Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Jambalaya, my way

A few nights ago I was awoken by an extremely aggressive lone mosquito and the intense desire for jambalaya. A strange desire, considering that I've only had the dish once in my life and that time around it wasn't even very good. But something triggered in me and all I craved was a spicy blend of sausage, rice, peppers, and tomatoes -- so badly that I couldn't sleep for the rest of the night.

The desire for the dish continued, despite several evenings of plan derailment. In fact, I was deterred from my plans for so long that by yesterday I had pretty much given up on the idea of attempting to make the dish. However, I had a horrible Tuesday full of out of control hormones and the disappointment of reality and decided that I would have to go home and do at least one thing for myself no matter how much of an effort it took.

So I stopped by the store for some groceries, was harassed by a small child in galoshes, got home, and promptly poured myself a glass of pinot noir.

Like I said, I've only had the dish once and after a minimal amount of research (aka looking jambalaya up on Wikipedia), I came up with something that hit the spot and managed to use up a bunch of ingredients leftover from other cooking endeavors that would otherwise have gone to waste in the kitchen. I also felt quite triumphant because I was able to use a can of Rolling Rock that my husband regrettably purchased months ago but has sat, undrunk/undrank, in our cupboard for quite some time.

Rice (cooked slightly al dente)
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
5 stalks of celery, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 package sundried tomato chicken sausage, cut to size of your desire
tomato paste
1 can very bad beer
parsley, minced
chicken stock
cajun spice
olive oil

1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions.
2. Saute onions, add garlic and celery.
3. Add sausage.
4. Add tomato paste and water down with bad beer.
5. Let this stew/cook for a while while adding salt, pepper, and cajun spice to taste.
6. Add peppers and tomatoes.
7. Add rice.
8. Add chicken stock.
9. Add minced parsley.
10. And that's pretty much it -- let cook until desired thickness and consistency.

The dish was so incredibly easy with such good results! Next time I'm going to add shrimp or scallops and possibly some beans? I'm still not sure if what I made was jambalaya, but what I do know is that it felt so good to cut and chop and just focus on cooking while forgetting about all the other crappy components of the day. Cooking/creating is therapy and thankfully, has results that can feed you for the next day or two!

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