Friday, February 08, 2008

Jambalaya, cayenne in the eye-ah...


Recipe added below.

So, company's comin for the weekend. We don't have company very often, but when we do, I like to try cookin somethin different...somethin I haven't tried before. I know that doesn't sound like such a hot idea. I mean, what if it's an astronomical...uh...gastronomical...flop, right?

Well, I figure we know these peeps pretty well. If it's awful, we'll all laugh about it and order pizza. No biggie. It gives me a chance to spread my culinary wings a little too, ya know? Not that the Zigster doesn't appreciate my cookin. It's just nice to mean try it out on unsuspecting...uh...nevermind. heh

Now, these are special people and I know that they can handle a in their food, so I thought I'd try to cook up a little sumpin special. As a tip o' the ole hat to Mardi Gras, I figured I'd try some nice, spicy jambalaya. Sounds perfect for a cold evening, huh?

The recipe sounded reasonably simple, and I had all the ingredients on hand...all I needed from the store was a loaf of crusty bread to sop up da joooce wit'. If it's like any other stew/soup/stoop thing, it's always better the day after prep, so I figured I'd throw it together today and reheat it tomorrow. Plus, I won't hafta spend a lotta time in the kitchen tomorrow.

So, this particular recipe I'm tryin calls for a certain amount of "Cajun Spice" and gives ya the recipe for that, as well.

2.5 T paprika
2 T salt
2 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper
1 T onion powder
1 T cayenne pepper
1 T dried oregano
1 T dried thyme

Okie doke. I had all that on hand, so I started mixin it up.

**Note to self: after pryin the lid off the cayenne pepper box with fingers, absolutely DO NOT forget that little factiod and rub your eye with aforementioned fingers.

Son. Of. A. BITCH!

It's been a little over an hour since I pulled that particular boner...and my eye is still waterin. I'm sittin here, tryin to type with one eye.

Ah well. They say the true artiste is supposed to suffer, right?


Sniff. Sniff.


Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

Oooooooo....babeeeeee! It was soooooo worth a little cayenne in the eye. Can't wait to see what it'll be like tomorrow.


I looked at several recipes for Jambalaya and used those as a jumping off point for my own recipe.

2 lb. whole, raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced (I didn't have andouille, or I'd have used that)
1 med. sized onion, chopped
1 lg. green pepper, chopped
2-3 lg. stalks celery, chopped
1 14.5 oz. can Red Gold crushed tomatoes
1 C tomato juice
1.5 C beef stock (I used low sodium)
1.5 C white rice (I had Jasmine on hand, so I used that)
1 T olive oil
1 T crushed garlic (I use McCormick brand)
3 med. sized bay leaves
2 T Cajun Spice (I probably used a little more than this...and I used Lite Salt instead of regular when I made it.)

(I think all the amounts of liquid are about right. You hafta understand...I'm one of those "fly by the seat of my pants" cooks. If it looks about right, I run with it.)

Brown the onion, green pepper and celery in the olive oil. Stir in the crushed garlic and the can of tomatoes. In another skillet, brown the sliced sausage and add it to the vegetables. Add the tomato juice and the beef stock. Stir in the Cajun Spice. Bring it up to a boil and add the rice. Turn down to a simmer and cook until rice is almost done. Stir in the raw shrimp and continue cooking just until they're nice and pink and curled up. Don't overcook the shrimp, or they'll be tough.
Fish the bay leaves out before serving.

On first tasting, it wasn't quite spicy enough, so I added a couple shakes of red pepper flakes...and damn near got it too spicy. It was "slap yo mama" good.

As a bonus, it cleared everyone's sinuses right up. heh


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