Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Spicy Shrimp Jambalaya

Hi y’all!
I feel a little southern while writing this since my house was filled with the amazing scent of jambalaya last night. Actually, it still smelled wonderful this morning, too! Today we’re going to talk about a southern kitchen crush, my friend Gena. (You thought I was going right to Paula Dean didn’t you?) She is from New Orleans, and when I worked with her, we always had wonderful southern dishes at all our office potluck lunches.

I can’t decide if Gena’s gumbo or jambalaya were better, so I figured I would start with cooking the one that sounded easier. Since I couldn’t get Gena’s exact recipe in time, I hopped on the Internet and used a modified version of Zatarain’s Crescent City Jambalaya.

I think Gena would have been proud and told me, “Bless your heart, that’s a good, spicy jambalaya!”

Spicy Shrimp Jambalaya:
Serves 6-8 people
Total time: 45-ish minutes

1-2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped (we like onion in our house)
1 large or 2 small green peppers (right from my husband’s garden!)
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 cup water 1 package ZATARAIN'S® Jambalaya Mix, Original
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 tbsp hot sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
1 pound andouille sausage cut into ¼ inch slices (I would have added it if I had it)

1. Heat butter in large deep skillet or 5-quart Dutch oven so it melts, but doesn't start to brown (medium heat). Add onion, zucchini and bell peppers; cook and stir 7 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften.
This is what it looked like right after a dumped the can of tomatoes in the pot.

2. Stir in tomatoes, water and Jambalaya Mix. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes.
The rice is almost tender at this point, and it has already started to smell really good!

3. Stir in shrimp, and if we had it sausage, and hot sauce (optional). Cover and cook 10 minutes longer or just until shrimp turn pink and rice and vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.
This is what the jambalaya looks like right when I stirred in the shrimp. The shrimp look kind of limp and grey.

4. Remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.
The finished dish that had my husband sneaking bites! Notice how firm and pink the shrimp are.
Serving suggestion: heat up a big bowl of this and serve with some crusty French bread or corn bread and maybe even some greens. Perhaps a cold glass of Abita beer (popular in New Orleans according to Gena) would help put out the fire on your tastebuds. Remember, we like foods really spicy at our house, so watch out if this recipe makes you break out in a sweat!

You could easily freeze this, give it as a "sorry you're not feeling up to cook" gift or just save it for later in the week, like I'm going to do. I think I might freeze a little as a surprise dinner on a cold night. I hope you enjoy it!

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