Ice and jambalaya

February 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

With the Icepocalypse (I think that’s the name I like best–others in the running: Super Storm, Icegeddon, Blizzaster) this week, making it to the grocery store, to work, or to anywhere was pretty cumbersome.  Enter, the impromptu jambalaya for dinner.  I say impromptu because this was basically me looking around trying to figure out what to do with what we had.

I know, making dinner should probably not constitute a post–after all, that’s what most of you call a Tuesday, but it’s a rare thing around here.  This recipe takes about an hour to prepare.

1/2 stick butter

3 carrots (chopped)

3 stalks celery (chopped)

1/2 an onion (chopped)

1 1/2 cups rice

1 can Rotel

2-3 cups chicken stock

chopped pork, chicken, or sausage (pre-cooked)

Get all your veggies chopped, and throw the butter into a dutch oven, or a very large skillet.  Set the stove top to a low-medium heat, and start adding the vegetables to the butter when it’s melted and bubbly.  Toss the veggies with your wooden spoon until they are coated and start to soften up a bit.

Add the rice to the mix and let it brown in the butter for a couple of minutes.  Just stir it so it doesn’t stick or burn.  When you’re sufficiently out of butter, add the Rotel to the mix.  Stir occasionally until the liquid has all been absorbed.  Again, watch it so you don’t burn it–this is a lot like making risotto.

Go ahead and add your protein here–I had some smoked pork tenderloin, so I just cubed that and added in about a cup or so.

You want to add your stock 1/2 a cup at a time and throw in your spices at this point (we’ll talk spices in a minute).  Depending on the type of rice you use, you may need more or less stock than I used, so you’ll need to have some taste-testers around, and just keep adding liquid until you like the consistency of the rice.  You’ll add the first cup of stock, let the jambalaya simmer until your liquid has been absorbed by the rice, and then add another 1/2 cup of stock.  I ended up using about 2 cups total, and I was using a mixed wild rice.

Depending on how spicy you like your jambalaya, or your food in general, you’ll want to adjust these measurements, but this is how we like it:

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 tsp. cumin

When rice is tender, and close to all of your liquid is absorbed, serve it up in bowls with crusty bread!

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