Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oscar Night Jambalaya

Mardi Gras is around the corner so I was in the mood for somethin' Cajun. It just also happened to be Oscar Night. Did I ever tell you I lived in New Orleans? Yeah...I was 3 years old. I did go to the Mardi Gras parade but the family-friendly version. 
Now, don't fault me if this isn't authentic. I have no idea how close I am except there's shrimp, andouille sausage, rice, and some veg. I just needed to whip something up in time for the red carpet festivities.

Serves 4

1/2 lb 26-30 count shrimp - shelled and deveined (I buy shell-on shrimp and remove it myself)
1/2 lb andouille sausage
1 cup white rice
1/4 cup each - diced celery, onions, green bell pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
28 oz. can of diced tomato
1 bay leaf
2-3 cups low sodium chicken broth

Dry Seasoning inspired by Emeril's recipe here
**You could buy Bayou Blast in the grocery store but the above link also has a recipe to make a small jar. Since I didn't have all of the ingredients listed, I made my own here:

1/2 teaspoon each: salt, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (for medium hot)

Prepare the dry seasoning. Set aside. I left the bay leaf in there so I would remember it but it's not needed until later.
Peel the 1/2 lb of shrimp. "26-30 count" refers to the size of the shrimp, i.e. how many per pound, it's more consistent to compare using that v. generic large or extra-large which could vary depending on the store. So for 1/2 a pound, there should be about 13-15 shrimp. Cover it with the seasoning and make sure it's a coated well. Set aside.
While shrimp is marinating, dice the onion, bell pepper, celery, and garlic. Then in a medium / large sauce pot, heat up 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the onion, bell pepper, and celery (saving the garlic for later) until soft about 3-5 minutes.
Add garlic, rice, diced tomatoes, bay leaf, and 2 cups of chicken broth. Reduce heat to medium low. Allow rice to absorb the liquids about 10 here's an important tip. Make sure there's enough liquid for the rice so it doesn't BURN and stick to the bottom like it did for me.
See that burned part in the back? Yeah. Also you can't see it here, but there's a thick layer of stuck on dry rice below the good stuff. Sigh. So yeah, add the 3rd cup of chicken broth if it's getting a little dry.
While rice is cooking, slice up the andouille sausage. When the rice is fully cooked and tender (about 15 minute total from the time the liquid was first added), add the shrimp and sausage. Allow to cook another 10-12 minutes until shrimp is fully cooked (pink, curled, and opaque).

Allow to cool slightly before serving. Add seasoning to taste (either additional salt/pepper or Cajun seasoning). As a side note, I normally eat a lot more than I show in photos. So there you have the behind the scenes. Mm smokey sausage and shrimp.


lavenderpug said...

that looks so good, and pretty easy! will have to try this one.

BigAppleNosh said...

Mmm, I'd eat that!