“I thought, why not drop the French flavors for Cajun flavors?”
VFC says: This recipe and photos were provided by reader Robert P.
Let me tell you, this recipe tastes great. I routinely cook Cajun and Créole, but these dishes can be heavy on taste and difficult to finish. They have toasted flour, which tastes and smells like popcorn, and often strong fish flavors.
I was looking to try a bouillon for a fish poach, and thought, why not drop the French flavors for Cajun flavors? And, if not enough, take it back to what peasants ate during the reign of Louis the 14th, and thicken it with bread. That’s what they did to make soup more filling. I had watched PBS the night before. To my surprise what I made was surprisingly good and likely a recreation of period French food with an American twist.
Like stock, bouillon is made ahead of time and kept until needed. Bouillon is used mostly for seafood poaching. The French version of this bouillon with onion and carrot would be used specifically for fish and shellfish. This bouillon combines the Cajun flavors of onion, celery, and green onion with garlic; therefore, in addition to fish, Andouille sausage is added for smokiness. Serve over torn bread in a bowl.
The ingredients presented make for one individual serving, one bowl.
Seafood and Andouille Sausage Poached in Cajun Bouillon with Vinegar
To 400g of water, add 40g of vinegar (use less vinegar for better fish) and 6g of salt to a pot.
Add 40g each of minced onion, celery, and green onion, and two cloves of chopped garlic. Add 1g of black peppercorn and a tied herb bunch of thyme, bay leaf, and parsley.
Let cook for one hour.
Purée the cooked vegetables and strain through a fine sieve.
Bring bouillon to boil in a sauté and reduce heat. After boiling stops, add 60g of shrimp, 60g of any fish, and 60g of Andouille sausage. Temperature should be be around 170-180°F (76-82°C).
Set to poach for 20 minutes.
To serve, pour the seafood and bouillon over 60g of torn bread in a warmed bowl. Torn bread will thicken the soup. Use a good bread. If good bread is not available, a heavy white bread can be fried in butter with salt and pepper, then cubed. The bread, with little spoon effort, should mostly dissolve into the soup leaving chunkier pieces to chew.
Top with chopped green onion and a little ground black pepper and serve with Tabasco in a bottle.
I did this in a pot and a sauté, no lids needed.
My poor sauté, dropped it once and I often use it as a catch pan for roasting; it was tinned about 18 months ago. I paid $90 for it; it came out of Washington State. I bought a matching lid six months later for $45. Tin cost $90, lid and sauté. The sauté pics show after tin and about six months later.
VFC says: Robert, this looks delicious. I like recipes like this, that are designed to work with ingredients on hand — “use less vinegar for better fish” — sometimes we have to work with the fish we’ve got! I also think you got a great deal on that sauté pan. Both it and the saucepan have picked up a very honorable degree of patina. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe with us!