Monday, October 24, 2005

Even better than Zatarain's

Jambalaya Stir-Fry on Cajun Rice
Favorite Brand Name Slow Cooker Casseroles and More Copyright 2002

1 ¾ cups water
1 cup uncooked converted rice
1 can (16 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained my can had under 15 ounces in it
½ cup finely chopped celery
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
1 bay leaf
8 ounces andouille sausage, cut into ¼-inch rounds * if unavailable use kielbasa sausage I used kielbasa
1 ½ cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
½ pound raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
¾ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground red pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
hot pepper sauce

1. Bring water to a boil in medium saucepan. Add rice, tomatoes and their liquid, celery, bouillon granules and bay leaf. Return to boil; reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove and discard bay leaf.
2. Meanwhile heat large skillet over medium-high heat 1 minute. Add sausage, onions and bell pepper; cook and stir 10 minutes.
3. Increase heat to high; add shrimp, chicken and thyme. (I only added the chicken and thyme at this point. I added the shrimp at the very end, to avoid overcooking it.) Cook and stir 5 minutes. Add parsley, salt and ground red pepper and paprika. Stir to blend thoroughly.
4. Place rice on platter. Spoon shrimp mixture over rice and serve with pepper sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

I chopped everything the night before so this wasn’t too hard to throw together after work. There was way too much liquid in the rice. I had to boil it off and then I added Creole seasoning for more flavor. If I made this again I would use the tomatoes seasoned with celery, green peppers and onions and skip the chopped celery, adjust the water so there is just about 2 cups of liquid, and again probably add the Creole seasoning.

The stir-fry part of this dish was more successful. It had enough heat to make my nose run but it was still enjoyable. The only hot sauce we had was hot sauce with lime and it worked well with this. I don't know if I'll retire the Zatarain's boxed jambalaya mix completely, because that stuff is fast and good, but I would probably make this again. I say 'probably' only because there are so many other jambalaya recipes out there. In fact, there are several recipes for jambalaya just in this one cookbook.

I think I could cook out of this cookbook everyday of the week. I should put it aside for a few weeks so that some of my other cookbooks have a chance.


Anonymous said...

Nothing's better than Zatarain's.

Anonymous said...

When I was a young child, all we had was Hamburger Helper and Zatarain's.

Zatarain's became a part of life. I can remember those days sitting outside, box of Zatarain's by my side.

Your talk of replacing the almighty Zatarain's is blasphemy.

All hail Zatarain's.

Mary said...

Well I appreciate your recipe. I found it when I was trying to find a Zatarain's copycat.. Apparently there isn't one anyplace!!!
I have to admit these guys have a point--its tough to imagine a better meal than Zatarains.

Your recipe I think looks pretty good too. Not Zatarains though is it?

jb said...

This is a really good copycat recipe. My family loved this. I made it with rice, lentils, and kielbasa. It was fantastic.