Jambalaya

Sunday is my lazy day and one of my favorite things is to make a nice home cooked meal. I love taking my time, sipping some wine as afternoon fades into evening while I prepare my ingredients. I chop, mince and measure until I have a perfect mise en place set up. When I see that neat row of ingredients ready and waiting I feel invincible, whatever is on the menu, it’s going to come out great.

As the leaves start to change and the climate gets cooler, we turn toward comfort foods. We crave baked pastas and hearty stews to warm us up from the inside out. While paging through my recipes I wanted something a little different than the norm. When I came across this Jambalaya, I absolutely knew it would hit the spot. Such a simple list of ingredients and minimal effort rewards you with a creamy, spicy dish chock full of plump, juicy shrimp and flavorful smoky sausage. Every bite has a depth of harmonious flavor and pleasant textures. It’s decadent and delicious and worth every bite.

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Jambalaya
Source: Cajun Jambalaya @ The Kitchen Prep Blog

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled & deveined
  • 1 tablespoon Creole/Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup assorted frozen bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 stalk celery, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes (1 small tomato), chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (I used Scales Bloody Mary mix)
  • 1 cup rice
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 Smoked Andouille sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl toss shrimp in Cajun seasoning so that all are coated evenly and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add your trinity of onion, peppers and celery and sauté for a few minutes until vegetables start to cook down. Add in garlic, tomatoes, bay leaves, Worcestershire and hot sauce. Mix rice in with the vegetables before slowly adding the chicken stock. Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally. If the rice starts to stick to the bottom of the pot, reduce heat to low.
  3. When rice is creamy and tender and there is no more liquid, toss in shrimp and sausage incorporating them evenly into the rice mixture. Cook until the shrimp is pink and plump, about 10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional Cajun seasoning if desired.

Notes:

If you don’t have Cajun Seasoning on hand, or if you like the idea of controlling exactly what goes into your spice blend, Dianna’s recipe is excellent and made up of spices you probably already have sitting in your pantry. Don’t have one of the spices? Substitute what you think is best.

I always say this, but use ingredients that you like and what fits your dietary needs. Don’t like shrimp? Use chicken thighs. On a health kick? There are great Andouille Chicken Sausages on the market. Recipes can always be tailored and you shouldn’t think of anything as “off limits.”

I used one of the Kielbasa-sized Johnsonville Smoked Andouille sausages in their individually wrapped double pack. So if using smaller links, substitute accordingly.

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