Native Americans were catching and eating crawfish for years before the Acadians arrived, although some legends tell of the northeastern lobster following the Acadians to Louisiana and shrinking in size over the long journey. The Acadians took quite well to the local crawfish, and they became a major part of the Cajun culture.
Crawfish-or mudbugs, as they are called since the popular species in Louisiana burrow into the wet ground of the freshwater bayous-can be boiled whole with spices and vegetables. The tender meat can be featured in a variety of Cajun cuisine from étouffée to meat pies. Every spring when crawfish are in season Louisiana families, like the Walkers, spend their afternoons gathered around picnic tables picking crawfish. They spread old newspaper across long tables where they dump a giant pot of steaming crawfish along with boiled potatoes, garlic cloves, corn on the cob, whole mushrooms, and onions.
Some of the Walkers’ fondest memories involve farming crawfish themselves. One of TW’s clients has a crawfish pond. When TW’s brother, Bob was coming to Ville Platte for Easter with his family, TW asked his client if the kids could come by and pick up some crawfish with the hand nets. “Mais, cher, don’t worry about that,” TW’s client said, using the Cajun term of endearment. “I’ll tell my guy not to make his run on Saturday morning, and y’all can just go pick up all the traps.”
TW couldn’t believe this generous offer. He loaded up the whole family, and they headed to the ponds. “Jack and Joe were just waist-high then,” recalls TW. “We pulled them behind us in a boat and waded through the water without hip boots on, even Mama Jen. I think we came up with over 250 pounds of crawfish.” A good rule of thumb is three pounds of crawfish per person, which means the Walkers hit the mother load. “We got to be crawfish farmers for the day,” Jack remembers fondly.
TW’s client invited them back year after year. As Jack and Joe got older, they wore snake-proof boots and started pulling the boats through the muddy water for the younger kids to ride. “It’s always a good weekend,” says TW. “It brought all the family together.” The Walkers took all those crawfish back to the Bayou Chicot house and cooked them in the backyard under twinkle lights TW strung from the trees. “We ate for two hours, Cajun French music blaring in the background,” says Bob. “Living in Mississippi, I wanted my kids to experience the way I grew up.”
Today when the Walkers eat crawfish, they all remember those Easter weekends. They pop off the heads and suck the juices, peel off the shell and pop the meat in their mouths.
The Slap Ya Mama seasoning tingles their lips just perfectly, and they’re taken right back to those Easter weekends way back when.
There’s a reason why Slap Ya Mama’s Low Sodium blend is so popular! 75 million Americans have hypertension or high blood pressure. That’s a whopping 29 percent! Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke and only 48 percent of people with those that suffer have it under control. Many health specialists believe that the reason why hypertension is such a problem in the US is based on our diet.
Over the past century, salt has been the subject of intense scientific research related to blood pressure elevation and cardiovascular-related deaths. The way your blood pressure is raised is much more complicated than you may think. Here is how high levels of sodium affects your body. Salt works on your kidneys to make your body retain more water, and this extra water raises your blood pressure which puts a strain on your kidneys, arteries, heart, and even your brain.
High blood pressure causes extra strain and damages your kidneys and puts you at risk for kidney disease. This reduces their ability to filter out unwanted and toxic waste products. If left untreated, this can lead to kidney failure.
The extra blood pressure caused by eating too much salt puts extra strain on the insides of your arteries. When this happens, the organs of the body that were receiving the blood from the arteries become starved of the oxygen and the nutrients they need. This can also turn fatal if untreated.
Raised blood pressure caused by eating too much salt may damage the arteries leading to the heart. The heart will not work as well because it will not receive enough oxygen and nutrients. This is what leads to a heart attack.
Here in Louisiana, we love our sodium. Many of our favorite dishes are flavorful because of the spices alone. Here at Slap Ya Mama, we pride ourselves on offering our signature Cajun Seasoning in a low sodium option. Now, you can enjoy the spicy and delicious flavor of Slap Ya Mama without the health risks!
Slap Ya Mama is back with a new light Spring dish. Introducing the Slap Ya Mama Honey Glazed Salmon with a Citrus Avocado Salsa Served over Coconut Rice featuring Slap Ya Mama’s White Pepper Blend & Hot Seasonings. See the full list of ingredients, serving size, and directions for preparation.
