It's been a long break from cooking or blogging recently..
I've been away these past few weeks on a much needed vacation to New Orleans and the Mexican Riviera..
New Orleans is one of my most favorite places in all the world to be..
I love the history, the atmosphere, the sights and sounds of this Southern U.S. city—and don't even get me started on their cuisine..
I could go on forever and a day about the food—from the coffee & chicory with beignets, the étouffée's and gumbos, the seafood and the down home southern food..
There's a never ending supply of variety and an endless parade of new food experiences to explore inside Nawlin's..
It's because of this wonderful mix of French, Spanish, American, African, Island and Native influences thrown together with all of the new culinary discoveries and imports from around the world that makes it such a special "Foodie" city..
Now though, after thoroughly devouring the streets and food scene in the Big Easy, I'm back home..
An though sadly my journey to New Orleans is over, it didn't take long before I felt the need to do a little culinary invention of my own and get back into my favorite room in the house—the kitchen..
An what better dish to make on my return from NOLA, then my own version of a Cajun-Creole standard—"Jambalaya"
Using a mix of chicken, andouille sausage and slow cooked beef stew meat with my peppers, tomatoes, onions, herbs & spices to create this "just spicy enough" version of a tasty jambalaya was the result..
Came out perfectly and such a nice addition with the beef—was practically ready to fall apart as soon as you put it in your mouth. An the heat, just perfect—spicy enough to enjoy but not so hot as to wake the dead down in Louisiana..
Just be sure leave a bottle of hot sauce on the table for those in your home that will only settle for a "Four Alarm Fire" in their mouth and nothing else..
"Definitely Delish" an definitely a dish that you, and your family, will absolutely enjoy—trust me...
1 tablespoon extra-virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Butter
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless white meat Chicken cut into pieces
3/4 pound andouille, sliced or diced (pre-cooked is easier to slice)
1 medium Sweet Vidalia Onion, chopped
2 ribs Celery, chopped
2 Bell Peppers, chopped (I used a mix of yellow, orange and green for color)
1 Bay Leaf, fresh or dried
1/8 teaspoon hungarian Paprika
2 to 3 tablespoons (a handful) all-purpose Flour (plus more for coating chicken and beef)
1 (14-ounce) can diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes in juice
1 (14 ounce) can crushed San Marzano Tomotoes
2 cups low sodium Chicken Stock or Chicken Bone Broth
1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) Cumin
1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon Chili Powder
1 teaspoon (1/3 palmful) Poultry Seasoning
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Coarse Sea salt and Black Pepper
Chopped Scallions(green onions), for garnish
Chopped Chives, for garnish
Chopped fresh Italian Parsley, for garnish
Fresh Thyme, chopped for garnish
1 pound Beef Sirloin, cut into a mix of 1 or 2 inch cubes
2 cups of Beef Broth
1/4 Red Wine
pinch of dried Thyme and Sage
enough Water to cover meat
1 tablespoon Butter & Olive Oil
2/3 cup Flour, 1 tsp. Sea Salt and Black Pepper for coating
2 cups of Risotto rice
2 cups of Chicken Bone Broth or Stock
2 cups of Water
1 teaspoon of Sea Salt
1 tablespoon of Butter
1. Mix 2/3 of a cup of flour (or gluten free alternative) with a teaspoon of sea salt and black pepper. Then slice your beef sirloin into cubes of about 1 or 2 inches in size. Toss together to coat all sides of your beef with the flour mixture..
2. Add beef broth, red wine and herbs to a small pot with butter and bring to a low boil on medium heat..
3. In your main chef's pot or saute pan with deep sides, heat a tablespoon of butter and olive oil on medium high heat--then add your beef, in batches if necessary, searing/browning all sides of your beef stew meat..
4. Remove from the beef from the pan and transfer to the simmering broth and add water, if needed, to cover completely. Bring the small pot to a boil, cover and reduce temperature to simmer. Cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or till almost ready to shred, then remove from heat--be sure not to over cook as we want it to retain it's shape and not have the beef falling apart..
For Risotto Rice:
1. Add two cups of risotto, 1 tablespoon of butter, 2 cups of chicken bone broth, 2 cups of water and sea salt..
2. Bring to a boil, stir and then cover. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook on a low boil/simmer for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the rice is done and the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and leave covered till needed..
1. Slice and chop your andouille sausage, chicken (small 1 to 2 inch pieces), vegetables, onions and garnish in preparation. Take several tablespoons of flour, or leftover from the beef, and toss your sliced chicken in it to coat..
2. Heat a tablespoon of butter and olive oil on medium high heat in your deep sided saute or chef's pan. Add chicken in a layer and let sit for 2 minutes before flipping to sear, cook for an additional minute to brown slightly before adding the slice sausage and cooking for 2 more minutes..
3. Add the chopped onion, celery,bell pepper, bay leaf and paprika (can sub cayenne for a spicier flavor). Saute the vegetables with meat, stirring the pan occasionally, for 5 minutes. Sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of flour over the pan and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes, stirring..
4. Stir in your tomatoes and chicken bone broth(stock), then season with cumin, chili, poultry seasoning and worcestershire sauce. Bring everything to a low boil, adjusting heat if necessary..
5. Strain liquids out of the small pot of beef, then transfer beef to the main saute pan and stir to mix. Cover loosely and reduce heat to a simmer, cooking for 10 to 15 minutes..
6. Ladle servings into your serving bowls and using a small ice cream scoop, place a scoop or two of rice onto the center of the bowlfuls of jambalaya. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt, black pepper, chopped scallions, chives, minced parsley and thyme to garnish..
1. For thicker jambalaya you can add additional flour or "Wondra" to the pan as a thickening agent near to the end of cooking..
2. I enjoy the low sodium Chicken Bone Broth for the extra nutrients, but Chicken Broth or Stock is fine as a replacement..
3. For a spicier version use a whole teaspoon of chili powder with 1/8th of a teaspoon of cayenne instead of the paprika and smaller amount of chili powder..
4. I like the sticky, creamy texture of the risotto but you can sub in plain enriched white rice. You want it to be sticky for the effect of scooping it on top, but it's not a deal breaker if it's not..