I have been emptying out the freezer, and it was time to use the last 4 pieces of frozen sole. I wanted to make something light, and spicy as there was half an avocado and a lime to use, and I like the contrast of using them with spicy food. Cajun it is!
I made a batch of Cajun spices, using the recipe from the post Cajun Pork Medallions with Potato and Vegetable Hash with a couple of minor alterations due to some spice shortages. I used this on the fish, and then added in grilled corn and red pepper, diced avocado and used the last handful of grape tomatoes.
The few leaves of fresh spinach were shredded and added to the hot rice just before serving, allowing them to wilt slightly. I liked how this turned out, and plan to do it again.
The only negative comment from my husband was that it would have been even better with some kind of sauce. I liked this as it was, but I do agree... a spicy lime mayonnaise would have been a good addition.
Start by mixing the spices for the Cajun rub:
2 teaspoons Spanish paprika
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, ground
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cut the sole fillets lengthwise, to form 2 strips, and coat each side with the Cajun spice mix.
Prepare the corn and red pepper for grilling:
2 corn cobs, cut into 2" rounds
1 large red pepper, cut into quarters
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Cook 1 cup basmati rice.
When it is cooked, stir in:
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley.
Heat the oven to 350F. Heat and lightly oil the grill. When it is hot, grill the corn and red peppers. While they are cooking, prepare the remaining ingredients for the rice bowl:
Halve grape tomatoes.
Dice or slice avocado.
Cut lime wedges for garnish.
Shred spinach for the rice.
In a hot pan, using olive oil to prevent sticking, quickly sear both sides of the fish.
Remove to a baking sheet and place in the oven to finish cooking.
Stir the shredded spinach into the hot rice just before serving. I used:
1 large handful of fresh spinach, shredded
To assemble the rice bowls, place a large spoonful of rice in the middle of a shallow bowl. Place the vegetables around the outside of the rice, and then add the fish. Squeeze lime juice over everything, serving with additional lime wedges as a garnish.
- Rice bowls are a great way to use up leftover rice...simply heat the rice, add in any flavourings you might be using, and then portion it into the bowls and surround it with vegetables and / meat or fish.
- Any type of rice can be used...brown, white long or short grain, basmati, jasmine.
- Other grains can be used. Try quinoa, bulgur, couscous, farro or barley.
- Cook the rice or grains with water, stock or coconut milk; add herbs, spices, fresh garlic, ginger or citrus zest during cooking to infuse flavour right through the grains.
- Mix chopped fresh herbs, grated citrus zest, toasted nuts or seeds, green peas, spinach or beans into the cooked rice before serving.
- Arugula, baby kale, baby bok choy can be used instead of spinach in the rice.
- The choice of vegetables is endless. Use up leftover roasted or grilled vegetables. Add chopped or sliced fresh vegetables. A variety of colours and textures is visually appealing, and brings different flavours to the dish.
- The meat or fish can be leftovers, diced, shredded or sliced; grill chicken, beef or prawn skewers; add pulled pork; turkey chili; boiled eggs, peeled and cut in half...use whatever you have, the choices are endless.
- As I mentioned, my husband suggested a sauce the next time: whisk mayonnaise with lime juice and sriracha; barbecue sauce; sweet chili sauce; roasted garlic mayonnaise; peanut sauce are some suggestions.
- Rice bowls can be assembled the day before, and eaten as a salad for lunch. Make sure to include a sauce or dressing.