There was sausage. There was shrimp. There were Costco Ancient Grains. What can I make? Jambalaya!! What is that you say…
Jambalaya is a Louisiana origin dish of Spanish and French (especially Provençal cuisine) influence, consisting mainly of meat and vegetables mixed with rice. Traditionally, the meat always includes sausage of some sort, often a smoked sausage such as andouille, along with some other meat or seafood, frequently pork, chicken, crawfish, or shrimp. The vegetables are usually a soffritto-like mixture known as the “holy trinity” in Creole and Cajun cooking, consisting of onion, celery, and green bell pepper, though other vegetables such as carrots, tomatoes, chilis, and garlic are also used. After browning and sauteing the meat and vegetables, rice, seasonings, and broth are added and the entire dish is cooked together until the rice is done.
Jambalaya is similar to (but distinct from) other rice-and-meat dishes known in Louisiana cuisine. Gumbo uses similar sausages, meats, seafood, vegetables and seasonings. However, gumbo includes filé powder and okra, which are not common in jambalaya. Gumbo is also usually served over white rice, which is prepared separate from the rest of the dish, unlike jambalaya, where the rice is prepared with the other ingredients. Étouffée is a stew which always includes shellfish such as shrimp or crayfish, but does not have the sausage common to jambalaya and gumbo. Also, like gumbo, étouffée is usually served over separately prepared rice.
Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya (for TWO people, half the recipe!)
- 12 ounces sausage, sliced into 1/4″ slices (Costco Kielbasa works just fine)
- 2 cups of peeled, deveined shrimp
- 4 cups of chicken broth or stock
- 1 large red bell pepper, diced
- 1 large green bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup of instant rice/ Ancient Grains
- 2- 14 oz. cans of petite diced tomatoes
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp of dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp of paprika
- 3 cloves of minced garlic or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 bay leaf
- salt to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper
In a large stock pot on medium heat, add olive oil, onions, peppers, garlic and the bay leaf. Cook for 5 minutes covered.
Add tomatoes, sausage, chicken broth or stock and remaining seasonings and cook on medium heat for 25 minutes.
Add instant rice (here I used Costco’s Ancient Grains) and shrimp. Stir and cook for 5 minutes or until rice is tender and shrimp turns orange. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
What to do when your stove gets taken away for repairs? Three choices – BBQ, Microwave or Slow Cooker. Oh, and company for dinner… Pinterest to the rescue as always. The best part is that we had everything in the house! Hope you will try this sometime soon, it beats cooking inside, as we can put our cooker outside, A great way to enhance the BBQ season!
Slow Cooker Chicken and Corn Chowder
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 12 ounces red potato, diced
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 cups corn kernels, frozen, canned or roasted
- 4 cups chicken broth 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
- Place chicken, potatoes, onion, carrots, celery, and corn into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in chicken broth, garlic, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.
- In a small bowl, whisk together half and half and cornstarch. Stir in half and half mixture and butter during the last 30 minutes of cooking time.
- Serve immediately, topped with bacon and garnished with chives, if desired.
Still got that hambone in the freezer since Christmas? I was keeping ours to make split pea and ham soup, since I really miss the Canadian brand, Habitant. Every store I checked never had split peas, so I decided to try canned garbanzos. The Internet turned up this recipe, which I modified as seen by the red lettering.
It was suggested on the site that one could go to Honey Baked Ham and get a bone if you don’t have one. I was thinking after, why not just buy a ham steak and chop it up?
Let me know how you like it…
Spanish Bean Soup (Potaje de garbanzos) adapted from www.thekitchn.com
1 pound dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas) (I used a can of garbanzos)
8 ounces good-quality bacon or salt pork, chopped
1 (6-8 ounce) leftover hambone or smoked ham hock OR one ham steak
8 ounces Spanish chorizo, sliced (you can omit)
1 small onion, chopped
1 ripe tomato, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped * I added a few more veggies like carrot and celery
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
Chicken stock or water, to cover (or mix of both)
Pinch of saffron threads
3 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (canned will work)
Kosher salt and pepper
Wash garbanzo beans in cold water, discarding any beans with visible imperfections. Cover with 3 inches of salted water and soak overnight. Drain and rinse the beans thoroughly and set aside.
