One Pot Jambalaya

I’ll be the first to admit that my husband is the New Orleans food cook in the house.  His family is from New Orleans and he takes pride in his traditional New Orleans dishes.  He has been making Jambalaya for a while now, usually with fresh shrimp.

Jambalaya Video:

Today my husband made Chicken and Sausage Jambalaya, my favorite.  I always think it is like gumbo, a meal that takes a ton of time to cook, but that is far from true.  Jambalaya is easy to prepare and ready in under an hour.  My kind of meal.
 
To start Jambalaya, chop your bell peppers, celery and onions, and sauté the veggies until they’re nice and soft.  Next, add meat.  My husband went with chicken and andouille sausage for this meal but you can use any protein. You can even use the meat from those grocery store roasted chickens. You save so much time with pre-roasted meat.
 
The last step is to pour in crushed tomatoes, broth, seasonings, and rice, and give it a good stir.  Once mixed, cover the Jambalaya and let it simmer on medium-low for about 30 minutes. Then VOILA, a one pot meal.

Jambalaya Ingredients:

* 1 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
* 10 ounces andouille sausage, sliced
* 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
* 1 onion, diced
* 3 garlic cloves
* 3 bay leaves
* 1 small green bell pepper, diced
* 2 stalks celery, diced
* 1 (16 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
* 1 tsp salt and pepper
* 2 tbs Worcestershire sauce
* 1 1/4 cups uncooked white rice
* 2 1/2 cups chicken broth

 

Jambalaya Directions:

1. Cut onions, bell peppers and celery. Set aside.

2. Cut chicken and andouille. Set aside.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large heavy cast iron pot over medium heat. Season the sausage and chicken pieces with Cajun seasoning. Saute until browned. Remove with wooden spoon, and set aside. Leave drippings.

4. In the same cast iron pot, saute onion, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaves and celery until tender. Stir in crushed tomatoes, and season with pepper, salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Stir in chicken and sausage. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Stir in the rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.

6. When rice is done, spoon jambalaya into a dish.

7. Flavor the jambalaya with additional seasonings to get the right taste/spice/heat level.

8. Enjoy the jambalaya!

Honey Barbecue Pulled Pork Sliders

 

Hi Everyone!  I’m back with my final pulled pork recipe for the week.  Earlier this week I featured Pulled Pork Nachos and Pork Loin Tacos on my blog. With these three recipes, my family and I ate an entire pork loin. And it wasn’t a struggle!
I wanted to make pulled pork sandwiches because they are a family favorite and an easy meal.  We only eat them when I have spare pork loin because it takes a lot of time to make juicy pulled pork to go in those buns.
I’ve been trying to make the perfect marinade for pulled pork for a while and I finally got it right this time.  I’ve always made it too sweet.  I was looking for a sweet, but  smokey sauce to simmer my pulled pork in.  After many, many, many tries – I’ve finally created the PERFECT pulled pork marinade.  Sweet, but smokey.
I adjusted my recipe to incorporate liquid smoke.  I also added apple cider vinegar and honey for sweetness.  After mixing all three ingredients in a pan, I added the pork to infuse the flavor.  It had everything I was looking for!
I have made pulled pork sliders before, but this time, my husband loved it!  I was so excited to get good marks from him.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup of liquid smoke
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs onion powder
1/2 cup of honey
1 lb pulled pork
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 cup of beef broth

Directions:

1.  Add pulled pork and broth in a pan and stir for 5-10 minutes until warmed through.  Add more or less depending on how much pork loin you have.  The pork loin should soak up the broth and make it juicy.
2.  Whisk together Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, apple cider vinegar, honey, garlic powder and onion powder in the same pan as the pulled pork loin and simmer until flavors are combined.
3.  Add marinated pork loins to buns.
4.  Add optional toppings (lettuce, slaw, pickles etc.) to buns and enjoy!

Happy Waffle Day: Mint Chocolate Chip Waffles

Hi everyone! Sorry for the late post but I was reading some of my favorite blogs today and I noticed several people paid homage to National Waffle Day. There is a day for everything! Since I love waffles so much, I decided to partake in this special day.

I had some mint left over from my Mint Aioli recipe I posted last week so I decided to make mint chocolate chip waffles.

