So in my less than timely manner... here's the Jambalaya that I made for our early Mardi Gras feast.
Until Sunday, the only jambalaya that ever came out of my kitchen was Zatarain's. Which IS really good. But I wanted to try making it from scratch.
I looked at bunches & bunches of recipes to get an idea of what actually goes into it and came up with this:
1 1/4 lbs medium shrimp (reserve shells)
3/4 lb smoked sausage, cut into bite sized half circles
1 C onion, diced
1 C celery, diced
1 C bell pepper, diced
1 C tomatoes, diced (I used canned)
1 small can tomato paste
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 C chicken stock
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 - 2 TBLS Worcestershire sauce
1 TBLS cajun seasoning
1 1/2 C long grain white rice
1 TBLS butter
Tabasco, a few good shakes
Preheat oven to 350F
Shell and devein shrimp. Combine shrimp shells with chicken stock in a sauce pan and simmer until shells turn pink. Strain out shells and reserve stock. (I put the shells in 64 oz of chicken stock, then had extra shricken stock for other recipes)
In a cast iron dutch, melt butter and brown smoked sausage. Add half of the onion, celery and peppers and cook until tender. Add tomatoes & tomato paste. Cook for a minute or two. Add rice and cook for a few minutes while stirring. Add 2 1/2 cups of shricken stock, remaining onion, celery, and peppers, garlic, cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco. Stir well and bake uncovered for 25 minutes. Add raw shrimp (and if needed a little more shricken stock) and bake for 10 more minutes.
Here's most of what you need.
Peel & devein the shrimp (oops... sorry... they're a little fuzzy!)
Reserve the shells, rinse and simmer in chicken stock.
Prior to simmering... you can't really see the shells in the stock
You can see them after!
I save all of my shrimp and lobster shells, just to use like this. If I don't have an immediate use for them. I vacuum seal them and throw them into the freezer to become stock another day!
Strain out the shells and reserve the shricken stock.
Now onto the jambalaya.
My cast iron dutch oven looks like I'm cooking in a black hole!
Melt the butter and add the smoked sausage.
After it's browned, add about half of the onion, celery and peppers.
When the veggies are tender, add the tomatoes and tomato paste.
When that's all mixed in and has cooked a couple minutes, add the rice.
Stir that around and cook for a few minutes.
Add 2 1/2 cups of shricken stock, remaining onion, celery, and peppers, garlic, cajun seasoning, Worcestershire sauce and Tabasco and bake for 25 minutes, uncovered.
After 25 minutes stir in shrimp and bake for 10 more minutes. If the rice is still looking a little crunchy, add more shricken stock.
I usually serve Jambalaya with Blackened Catfish.
But really it's a meal all on it's own.
I used prepared Cajun seasoning, because I had some and I was getting a little frazzled since I was behind schedule.
It had been my intent to make my own Cajun seasoning. Well... to make Shane's Cajun Seasoning. Check out his blog Culinary Alchemist. He's AMAZING in the kitchen!
I might still make Zatarain's, on a busy week night. But this homemade Jambalaya was GREAT! So I wouldn't be too surprised if Zatarain's has made it's final appearance in my kitchen!
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