Friday, October 26, 2012

Cajun Fusion

I love spicy food.  I didn't used to, I grew up with ketchup on everything.  A bit of flavor, and it was needed.  Sorry mom, but cooking was not your forte.  At the tender age of 14 I started to work and was employed by a nice man that introduced me to a whole new world.  A lot of that was at restaurants, salsa, and of course, in Mexico.  I loved to travel to Mexico for my job and eat there.  I was 15 and eating stuff from taco carts and seafood shacks in Penasco or Guaymus.  And chilis.  Loved those chilis and good homemade tortillas, seafood, and fresh salsa.  Wow.  Later, I started to eat other cuisines and found that same satisfying burn in other places.  Love Thai, love some Korean.  And loved Cajun.  Man I love Cajun food.  When I had the cooking store in Austin I taught Cajun cooking classes a lot, and they were well attended.  I do tend to make healthier versions of Cajun, and the stuff is mighty tasty.  I like it a bit hotter, but that is always up to the individual to adjust the spices to suit your own individual taste.  So, to that end, let me give you this cool and unique Fusion Cajun recipe.

Garbanzo Chile Waffles with Healthy Seafood Etouffee.

Start off making the Etouffee.  Peel and save the shells from a pound of shrimp.  Set the shrimp aside and season them with about 3 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning.  (recipe for your own seasoning mixes at )  Take the shells and put into a large stockpot, cover with water and add whatever you have in your trash bag you keep in your freezer.  Onion skins, ends of celery, stuff like that.  Always a good idea to keep that stuff around for stock and if you usually toss it, well, don't.  Add some peppercorns, a half dozen bay leaves and bring to boil, then simmer for 20 minutes or so.  Now, take 3 bell peppers and dice in quarter inch dice.  Do the same with two big onions, and then chopped pretty finely at least 6 or more ribs celery.  Dump about a 1/4 cup olive oil in a large sauce pan.  Add a third the veggies and about two tablespoons of Cajun seasoning.  Cook the veggies until soft.  About 8 minutes.  Add another third of the veggies, and continue to cook until soft and beginning to brown.  It should be very aromatic with the spices in there.  Now, add another 1/4 cup olive oil and a 1/3 cup AP flour.  (unbleached organic of course) and continue to cook, stirring a lot until the whole mess is very brown.  Add the remaining veggies along with about ten or more cloves of garlic, smashed and chopped.  Now, drain the shrimp stock and add about 3 cups of it to the saucepan.  Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.  Add some cayenne or hot sauce to kick up the heat if desired.  (Yeah, it should be)  Take a few fish fillets and cut into bite size pieces and dust with Cajun seasoning to coat.  In a separate skillet, with a thin coat of olive oil, cook the shrimp just until they turn pink and start to curl.  Remove from pan and hold in a bowl.  Well, go ahead and dump half of them into the saucepan.  Now add a bit more olive oil and toss in the coated fish.  Cook until browned and then dump them into the saucepan.  Deglaze the pan with a half cup good beer and dump that into the saucepan as well.  Now, make the waffles.
Grind a cup of garbanzo beans with a half cup wheat berries in your wheat grinder.  Okay, not everyone has one of those, you can buy garbanzo flour in most store now and use whole wheat flour.  Mix in a half teaspoon sea salt, two teaspoons baking powder and a tablespoon Cajun seasoning.  Mix well, add a 1/4 cup olive oil, an egg and 1 cup milk.  Mix well.  Add a small 7 oz can green chilis if desired.  Or chopped jalapenos.  Spray your hot waffle iron with non-canola spray and make waffles.  These will be yummy, and make sure they are very crisp.  Put a waffle on a plate, add a ladle of the sauce mix and top with a couple of shrimp and garnish with lots of chopped parsley.  Very fun, very unique interpretation of a Southern dish. 

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