Fat Tuesday Jambalaya

12 Feb


Happy Fat Tuesday! I love the opportunity to align my cooking with occasions, and for the past several years I’ve been attempting Mardi Gras favorites on this night. Given that its a week night, easy and healthy (I like to confine my indulgences to the weekend) meals are a necessity. I found a great recipe for Jambalaya on cookinglight.com that I actually make pretty regularly with a few tweaks; its 426 calories for a 1.5 cup serving compared to over 600 for a restaurant version. It pairs nicely with Abita Purple Haze (Louisiana beer) and king cake. Read on for the recipe…

Here’s the ingredient list, which yields four 1.5 cup servings:

1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 cup chopped onion, 1 cup chopped red pepper, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 6 ounces sliced andouille sausage (I use a turkey/chicken version that is just more available at my whole foods than the real thing), 1 cup uncooked rice (the recipe calls for white, but I use brown and its fine), 1 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1 bay leaf, 2 cups chicken broth, 3/4 cups cup water, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes, 1/2 pound of peeled medium shrimp, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley.


Heat oil in a large Dutch over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, minced garlic, and sausage slices. Saute for 5 minutes until veggies are tender.


Next, add rice and all of the spices and cook for two minutes. I find it helpful to put the spices into a small bowl prior to starting to cook because by the time you add everything, the two minutes is probably up and all the spices will not have equal time.


Next, add the liquids (broth, water, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste). Bring it to a boil, then cover it and simmer for 20 minutes at a reduced heat. This is a really easy recipe but I still had a helper (pictured below).


Add in shrimp and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Sometimes the liquid isn’t completely absorbed after the 20 minutes of covered simmering. If that’s the case, I’ll keep cooking, uncovered, until the rest evaporates.

Let the jambalaya stand for 5 minutes. Then stir in the parsley and enjoy!



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