Sometimes unplanned meals turn out unexpectedly well. Perhaps it is from having low expectations from not being prepared to assemble a well thought out meal, I don’t know. Recently, Sunday afternoons have turned into, Sunday Hang Out, Play with Puppies, and Watch Jamie Oliver Reruns, with my friends Christian and Jamie. Having recently launched Bola Pizza, and with great success, they don’t have much time to hang out anymore, between the Triangle Farmer’s Market, the Downtown Farmer’s Market and weekly catering gigs. So I was excited that they wanted to hang out and bring Leo the existing puppy, and Bonnie the new puppy over Sunday afternoon.
After watching food shows for a while, and with evening fast approaching, I suggested we cook dinner. I had purchased two beautiful pieces of Wild King Salmon from Quality Seafood, my new seafood source, since we’ve lost San Miguel from the farmer’s markets, hopefully just temporarily. Once Christian, who used to cook every day, aside from making pizza dough and toppings, started pondering the meal plan, he pronounced that we’d blacken the salmon, and serve it over dirty rice. Ok! I always have Lowell Farms rice, but how would we dirty it up? I opened the freezer on the lookout for Boudin, and there it was, Dai Due Smoked Crawfish Boudin. Perfect! I had blackening spice from Savory Spice Shop, and garden onions and tomatoes.
I had also purchased some cucumbers from the farmer’s market, with a plan to make pickles, but sliced and tossed with some garden tomatoes, oil and champagne vinegar, they would become the perfect crisp acidity to cut the fat of the salmon and a foil to the heat from the spice. So, game on!
The cucumber salad came together quickly, and was set aside to marinate for a bit.
The crawfish boudin was already cooked, so it just went straight into the rice, with onion and tomato.
While the salmon was going into a screaming hot cast iron skillet, I thinned out some Full Quiver Neufchatel, with goat milk, to add a creamy element to the plate.
So the final plate went down like this, Dirty Rice, Crispy Blackened Salmon, Cucumber Salad, and a drizzle of Neufchatel cream sauce. This was one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten in my house, and it is no coincidence that most of my top 5 favorites, involved Christian. He is an amazing cook.
And on top of that, I got a photography lesson too. He gets photo credits for the good shots. Nice to see the foodie photographer behind Austin Food Journal, back in the kitchen, with a camera in hand.