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.
One of our favourite restaurants here used to serve tableside this wonderful tequila lime shrimp. Hope you will also enjoy this great recipe I found. Where else? Pinterest...
Tequila Lime Shrimp
Serves 2-3 | Prep Time: 10 Minutes | Cook Time: 5 Minutes
12 oz. peeled and deveined shrimp* (see note below)_
2 pinches of salt
3 dashes ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 or 3 tablespoons tequila
1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
*You can use frozen shrimp for this recipe. Do NOT thaw it. Add directly to the sauteed garlic and stir frequently. Overcooked frozen shrimp turn rubbery. Just two or three minutes should be all it takes to warm the shrimp through. Then proceed with the tequila, etc.
Season the shrimp with salt, pepper and paprika.
Heat up a skillet (cast-iron skillet preferred) and add the olive oil. Saute the garlic for a little bit before adding the shrimp. Continue to cook the shrimp until they turn slightly charred and burned. Drizzle in the tequila, toss the skillet a few times. Add the lime juice, stir to combine well.
Turn off the heat and add the cilantro. Serve the tequila lime shrimp with Mexican rice or wrap with warm tortilla. Avoiding the carbs, I just served them with some steamed broccoli.
Too many string beans from Costco AGAIN! What to do? Stir fry of course. Hope you enjoy this recipe with or without the rice…
Shrimp and Green Bean Stir Fry
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 pound large shrimp-shelled, deveined and cut into 1-inch pieces (I cheated and used a dozen frozen, cooked shrimp – no need to thaw)
- 1/2 pound green beans, thinly sliced 1/4 inch thick on an extreme diagonal
- 1 or 2 sliced radishes (optional) seriously, I have started cooking radishes in my stir fries)
- 1/4 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
- Freshly ground pepper
- OPTIONAL RICE
Heat a wok until very hot.
Add the vegetable oil and heat until shimmering.
Add the garlic and stir-fry for 10 seconds.
Add the shrimp and a pinch of salt and stir-fry until the shrimp are just beginning to turn pink, about 30 seconds.
Add the green beans and radishes and 2 tablespoons of the stock and stir-fry until the beans soften slightly, about 3 minutes.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of stock along with the fish sauce and a generous pinch of pepper and stir-fry until the shrimp are cooked through and the beans are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes longer.
Serve right away.
Well maybe an overstatement, as I am still looking for the BEST one…LOL. In the interim I tried this one and was quite happy with it overall. Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated as I approach 14000 views on this blog!! Thanks to all of you have stopped by… here is the result with chicken thighs…
Best Chicken Marinade Ever
- 6 Chicken breasts or 3.5 lb. chicken
- 2 tsp Garlic powder
- 2 tsp Rosemary, dried
- 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp Dijon or spicy brown mustard
- 1/8 cup Lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp Black pepper, ground
- 3/4 cup Brown sugar ( I cut this back to 1/4 cup so not so sweet)
- 2 tsp Salt
- 1/2 cup Olive oil, extra virgin
- Combine all ingredients, except for chicken, in a large Pyrex measuring cupor mixing bowl and whisk together.
- Remove a half a cup of marinade and reserve for basting the chicken later.
- Place chicken in a large, Ziploc bagand pour marinade over the top. Close securely.
- Marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
- Preheat grill to medium high heat and lightly oil the grates.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off.
- Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
- Baste the chicken occasionally with the reserved marinade.
- Remove chicken from grill and tent with foil. Let chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving
We first had this in Paris, France at Fouquet on the Champs d’Elysee and subsequently in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico at the wonderful Merci Restaurant. Merci is better with their homemade bread! Trust me! Below is the version I use at home.
A Croque-Monsieur is the French answer to the grilled cheese sandwich. Gruyere cheese, ham, and bread are topped with a creamy Béchamel sauce.
Preparation Time: 7 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Total time: 12 minutes
8 slices whole wheat bread
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Dijon mustard for spreading
4 slices ham
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese (you can also use Emmenthal or other Swiss-style cheese)
OPTIONAL – 4 eggs
Toast the bread until lightly browned on one side.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the flour and whisk until thick and bubbly. Gradually whisk in the milk, until the sauce is smooth and thickened. Whisk in the paprika. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Keep the sauce warm while your assemble the sandwiches.
