Jambalaya!

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Getting excited about an approaching trip to NOLA, decided to make a quick jambalaya. I didn’t have the classic ingredients, but who cares when you are cooking for two? Jambalaya is actualy verfy simple. All you need is “the trinity” aka the classic Cajun aromatics of onion, celery, and bell pepper. Garlic. Sausage, preferrably andouille. Chicken or in this case shrimp. Rice. Chicken stock. Salt. Cajun seasoning. Flour and oil.

For a small batch, I cook somewhat out of order. Classically you start with the roux. This works well when you are making large quantities and are cooking your trinity in the roux, but prolongs your cooking time significantly. Here’s the drill. Saute a diced onion, celery stalk, and bell pepper until soft and transfer to a small dutch oven. Next brown your sausage in the same pan adding the garlic at the end cooking until just fragrant (about a minute). Transfer to the dutch oven. Add 1 1/2 cups of long grain rice to the dutch oven, mix well, and begin to “toast” over low heat while you make some roux. In your skillet, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil and an equal amount of flour whisking over medium heat until you achieve the color of peanut butter. Add the roux to the rice mixture, stir, add the broth, salt and seasoning. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cover. After 10 minutes, stir to prevent too much sticking of the rice. Add a bit more water if necessary and cover again. After 10 minutes more, repeat the process and add your shrimp. Cover cooking for 5 more minutes then remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Garnish with chopped green onions and more seasoning to taste. Serve with some crust French bread and in this case some Cajun broiled okra.

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