This is one of those recipes that I saw and put on my to-make list right away, because it sounded and looked amazing. But I put all sorts of things on that list, and just because they get written down doesn't mean I actually make them...either I don't want to drain my wallet on expensive ingredients, we don't have a kitchen tool, or the recipe isn't really my style. Which is a lame excuse, and one I think I'm getting over having made this. Because this recipe wasn't my style- the grilling or the flavor combo. But I was absolutely blown away by how perfectly the flavors blended and how it all came together.
I'm eating the leftovers tonight, which I'm pretty excited about. But not for a while, because I just ate six peanut butter cookies straight from the cooling rack.
Cajun Cod with Praline Sauce Over Dirty Rice
adapted from Annie's Eats
For the dirty rice:
1 link andouille or sausage chopped
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken or veggie broth
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
3/4 cup long grain white rice
salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
For the praline sauce:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp butter at room temp
For the cod:
2 Tbsp olive oil
several generous dashes dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pepper
4 cod fillets (you can use any white fish, halibut, tilapia, etc)
To make the dirty rice, cook the sausage a few minutes on medium-high in a large saucepan. Stir in olive oil, onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Cook just until softened, 2-3 minutes more. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute.
Mix in the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cover and cook until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Stir in the green onions.
While the rice is cooking, make the praline sauce. Toast the pecans in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
Transfer to a plate and set aside. Return the pan to medium heat. Combine sugar and water, bring to a simmer, lower the heat and cook until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pecans and salt and cook 1-2 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in butter. Keep warm until served.
To prepare the fish, combine oil, paprika, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a bowl and whisk to blend. Pat the mixture over both sides of the fish.
Bring grill to medium heat. Grill until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily, flipping halfway (I took just over 10 minutes). Serve over dirty rice with praline sauce.
*Notes: the original praline sauce called for 1 Tbsp whiskey or apple juice. I obviously don't have whiskey, but use it if you wish! Also, the fish blend wasn't quite as "Cajun" as I imagined it would be. It was good, but I would have liked a little more kick. Maybe up the garlic and paprika, or even add a dash of seasoning salt.