Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Jambalaya, bayou, mio-my-o

(whoever posted this did not include the lyrics. You can find them HERE.)

I hope everyone had a relaxing Presidents Day. I ate a little leftover jambalaya (made with smoked turkey sausage and Virginia ham, which required ditching the salt and using more cayenne pepper) for lunch and if you're new to this blog, you probably haven't gone back far enough to try my "use whatever you have handy" jambalaya. Since today's Fat Tuesday, the day where you are supposed to use up everything you're not suppose to eat or drink during Lent (fat, rich meats, alcohol), I thought I'd post it again.

Unfortunately, Episcopal tradition has Shrove Tuesday pancakes, so that's what I'll be eating tonight. If you're in Charlottesville, join us for them at St. Paul's Memorial Church on the Corner at 6 tonight. They're not Cajun, but they are very good, and a parishioner usually provides real maple syrup from Vermont for the meal.

Lori K's generic jambalaya
Serves 6

2 large California bay leaves (or 4 small ones)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon gumbo filé (ground sassafras leaves, optional)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup of diced smoked sausage (andouille, kielbasa or turkey) or smokey ham
1 cup raw chicken, duck, pork or seafood
1 onion (about a cup)
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup diced bell pepper
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups uncooked rice (long grain or converted)
4 cups chicken, duck, turkey, seafood or vegetable stock

Thoroughly combine the spices (all the ingredients before the oil) in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat the oil in a cast-iron skillet over high heat and add the meats (if using seafood, add it near the end of the cooking time). Cook for 5 minutes, then add the vegetables and the spice mix. Cook until everything is browned, about 10 minutes. Scrape the bottom of the pan well, and add the rice. Cook another 5 minutes, then add the broth. Bring to a boil, cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir well, remove the bay leaves, and serve.

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