Saturday, October 10, 2009

"Jambalaya"


One of my favorite dishes to order of all time is jambalaya but it had never occured to me to make it. When I start making it, I started to break the rules by using angle hair pasta instead of rice and adding mushrooms to it. Hence, the quotes around "Jambalaya." Enough blah blah, on to the cooking, please!


Slice 2 stalks of green onions or scallions.


Mince 3 cloves of garlic and 1/4 of a large red onions.


Dice half a large red bell pepper.
Dice half a large portabello mushroom.


Finely chop about 1/2 cup of parsley.


Grab three bay leaves, wash and chop finely. I just happened to saw fresh bay leaves in the store and bought them but I do believe it would be best to use dried bay leaves. Back when I was a wee student taking a botany class, we have to do an experiment to see which plant has the ability to inhibit soy bean's growth. The bay tree was one of them and I remember making a face when I had to grind up bay leaves and some other students were complaining that the smell was too strong. Our lab instructor made a comment that some people cook with bay leaves and of course I did not believe her. Well, look at me now, sniffing and cooking with bay leaves.


Back to the cooking...slice some sausages, I use smoked beef sausages. Are we done with the chopping and slicing yet?

Yuppers, now turn to the stove and cook the sausage slices until both sides are brown. Remove from pan and set aside. Saute the bell peppers, mushrooms and red onions until they are soft in the same pan using the fat from the sausages.


Toss in the chopped parsley, bay leaves and green onions. Cook for about 3 minutes, stir well.


Add the minced garlic and stir well. In the meantime, cook 4 cups of angle hair pasta until al dente.


Add in to the jambalaya pot a 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes. Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, more if you'd like it to be extra spicy. I prefer to add a bit more. Toss in the sausages, also. Lower heat to medium.


Toss in about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of ground pepper. Now stir in 1 pound of shelled and deveined shrimps. Cook for about 30 seconds. Toss in the cooked and drained pasta and stir well for 1 minute.






I also made a similar version without sausages and shrimps and it tasted just as well.

Here's the condensed version.

Jambalaya
(Printable recipe)

Ingredients:
1 lb of shelled and deveined shrimps
1 large cooked sausage
1/2 red bell pepper - diced
1/2 large portabello mushroom - diced
1/2 cup of chopped fresh parsley
3 cloves of garlic - minced
1/4 large red onion - diced
3 bay leaves (fresh or dried)- chopped
2 stalks of scallions/green onions - sliced
1 can of 14 oz diced tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
angel hair pasta
salt
pepper

Direction:
Slice the sausage.
Cook the sausage slices until both sides are brown. Remove from pan and set aside.
Saute the bell peppers, mushrooms and red onions until they are soft in the same pan using the fat from the sausages.
Toss in the chopped parsley, bay leaves and green onions. Cook for about 3 minutes, stir well.
Add the minced garlic and stir well.
In the meantime, cook 4 cups of angle hair pasta until al dente.
Add in to the jambalaya pot a 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes.
Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
Toss in the sausages. Lower heat to medium.
Toss in about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of ground pepper.
Stir in 1 pound of shelled and deveined shrimps. Cook for about 30 seconds.
Toss in the cooked and drained pasta and stir well for 1 minute.

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