You know those nights when you stumble home after a long day’s work, wearily open the fridge, and nearly cry from exhaustion and lack of inspiration? The nights you’d call for takeout, but feel embarassed because the person taking orders can recognize your voice? Those cereal-for-dinner nights?
I’ve had a few of those lately. My husband and I pulled off our DIY wedding a couple weeks ago and have been slowly recovering. Mostly by refusing to do much of anything aside from gorge ourselves on wedding cake (more on that later). Apologies for the blogging hiatus.
I’m not entirely back up to speed, but tonight I dipped a toe back in the cooking water with a one-pot dish that was on the table in under 40 minutes. It’s amazing how a few fresh ingredients can transform ho hum packaged rice mix into a savory, delicious meal. The results are worth the little bit of effort. No claims as to the authenticity of this jambalaya, but it sure beats General Tso’s when you’re worn out.
-1 box Zattarain’s jambalaya mix (I used reduced salt)
-1 lg. shallot, minced (or 1/4. c. diced onion)
-2 stalks celery, finely diced
-1/2 bell pepper (red or green), seeded and finely diced
-2 bay leaves
-1/2 package turkey or reduced fat kielbasa
-olive oil (approx. 2 Tbsp.)
-1/2 c. dry white wine
-2 c. water
-1 small ripe tomato, chopped
-6-8 med/lg. shrimp, peeled (or substitute one chopped boneless, skinless chicken breast)
-1/4 tsp. garlic power
-1/8 tsp. paprika
-pinch cayenne pepper
-salt and pepper to taste
1. Sauté shallot, celery, and bell pepper over med-low heat. Do not burn shallot. Stir in bay leaves.
2. Chop sausage into 1/4-in. dice and saute with vegetables until lightly browned. Sprinkle with a dash of cayenne and paprika.
3. Deglaze pan with white wine, stirring up brown bits with a wooden spoon. Stir in tomato.
4. Add rice mix and water. Cover and simmer 20 minutes.
5. When the liquid is mostly absorbed, top rice with shrimp and sprinkle with a scant amount of salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne.
6. Recover pot and simmer and additional 5-10 minutes, until shrimp have cooked through and rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Stir together.
7. Let sit 5 minutes, taste for seasoning, and serve, garnishing with shrimp.