"New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin."
Why hello there readers! Sorry for the lack of posts but I took a brief hiatus from cooking while in Kansas City. Unlike my December trip to KCMO, this month's trip was COOOOOOLD, however, I was lucky to get out before the snowfall got real (and deep!).
This is what the snow looked like while I was there:
This is what it looked like just a couple days after I left. The snow is up to two feet!
Anyhow, now I'm back in the milder climate of good ol' Sacramento but I've still been craving some pipin' hot meals to warm up my poor cold body...so this week, I decided to make a hearty batch of jambalaya. This down-home recipe is on the milder side of the spiciness scale but if you like heat, add a tad more cayenne and hot sauce (whoo-boy!) and you'll be set. I had to keep our batch toned down since the kidlets were eating with us. Also if you want to keep true to the holy trinity of Cajun cooking (onion, celery and green bell pepper) you can sub in a green bell pepper for the red. No one at our dinner table likes green bell peppers which is why I threw in a red one. ;)
This recipe makes enough jambalaya to feed a family of four and have enough the next day for a round of leftovers. It reheats well. Don't you love when you can get two meals out of one night's cooking? I know I do!
Now pour yourself a stiff drink, get cooking and... Laissez les bons temps rouler!
1 lb. Andouille sausage, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 tablespoon Canola oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, diced
5-6 cloves of fresh garlic, diced
1 large red bell pepper
3 stalks of celery, diced (use the tender stalks in the heart of the celery) & dice up those celery leaves as well
1 (10 oz) can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies- drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes- drained
3 bay leaves
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons concentrated tomato paste
1 teaspoon hot sauce (I like Frank's or Crystal)
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups long grain white rice- uncooked, rinsed
1 lb. fresh large shrimp- rinsed, peeled and deveined
6 scallions, sliced thin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
juice of 1/2 a lemon
flat-leaf parsley, chopped- for garnish (optional)
1. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat canola oil on medium-high heat. Add sliced sausage, cook until browned. Remove sausage, place in a bowl and set aside.
2. Leave the sausage drippings in the pot, heat 1 tablespoon of butter. Add in diced onions. Cook for about 5 minutes. Add garlic, sauté a few minutes more until onions soften and become translucent.
3. Add celery, celery leaves and red bell pepper. Allow to cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add both cans of tomatoes, bay leaves and sprigs of thyme. Allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes.
5. Add Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, hot sauce and sausage. Stir and allow to cook 5 minutes.
6. Add chicken stock. Bring ingredients to a rapid boil. Add smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, oregano and Louisiana Cajun seasoning. Stir thoroughly.
7. Add 2 cups of rinsed rice. Bring to a boil.
8. Lower heat to a simmer, cover tightly and allow to cook for about 20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
9. Turn off heat. Add in uncooked shrimp and sliced scallions. Give it a good stir or two.
10. Replace lid. Let it sit, untouched, for 15 minutes. (The shrimp will cook up from the heat in the pot.)
11. Open. Removed bay leaves and thyme sprigs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
12. Squeeze lemon over jambalaya. Stir. Sprinkle with chopped parsley (optional). Serve.