Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jambalaya with a twist


Italian Jambalaya
from myrecipes.com

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.
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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?

6 comments:

Annie Jones said...

I usually shop on Thursdays or Fridays. Our store ads come out on Wednesday and run until the following Tuesday, but lots of times there are 3-day or 4-day special sales that run from Thursday through the weekend.

It's not set in stone, but I usually shop in the morning rather than the afternoon or evening.

Donna-FFW said...

LOVE the idea of this with the chicken sausage rather than chorizio or andouille. It looks fantastic!

La Pixie said...

I like to shop on Fridays or Sundays. I think about lunches for the week, which is why I pick those days.

DancesInGarden said...

Typically Sunday. But since going vegan I use more fresh foods, and they are better bought in smaller amounts throughout the week. The stops are on the way home so I am not making special trips far away or anything.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a specific day but always make sure to go at least once a week for the specials.

Jan

HotHeaded said...

I usually go on Saturday's for out of town shopping and Sunday/Monday for in town shopping. One store starts their new ad on Sunday and the other starts on Monday. So I'll check the ads and see where I am doing most of my shopping for the week.
I usually make jambalaya with smoked sausage and some chicken. That way I don't have to use so much sausage but still get the flavor.