Casian Fusion

Our state has long been a melting pot for different cultures, so our cuisine has evolved to reflect the influence of many different countries. In fact, quintessential Louisiana fare like jambalaya and gumbo were born from a blend of cultures. This evolution continues to deepen with new combinations of flavors today.

Cajun-Asian, or Casian, fusion has become a new culinary trend in Louisiana. It’s a combination of traditional Asian dishes with Cajun flavors. From boudin wontons to pulled pork egg rolls, many delicious Asian dishes can be kicked up a notch with some Louisiana influence. The following recipes are some traditional Asian dishes made with a Cajun twist. By adding some pepper jelly, cane syrup or other local ingredients, you can make these dishes a delicious blend of Louisiana and Asian flavors.

Read more recipes like these in City Social magazine and at www.citysocial.com.

Orange Pepper Jelly Glazed Chicken
8 chicken tenderloins (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup orange juice
1 cup pepper jelly
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons cane syrup
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
2 bunches green onions
1 tablespoon orange zest

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. Whisk milk and eggs together in a bowl or shallow dish. Mix flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a shallow bowl. Place seasoned flour, egg and milk mixture and panko bread crumbs each in separate shallow bowls.

Add chicken to flour and toss until evenly coated. Working with one chicken tender at a time, remove from flour, shake off any excess then coat in milk and egg mixture and drain off any excess. Roll chicken in panko pressing to adhere. Shake off any excess and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all chicken tenders are breaded.

Bake for 10 minutes, turn and bake an additional 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until golden on each side. Let cool for 10 minutes while you prepare your glaze.

In a medium saucepan, add orange juice, pepper jelly, brown sugar, cane syrup, red wine vinegar, soy sauce and ginger. Bring to a boil while stirring. Reduce to a simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. In a separate, small bowl, mix cornstarch and water to make a paste then add to the glaze. Remove from heat. Brush the glaze over the chicken. Garnish with orange zest and green onions and serve warm over rice, if desired.

Chili Brussels Sprouts
1 pound fresh Brussels Sprouts
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions), white parts only, finely chopped
2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon cane or molasses syrup
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon chili powder
Pepper to taste, optional

Rinse and pull off any loose or damaged leaves on the Brussels sprouts. Trim any stems and cut the sprouts in half. Mince the garlic and green onions. Heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions garlic and cook until tender. Add the sprouts and stir-fry until they start to turn brown (6 to 7 minutes). Whisk together the syrup, soy sauce, sugar, ginger and chili powder. Pour over the sprouts and stir-fry for a few more seconds until coated. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if desired. Serve immediately.

Almond Pecan Cookies
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 sticks cold butter
1 egg, slightly beaten
2 teaspoons almond extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans or pecan halves

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and sugars. Cut cold butter into sifted dry ingredients with a pastry blender or two knives. Fold in egg and almond extract until fully incorporated. Knead in the bowl with your hands until the dough forms a ball. Shape into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Flatten cookies and press one almond into the center of each. Place pecan pieces or a pecan half in the center. Bake 12 to 15 mins at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.

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