Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Jambalaya with a twist
1 pound Italian sausage, casings removed I used lean chicken sausage
2 skinned and boned chicken breasts, coarsely chopped (about 1 lb.)
2 boneless center-cut pork chops, chopped (about 1 lb.)
1 (10-oz.) package frozen diced onion, red and green bell peppers, and celery I used fresh vegetables
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 (10-oz.) cans diced tomatoes and green chiles (RO-TEL)
1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
Hot cooked orzo or other pasta (about 8 oz., uncooked) I used this amount of pasta with half the meat and tomato mixture.
Garnishes: thinly sliced green onions, shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Brown Italian sausage in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring often, 5 minutes or until sausage crumbles and is no longer pink. Remove sausage from Dutch oven using a slotted spoon, reserving drippings in Dutch oven.
2. Cook chicken and pork in hot drippings in Dutch oven over medium-high heat, stirring often, 4 to 5 minutes or until browned on all sides. Add frozen onion mixture and next 4 ingredients, and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in diced tomatoes and green chiles, tomato paste, 1/4 cup water, and Italian sausage; cover, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring often, 20 minutes.
3. Stir hot cooked orzo into jambalaya just before serving, or serve over hot cooked pasta. Garnish, if desired.
This is another one from myrecipes.com. I really enjoyed it. It had a bit of kick from the green chiles. It was a little bit light on Italian flavor which was a trade-off for using the lean chicken sausage which I picked up on a buy one get one free deal. It was lean and it was good but not as flavorful as fatty pork Italian sausage. I liked it much better than any of the turkey sausages I've tried but it was still too mild on Italian flavor, even for a mild sausage.
This recipe used a lot of meat - no way was I only going to make one meal out of it. I separated it into two batches before mixing it with the orzo. I froze one portion for later use. I made the sauce ahead of time but I made the orzo just before we ate this (sometimes I cook the pasta ahead too but I keep it separate until serving.) When I made the pasta I wasn't thinking that I halved the sauce and I made the full 8 ounces the recipe called for. I thought it was perfect but maybe it was supposed to be soupier? I liked it this way.
You can easily un-Italianize this recipe by using a different sausage (even a smoked sausage) and leaving out the Italian seasoning (maybe adding Cajun seasoning in it's place) and using rice instead of orzo (or not - I really like orzo). I will probably use this as base Jambalaya recipe in the future, keeping the vegetable and tomato base the same and playing with the meats and seasoning.
I found out yesterday that I have to take a class on Thursday evening. That's my grocery night! Of all nights, lol.
Question of the Day: Do you grocery shop on a certain day of the week? Which day?