Fat Tuesday Jambalaya

12 Feb

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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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