The Dutch foodblog event of this month centred around the topic “cooking from scratch”. Essentially the challenge was to cook with stuff we had in our fridge, pantry or freezer. Because we only go to the supermarket once a week I tried to come up with some other “rules” I had to obey, cause else it would be a little to simple.
So I made myself cook a meal out of ingredients I always have.
Scampi is one of the things I always have in my freezer I adore scampi and they are so easy to cook and match with almost any dish.
Bell pepper and tomatoes is another thing I just have to have in my fridge, cause else I will go crazy. And not to forget the bag of frozen peas on the second shelf in my freezer. I don’t particularly like a pea all by itself, but it is a really grateful ingredient to use in any kind of dish and in plenty of sauces.
The rest of the dish I builded up with bits and pieces that I found in my kitchen. A little bit of cream that was going to expire, some sour cream I used the day before. Cooking from scratch is the ideal way to get rid of all those leftovers.
In the back of my herb cupboard I found an unopened jar of Cajun spices. I think I bought it some time ago when I saw a fabulous recipe for a Cajun wok on TV. It was about time I gave these spices a try.
I served the Cajun scampi with potatoes skins and a lovely sour cream dip sauce.
3 teaspoons of Cajun spice mix
2 tablespoons of olive oil (I used olive oil infused with hot peppers, for that extra bit of flavour.)
1 tablespoon of butter
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
½ red onion
2 cloves of garlic
300 ml of vegetable stock
200 ml of heavy cream
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
INGREDIENTS SOUR CREAM DIP SAUCE
200 ml sour cream
1 tablespoon of mayonnaise
Chopped cilantro according to taste
Chopped parsley according to taste
the juice of half a lime
½ finely chopped Spanish pepper
pepper and salt
Clean the scampi.
Season the scampi with one tablespoon of Cajun spice mix and mix it all together, so the flavours get a chance to combine.
In te meantime, heat the olive oil and the butter in a large pan or wok.
Bake the scampi on high heat and as soon as they are done remove the from the pan.
If needed you can add some extra olive oil to the pan, but I think in most cases it wont be necessary.
Now add the cubes of bell pepper together with the chopped onion and the garlic.
Let this simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the chopped cherry tomatoes.
Again let this simmer for a while, so the bell pepper has the time to soften up a little bit.
Now remove all the vegetables from the pan and set them aside.
Poor in the stock and stir it well. It is very important that all the goodness that sticks to the bottom of the pan combines with to stock to get a flavourful sauce.
Now let the stock boil until you are left with 1/3 the of the original amount of stock.
Add the cream and bring back to the boil, so the sauce can further thicken.
Season with the left over Cajun spice mix, the cayenne pepper, the black pepper and the salt. Taste it and add some more spices if you like.
Now add the scampi and the vegetables to the sauce and bring it one more time to the boil.
For the dip:
Mix the sour cream with a tablespoon of mayonnaise. Add the finely chopped Spanish pepper, the cilantro, the parsley and the lime juice.
Mix it well so all the flavours combine, taste and finish it off with some fresh grounded pepper and salt.