Saturday, July 2, 2011

"Keep Calm & Om Nom"

When I started this blog post four days ago I had every intention of sitting down and writing the entire thing out in one sitting. Seriously, no big deal, tell you about how things have been going, maybe share a delicious recipe with you, ramble on about something for a while. Well, lesson learned, if you have plans to write up a post - plug your husbands laptop into a surge protector, not that convenient wall plug that's right there to accommodate your laziness. The power flickered & the computer kinda sorta got fried... epic fail for wifey...I'm attempting to keep calm and figure out how to fix it.

At the same time when things like that happen it can serve as a blessing in disguise. It just so happened that my little munchkin decided that a half hour nap would be just fine and that it was time to play again. So we danced and sang a long to Sesame Street. (She's totally hooked on clips of the shows first 20 seasons. It's totally funny. Her favorite clip is of Smokey Robinson singing about the letter U.) She got into everything she could and totally wore herself out again some hours later. It's nice for me to have those kind of moments that sort of give me a good look and a quick reminder of exactly why we chose to live the way that we do. I know its not the choice that everyone would make, and I totally respect that. But for me, it allows me to watch my baby girl grow up every single day. That to me is the biggest blessing I could ever be given.

I ran across this picture on the interwebz that totally entertained me with its relevance.

Other than that not too much has been going on. My uncle and cousin are coming in to town from Texas with his son for the holiday weekend. So hubby and I are really excited for that, and we're gearing up for the events of the weekend. Should be tons of fun. What are you doing for the holiday? I'd love to know!

While I wait for you to let me in on our celebrations I'll let you in on the miracles of satisfying my hubbys cravings!!

Do you ever plan your meals for the week, only to not cook one or two of those meals during the week because you were too tired or just down right too lazy to do so? Plus there was something totally easier to make anyways. My dinner the other night almost fell victim to this, as many of my dinners regrettably have in the past. But this particular dinner didn't! And thank goodness for that!

For the past few weeks my beloved hubby has been asking random questions about my Jambalaya. How much it costs to make, how many servings it would make, how long has it been since he had it last, et cetra, et cetra.

So naturally, I made it! And I just could not wait to share it with you! I even managed to take the pictures this time! w00t! Now I do have a bit of side notes on this recipe (fair warning). There are a couple of optional things that you can add, there are some ways to cut corners and save a little bit of money, which I am all for! Also, in my opinion this is one of those recipes that you're going to want to prepare and measure whatever you can to make the actual cooking process easier. So here we go!

This is the recipe for red Jambalaya. But I'll let you know later on what to do for making other forms of Jambalaya and an alternate way to make it a red, as well.
Also, this makes about 12 -15 servings! So it's great for get-togethers!

What you'll need:

1/4 - 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into about 1/2 inch pieces
1 - 1 1/2 lbs sausage (any kind you like), cut into 1/4 inch slices and then cut in half
2 cups diced ham - **optional**
4 slices bacon, crisped or 1/2 lb pork sides, crisped - **optional**
garlic powder
onion powder
4 cups onion, chopped (this is about two large onions)
2 cups celery, chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 cups green bell pepper, chopped (this is about two medium/large peppers)
5 cups chicken stock or water flavored with chicken bouillon (if your using cans of chicken stock you can use three cans)
4 cups long grain rice
kitchen bouquet (if you don't have this I will show you how to make it in your kitchen)
2 tbsp seasoning salt
2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp oregano (Just a good shake)
1/4 cup paprika
2 cups green onions, chopped
parsley, to taste

Don't mind everything in the background, I didn't plan this in advance... I like taking these pictures of everything together before I start cooking because it entertains me. Its like taking a kitchen class photo!!

I'm easily entertained, I know. But I kind of messed up on this picture, its missing the oil, parsley and the paprika. I'm sure it's not gonna kill anyone, but I admit my faults...sometimes. lol


Making your own Kitchen Bouquet:
What you need:

1/4 cup water, microwave to a boil

Add 1 heaping tablespoon of dark brown sugar


BAM! You just made your own Kitchen bouquet! You even just saved a few dollars!!! Do feel the rush of the penny pinching?! I totally just did!!! Oh, my drug!

Getting Everything Else Ready:

Chop the celery.


Chop the onions.


Chop the green peppers.


Put the celery, onions, peppers and minced garlic into a bowl and set aside.


Cut up the chicken and sausage up.


Steps for optional ingredients:

If your adding bacon, crisp it. 
If your adding pork sides until almost charred. 
If your adding ham, cook (if not already cooked) and dice. 

Making the Magic Happen!:
You've done all of the preparation, now lets get to the fun stuff!!

Put the oil in pot & let warm on a medium-high setting for about 4 minutes.

Add chicken to pot. 

Season with salt, pepper, onion powder & garlic powder. 

Cook until chicken is about 3/4 of the way done.

Add sausage to pot. Cook 5-7 more minutes. 

(Make sure to stir it all around to ensure all meat is evenly cooked.)

Remove chicken and sausage from pot, set aside. (I spooned it out so the oil & drippings stayed in the pot.)

Add onions, celery, peppers and minced garlic to pot. 

Cook for 7-10 minutes or until vegetables begin to wilt.

Pour in chicken stock.

Add reserved chicken & sausage, seasoning salt, kitchen bouquet, Old Bay seasoning and oregano.


Bring to a boil.

Add rice (DO NOT STIR) and return to a boil.

Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes. 

Remove cover and turn rice from top to bottom, making sure it all gets completely stirred in.

Replace cover and cook about 15-20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender. 

Add 1/4 cup of paprika.
Add green onions and parsley. 

Stir until paprika covers everything. 
(Everything in the pot! Don't call me to help cleanup because you got into a paprika fight in your kitchen! I'm not helpin! lol)

That's it! Serve it up and listen to the clinking of forks & cured cravings! I hope you love it!! 

Additional Info:

Another way to make the red jambalaya (instead of using the paprika):
- Instead of just chicken stock you can use 1/2 stock & 1/2 tomato juice (or V-8).

To make brown jambalaya:
-Add 1 heaping tbsp of brown sugar to hot oil & caramelize.
-OR make a roux
-OR use Kitchen Bouquet. 

To make seafood jambalaya:
-Add any desired (cooked) seafood when rice is cooked. 

 That's all I've got. I'm busy celebrating the fact that I've finally finished this!!! Enjoy!

Don't forget the dishes! ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment