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In the Spirit of Being Fat on Tuesday

February 17, 2010

In commemoration of Mardi Gras, I made creole jambalaya. Jambalaya originates from the French Quarter of New Orleans. In some configuration of French and African languages, jambalaya means a stew of rice and meat. Typically, the meat is cooked first, then the trinity of onion, celery and green bell pepper is added. At this point, seafood is thrown in. The rice and stock are added at the end. Then, it cooks in one giant pot for 60 minutes.  

Well, I hate to rewrite history, but I switched it up. I cooked the vegetables first, added the rice and stock then the meat, ideally because I used cooked chicken sausage and shrimp.

Jambalaya is like the ugly stepsister of Spanish paella. Paella is complimented by saffron, and you need to have some serious Benjamins to afford that luxurious, Jimmy Choo of spices. Sigh. I’m stuck with the Nine West knock-offs. Ok, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration. Saffron is more comparable to Stuart Weitzman peep toe while jambalaya naturally fits as a BCBG pump. Rest assured, it is all going to the same place. My thighs, and I couldn’t be more thrilled. C’est la vie mardi gras.

Shrimp and Chicken Sausage Jambalaya

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ chopped onion
  • ½ chopped green pepper
  • 4 stalks of celery hart chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups of Brown Basmati rice or long grain rice
  • 15 oz. can of tomatoes
  • 3 oz. of tomato paste
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • ¼ cup of Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of parsley
  • 12-14 pieces of shrimp
  • 2 links of Italian chicken sausage, sliced

In a Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium to high heat. Add the onions, peppers, celery, bay leaf and garlic. We added mushrooms because we didn’t want them to go bad. Let it sauté for 4-5 minutes.

Add the rice. Stir. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and one cup of the chicken broth. Let the rice absorb the liquid similar to risotto but less stirring. Add the Frank’s Hot Sauce, cayenne pepper, thyme and parsley. Add the second cup of chicken broth. Let it simmer for 15 minutes.

Add the shrimp and sausage. Simmer on low-medium heat for another 20-30 minutes.

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