- 1 large hass avocado, peeled, cored & diced
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 2 small navel oranges, peeled, segmented & diced
- 1 tsp. lime zest
- 2 Tbsp. lime juice
- 3 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp. Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Seasoning
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For ease, work with 2 salmon fillets at a time. Sprinkle the top of each fillet with Slap Ya Mama White Pepper Blend Seasoning, and drizzle 1 tsp. of honey over each fillet, being sure to spread evenly. Dust the top of each fillet with 1 tsp. of flour. Over medium-high heat, add olive oil to a large skillet. Once oil is hot, add 2 fillets, floured side down, and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. While they’re cooking, apply Slap Ya Mama White Pepper Blend Seasoning, honey and flour to the tops of the fillets as before. Carefully rotate each fillet and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and place on a baking sheet that has been lightly coated with non-stick cooking spray. Repeat process with the other two fillets. Once all salmon is on baking sheet, bake in the oven for about 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the thickness of fillets.
Serve warm over coconut rice and top with citrus avocado salsa. Enjoy!
In a large bowl, combine avocado, onions, orange zest, orange pieces, lime zest, lime juice and cilantro. Gently toss all ingredients while sprinkling Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Seasoning evenly over salsa.
In a saucepan over high heat, bring water, rice, chicken bouillon, bell pepper and butter to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer until all liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Add coconut milk, Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Seasoning and sugar, stir and let simmer until rice has absorbed most all of the coconut milk.
This is a delicious and easy slow cooker recipe that everyone will enjoy!
- green cabbage, ½ head or 3 cups, shredded
- 1 tsp. Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Seasoning
- red cabbage, ½ head or 3 cups, shredded
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 large jalapeno, sliced
- ½ small red onion, sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
Directions for Pork
Season the roast with 2 tbsp. of Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Seasoning, being sure to cover it evenly. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add butter and roast. Brown all sides of the roast and set aside. In the same skillet, reduce heat to medium; add onions and garlic and sauté until onions are tender. Add just enough water to cover the bottom of the skillet, stir in dark brown sugar, being sure to scrap the bottom of the skillet to help bring up remnants of the browned pork and onion/garlic mixture. Bring to a light boil then remove from heat. Place roast in the slow cooker and pour contents of the skillet over the roast. Cook on low for 8 hours. Once cooked, remove from the slow cooker and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Using 2 forks, pull roast apart into small slices or chunks. Toss with BBQ sauce to desired taste, serve on buns and top with coleslaw.
Directions for Coleslaw
Combine the cabbage, jalapeno, onion and carrots in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar and Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Seasoning. Add dressing to cabbage mixture and toss well.
It’s time for an old-fashioned Louisiana Mardi Gras! Fiddles and accordions are blasting, and chickens are being tossed so high you’d almost think they were flying. Costumed revelers who look like they came straight out of medieval history sporting fringed and wire mesh feudal outfits on horseback, chasing chickens and begging for ingredients for a huge communal gumbo. Louisiana Cajun Country’s Courir de Mardi Gras - a tradition that dates all the way back to medieval celebrations in France.
Traditions of Louisiana Cajun Mardi Gras
Outside of the stunningly decorated floats and crowned kings and queens you find in New Orleans Carnival festivities, Cajun Mardi Gras is a festival of French origins and a celebration of amazing gumbo - and it all begins on Mardi Gras Day.
Courir de Mardi Gras - Photo courtesy of cajunzydecophotos
On the morning of Fat Tuesday, costumed revelers take the streets wearing handmade medieval jester dresses sporting capuchons hats from French traditions that mocked nobility in the medieval era, and bishop miters for the Catholic papal state. It was all a way to escape the roles of life on a daily basis and live like you don’t have a care in the world. The hustle and bustle of everyday life was drowned away by the sounds of Cajun bands playing and the smell of delectable Cajun country cooking. When the horseback revelers took the streets, Courir de Gras began.
Courir de Mardi Gras
The main event of Cajun Mardi Gras. Costumed revelers on horseback are led by the capitaine of Mardi Gras in the traditional celebration of Courir de Gras, where they’d travel from house to house begging for ingredients for a communal gumbo that would feed the town. But you wouldn’t just receive the ingredients. You need to work for it - and by work we mean an assortment of rituals that included dancing atop their horses, climbing trees, and making chicken noises. Homeowners would then toss live chickens into the air for revelers to chase and swing around their heads. The horsemen are joined by men riding on chicken wagons and trailers to catch the most chickens for the communal gumbo while offering cold beer and sausage, and providing musical entertainment for homes they passed by. Thankfully, you don’t have to wait for the race to be over before the gumbo is prepared. The food is now prepped prior and during the race while awaiting its last ingredient once the race is over - chicken.
