Recipe of the day….jambalaya

Yesterday I woke up knowing that I wanted to do something with shrimp.   We had had pasta several nights during the week, so I didn’t want to do what I normally would have which was pasta with shrimp.   So I decided that I wanted to make something I hadn’t made before.   Jambalaya came to mind (I was thinking something with rice….which is why my brain went to jambalaya).   I did have to go to the store to buy the peppers and the sausage but I had everything else in the house.   I went to my “go to” recipe spot for things that I’ve never made before….. the Food Network website and sorted by the chef’s that I like and trust, esp. for something like Jambalaya….Emeril, Bobby Flay, and Paula Deen.  Found that most of the recipes were similar, but when I came across this one— I liked the name.   So I used it as my base, and added some of the elements from some of the other recipes……so this is MY version of Emeril’s “Clean Out the Ice Box and Freezer” Jambalaya….you can look at his original version by clicking the hyperlink above.   The recipe that I’m typing out is MY version/adaptation of it!

Lori’s version of the “Clean out the kitchen” Jambalaya

  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound smoked sausage (I used andouille, but we decided that it really wasn’t necessary to spend the extra $$ on the specialty sausage because it kind of melds with everything else, next time I’ll get regular smoked sausage)
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onions (3 medium onions)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped (same size as onions)
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped (same size as onions and redpeppers)
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 3 large tomatoes, chopped (or 28 oz can diced tomatoes, juice drained and reserved)
  • 2 teaspoons salt (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning (my own version of Emeril’s Essence–recipe below)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (divided)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken pieces, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup diced ham (because that is all I had left, you can certainly use more)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 cups organic long grain brown rice
  • water
  • 1 pound shelled shrimp with tails removed
  • 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced

Heat oil in a large dutch oven (preferably cast iron so that the rice won’t burn like mine started to do) over medium heat.   Add the sausage and cook it for 3-4 minutes until some of the fat in it starts to cook out a little.   Add onion, peppers, celery, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon cayenne, and the creole seasoning and let cook until the veggies are carmelized, about 15 minutes, stirring often to keep from burning and sticking to the pan.  Scrape the bottom and sides of the pot to loosen any browned particles, add the garlic, season the chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon cayenne, and add it to the pot with the ham, bay leaves, and tomatoes to the pot and let the chicken cook for 5-8 minutes, scraping the bottom and sides of pan to loosen any browned particles.   Add the rice and stir for 2-3 minutes to coat evenly.   Combine reserved tomato juice from canned tomatoes with water (or if you used fresh tomatoes, just use water) to measure 6 cups of water.   Pour over rice, meat and vegetable mixture and stir until the water in well mixed throughout.   Bring to a boil, cover, let simmer over medium-low to low  heat for 35 minutes (try to avoid stirring, as it will release the starches from the rice, but you also don’t want it to burn…if you are using cast iron, you don’t need to worry about it, but if you are using stainless steel, you’ll want to keep an eye/nose on your jambalaya mixture).  You want to cook this until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed (try to not stir!!!).  Add the shrimp during the final 5 minutes of cooking and cook until just pink.  Remove the pot from the heat and let stand, covered for 2-3 minutes.   Remove the bay leaves, stir in the green onions and serve.

Creole Seasoning

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight container.

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