Friday, July 13, 2012

Brown Rice Jambalaya

I love jambalaya. It makes me recall wonderful memories of going to the New Orleans Jazz Festival several years ago, with (allegedly) free-flowing hurricanes (the cocktail kind) and amazing food at every turn. Unfortunately, unless I'm actually there and in full-on vacation eating mode, I don't often eat the more authentic stuff. This is just enough to satisfy me and bring me back to that culinarily decadent town.

Brown Rice Jambalaya

  • 1 Tbl. vegetable oil
  • 1 c. brown rice (dry or sprouted), par-cooked (I cook it about half way in a rice cooker, but stove top would also work)
  • 1-2 links of andouille sausage, sliced, sauteed or baked and put aside (I used homemade veggie andouille baked into coins, but sliced commercial chicken or veggie andouille would work)
  • 1 onion, chopped (We have a surplus of green onion, so used that instead)
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper (green would also work- I don't happen to like them)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced (1 clove, if large)
  • 2 c *chopped vegetables
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped (or approx 1 c. canned/boxed, drained)
  • 1/2 c tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbl. concentrated tomato paste
  • 1 Tbl. anchovy paste (optional)
  • 1 c. stock (I made seafood stock from the shrimp shells, but veggie or chicken would work)
  • 1 lb. 21/25 shrimp/prawns, deveined and shelled
  • 2 Tbl. **Spice mix (I used the spice mix leftover from making the andouille), toasted briefly in a hot pan to release their oils
  • Adjust seasonings, to taste
Things move quickly after the first few steps, so it's best to have everything prepped and easily within reach (the shrimp should stay in the fridge, but have it easily accessible).

1. Heat a 3 or 4 qt. pan over med. high heat and add oil.
2. Saute bell pepper and onion until glossy.
3. Add garlic, remaining vegetables and a pinch of salt then sautee for approx. 10 minutes, just to lightly soften
4. Add par-cooked rice
5. Slowly add tomato sauce & stock, followed by 1 Tbl. of the spice mix and give everything a couple of stirs.
6. Reduce to simmer for approx. 15-20 minutes, or until rice is tender (not mushy) and most of the liquid is incorporated.
7. Add shrimp and sauteed sausage. Stir slowly and cook until shrimp are just pink (careful- they cook quickly)- about 3-5 minutes and remove from heat.
8. Season to taste with remaining spice mix and salt

I garnished with some fresh parsley to tie into the freshness of the veggies and give it a little color.

*For this batch, I used vegetables I had available-- green kohlrabi, pink turnip & carrot. Be sure to cut longer-cooking vegetables, such as carrot, into a smaller dice. If cooking times vary, add them in stages to cook evenly. Warning: Green veggies will discolor because of the acid in tomatoes.
**Spice mix: (Measurements are approximate, adapted from Emeril Legasse's andouille recipe)

This was the leftover dry mix from making the sausage, but can be used anywhere you want an extra kick-- pasta, eggs, fish, etc. The more spices you have whole to grind fresh, the better. Use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder to grind separately, then combine.
  • 4 Tbl. smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbl. garlic powder
  • 2 Tbl. cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbl. coursely ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbl. onion powder
  • 1 Tbl. dried oregano
  • 1 Tbl. dried thyme
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. file powder ("fee-lay": this may be labeled as "Gumbo File" or "File Gumbo"- If you absolutely can't find it, you can leave it out or substitute ground, dry sage)
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed


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