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Cajun Jambalaya

Hi friends! No, I did not forget you, life just became a bit more hectic lately that I could barely share to the world  what was cooking in my kitchen. But now that I had some free time, look at what I was able to accomplish! *wink* *wink* I hope you like my new blog layout. It took me half a day to figure out how to make things work, and I now have a deeper respect for programmers and website builders. ;-)

Anyway... today's recipe is brought to you by hubby's craving for jambalaya. This is my first time to make it because I always thought it would be easier to order it from our favorite Cajun restaurant. I still think it is, but I love that I can tweak the heat and spices of my home-made jambalaya. 

I followed Emeril's basic recipe from here, but had to make some adjustments to suit our taste (and because I don't have some of the ingredients!). It turned out really, really good - so good we fought for the leftovers!

What you need:

12 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and cut into smaller slices (about 3 cuts per shrimp)
1 small chicken breast (about 6 to 10 ounces)
1/2 pound beef kielbasa sausage, coined
1 tablespoon Creole seasoning (recipe below)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil  
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Vidalia onion
1/2 cup sliced green bell pepper
5 large cloves of garlic, roughly minced
1 cup Roma tomato, diced (about 1 large tomato)
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
1 cup rice
3 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper, to taste

What to do:

Combine shrimp, chicken and seasoning (just one tablespoon!) in a bowl and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge.

Heat a large pot or saucepan, saute onion, garlic and pepper over high heat. Add tomatoes bay leaves, Sriracha, and Worcestershire sauce. Add in rice and broth. Reduce heat to medium until rice becomes tender, stirring occasionally (about 15 minutes or so). Add the shrimp-chicken mixture and sausage. Cook for about 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, plus a bit of Creole seasoning. Stir, remove from heat and serve.

Creole Seasoning ingredients:

2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon Cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 tablespoon dried parsley

Combine everything in a container and mix well.    

Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:

1. Emeril's recipe for Creole Seasoning (or Bayou Blast!) calls for dried thyme. I used dried parsley instead.
2. Try seafood jambalaya! Or just meat (for those with seafood allergies). Next time I make this, I am gonna skip the chicken and use a pound of sausage instead.
3. Use long grain rice. I used short-grain because that is all we have in stock. So my jambalaya rice is a bit soft and sticky.
4. Substitute Sriracha with Tabasco or your favorite hot sauce.
5. Want more heat? Double the amount of Sriracha!


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