Each town in Cajun country has their own unique way of celebrating Courir de Gras. The towns feature various foods and events that really bring out the Cajun experience you’re looking for. For example, in Basile, you’ll find a courir for the kids held a few days before Fat Tuesday.
Parade and Musical Entertainment
Once the run comes to an end, the Mardi Gras parades soon follow. In Cajun country, you won’t find parade floats featuring intricate gowns or elaborate mockups. You will instead find homemade costumes and handmade decorated floats pulled by trucks rather than tractors. The parades are also accompanied by traditional music featuring Cajun bands playing the fiddle, accordion, guitar, and the must-hear washboard.
Cajun Mardi Gras is definitely a sight to see. If you want to experience something different than New Orleans Carnivale, everyone is welcome to come down to Cajun Country. Spend Mardi Gras this year in Cajun country for an experience you’ll never forget. Just read what National Geographic’s Young Explorer Caroline Gerdes had to say from her experience going from New Orleans Carnival to Cajun Mardi Gras.
Slap Ya Mama is back with a new signature dish. Introducing the Jambalaya Cakes with Honey ‘Slapped’ Roasted Turkey Breast recipe by37 Cooks featuring Slap Ya Mama’s original blend and jambalaya dinner mix seasonings. See the full list of ingredients, serving size, and directions for preparation.
- By Holly of 37 Cooks
When I first signed up for this challenge, I had absolutely no idea what to make. I was thinking breakfast of some kind, but Cajun-spiced? Jambalaya Mix? Pepper sauce? I really started to sweat it…literally!But an idea struck me after working at my son’s preschool one morning. They were reading a book called Marsupial Sue Presents The Runaway Pancake by John Lithgow. I had never heard of this book before, but these kids were in love! They’d sing along with his teacher and hang on her every word. So that’s where the pancake idea was born. I made several kinds at first (zucchini, cheese, sausage) but the yam ones stuck. My son, Caden, would just gobble them up. I hope you do too!
Cook Slap Ya Mama Cajun Jambalaya Dinner Mix according to box instructions, minus the meat. Let cool.
Saute the diced yam on medium heat in 2 Tablespoons oil, brown sugar and Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Cajun Seasoning until fork tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, mix egg, butter and milk. Fold in the black beans, cooked yam and Slap Ya Mama Cajun Jambalaya Dinner Mix. Add the wet ingredients into the dry until just mixed. Let sit about 10 minutes.
Heat a large, non-stick skillet on medium-high. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of canola oil per batch of cakes. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into pan, making 3-4 at a time. Cook the cakes 3-4 minutes and gently flip. Cook another 2 minutes until golden brown. Yields about 12 cakes.
Heat oven to 350˚F. Rinse and pat dry turkey breast. Place in small roasting dish. Coat with olive oil and season with Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Cajun Seasoning. Drizzle with honey. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until done and juices run clear.
For the sauce: Mix the sour cream and Slap Ya Mama Cajun Pepper Sauce. Serve on top of the cakes.
Looking for some Cajun seafood recipes for dinner? Try Slap Ya Mama’s Seafood Lasagna. Our zesty Cajun lasagna features shrimp, crabmeat, and crawfish complete with Slap Ya Mama’s etouffee sauce to really pack a punch in flavor. See full recipe ingredients and prep time.
- 1 16oz Jar of Slap Ya Mama Etouffee Sauce
- 1 lb Shrimp, Peeled & Deveined
- ½ lb Crab Meat
- ½ lb Crawfish Tails (if available)
- ½ Cup Water
- 12 Lasagna Noodles
- 4 cups Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
- ¾ Cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
- 15 oz Ricotta Cheese
- 1 Egg
In a 6 quart pot, add Slap Ya Mama Etouffee Sauce, shrimp, crab and crawfish. (If you don’t have access to crawfish, you can substitute with ½ pound more of shrimp or crab). Add ½ cup of water. Bring to a light boil, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let rest.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for approximately 12 minutes. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese and egg.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
To assemble, spread half of the etouffee sauce mixture in the bottom of a 9” x 13” baking dish. Arrange 6 lasagna noodles lengthwise over etouffee sauce. Spread half of the ricotta cheese mixture over noodles. Layer with one half of mozzarella over ricotta cheese. Spread remaining half of etouffee sauce mixture over mozzarella and sprinkle ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Layer another 6 lasagna noodles and remaining ricotta cheese, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Cover with foil, making sure it doesn’t touch the cheese.
Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 30 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
by Tracy of 37 Cooks
Slap Ya Mama introduces the Crazy Cajun Sundaes brought to you by 37 Cooks featuring our savory Red Beans & Rice and Cajun Fish Fry ingredients with a hint of our hot blend seasoning for even more flavor!Here is a spin on the famous BBQ Sundaes. I think you will love this version. You can mix and match glassware for presentation. If it is for a potluck, pile the ingredients in a trifle dish. For a more casual twist, serve them in clear plastic cups. There is no set way to layer theses, mix and match them anyway you like. Or, set everything out separately and let your guests decide how to stack them.
Red Beans and Rice:
Prepare Red Beans and Rice according to package directions to include the sausage. Let sit uncovered for about 15 minutes to allow it to thicken.
In a bowl mix the okra, egg and buttermilk until okra is covered. In small batches, toss the okra into the fish fry, covering completely. Set on a baking sheet. Heat vegetable oil on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until oil is hot. Fry the okra in batches until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
- 4 cups shredded cole slaw mix
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, minced
- 1/2 green bell pepper, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 Tablespoon prepared horseradish
- 1 Tablespoon Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Cajun Seasoning
- Salt to taste
In a bowl mix together, slaw, garlic, scallions, parsley, red and green bell peppers. In another small bowl, whisk olive oil, vinegar, mustard, horseradish , Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend Cajun Seasoning and salt. When thoroughly combined, pour over vegetables and stir to coat. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Assemble the Sundaes by layering Red Beans and Rice, Okra, and Cajun Slaw. Top with a heaping pile of Cajun Slaw. Garnish with cherry tomatoes and a sausage slice.
Slap Ya Mama Cajun Meatball Sandwiches brought to you by 37 Cooks features an amazing blend of delicious Cajun flavors that you have to taste to believe. Our signature Cajun gumbo dinner mix delivers unparalleled flavor complemented by our Cajun fish fry to deliver the final blow.Just as gumbo is a dish that can be made with many meats — or combinations of meats — these meatballs could be created with almost any ground meat you desire. Rather than beef and pork, perhaps throw in veal, bison, chicken or even shrimp! The resulting meatball is as warm, sloppy and delicious as a meatball sub from your favorite deli or concession stand, but the unconventional use of the Slap Ya Mama Cajun Gumbo Dinner Mix gives them a LOT of flavor with little effort. (Shh! Don’t tell.)
I particularly enjoyed the tomato sauce/unpickled giardiniera, though. Sweet and hot, cooked into a thick and chunky paste, it could be an ideal condiment for almost any hot sandwich.
Note: Instead of in sandwiches, the meatballs and vegetables can also be served alone or over another starch, such as rice or orzo pasta.
Slap Ya Mama Cajun Meatball Sandwiches
By Kate of 37 Cooks
For the meatballs:
For the sauce/giardiniera:
- 28-ounce can chopped fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 onion, halved and thinly sliced
- 2 bell peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced pepperoncini
- 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
For the sandwiches:
- Sliced provolone cheese
- 8-10 sandwich buns, toasted
Combine milk and Slap Ya Mama Cajun Gumbo Dinner Mix in a large bowl, and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes for the gumbo mix to rehydrate.
Preheat oven to 425°F. Prepare a baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper and a layer of cooking spray.
Add the remaining meatball ingredients to the bowl with the gumbo mix and mix together, only until combined. Do not overwork the meat mixture. Add more breadcrumbs if mixture is too moist.
Using a 2 Tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop the meat into balls and place on the baking sheet, making sure the meatballs do not touch.
Bake the meatballs for 8-10 minutes, until almost cooked through. Then turn the oven to broil for 2 minutes to toast the exterior; flip the meatballs and broil 1-2 minutes longer to toast the other side.
Meanwhile, for the sauce, combine the tomatoes, vegetables, oregano and sugar in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and allow to simmer 20-30 minutes. Stir regularly, smashing the tomatoes against the pan wall occasionally to break them up. The vegetables’ liquid should be almost completely evaporated. If not, continue to simmer until you achieve the desired consistency.
Assemble the sandwiches with a layer of sauce, the meatballs, provolone cheese and more sauce. Return the sandwiches to the warm oven to melt the cheese, if desired.
