Friday, August 19, 2011

Jambalaya -- Fabulous one skillet meal!

Assorted Peppers from my garden, cayenne and jalapenos
I've got peppers coming in, am loaded up with tomatoes and herbs, so I decided to make a pot of jambalaya. My nice neighbor gave me a bunch of green and orange banana peppers, and I've been growing these!

I always begin my jambalaya with by chopping up some veggies -- 3 cloves of minced garlic and the trifecta of taste, peppers, onions and celery, about a cup of each, diced like below.
Always remember the trinity, here's the garlic, onions and celery ready for the pot
The picture only shows the green pepper, but I used 1 each of the orange and green banana peppers, as well as a minced cayenne and a finely chopped jalapeno (seeds removed).

Next, slice your favorite smoked sausage (1 12 - 16 oz. portion). For this dish, I used low fat polksa kielbasa. Put a little olive oil in the bottom of a deep, heavy skillet and cook your sliced sausageit till it starts to brown along the edges. Remove it until a little later. Next, saute' your veggies, in a BIG skillet, with a about a T. each of butter and olive oil. That seems like a lot, but you are going to be making a lot! When the veggies start to soften, add one cup of rice ( I like a mixture of 2/3 c. white to 1/3 c. brown) and stir this around with the vegetables, coating the grains, with the oil and butter mixture. Sprinkle the rice with 1 T. chili powder, 1/2 tsp. celery salt and 1 T. fresh thyme and a pinch of saffron if you have it or can afford some! I did not have any, so I substituted 1 1/2 tsp. of smoked paprika and 1/2 tsp. of cumin. The flavor profile is different, but you'll get some smokey flavor and the orange color, like you would from the saffron. Next, add one can of diced tomatoes or 1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved.

Stir in 2 cups of chicken stock, and 1/2 cup of dry white wine and bring this to a boil. Lower to a simmer and put on the lid. Sprinkle in a little salt, maybe 1/2 tsp. and some freshly ground black pepper. Let this mixture cook for at least 30 minutes, stirring periodically to make sure nothing sticks. If it starts to dry out, as mine did, add more stock, 1/2 cup at a time. After 30 to 45 minutes add the sausage back into the mixture along with 1 - 2 cups of your favorite seafood, or whatever you have in your freezer. I used 1 cup of raw, peeled and deveined shrimp and 1 cup of frozen bay scallops. Here's a picture of my big, ol' skillet of yumminess!

Big ol' pan of Jambalaya!

The only thing left to do, is dig in! This will make 5 adult sized portions. We had it with a green salad and some crusty bread for sopping up the spicy drippins! Laissez les bon temps rollons! (Pardon my french, very rusty!)
Sure wish you could taste it! Yummy Jambalaya!

Here's a list of ingredients to help you shop:

1 32 oz. box chicken stock
1 smoked sausage or polska kielbasa
1 large onion
1 medium green pepper, plus a few other assorted ones for color and texture
fresh garlic cloves
seafood - 1 1/2 cups asst. such as shrimp, scallops or clams
dry white wine
1 can diced tomatoes or 1 pint cherry tomatoes
Fresh thyme, celery salt, chili powder, saffron if you feel rich, otherwise use smoked paprika and cumin

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