The only thing I had to work out was how to mix real mint into waffle batter. I decided to mix the mint, vanilla extract and milk in my ninja. The ninja did the trick, cutting the mint into tiny indistinguishable pieces.

I thought it came out great. It had a real mint flavor that was perfect for dinner time. It was actually a beautiful green color until I mixed in the chocolate chips. Check out my recipe below and have a happy waffle day!

Waffle Ingredients:

• 2 cups flour

• 1/4 cup honey

• 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder

• 1 tbsp cocoa powder

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 1 3/4 cups milk

• 1/3 cup butter melted

• 2 large eggs

• 2 tsp vanilla extract

• 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

• 1/4 cup of mint

• 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Waffle Directions:

1. Whisk the flour, baking powder, cocoa and salt in a large bowl.

2. Take the mint, 3/4 cup of milk and vanilla extract and place it in a blender. Blend until you can no longer see the mint. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, whisk the remaining milk, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, honey, mint mixture, chocolate chips and vinegar.

4. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients in. Wisk until barely smooth.

5. Heat your waffle iron according to the manufacturers instructions. Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and then pour batter into the center of the waffle iron. Let it cook until crispy.

Saint Patrick’s Day Chicken and Waffles

Today my good friend and I were chatting while hungry (very dangerous). We were discussing the best food trucks in town. I told her about this barbecue truck I liked and she told me about a new chicken and waffle food truck she liked. She described the most heavenly chicken and red velvet walnut waffles. I was really hungry by the end of our conversation so I asked her where I could find this truck. She said the truck posted its whereabouts on instagram. I am so bad at technology and directions that I decided it was better to make my own at home. Definitely faster than looking for the truck. Instead of making red velvet, I thought it would be cool to make them green in honor of Saint Patrick’s Day.

First I got my party wings and tossed them in a flour, salt and pepper ziplock bag. Next, I laid the wings on a lightly greased baking pan and sprayed them with some olive oil. I put the wings in the oven for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. I turned them and let them cook another 20 minutes. I waited until they were brown and crispy.

While the wings were cooking, I made the waffles. I didn’t have a lot of green food coloring so I hoped what I had would be enough.

After the waffles were done, I pulled the wings out of the oven and put the two items together. They were perfect. My family loved the festive meal. My daughter thought we were doing a Seuss themed dinner and wanted green eggs to go with her waffles.

Waffle Ingredients:

• 2 cups flour

• 1/4 cup honey

• 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp baking powder

• 1 tbsp cocoa powder

• 1/2 tsp salt

• 1 3/4 cups milk

• 1/3 cup butter melted

• 2 large eggs

• 2 tsp vanilla extract

• 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

• 2 tbsp green food coloring

Waffle Directions:

1. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the milk, melted butter, eggs, vanilla, honey, food coloring and vinegar. Make a well in the flour mixture and pour the milk mixture in. Wisk until barely smooth.

2. Heat your waffle iron according to the manufacturers instructions. Spray the waffle iron with cooking spray and then pour batter into the center of the waffle iron. Let it cook until crispy and GREEN.

Wings Ingredients:

• 1-2 lbs of chicken wings

• 1 cup flour

• salt and pepper

• olive oil cooking spray

Wings Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. After cleaning wings, dry them well with paper towels. Dryer wings are more crispy.

3. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. When thoroughly mixed, add wings. Shake well.

4. Line a large baking sheet with foil and spray with olive oil just slightly.

5. Add wings to the pan and spray with olive oil cooking spray.

6. Bake for 25 minutes and turn.

7. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until crispy and done.

Watch this quick video for more:

Foil Baked Chicken Caprese

My last foil bake for the week was chicken caprese.  If I see caprese on an appetizer menu, I usually select it.  If you are not familiar with caprese, it is a salad of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, basil and sometimes a vinegar.  It is really good.  Usually the fresher the mozzarella, the better.  I decided to try caprese in a foil bake.

 I think it came out great.  It was another quick meal without fuss.  I could have cooked the chicken on the skillet a bit to give it a nice golden color but that would have been an extra step.  I did add some pasta and sauce because I wanted to make it more of a meal but it is totally optional.  My kids loved the pasta.  As soon as I set the food down, noodles and sauce started flying.

