It pains me to say this, but back in college, my husband and I ate jambalaya out of a microwaveable pouch. I know. When all of the dining halls were closed, it was one of the few “meals” that could be purchased from the shelves of the late night grocery store. Oh the days of college eating. No wonder I had so many stomach problems…I don’t even want to think about all the ingredients that were in there…it didn’t have to be refrigerated! Yikes! Well, fortunately those days are LONG, LONG gone and I must say, from scratch jambalaya is much better, and for the record, jambalaya is so unbelievably easy to make, no one should ever be eating it from a microwaveable pouch anyway. Jambalaya makes for the best leftovers too, and I was sad when there was no longer any left in my fridge because the flavors meld together more and more as times passes. So with that said, make the full recipe and save yourself some to microwave later (hehehe…in a bowl). Here’s how to make it:
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 lb andouille sausage, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 lb shrimp
4 bay leaves
1 14.5 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 cups white rice (long grain)
6 cups chicken stock
1 cup chopped scallions
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste
In a large wide pot, heat up the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Add the onions, peppers, and celery, and season with a good pinch of salt and pepper, the cayenne, paprika, and oregano. Saute for 5 minutes until softened. Add the sausage and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add the bay leaves, tomatoes, and garlic, and saute for another 2 minutes.
Stir in the rice, and toast it for 3 minutes. At this point you may be tempted go back and reread the amount of rice you are supposed to add, because it’s going to look like you don’t have enough. I promise it’s the right amount of rice. It plumps up a ton.
Add the chicken stock, bring the liquid to a boil, and reduce to simmer. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so the rice doesn’t settle and burn on the bottom. Add the shrimp and green onion, and cook for another 5 minutes. Enjoy! Wasn’t that easy?
Yields 6-8 servings of jambalaya.
Recipe adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s Crawfish and Sausage Jambalaya.