Saturday, January 1, 2011

Kielbasa and Shrimp Creole, take 2.

One of the more useful gifts that I was gifted with this holiday season was a set of glass prep bowls (Food Network Brand, which I wasn't aware there was one), from the writer of  I wanted to take advantage of using them, even though all the ingredients for this recipe could be prepped in just one bowl.  Nobody will know.

I made a significant number of changes from the previous version of this dish.  Instead of using the food processor to slice and dice my food, I chopped it by hand so it would be chunky by the end of the cooking process, rather than mushy.  I switched the color of the bell pepper to yellow, because it's my favorite of all of the colors, and the least "peppery" tasting.  And, it's colorful.  To see how much the natural flavors of the dish stood out, I didn't add any seasoning besides for salt and pepper.  The last thing I experimented with was cooking the rice while I was working on the rest of the prep, and sticking it in the oven (at 200 degrees) to keep it warm until I needed it for plating.  

As you can see by the picture, there are actual chunks of food, rather than lots of mushy bits.  

The taste of the dish was a mixed bag.  The vegetables proved themselves well without extra seasoning, but the shrimp were surprisingly bland.  I think that my troubles with this recipe will lay with finding just the right amount of spiciness to make the dish brilliant. 

 Of course, Jeff says that the level of spice that the previous version had was perfectly fine for his tastes.  (This comes from a man who samples dog treats out of curiosity, meaning that he can tollerate tastes that make me want to wash my mouth out with soap.)

As for the rice experiment, the oven proved itself useful in keeping the rice perfectly cooked and perfectly warm.  

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