Pastalaya, Fish Tacos are hits

The sauce for the Savory Cajun Pastalaya is not a dense, heavy sauce, so rotini pasta’s many folds are ideal for capturing it.

New Iberia software developer has a taste for tasty recipes, sauces

Even though New Iberia’s Lynn Breaux is now a food “inventor,” he didn’t grow up as a hard-core cook.

“I was one of 9 kids, so we ate at home a lot because we had a lot of mouths to feed,” he said.

“After school, I went to work for Exxon in Houston, but I was homesick. The day I began work in Texas, I started looking for a job back here. After 1½ years, I came back home to work at Affiliated Foods in Broussard.

“Everybody there talked about food all the time. Every Friday, someone cooked. When it was my turn, I picked crawfish étouffée. That Friday, I cooked 30 pounds of tails. Everybody liked it, and I was hooked on cooking.”

Granddaughter Adeline is obviously welcome in Lynn Breaux’s test kitchen.

Now his day job is as a self-employed software developer, but with his wife, Christine, he owns “Savory Cajun LLC” which markets four meal mixes he has developed: Pastalaya, Shrimp and Grits, Potato Soup and Shrimp Boil Soup.

They also have their versions of Creole seasoning: Savory Cajun’s Lynn’s Creole Shake and Savory Cajun’s Salt-Free Creole Shake.

“This started as a hobby and became a business,” he said. “I like the food business. I like it when people like to eat my creations. With my mixes, people get something with a good flavor profile, based on natural, not hot ingredients, with only a half-hour’s effort.”

Savory Cajun Pastalaya

Lynn explained that his pastalaya ambition hit him while taking a break at the Gumbo Cook-Off in downtown New Iberia.

“I saw a line of people waiting for someone else’s pastalaya. I thought, ‘I’ll try it.’ The flavor was good, but the bow-tie pasta was mushy.

“I said to myself, ‘I can do better than that.’ I tried other pastas, but rotini worked best. It was forgiving for overcooking. And all the folds in it capture the sauce. You need the sauce to cling to the pasta to taste it.

“We can hold it 6 or 7 hours at an event, and the texture will remain the same — not sticky or soft or mushy.

“Our sauce is not a regular jambalaya sauce. It has some Italian in it. It’s pretty red — a cross between Italian and Cajun.”

The fresh pork sausage links should be pan-seared until done, because the will receive only moderately more cooking after being combined with the other ingredients.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tbsp Savoie’s Roux
  • 1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound fresh pork sausage
  • 2 tsp Savory Cajun Seasoning Creole Shake
  • 1 small onion, slivered
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper, slivered
  • 1/2 small yellow bell pepper, slivered
  • 11/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp. bouillon
  • 1 pound medium peeled and deveined raw shrimp
  • 12 ounces rotini pasta, boiled al dente

PREPARATION: Serves 4-6.

In a large pan, heat the roux until heated through. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and 11/2 cups water. Stir to mix. Cook until the tomatoes soften, adding water as needed. In a separate pan, fry the sausage. Set aside until cool, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces. While the sausage is cooling, add the olive oil to the pan and sauté the onions, green and yellow bell pepper in it until soft. Add the onions and peppers to the tomato sauce. Season to taste with Creole Shake. Stir in the bouillon over medium-low heat. Add the shrimp and sausage and simmer until the shrimp are pink and firm. Stir in the rotini and mix well.

The sauce for the Savory Cajun Pastalaya is not a dense, heavy sauce, so rotini pasta’s many folds are ideal for capturing it.
The sauce for the Savory Cajun Pastalaya is not a dense, heavy sauce, so rotini pasta’s many folds are ideal for capturing it.

Lynn’s Fish Tacos

  • 2 pounds white-fleshed fish fillets of your choice
  • 31/2 tsp Savory Cajun Seasoning Creole Shake, divided, plus more to taste
  • 24 ounces large button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp avocado oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, cut into strips
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 12 ready-to-cook soft tortillas
  • 1 cup ranch salad dressing
  • 2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 10-ounce package angel hair cole slaw
  • 3 avocados, halved and seeded

PREPARATION: Serves 6.

Season the fish fillets with the Creole Shake and set aside. Clean the mushrooms and place them in a bowl. Pour olive oil over the mushrooms, then season generously with Creole Shake. Toss to coat evenly. Grill the mushrooms on a barbecue pit, cap side down, over medium heat for 7 to 10 minutes.

Coat the bottom of a large pan with 1 tablespoon avocado oil. Pan-sear the fillets until golden brown on both sides. Remove them from the pan and set aside. In another pan, add 1 tablespoon avocado oil, onion and green and yellow bell peppers. Season with 11/2 teaspoons Creole Shake. Sauté until tender and lightly browned.

The avocados and mushrooms may be added to the tacos or eaten on the side.

Place tortillas, one at a time, in a non-stick pan and heat until they rise. Divide the fish evenly on the tortillas and top with onion and bell peppers. Whisk together the ranch dressing, 2 teaspoons Creole Shake and hot sauce to make a spicy ranch dressing. Toss the cole slaw with 2 tablespoons spicy ranch dressing. Top each tortilla with an equal amount of the cole slaw. Fold the tortillas over to make tacos. Cut the avocados into strips and serve with the mushrooms and tacos.

Jerald Horst
About Jerald Horst 952 Articles
Jerald Horst is a retired Louisiana State University professor of fisheries. He is an active writer, book author and outdoorsman.