OR…use the canned ones to simplify your life and speed up the process
In a large Dutch oven, combine the bacon, ham bone, onion, tomato, green pepper, garlic, and bay leaf. Cover with two inches of chicken stock (or water) and bring to a boil, skimming off any foam as needed. Cover and lower heat to a gentle simmer.
Cook for 30 minutes, then add the reserved beans. Bring to a boil again, cover, and return to a simmer for another 30 minutes. Stir in the saffron and cook for an additional 30 minutes, or until the beans are tender but not overcooked. Remove the ham bones, shredding and returning any meat left on the bones.
Add the potatoes and season with salt. Cover and cook until the potatoes are cooked through, another 30 minutes or less if using canned potatoes Season to taste.
Not always easy to find fresh leeks in the grocery store, but et voila…this week they were there, along with fresh horseradish (a rarity here). This recipe does not use the latter! Just mentioned it in passing, as I bought some and carefully washed it and took some online advice and froze them whole. At a later date I can grate them for use in my seafood sauce! FYI…I do the same with fresh ginger…. Hope you will enjoy this soup from the kitchen of Emeril Lagasse!
Potato and Leek Soup
- 1 large or 2 small leeks
- 2 bay leaves
- 20 black peppercorns
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme (or use dried)
- 2 T butter
- 2 strips bacon chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1 to 1 1/4 lbs. russet potatoes diced
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (Can substitute with plain yogurt)
- chopped chives (optional)
Trim the green portions off the leeks. Using a sharp knife, slice the leek lengthwise and rinse well under cold running water (leeks can be full of sand!). Slice thinly crosswise.
In a large soup pot, melt the butter and add the bacon. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally until the bacon is very soft. Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted…about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil.
While it boils, pour yourself a glass of the wine just to make sure it is a good year…LOL.
Add thyme, pepper, chicken stock and potatoes, and more salt if you prefer. Bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Have another glass of wine!
At this point you can put everything in a food processor (I do not as I like this chunky)or an immersion blender. Serve with a dollop of heavy cream or the yogurt.
Pour into soup bowls (after you have finished the bottle of wine…LOL).
Chive the snips……oops…snip the chives over top!
Looking back and I realize that I have never posted this recipe for a wonderful soup made with limes which is a Yucatecan favourite! If you don’t like the heat, omit the chili peppers. Let your guests add their own spice!
Yucatan Chicken-Lime Soup
(Sopa de lima)
This is about the best chicken soup that I’ve ever tasted. Plus, it’s good for you. Lime juice is loaded with immune-boosting vitamin C. Chile peppers blast open stuffed sinuses. And garlic acts as an antibiotic. I can’t think of a better remedy for a cold or rainy day.
Makes 4 servings
· 4 corn tortillas (6″ diameter), cut into thin strips (or buy the already baked tortilla strips)
· 1 large tomato, halved crosswise and seeded
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 1 medium onion, finely chopped
· 8 cloves garlic, minced
· 1 to 2 Serrano chili peppers, thinly sliced (wear plastic gloves when handling) (OMIT if you don’t want the heat)
· 4 cups Chicken Stock or fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
· 1 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
· 1 bay leaf
· 4 to 6 tablespoons lime juice
· 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
· Salt and ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
2. Arrange the tortilla strips on a baking sheet. Bake for 3 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate to cool.
(Skip the two steps above if you can find tortilla strips already baked)
3. Working over a small bowl, grate each tomato half on the coarse side of a hand grater. Discard the skin.
4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and chili peppers. Cook for 4 minutes, or until the onions are soft but not brown. Stir in the tomatoes, stock or broth, chicken, and bay leaf. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in 4 tablespoons of the lime juice and the cilantro. Season with salt and black pepper. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Taste and add more lime juice, if desired. Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle each with some of the tortilla strips. I usually slice a lime and puts some in each bowl before I pour the soup in…