Thursday, March 12, 2015

Spicy Cauliflower Dirty Rice

My husband's family is from SE Louisiana and they love their dirty rice. Donald Link's Lake Charles Dirty Rice pretty much captures what I was introduced to very early on in my marriage. A key ingredient, chicken livers, give the rice a bold, rich flavor. Not everyone is receptive to them. One of my friends shared that she uses mushrooms as a substitute. She feels they give a similar flavor and texture. Then, lately I have seen several blog post about using cauliflower as a substitute for rice. Crazy, right? All of this helped me in deciding on my recipe today.

When we received information about the Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage Challenge, they shared that they wanted our recipes to reflect their philosophy for "healthy, flavorful and simple." I think you will find that this recipe reflects that philosophy. The cauliflower does not taste or have the texture of rice. I'm not going to try and convince you of that, but it is a healthy AND tasty substitute! The mushrooms in my recipe replace the chicken liver and give a nice texture to the dish. Last, Bilinski's delicious Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage is a great, healthy and tasty substitute for pork sausage, which is traditionally used in Dirty Rice. With all the healthy substitutes, this dish still got a thumbs up from my Cajun spouse, who loves his Dirty Rice.

Spicy Cauliflower Dirty Rice
by Linda
Inspired by Cauliflower Dirty Rice with Andouille Sausage by Always Order Dessert
AND Lake Charles Dirty Rice by Donald Link, Real Cajun Cookbook, page 101

1 package Bilinski's Kale Balsamic Chicken Sausage
1 head of cauliflower, thick core removed, florets broken apart, rinsed and dried
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
1/2 stick + 1 Tablespoon butter, divided
1 small green pepper, finely chopped
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (I used Slap Ya Mama Hot Blend)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, finely chopped (I used baby bellas)
1 Tablespoon flour
3 scallions, the green part chopped for garnish

1. Finely chop four of the sausage links (you want it to be similar to ground sausage) and set aside.
2. Slice the remainder into horizontal pieces. Brown them in non-stick skillet, drain and set aside.
3. Place cauliflower florets in food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped (riced.) You may have to do this in batches, depending on the size of your food processor.
4. Place riced cauliflower in large non-stick skillet with 2 cups of the chicken broth.
5. Bring cauliflower/broth to boil, then reduce to medium heat and let simmer for 3 minutes.
6. Strain cooked cauliflower, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
7. In same skillet, melt 1/2 stick of butter. Add green pepper, celery, onion and garlic. Saute for 4-5 minutes until soft.
8. Add black pepper, chili powder, Cajun Seasoning and oregano. Stir well.
9. Add finely chopped sausage and mushrooms. Saute for 2 minutes.
10. Combine flour with 1 Tablespoon of butter, mix well. Add to skillet.
11. Add remaining 1/2 cup of chicken broth to mixture, stir well.
12. Fold riced cauliflower into mixture. Combine well.
13. Place on a serving platter, garnish with sausage slices and scallions.

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