Sunday, September 21, 2014

Baked Jambalaya

Jambalaya is up there with my top 5 favorite foods.  I love one pot meals and meals that you can eat for a week.  When I was in culinary school, I would make a huge pot of jambalaya and eat on it for at least 5 days!  I was really in the mood for some kind of casserole, and then I thought about jambalaya.  So I thought, what if I made jambalaya but baked it like a casserole?  The result?  Super creamy and delicious jambalaya.  You can definitely still make this recipe on the stove top, but something about baking it really brings out the starches in the rice and makes it extra creamy.  Put on your fat pants for this one, because there is nothing low calorie about this recipe!  Maybe that's what makes it so good!

What you'll need:

2 yellow Onions, diced
2 green Bell peppers, diced
5 ribs of Celery, diced
5 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 lb. Andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
1 lb. Shrimp, peeled and deveined
28 oz. can diced Tomatoes
3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Tabasco
5 Bay leaves
2 cups Rice
4 cups Chicken stock
Scallions, for garnish
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Start out by heating a large pot over medium high heat.  Coat the bottom with extra virgin olive oil.  When the oil is hot, add in the sausage.

Cook the sausage until it begins to brown.  When it is nice and brown and has given off a lot of fat, remove it with a slotted spoon and put it into a large casserole dish.

Add the onions, celery and green bell peppers to the pot with the sausage drippings.  Add 1 tbsp of Creole Seasoning.  Season with a big pinch of salt and cook until they become translucent and soften.  About 10 minutes.

In the meantime, pour the tomatoes into a bowl and stir in the bay leaves, Worcestershire, Tabasco and 1 tbsp of Creole Seasoning.  Set aside.

In another bowl, toss the shrimp with 1 tbsp of Creole Seasoning.  Set aside in the refrigerator.

When the veggies have softened, add the garlic and cook for 1 - 2 more minutes.

Add all the veggies to the casserole dish with the sausage.

Into the pot, add the tomato mixture.  Heat until it begins to bubble then add the chicken stock.  

Bring everything to a boil and add the rice.  Bring it back to a boil then cook on low for 3 minutes.

Pour everything into the casserole dish.  Stir gently to combine everything.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.

After an hour, check to see if the rice is tender, if it isn't, let it go for a few more minutes.  When the rice is tender, pour the shrimp over the top and poke them down into the rice.  Cover and bake for another 10-12 minutes or until the shrimp are firm to the touch.

When it's done, let it rest on the stove top for a few minutes before serving.  Serve with lots of scallions!


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