So the little get together last night was really only just an excuse for me to cook. Jambalaya is one of those dishes that you can’t make a small amount of. I came up with the following two recipes based on lots of research and experience;)
Quickie Jambalaya (non-vegetarian)
Quickie Vegan Jambalaya
I prepared both simultaneously and they both start out the same way. I just chop and add the ingredients in the order listed. I’m guessing on all these measurements because I didn’t actually measure anything.
About an hour beforehand, start a big pot of white rice. Then, add to each of two large stock pots:
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 very large yellow onion, diced
1 celery heart, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 heaping Tbs. minced garlic
1-2 bay leafs
pinch of salt
For the non-vegetarian version:
1.5 lbs (about 6) boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size chunks
1 lb. of cajun style andouille sausage, sliced
For the vegan version:
1 lb of imitation chicken strips (optional)
1 lb. of soyrizo (soy chorizo) sausage, cut into chunks
To both pots, add:
1 heaping Tbs. of my own cajun seasoning (see recipe below)
1 Tbs. cumin
1 Tbs. chili powder
Let the meat brown a little, then add: 32 oz. chicken broth to the non-veg pot, and 32 oz. vegetable broth to the veg pot.
To both pots, add:
28 oz. diced tomatoes
1/2 c. of red wine (optional)
Bring to a simmer, then add 1 heaping c. diced okra. (This is used as a thickener. If you don’t like okra, you can make a roux or use file powder.)
Optional addition to the non-veg version: 1 lb. peeled deveined shrimp. ( I actually just threw in a bag of salad shrimp, just to give it that flavor.)
Let this simmer as long as you can, at least 30 minutes, salt and pepper to taste. Serve, ladled over the rice.
Cajun seasoning–this is much better than any store-bought and you can mix up a big batch to keep around. It works well as a dry rub for seafood and chicken, and to flavor rice and other cajun dishes.
1.5 Tbs. paprika
1 Tbs. garlic powder
1 Tbs. onion powder
1 Tbs. dried thyme leaves
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne (or use less for a milder seasoning)
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
There is a pretty big difference in flavor between the two different versions but both are equally good, and the heat level is about medium.
I also made a “king bread.”