Jambalaya

Mid-February in Seattle is dark, wet, cold and difficult for sun-lovers like myself. With this being my second winter in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve learned how to cope with days like today when the thought of venturing out into the constant rain is a personal torture. I’ve spent the last few years bulking up my stores of comfort food recipes in preparation for weather just like this.

My favorite thing to do when the rain just won’t let up is preparing a hearty, heavy, cook-all-day meal to keep the apartment smelling cozy and our spirits up. Jambalaya has become a favorite in our household due to the fact that it’s insanely flavorful, easy to prepare and gets better over time (perfect leftovers).

It’s taken me months to get this recipe just the way we like it. Jambalaya is a dish that there is no “right” way to cook – it can contain any protein (usually sausage and either shrimp or chicken), veggie or rice. Despite that, there are a few parts of this meal that never change: onion, bell pepper and celery. The holy trinity of creole cooking.

This dish is full of flavor without being heavy on spice – and the thing I love most about jambalaya is that it’s easy to modify for personal preference. Garlic lover? Add more. Like it spicy? Kick it up with more Cajun spice or a dash of cayenne.

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Ingredients


• 1 lb Andouille sausage
• 1 lb shrimp, tails off
• 1/2 c. vegetable oil
• 2 tbsp minced garlic
• 2 green bell peppers, sliced
• 2 onions, sliced
• 4 celery stalks, chopped
• 3 c. wild grain rice
• 5 c. chicken broth
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 c. chopped green onion
Cajun Spice

• Salt
• Pepper

Preparation


  1. Cut andouille sausage into 1-inch pieces, set aside.
  2. Using a zip-lock gallon bag, toss Cajun Spice and shrimp, set aside.
  3. Slice bell peppers and onion into preferred width, set aside.
  4. Cut celery into 1/2-inch pieces, set aside.
  5. Heat 1/2 c. vegetable oil in a large pot and add minced garlic
  6. Brown the minced garlic (~ 1 minute) and add sliced bell pepper, celery and onion
  7. Season with salt & pepper
  8. Sautee vegetables until soft (~10 minutes), stirring occasionally to avoid sticking
  9. While vegetables are cooking, in a medium pot, mix 5 c. chicken broth and 3 c. wild grain rice. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer (~15 min).
  10. Once veggies are soft, throw cut sausage and seasoned shrimp into the pot and cook ~5 min. until shrimp is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  11. Once rice is cooked, there should still be liquid left in the medium pot – add rice and leftover chicken broth to the veggie and meat pot. Mix together.
  12. Add 3 bay leaves and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for ~20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  13. Serve with chopped green onion on top.
  14. Enjoy!

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