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!

Monday Red Beans and Rice

Hi Everyone!  I’m back this week with some great classic New Orleans recipes. I have always loved traditional New Orleans recipes but I have yet to cook a single meal. Every time I mention New Orleans food, my husband (who is from New Orleans), puts his apron on and starts to cook. He won’t even let me in the kitchen. He has mastered many of these recipes, while I have mastered eating them.
 
We made red beans and rice this Monday.  Not sure why, but my husband feels like we can only eat this dish on Monday. To find out why, I went to Google.
Google said red beans and rice is a Monday meal because Mondays used to be the traditional “wash day” of the week. Homemakers would cook red beans while doing laundry because the dish was effortless. The beans, seasoned by leftover hambone, added tons of flavor from the previous night’s dinner.
 
Even though we don’t eat ham on Sunday or do laundry on Monday, my husband still only wants to eat this dish on Monday. It was very hard for me to wait when I had the idea to make this on a Tuesday.

Red Beans and Rice Ingredients:

– 1 pound of dried, red kidney beans
– 2 cups of chopped onion
– 1 cup of chopped bell pepper
– 1/2 cup of chopped celery
– salt and pepper, to taste
– 1 teaspoon dried basil
– 1 tsp of garlic powder
– 1 tsp onion powder
– 1 tsp oregano
– 1 tsp thyme
– 1 tsp parsley flakes
– 2 large bay leaves
– 1/2 pound of andouille, cut into 1/4-inch slices
– 5 cups of chicken broth
– Cajun seasonings, to taste (optional)
– Hot, cooked rice

Red Beans and Rice Directions:

1. Soak beans overnight. Rinse and sort beans before adding them to the slow cooker. Transfer to a slow cooker.
2. On a cutting board, cut onion, celery, and bell pepper and put in a bowl. You have the option to cook the veggies in butter or bacon grease for added flavor. In this instance, you would add the onion, bell pepper, and celery to a pan and sauté until the veggies are tender and then transfer to the slow cooker.
3. Add the chicken stock, veggies, and seasonings to the crockpot. Cover and cook for 6 to 8 hours on low, or until beans are tender and cooked through completely.
4. **You can do this before or after the step 3** Cut and sauté the sausage until browned. Transfer to the slow cooker. You can mash the beans in the slow cooker to thicken the red beans and rice recipe. Mash the beans to your desired thickness level.
5. Taste, add salt and pepper as needed. Add Cajun seasonings, if desired.
6. Scoop red beans and rice over hot, cooked rice, and serve with bread.

Bangers and Mash

Hi everyone!  This week I am dedicating my dinners to Saint Patrick’s Day.  I did some research and found that Bangers and Mash is a favorite British and Irish dish.  Some believe the name bangers comes from the habit of the sausages bursting in the pan with a “bang” if cooked too quickly.  When I made this recipe, I definitely did not hear banging noises but I’m sure it happens – LOL.

Whenever I go to an Irish pub, Bangers and Mash is always on the menu.  It is a very simple dish and perfect for dinner.  The ingredients are inexpensive but it is still a substantial meal.  It is also a kid friendly meal that you don’t have to fight the kids to eat.

The only issue I had with bangers and mash is that I could not determine what type of sausage to use.  Luckily, the grocery store actually carried British Banger Sausage!!!  I do, however, think you can use just about any dinner sausage to make this meal stand out.

British Banger Sausage
British Banger Sausage

I normally make a plain onion gravy with bangers and mash but I saw many recipes adding a little mustard to the gravy.  I decided to try this to see how it tasted and it came out good – the mustard gravy was a smashing success!

In the future, I will definitely add some mustard to my gravy.  I think it gives it an extra flavor boost.

Ingredients:

  • Sausages
    • 1-2 lbs British Banger Sausage (or any dinner sausage)
  • Potatoes
    • 6-8 baby red potatoes,
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 tbs butter
    • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt
    • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Gravy
    • 1 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
    • 2 tbsp butter
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
    • 4-5 cup of beef stock
    • 4 tsp corn starch
    • 4 tsp cold water
    • 1 tbsp mustard
    • Salt and ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm, about 10 minutes. Drain, and place in a large bowl.  Combine potatoes with butter, milk, yogurt, salt, and pepper. Mash together until smooth and creamy.  You can remove the skin but it is not necessary.
  2. In a large frying pan, turn the heat to medium and add sausages. Fry until the sausages are cooked through, turning them from time to time – about 20 minutes. Once done, keep warm until the potatoes and  gravy are ready.
  3. Melt butter in a large saucepan over a gentle heat. Add the onion and cook 1-2 mins or until the onions are soft.  Add the sugar and vinegar to the onions and stir well for another minute or so.  Add the stock and boil for 5 minutes.  In a separate cup, mix corn starch with cold water and make a thin paste. Pour the starch mixture into the gravy, add mustard and raise the heat to high.  Boil for 10 minutes or until the gravy is thick. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  4. Serve the potatoes, sausages and gravy together.

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!