Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Slap Ya Mama Rice Pudding Casserole

As a kid, I loved rice pudding. No one else in my house cared for it, though, so it was something that I learned to make for myself very early on. Nowadays I only make it around Christmas time, when it brings back fond memories of my childhood. That might just change with this new dish...

Since the nice folks over at Slap Ya Mama challenged me to do something unique with a boxed rice meal, I had to give this a try. I must say that I wasn't sure exactly what would happen, but the results were excellent! This is a perfect brunch dish that is pretty easy to put together. Just make the rice and prep the crumb topping and chorizo the day before (or even earlier), then toss it all together and pop it in the oven about an hour before you want to eat. It's got a little meat, a little cheese, a little egg, and a whole lot of flavor! It would go well with a mimosa, some fruit, and a nice side salad. Enjoy!

Slap Ya Mama Rice Pudding Casserole
by Chris
adapted from the Savory Rice Pudding Recipe found on the website

4 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, divided (2 Tablespoons and 2 Tablespoons)
1 cup canned corn, drained
1 1/2 cups frozen fajita mix vegetables (green and red bell peppers and onions), broken into small pieces and defrosted
1-2 teaspoons Slap Ya Mama Cajun Pepper Sauce, to taste
1 box Slap Ya Mama Cajun Jambalaya Dinner Mix
3 eggs, beaten
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded, plus an extra handful to use as topping
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound cooked, crumbled breakfast sausage (I used chorizo)
Extra butter (or cooking spray, to grease your baking pan)

1/4 cup Slap Ya Mama Cajun Fish Fry
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (I used garlic flavor)
1/2 teaspoon original Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Seasoning

Using 2 Tablespoons of the butter, sauté the corn, bell peppers, and onion over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes. Add the 1-2 teaspoons of SYM pepper sauce to the cooking vegetables. You want any liquid to evaporate off of the veggies, and you want them to heat through. Do not char them, or they will be overcooked later on!

Once vegetables are cooked, prepare and cook the boxed Slap Ya Mama Cajun Jambalaya Dinner Mix according to the directions. Use the precooked vegetables in place of the suggested protein(s). Let cooked jambalaya cool overnight in the refrigerator.

Prepare the topping for the casserole ahead of time. Using a dry skillet, add the 1/4 cup of fish fry and heat it over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. This will remove the "raw" cornmeal flavor. If your fish fry begins to smoke before the 3 minute mark is reached, go ahead and remove it, it's done. Set aside to cool. After the fish fry has cooled, add the 1/2 cup of panko crumbs and the Slap Ya Mama Original Blend Seasoning to the fish fry. Again lightly toast the entire mixture (dry) over medium heat, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Let cool completely. This can be done ahead and stored in a covered container at room temperature.

When ready to assemble the casserole, combine 2 cups of the jambalaya mixture with the 3 beaten eggs, the cup of shredded cheese, the 3/4 cup of heavy cream, and the cooked sausage. Mix gently but well. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a 9" x 9" baking dish. Pour mixture into the baking dish and bake at 350°F for 30 minutes. Remove casserole from the oven, sprinkle the extra handful of cheese evenly on top, then top the cheese with an even layer of the fish fry/ bread crumb mixture (some will be left over). Cube the 2 remaining Tablespoons of butter, and dot them on top of the crumb mixture. Return casserole to the 350°F degree oven and bake for 15 minutes more. Allow to cool briefly before serving.

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