Sociable

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Easy Jambalaya...Not So Easy This Time

I've not really shared any recipes here on the blog. I've done a few for Helium.com but after my Saturday meal experience I thought I'd share this with you. My family, the Hubs in particular, enjoys spicy food. We've had some outstanding jambalaya when traveling in the southern states so when I found a recipe for in my "Simple & Delicious" cooking magazine I decided to try it.

Now I am one of those cooks who will tweak a recipe even the first time I try it, especially if I think it will make my life easier and not affect the overall taste of the finished dish. This jambalaya recipe is from the February/March 2011 magazine on page 14 and is called Captain Russell's Jambalaya. I went to their website (http://www.simpleanddelicious.com) and tried to find you a link to the original recipe but it did not appear in the search.

Anyhow, it's a simple recipe combining pantry ingredients. I make a few substitutions and tweaks. Here's what you need:

1 can condensed French onion soup
1 can beef broth (I use reduced sodium)
8 oz. tomato sauce (I use no salt)
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon crushed fresh garlic (you may use less to suit your tastes, I like a lot of garlic)
2 teaspoon Creole seasoning (I use Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning)
2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce (again use less if you don't like as much spice, or more if you do!)
1 bag frozen cooked/deveined small shrimp (the original recipe calls for uncooked med. shrimp but I short cut to save time & I don't like the ick factor of cleaning shrimp.)
2 links turkey smoked sausage (I can't buy decent andouille in my town. Bummer, I know.)
3 cups COOKED rice (brown, white, long-grain...it's up to you)

Cook the rice. In a large saucepan combine first 8 ingredients and bring to boil. Remove from heat. Gently stir in sausage, shrimp and rice. Transfer everything into a  9 X 13 baking dish. Cover with tin foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 10 more minutes. Let stand for five minutes and then enjoy.

Now this is the way I made this recipe the first 3 times I served it to my family. And it was a HUGE hit! However, this weekend I decided to follow the original recipe and use 2 cups of uncooked long grain rice. I like long grain rice. I followed the recipe, popped the dish into the oven and within fifteen minutes the delicious aroma of jambalaya began to emerge from the kitchen.

After 30 minutes, I removed the foil and looked the rice. Hmmmmm. Not looking very cooked. I set the time for 15 minutes and crossed my fingers. After the full cook time, I removed the dish from the oven and it smelled AMAZING! But.....the rice was hard! H.A.R.D.

Sigh.

Now every time I've made this recipe using the cooked rice, it comes out beautifully. This time I use the original recipe and Bleh...hard, uncooked rice. So the Hubs comes in, enticed by the intoxicating smells and suggests adding another cup of water, recovering the dish with tin foil and letting it cook for another 30 minutes. GASP! Are you sure, I ask him? I was afraid that everything else in the jambalaya would turn to mush if we did that. He said, "Well, we can't eat it with the hard rice and it's not like you can pick out each little grain." Smart man, that Hubs of mine.

Water added, tin foil replaced and dish back in oven. 30 minutes later I pull it out. Rice is about 2/3 cooked! And veggies aren't mush and shrimp aren't rubber. Alrighty, maybe we are onto something. I add about 1/2 cup more of water, recover with the tin foil and pop it back in for about 10 more minutes. After that time rice is done. I let the whole dish stand for about 10 more minutes and FINALLY, almost an hour later than I had planned to sit everyone down to a great meal, it is FINALLY ready.

And it was good. Regardless of the additional cook time, this meal is sooooo flavorful. It was a hit, the HUBS had second helpings and it was still delicious the next day reheated as leftovers. I recommend this easy jambalaya recipe but I really recommend precooking the rice before adding it in. Especially if you want to eat within an hour of preparing the dish.  

2 comments:

  1. It sounds delicious. I'd just have to replace the meat with tofu or something. I'm a rice lover.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've substituted soy sausage and it was tasty. I would like to try it with tofu, that could be quite good. I love tofu!

    ReplyDelete