Monday, 16 July 2012

Very Lazy Cajun paste: a time-saver in the kitchen

Every time I try to chop a fresh chili, there is always a doorbell or telephone ringing, or my guys need my attention immediately. In fact I hardly ever chop my own chilies, and tend to buy them in tubes as a paste. The taste is as good as freshly-chopped and I don't need to worry that I might accidentally touch my eyes (and Yes, it did happen to me, and No, I don't want to repeat the experience).

Very Lazy has a range of products for busy Mums like me, and I have been buying already some of their products like ginger and garlic (I use lots of fresh garlic as well, but we often run out of it, that's where the Very Lazy garlic comes to the rescue).

As they say on their website, "It's a no-brainer. Less time peeling and chopping, less mess, and you always have the ingredients you need right at your fingertips. So you can create fresh tasty home-cooked recipes without the fuss". Sounds good to me.

There is a new kid on the block among their range: American South Cajun paste, which is a rich and spicy blend of smoked garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper & red chilli (plus onion, lemon juice, tomato puree, oregano, thyme etc).

I first tried the Cajun food when we lived in the States, I loved a little restaurant in New Haven that served food from the American South. And though I don't really follow the recipes of the Cajun cuisine as such, I always have a jar or two of Cajun special blend in the kitchen.

I was glad to hear that the Very Lazy range is growing and includes now a few additions: Lemongrass, Cajun and Jerk.

Lovely guys at Very Lazy sent me a tube of Cajun paste to try. Having looked at the contents of my fridge, the most obvious choice was to cook chicken, using the Cajun paste.
The paste is very easy and convenient to use, just squeeze the amount you fancy, you can make it mild or hot.
I wasn't sure what degree of heat to expect from the paste, so wasn't overly generous with the paste. My Mum is staying with us, and she cannot eat very spicy or hot food.

Next time I cook chicken with Cajun paste (just for us), I will definitely add more. But it was still lovely. All the flavours are well balanced. It delivers the right amount of heat, and the blend of flavours is excellent.

The next evening I was making a side dish of baby sweet peppers. You will need a heaped teaspoon of ricotta per pepper. First mix 4-5 tsps of ricotta with 1-2 tsp of Cajun paste, carefully spoon the mix inside the peppers and place them in a ceramic dish, drizzled with the olive oil, in the oven (preheated to 180C). Cook for about half an hour.

I have also cooked a big tray of cubed squash and sweet potato with the Cajun paste (to go with the quick supper of sausages). Don't have the photo, but we enjoyed the combination of the flavours: the sweetness of the veg was working well with the spicy paste that turned the dish from boring to having a lovely kick.

This is a versatile product that could be used for many dishes, both meat-free and with meat.


  1. great idea. I have chopped chillies then forgotten and gone and put my contact lenses in with those same fingers. Ouch doesn't even begin to describe it...

  2. Very Lazy Garlic is a great fridge-standby too, I may have to investigate the rest of the range. Love your serving suggestions - all great ideas. :)

  3. Thank you, Recipe Junkie and Cheryl! There's nothing lazy about using the shortcuts, as it gives us more time to be with our kids.

  4. This looks yummy - and could be used with so many things!