A true restaurant quality meal made easily at home in 30 minutes or less! Cajun spiced tilapia is grilled and served over a bed of dirty rice with sausage. To complement the spiciness, you drizzle a sinful pecan bourbon praline sauce over top before serving. You'll be craving this dish all the time!
Hello! I know it's been awhile - we recently returned from another fantastic vacation to Walt Disney World and I've spent the last week trying to write up those memories/pics on our personal blog before I forget them all! Next week, I'll be sharing pics and reviews of all the good eating we did. Y'all know we didn't miss an opportunity to spend the day at the Food and Wine Fest!
We had this meal again not long before we left on vacation and I'm already craving it again! It has truly become one of my favorite meals. It sounds complicated - especially since there are 3 parts - but it all cooks at the same time and is super easy. Honestly; you can whip this up in 30 minutes!
I have always been scared of super spicy meals but the great thing about this dish is that you control the heat. The praline sauce is very sweet so you can ramp up the heat a bit more (and will want to). You choose how much - or how little - seasoning you rub onto the fish.
Feel free to use another type of fish. Any mild white fish will work well - I just find tilapia cheap, easy to find, and versatile.
Cajun Tilapia with Praline Sauce over Dirty Rice
For the dirty rice:
2 links mild Italian sausage, casing removed
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup diced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ cup long grain white rice
1½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
Salt and cayenne pepper, to taste
For the praline sauce:
½ cup pecans, either halved or chopped
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Pinch of coarse salt
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbsp. bourbon
For the fish:
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
2 tbsp. fresh thyme
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
4-6 tilapia fillets (1-1.5 pounds)
Preheat the grill to medium-high.
To make the dirty rice, crumble the sausage into a skillet over medium-high heat and cook until it starts to brown, around 2-3 minutes. Stir in the olive oil, onion, and garlic and cook until just softened, 2-3 minutes more. Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and cayenne pepper. Fluff with a fork and keep warm until ready to serve.
While the rice is cooking, make the praline sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the pecans and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside. Return the pan to medium heat and add the sugar and water. Bring to simmer, lower the heat, and cook until reduced by about half, about 5 minutes. Stir in the toasted pecans and salt and cook 1-2 minutes more. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter and bourbon until smooth. The sauce may thicken upon standing, but can be rewarmed over low heat.
To prepare the fish, combine the oil, paprika, thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl and whisk to blend. Pat the mixture over both sides of the fish.
Oil the grates of the grill. Grill until the fish is cooked through and the fillets release easily, about 3 minutes per side.
Place a piece of fish over a pile of dirty rice and spoon warm praline sauce over top.
Source: adapted from Annie's Eats