Have you eaten a meal at home or in a restaurant that was so simple and yet so delicious that it made you want it again the next day? Or even to want it the very next meal? Creole food gets me that way. I have no Cajun roots or emotional attachment to the culture of the region. I just love the food. I like to make a Creole dish around Mardis Gras time. During the meal, without fail, I think to myself, "Why don't I eat this food more often?" It's simple, delicious, and comforting. I just don't keep it in my rotation of meals at home...and I really should. Spiced sausage, tender shrimp, thick, dark, heavily flavored sauce all over rice, mmmmm, gets my taste buds dancing just thinking about it.
So this time of year and all the other times of the year, do yourself a favor and enjoy some delicious Jambalaya. If you need a good starting place, here's what I'll be making at home:
2 1/2 TBSP Bourbon Smoked Paprika 2 TBSP Kosher Salt 1 TBSP black pepper 1 TBSP dried oregano 1 TBSP dried thyme 3-4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 2 TBSP olive oil 1/4 cup chopped onion 1/4 cup chopped poblano pepper 1/4 cup chopped celery 2 TBSP chopped garlic 2 roma tomatoes, chopped 4 bay leaves 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 3 shakes tabasco sauce 1 cup basamati rice 3 cups chicken stock (low sodium) 12 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined 5 ounces Andouille Sausage Salt & Pepper to taste
Combine first 5 ingredients and mix well. Season shrimp and chicken with mixture. Heat oil over medium high heat in a large saucepan. Saute onion, peppers and celery for 3-5 minutes. Add chicken and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and stir for 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, bay leaves, worcestershire and tabasco. Stir in rice and slowly add broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook until rice absorbs liquid, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add shrimp and sausage. Cook until shrimp is done about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
I usually add a heavy dose of extra hot sauce and a big dollop of sour cream.