Lay four slices of bread, toasted side down on a broiler pan. Brush each one with Dijon mustard, to taste. Lay one slice of ham on each piece . Divide 1/2 cup cheese among the four sandwiches. Top with the second slice of bread, toastier side up. Divide the sauce among the four sandwiches, spreading it over the top. Add one fried egg per sandwich. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the sandwiches.
Broil until the cheese is melted and the tops are bubbly and brown, five minutes or more in my toaster oven. Watch it carefully; yours may be different. Serve immediately.
I like to serve it with a small salad or grilled asparagus.
Link to recipe: http://goodcheapeats.com/2015/02/how-to-make-a-croque-monsieur/
This is a great and easy accompaniment to a great steak and maybe a potato! Can you tell this by the photo?
Great for BBQ season as well…
GREEN BEANS WITH LEMON AND FETA
- 3/4 to 1 pound of fresh green beans (stem end snipped off), washed
- 4 heaping tablespoons feta cheese
- juice of 1/2 of a lemon
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add about 1/2 inch of water to a medium-sized sauté pan. Place over high heat and bring to a boil.
- Add beans, cover and continue to cook on medium-high for 4-5 minutes or until fork tender but still crispy.
- Drain and return to pan. Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and toss to coat. Place green beans on a plate and sprinkle with feta, then lemon juice, then pepper (and salt if desired).
- Serve immediately. (But they are also pretty great cold!)
Okay Cousin Bonnie, here is the salad recipe you asked for…it was yummy!
Lemony Chickpea, Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad
Recipe by Michela Chiappa from Michela’s Tuscan Kitchen
600g ripe tomatoes (I just drained a can of diced tomatoes)
1 small bunch fresh basil
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
small handful walnuts
½ jar good quality chickpeas (about 300g)
pinch of dried cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 good handfuls of arugula
1 small round of crumbly, soft goat’s cheese
- Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to a serving bowl. Rip in most if the basil leaves, keep the baby leaves to one side. Drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil and season with black pepper and salt.
- Place a small frying pan on a low heat, add the walnut halves and cook for 5 minutes until toasted and smelling delicious. When ready tip into a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, drain and the chickpeas. Add the cumin, oregano, lemon zest and half the juice and a drizzle of oil. Toss together with a good pinch of salt and pepper. Add the chickpeas to the tomatoes and toss together. Add the arugula and crumble over the goat’s cheese and walnuts.
I have always remembered this soup from my adolescent years for some reason. I was looking for something different for dinner with friends in place of a salad. Too warm for regular hot soup and we happened to have a box of strawberries in the fridge. Pinterest showed me this wonderful and simple recipe!
TIP – Whether it’s a salad or cold soup, I always freeze my bowls before serving time!
Chilled Strawberry Soup
Author: This Mess Is Ours Prep time: 2 hours 15 mins
Total time: 2 hours 15 mins Serves: 4 cups
This soup only takes about 15 minutes of time to prepare but be sure to let it chill for 2 hours before serving so that the flavors intensify.
- 3 cups sliced fresh strawberries, preferably organic
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- ½ cup white grape juice (or white wine)
- 3 tablespoons raw honey (one tablespoon was sufficient)
- freshly ground black pepper
- sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 or 2 radishes, cut into thin shreds with a grater or mandoline
- fresh mint
- In a food processor or high powered blender process the 3 cups of sliced strawberries, Greek yogurt, white grape juice, and honey until smooth. Stopping periodically to scrape the sides. Cover and chill for 1½- 2 hours. Garnish with freshly ground pepper, sliced strawberries, shredded radishes, and bits of mint. Serve immediately. NB…dont skip the radishes, they were awesome!
