A Cajun Asian Meal

by Karen

This post marks my inaugural entry for the Household 6 Cooking Club. At the beginning of the month, I received an email stating…

We all need to be prepared in the event of a disaster.  You have stuff in your pantry and fridge/freezer.  If a disaster should strike today and you have no access to going to a grocery store but your stove/grill is still working, what would you make with what you have on hand?

I was then instructed to take a picture of my refrigerator and pantry in their current state, which I did. However, I failed to post the pictures on my blog asap because I scanned the email too quickly. In my defense, I received the email the day before we left for North Carolina.

Which is why the vegetable and fruit crispers in the refrigerator are embarrassingly bare.

The pantry has some staples but as you can see, it isn’t overflowing with items.

So what follows is commentary about the meal I created without any prior planning, and using food items I already had on hand. I went with an asian and cajun hybrid theme. Curious? Keep reading.

I found some tilapia and shrimp in our freezer and figured this was as good of reason as any to eat frozen seafood (not my favorite but seriously, our fresh options are limited here in Oklahoma). Both of these items were purchased at the commissary sometime during the past months. I peeled the shrimp and marinated them in a teriyaki sauce bath.

I then made a slaw salad of sorts. I jullienned some sweet peppers, a (canned) jalapeno pepper, chopped some garlic, and thinly sliced an apple. I then tossed everything with two teaspoons of light mayo, a couple of tablespoons of (not fresh) lime juice, and seasoned with salt and pepper. If I had fresh cilantro, I would have totally added some, but alas, I didn’t. So no cilantro <insert sad face>.

I put the salad in the refrigerator to deepen the flavors while I started to work on the rice.

I chopped some onion and garlic and threw it to the pan when the rice was browning in butter, as per the directions on the Rice-a-Roni box. Instead of adding the full two cups of water, and substituted a half cup of teriyaki sauce. The concoction was left to simmer for 20 minutes and I started to prepare the fish and shrimp.

Ahhhh, this is where the cajun element came into play. I flash seared the fish in a pan and prepared it in a traditional ‘blackened’ manner. After the fish was done, I took the shrimp marinating in the teriyaki sauce, and cooked them in the same pan I used to blacken the fish.

I served everything together with a couple of (canned) mandarin oranges and on top of some shredded cabbage. The flavors worked really well together and the pepper/apple slaw and rice were nice compliments to the heat of the fish and shrimp.

So if we were ever in a situation where I had to use ingredients on hand to make a non-boring meal, we would be okay – at least for one meal. And this concludes my inaugural entry of the Household 6 Cooking Club. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to participating in more challenges.