Once I started cooking our own food, mostly from scratch, I focused on coming up with some quick and easy staples that I could rely on. After a good year of relying on these well known favourites, we started to get a bit tired of the same foods. I have begun to realize that I need to expand my horizons and keep coming up with new and exciting recipes for our family. The only problem with that is that Abby isn’t a fan of change… So I’ll just have to use trial and error, and make sure she’s getting really great lunches and snacks during the day as well.
Nathan suggested that we try out a jambalaya dish sometime soon, so this week I decided to ask around, and I put this together out of a few different recipes that I saw.
Jambalaya is a great, straightforward dish which was created instead of making paella when settlers came to North America where saffron is less common. Developed in the French Quarter, jambalaya is made in different ways in different places. The jambalaya that I made is one based off the Louisiana style of cooking it.
First, you must create your meat rub, also known as Creole seasoning.
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons salt
2 cloves fresh chopped garlic
1 tablespoon black pepper
half an onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chilli powder or cayenne
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 chicken breast, deboned, skinned and chopped in pieces
1 lb small fresh, peeled and deveined shrimp
Combine all ingredients in a bowl until meat is well covered. Let sit while cooking your jambalaya mixture.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon hot sauce
3/4 cup rice
3 cups homemade veggie or chicken stock
1 spicy farmer’s sausage, chorizo or other, sliced
Salt and pepper
Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add celery, onion and green pepper. Simmer for three minutes, or until aromatic and translucent. Then add garlic and tomatoes and simmer for an additional three minutes. Add bay leaves, hot sauce, stock, and rice. Toss the sausage with the other meat, then place in the pot. Simmer for twenty five minutes, stirring occasionally over medium heat. the longer you cook this, the softer the rice will become and the thicker your jambalaya will be. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with buns or salad.
I really enjoyed eating this, though I did feel like it lacked a bit of spice. Next time, I would use a spicier sausage, as a lot of the sausage flavour came through the rice in this dish. It could stand to have some chilli peppers to taste, for those of us who love it spicy.