Representatives of the popular Cajun food products company, Slap Ya Mama, have been informed by Cox Sports Television (CST) that the NFL will no longer allow the Slap Ya Mama Red Zone in the Saints’ final preseason game because of concerns about the Slap Ya Mama name.
On Tuesday, August 19th, Marc Leunissen, Director of Sales, Cox Media Louisiana sent an email to the advertising representative for Walker & Sons, Inc., Slap Ya Mama Cajun Products, stating, “In light of the domestic violence issues facing the NFL, they have instructed CST pull the Slap Ya Mama logo from our enhancements in the last game, Thursday, August 28…”. It is Walker & Sons, Inc. understanding that Cox Media Louisiana received this communication from the NFL on Monday, August 18th.
The NFL league office followed up with a memo to all NFL teams on Thursday, August 21st announcing that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell “has determined that no virtual sineage will be permitted to appear on the playing field or its environs in any NFL game telecasts effective immediately and for the remainder of this preseason…”
The memo cited three concerns as the basis for the ruling, including “Certain advertisers and brands are not consistent with League standards and messaging.”
“We’ve been doing this for three years with no complaints. People who know our brand ‘get it’ but all of a sudden, after three years, the NFL doesn’t. We are really shaking our heads over this one! We’re fun loving and enjoy great tasting food. We also love football, especially Saints football! Maybe they just don’t understand our culture. What a shame!” says Jack D. Walker, Vice President of Marketing, Walker & Sons, Inc.
Walker says “Slap Ya Mama” “refers to a loving slap on the back and a kiss on the cheek to your mama as a thank you for preparing another great tasting dish.”
Slap Ya Mama Cajun Products is owned by Jennifer Walker of Ville Platte, Louisiana and managed by her sons, Jack and Joe. Their father, Anthony “T.W.” Walker developed the seasoning. Jack recalls how the name came to be:
“After much discussion with family and friends, one name stuck with us, ‘Slap Ya Mama’. We were skeptical but then our mother, Jennifer, said, ‘No, it has to be Slap Ya Mama. It’s too good of a name and it really represents our food and culture,’” says Walker.
Walker says the NFL’s decision hurts them because the Slap Ya Mama Red Zone promotion is the company’s biggest advertising commitment of the year, and feedback from customers indicates it is very popular. The company’s Facebook page has more than 100,000 fans from all over the world.
“Our fans are fanatics and big advocates of Louisiana food culture. Our Facebook page is active, with people sharing food ideas, recommending products to friends, and using it as a place to celebrate and share the incredible food culture we have here in Louisiana”, Walker says.
Slap Ya Mama introduces the Mardi Gras Meatloaf with Mighty Mushroom Sauce brought to you by 37 Cooks. A perfect way to celebrate the Mardi Gras season complete with Slap Ya Mama’s signature gumbo mix, white pepper seasoning, and etouffee sauce.
The folks at Slap Ya Mama really know how to make seasonings. All of their various seasoning mixes and blends combine to make the ultimate Cajun eating experience! For this recipe, Slap Ya Mama Gumbo mix and a confetti blend of peppers create a meatloaf just bursting with the fun flavors and colors of Mardi Gras. Slap Ya Mama Etouffee Sauce brings a rich, smooth base to a sauce that will have you lickin’ the pot!
Mardi Gras Meatloaf with Mighty Mushroom Sauce
Recipe by Gary of 37 Cooks
- 1 pound ground beef, preferably 70/30 ratio
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1/2 cup diced red, orange, yellow, and green peppers (any combination)
- 2 Tablespoons diced celery
- 2 Tablespoons minced onion
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 can (8-ounce size) tomato sauce, divided use
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama Gumbo Mix
- 1 teaspoon Slap Ya Mama White Pepper Seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup Slap Ya Mama Etouffee Sauce
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 Tablespoon minced onion
- 2 Tablespoons canned button mushrooms
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- Coarse salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line shallow jellyroll pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.
For the meatloaf: In a large bowl combine beef, pork, peppers, celery, onion, garlic, egg, half of the tomato sauce, olive oil, breadcrumbs, 2 Tablespoons gumbo mix, white pepper seasoning, and black pepper. Mix well, but do not overwork. Form into loaf shape on pan.
In a small bowl, stir together remaining tomato sauce and 1 teaspoon gumbo mix. Spread evenly over meatloaf. Place in oven and cook, uncovered, for 1 hour.
