For starters, this isn’t Jess. This is Kevin, her husband (aka “The Hubs”). If you remember, I wrote a post here when Jess went in for surgery. Well, I’m back! The reason I’m guest writing today is to share with you my “one meal”. In my opinion (and I’m not alone), every guy should know how to cook “one meal” well enough to impress the President (or at least your neighbor).
When most people think of Jambalaya, they think: Zatarain’s. We will not be using this. A true Jambalaya comes from scratch, and that’s how mine works.
The history of Jambalaya dates back to New Orleans in the Mid-1800’s. Without getting into too much depth, it’s known to New Orleans natives as the “What am I to do with all these leftover veggies in my fridge” meal. There are a zillion different recipes, but this is the best (I ate it last night, trust me). It has my favorite four qualities: Simple, Hard to screw up, Delicious, and Cheap. Also, before I begin, let me tell you that this isn’t my recipe. This is my mother’s recipe. I grew up in Illinois, but my mom grew up in The Big Easy, New Orleans (so this recipe is authentic-ish).
Easy Creole Jambalaya
Total Prep Time: 15 Mins
Total Cook Time: 1 Hour
First, we need to prepare the ingredients. You will need:
6-Qt or larger pot
2 lb of long grain white rice
2 ribs of celery (diced)
1 Green Pepper (diced)
1 Onion (diced)
2 lb of Andouille Sausage (Summer Sausage if you’re in the North or if you don’t like spicy) sliced into ¼” pieces
2 Cans of Rotel (Diced tomatoes with green peppers)
40 oz of Chicken Broth/Stock
1 Thingy [wife edit: clove] of Garlic Minced (Garlic salt works, but it’s not as good)
2 Pinches of Salt
1 Pinch of Sage
3 Bay Leaves
1 Pinch of Parsley
Ok, this looks like a lot of ingredients, but trust me, once you have them, this isn’t difficult to make. I’m a guy, so if I can do it, you can, too. Alright, here we go:
1. Put oil (vegetable, olive, canola, peanut, whatever you have) in the bottom of the stockpot and heat for 30-45 seconds on medium heat.
2. Put in the Sausage and let it brown ( ~1.5 – 2 minutes)
3. Then put veggies in the pot IN THIS ORDER, stirring after each ingredient (waiting about 30-45 sec between veggies)
b. Green Pepper
d. Spices (Bay Leaves, Sage, Garlic, and Salt)
4. Let cook (occasionally stirring) until onions start to clear a little bit and the other veggies are soft
5. Add both cans of Rotel and the Chicken Broth.
6. Bring to a boil with occasional stir (still on medium heat)
7. Put rice in pot and stir once
8. Cover and set timer for 40 minutes
9. Go give your significant other a foot/back massage, and get one in return [wife edit: this is my favorite step]
10. When timer goes off, open lid, stir, and add more chicken broth if the rice looks dry-ish
11. Cover, set timer for 10 minutes (if you added more stock)
12. Take lid off, smell the goodness, pick out the bay leaves, and eat
In my opinion, it’s not Jambalaya without some Tabasco sauce. For a spicier variation, you can add some Tabasco with the Rotel in step 5. I always bring out a cold glass of milk (because I always put too much Tabasco on my Jambalaya…wait, that’s impossible).
What is your “one meal?”