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A Bit Of Jambalaya


Growing up in New Orleans, I’d only known tomato-based jambalaya, whether chicken and sausage or seafood (sausage and shrimp). It wasn’t until I went to my first jambalaya cook-off in Baton Rouge that I realized in the capital city jambalaya is brown. Jambalaya is so versatile, it can be made with a variety of pork, chicken, sausage and seafood. I’ve tried many over the years and while I’ve had some great flavors, I always go back to the roots when I’m making it at home. Now as a kid, my mom often made the Zatarain’s starter box her own, adding to it and making a dish that was always memorable. In tribute to all those great flavors, I made my take on it from scratch. This was an easy, one pot dish that I will be eating with different veggie sides this week. I hope you try your hand at a New Orleans classic and share your feedback. The recipe is listed below. Enjoy!

New Orleans Style Jambalaya (serves 8-10)

1 lb. peeled and deveined shrimp
1 lb. smoked sausage
1 1/2 cups of rice
1 1/2 cup of chicken stock
1 14 oz can of diced tomato (no salt added)
1 14 oz can of tomato sauce (no salt added)
1 large diced onion
1 large diced bell pepper
2 tbsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1 1/2 tbsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

1. Rinse and slice and dice the bell pepper. Cut onion in half. Peel and dice each half.
2. Add diced vegetables to a large pot over medium heat and stir to prevent sticking.
3. Once the vegetables soften(about 2-3 minutes), add rice. Stir mixture to lightly toast rice then add the diced tomatoes, the stock, tomato sauce and half of the seasonings. Once it begins to boil, reduce to low heat.
4. Slice sausage and add to the pot. Stir well. Let cook for 35 minutes, stirring occasionally (10 minute intervals).
5. If peeling and deveining your own shrimp, start now.
6. After the cooking time, rinse and add shrimp and remaining seasonings. Stir well and top for another 10 minutes.
7. Plate with a vegetable of choice and enjoy.

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