Ingredients:

– 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
– 8 oz sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
– 1 cup diced tomatoes
– 1/2 tbs Italian seasoning
– salt and pepper, to taste
– 1 onion, sliced
– 1 bell pepper, sliced
– 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
– 1 tbs butter
– 1 tbs olive oil
– 1/4 cup of fresh basil
– angel hair pasta and sauce, optional

Directions:

1. Pre-Heat the oven to 375 degrees.  

2. In a bowl, combine the butter, olive oil, Italian seasonings and salt and pepper.  When thoroughly combined, add the chicken, onions, tomatoes and peppers. Mix until everything is coated with the butter/olive oil/seasoning mixture.

3.  Lay out (4) 16-inch long pieces of foil and divide the ingredients evenly in the center of the foil.  Wrap the foil tightly so there are no holes.  If you have to, add another piece of foil on top to ensure the moisture remains in the packet.

4.  Place the foil packets on a foil lined baking sheet for 15-20 minutes or until everything is cooked through.
5.  Open the packets and add the cheese.  Add the packet back to the stove for an additional minute to melt the cheese.
6.  When the cheese is melted garnish with basil and vinegar.
7.  You can complete the meal with pasta and sauce as an option.
Watch this quick video!

Philly Cheese Steak Foil Bake

Today I created a Philly Cheese Steak foil bake.  I felt like I needed to change dinner up and try a sandwich.  My family liked the change.  I am not sure if we have ever eaten sandwiches for dinner.  When I explained to my husband that I was making a foil bake, he was perplexed.  He kept saying, “just make it on the stove.”  I told him that, yes, I could make it on the stove but I was on a foil bake kick this week.

So this foil bake came out great.  It was extremely easy to make during the week.  I won’t say it is the best Philly Cheese Steak sandwich I have ever had but it was really good.  I don’t want to upset anyone from Philly with this simplistic version of a hometown favorite.

IMG_4CE5E11E2E8F-1

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced
  • 1 bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 slices provolone cheese

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375grill.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together steak, peppers, onion, Italian seasoning, olive oil and salt and pepper.
  3. Place steak mixture in foil packs. Fold packs tighly. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Open packs, top with provolone, and add back to stove to melt, 2-5 minutes.
  5. Serve in bread or enjoy by itself.

Check out this quick video of me opening my foil packet!

Low Country Foil Bake

Hi everyone!

There are many times when I struggle with what to cook next but I know can always count on other bloggers to help me out in the food department.  I always get a good dose of inspiration to help me on my way.  This week I was reading a blog by Hey Miss Lisp and she had a recipe called Cajun Shrimp Foil Bake.  It looked great.  What I liked most about her recipe was her substitutions, which were great.  Of course with my husband being from New Orleans, I was not allowed to substitute.  He is very traditional and “protective” of the recipes he’s grown up with.  Anyway, I was inspired to do an entire week dedicated to Foil Bakes. Yay!!!

Today I made a Low Country Foil Bake.  I have made this recipe so many ways, even in a pressure cooker – which came out amazing by the way.  This was the first time I made it in foil.  My favorite part about low country boils “or bakes,” is the sausage.  My husband introduced me to andouille when we first meet and I have been hooked ever since.  In case you have never heard of it, it is a coarse-grained smoked sausage made using pork, garlic, pepper, onions, wine and seasonings. The pork used is mostly from a smoked Boston shoulder roast.  It is an amazing sausage and a must-have for this recipe.  It is, however, not easy to find.  My local grocery store just started carrying it regularly.

We are a family of four so I made four individual packets, each made to order.  In the end, this meal came out great.  I just used salt and pepper to season the kids foil bake.  This recipe was fast, easy and pleasing all at the same time.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb medium size shrimp, peeled
  • 2 ears of corn, cut in 4 pieces each
  • 4 red potatoes, cubed
  • 14 oz andouille sausage
  • 2 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon
Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2.  In a bowl, combine the butter, olive oil and cajun seasoning.  When thoroughly combined, add the shrimp, corn, sausage and potatoes and mix until everything is coated with the butter/olive oil/seasoning mixture.
3.  Lay out (4) 16-inch long pieces of foil and divide the low country ingredients evenly in the center of the foil.  Wrap the foil tightly so there are no holes.  If you have to, add another piece of foil on top to ensure the moisture remains in the packet.
4.  Place the foil packets on a foil lined baking sheet for 15-20 minutes or until everything is cooked through.
5.  Open the packets and drench with lemon juice.
Watch this quick video!