For the sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine etouffee sauce and next seven ingredients over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Check seasonings, adding salt and pepper as needed. Swirl in butter.
Slice thick portions of meatloaf to serve; cover with sauce as desired.
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Slap Ya Mama presents our Cajun Asian Fried Dish brought to you by 37 Cooks featuring our signature blend of jambalaya dinner mix and international cuisine for unparalleled flavors.
We all have “those days” and sometimes “those weeks” where nothing you planned goes according to plan. Sometimes those days are so hectic that even figuring out what to eat is a challenge. Paradoxically, those days are usually the days that you need the food to comfort you, as well as sustain you. One of my go-to meals during those times is fried rice topped with a fried egg. What is more comforting than the luxuriousness of a runny yolk soaking into a big bowl of carbs? I throw in whatever vegetables I have and a bit of meat and something for spice, top it with a fried egg or two, and I can usually find my happy place again. So, I guess it wasn’t all bad this past week because I got to eat this fried rice twice!
I like how the smokiness of the bacon mixes with the aromatic sesame oil. The Jambalaya mix has a great slow heat that creeps up on you and the kimchi adds a bit of heat, too. I definitely recommend topping with a runny egg, but if you don’t like runny yolks then try filling an omelet with this fried rice.
**One thing about fried rice is that it’s best made with cold rice. So cook the rice the day before if possible.
Cajun-Asian Fried Rice
by Woo of 37 Cooks
- 1 Package Slap Ya Mama Cajun Jambalaya Dinner Mix
- 2 cups water
- 5 ounces Teet’s Slab Bacon, cut into two pieces
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
- 1/4 cup carrot, finely diced
- 1/4 cup celery, finely diced
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1/4 cup cabbage kimchi (or more to taste), chopped
- A bit kimchi juice to taste (I used about 2 Tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- Sliced green onion for garnish (optional)
- 4 eggs
- Butter or oil for frying eggs
Mix the contents of the Slap Ya Mama Cajun Jambalaya Dinner Mix with 2 cups of water in a 2-quart saucepan (yes, this is different from the package instructions.) Bring to boil, lower heat to a bare simmer. Give everything a good stir, and toss in the two pieces of slab bacon. Cover. Leave it alone for 15-20 minutes and all the water is absorbed (you’re not sure how long it took because this is when you lost internet and you were in the middle of filing taxes.) Turn off heat. Fluff the rice. The bacon will get in the way, but leave it in there, replace cover and let it sit on the warm burner because all your plans were derailed and you forgot about it for another 20 minutes while you spoke to your ISP.
Thank goodness that burner was turned off.**Now, like I said earlier, fried rice is best made with cold or day old rice. So, fluff and transfer the rice into another container and refrigerate overnight (or three nights, but who’s counting.) If you want to fry the rice the same day you cooked it, fluff the rice and spread it out onto a sheet tray and let it cool. Meanwhile, take the slab bacon from the rice and trim off the rind (or keep it if you like.) Slice the bacon into lardons or slices, set aside. When the rice is cool enough that it is no longer steaming, cover loosely with plastic wrap and pop into the freezer. It should be cold enough in about an hour. Crumble the rice with your hands so it isn’t one big clump of rice. Damp (not dripping wet) hands work well for this.
**Heat a big skillet, like 10 inches or so. I’ve heard woks are good for fried rice, but I don’t own one. I use a skillet. It’s okay. It’s still fried rice even if it doesn’t come from a wok. Toss in the 2 Tablespoons of butter and melt it over med heat. Add the diced onion, carrot, celery, red bell pepper and kimchi, toss to coat everything in butter. Raise the heat to high. Let it cook for about 5 minutes. Everything is going to pick up some color and caramelize a bit. Add the crumbled rice to the skillet. Add a dab more butter and about 2 Tablespoons of kimchi juice if it seems too dry. The kimchi juice will also add a bit more heat and the jambalaya mix has some heat of its own so taste as you go. Add the bacon. Toss the rice, vegetables, and bacon. Break up any clumps of rice. I like to see the individual grains of rice and a golden brown color on the vegetables. Make sure everything is piping hot. Drizzle the sesame oil in and toss to distribute. Add the sliced green onions if using.In a separate skillet, fry the eggs in butter or oil so the whites are set, but the yolks are still runny.
Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a meal. Or one hungry Woo.