Recipe for Creole Jambalaya
When I was enlisted in the United States Navy Reserve I was sent to train to New Orleans, Louisiana. It is there that I first became acquainted with a wonderful spicy and quite tasty dish which the local called jambalaya. After questioning some chefs, I finally was given a list of ingredients and a recipe (although not many were willing to share their secrets)
The first thing I did upon my return to my hometown of Miami, Florida, was to share it with friends and family and voila! What a success it was. So without much ado...here it goes.
The recipe will feed about 4 to 5 people, depending on the portion sizes. You can add more ingredients to satisfy a larger crowd.
1 cut up onion
2 cut up garlic cloves
2 cups of white rice
2 12 oz cans of chicken broth
2 Polish kielbasa sausages cut into strips or rounds
1 bay leave
1 entire stalk of fresh thyme (dry doesn't work well)
2 small cans of tomato paste
1 quarter teaspoon of salt
1 quarter teaspoon of sugar
1 pinch of cayenne ground pepper (more if you really like it spicy)
2 12 oz cans of whole skinless tomatoes ( you can also cut them into pieces)
1 green or preferably red pepper cut into pieces
1 one pound of peeled fresh shrimp (frozen does not work as well but it's a good substitute)
1 quarter teaspoon of garlic powder
Take a large soup pot and precook (saute) the onion along with the garlic cloves. Once this is done add the rest of the ingredients directly to the pot;
Mix everything well,cover and let it cook. At this point the liquid from the broth, the cans of tomato paste and the liquid in the cans of whole tomatoes should provide all of the necessary liquid needed to cook the rice.
Depending on how you like the consistency of the rice you may add a bit more water. Just do so carefully. Stir occasionally until all of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice and the dish is ready.
The dish will give off a wonderful aroma and you will readily be able to smell the fresh thyme. This dish is best served hot and accompanied by cold beer and French bread and served, if you can get one, in a stone or clay crock pot or deep dish. You may wish to add some cilantro sprigs on top for decoration but this is not a necessity.
If everything comes according to plan you and your guests may find themselves saying "C'est si bon"
© 2012 Luis E Gonzalez
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