before serving.

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