In the process of cleaning out our freezer and realized I had 500 gm of ground lamb. What to do? I have always liked moussaka in a Greek restaurant, but never made it at home. Good old Pinterest to the rescue, for what appeared to be an easy recipe and without the potatoes on top….less calories. The recipe looks complicated, but I decided to prepare the ground lamb ahead of time and put it in the refrigerator until I was ready to make the complete dish. It gave me time to prepare the eggplant while I was cleaning up from the lamb prep. The dish turned out perfectly, with our guests taking home this recipe! The photo below is from the Pinterest pinner…we got so carried away enjoying the dish that I forgot a photo. Check out Sniff It Out on Pinterest for more tantalizing recipes!
About 500g of lean minced (ground) lamb
2 Aubergines (Eggplants) medium to large in size
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 heaped tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 rounded tablespoons tomato purée
3 fl oz. (75 ml) red wine or more
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the yogurt topping for the Greek Moussaka – I used a large CorningWare casserole dish and ended up doubling the yogurt in order to cover the top.
150ml Greek yogurt (double if necessary)
1 medium egg, beaten
50g feta cheese or more
25g freshly grated parmesan or more
- Preparing the Aubergines
Leave the skins on and slice the Aubergines into approximately 10mm thick slices.
Put the slices into a colander and sprinkle them with about 1 level dessertspoon of salt. Stand the colander on a plate to catch the water which comes out of the Aubergines and put another plate on top of the aubergine slices.
You now need to weigh this plate down with something heavy (I find that a couple of tins of soup works quite well) and leave them for about an hour to let the juice come out.
After an hour, squeeze out any of the excess juice from the aubergines and dry them well in a clean cloth.
Spread the aubergine slices on a baking sheet and drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over them tossing them around to get a good coating.
Put the baking sheet in a pre heated oven (around 200 degrees) and roast the aubergines for 30 minutes or until they are browning at the edges.
I usually roast the eggplant simply because the baking tray is much bigger than the frying pan and I can get the slices done all in one go, but, if you would rather sauté the eggplant to use in the moussaka you can do that too.
- Preparing the lamb for the Moussaka recipe (I did this step first)
Because the mince can have quite a lot of fat come out of it I usually dry fry the mince until it is nicely browned then remove it from the pan and put it to one side then discard any of the fat which has come out of it before using it to make the moussaka.
Then heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions, garlic and thyme gently, without colouring, for about 10 minutes.
Stir the minced lamb back in and add the parsley, cinnamon, tomato purée and red wine and stir to combine the ingredients. Season the mixture well and cook gently for around 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Prepare the topping for the Greek Moussaka recipe
It’s true that Moussaka isn’t the most healthy dish on the planet, that’s why I prefer a yogurt topping for my moussaka recipe because it is a bit lighter than others I have tried but that is purely my preference. Mix the yogurt with half of the cheeses and the beaten egg and season with ground pepper.
- Putting everything together for the Greek Moussaka!
Line the bottom of a casserole dish with slices of aubergine, then spoon over some of the meat mixture. Build the layers of the moussaka up until all the meat and aubergine has been used.
Cover with the topping mixture and sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC / 350ºF for about 1 hour until golden and bubbling.
Let the Moussaka stand for about 20 to 30 minutes before cutting and serving and this will ensure that it keeps its shape when you serve it.
First had this Vietnamese noodle soup in San Francisco, The portions they served were a little large, but awesome.
Spicy Shrimp Pho (http://chefsavvy.com/spicy-shrimp-pho/)
Prep time 10 mins Cook time 20 mins Total time 30 mins Serves: 4
- 4 ounces whole wheat thin spaghetti (I substituted rice noodles for a less heavy Pho)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon jalapeno, minced
- 2 tablespoons green onion, sliced thin
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon fish sauce (or soy sauce)
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 cup button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 12 ounces large shrimp, uncooked
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- Cook spaghetti until al dente (or prepare rice noodles according to package)
- Meanwhile add oil to a large pot or dutch oven.
- Add garlic, jalapeno and green onions. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
- Pour in chicken stock, fish sauce and sesame oil. Bring to a simmer.
- Stir in mushrooms and shrimp. Simmer until the mushrooms are tender and the shrimp is fully cooked.
- Take off of the heat and stir in pepper, lime juice, and cilantro.
- Divide the noodles among the 4 bowls and pour the soup on top.
- Garnish with extra lime wedges and cilantro if desired.