Jambalaya: What hubby wants, hubby gets!

Monday, March 22, 2010 - 
If you asked hubs what his favorite dish that I cook is, he would immediately respond with "jambalaya!"  The funny thing is, I've only made it for him twice.  So when he said to me on Sunday as I was creating the menu for the week, "We have some brats in the fridge, what do you think about jambalaya sometime this week?" I agreed with minor hesitation. 

Minor hesitation: brats are not the smoked sausage that I normally use.  Especially cheddar bratwurts.  But, I was willing to make it work.  After all, we had some scallops and shrimp in the freezer.  So why not?

I gathered the spices and basics of my jambalaya mix.  Now, I know jambalaya varies for many people.  I've tweaked Ms. Paula Deen's recipe by adding a few spices here and there and mixing up the protein with whatever I have on hand, but the base is all the same.  Consisting mostly of minced onion, parsley and few other items, I mixed the spices together and gathered some beef bouillon cubes (which, to be honest, I really don't normally cook with) with some rice.

Throw in a bay leaf and some other spices, and the jambalaya mix is complete!

Next up, mixed together some diced tomatoes and tomato sauce with the rice.  Next up, chop up the sausage (excuse me, the cheddar brats) and add to the dish, along with the jambalaya seasoning.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect with the random cheese chunks, but to be honest, you couldn't really taste them in the end product.  So overall, it was okay by me (but I did add a bit more cayenne just in case...)

 You can't even see the cheddar (okay, this may because these photos were taken via phone...I couldn't find my camera during the excitement!  I promise it won't happen again...maybe...)

After a quick boil and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, I then added the seafood and would normally let it cook until the seafood was done and rice was plump.  I did say normally...but for this occasion, I did end up cooking it a bit longer.  And that is because of the rice. 

Quick rice tangent: for some reason, Meijer's brown rice and I have been fighting since day one.  I doubt we will be dating much longer as this is a reoccurring theme in the kitchen when I break out the brown rice.  But alas, my seafood ended being just a bit overdone, but still delish.

Sorry about the splatter...

The end result was a slightly spicy mixture of delight.  Scallops, shrimp and sausage (yes, brats) were deliciously intertwined with the spicy tomatoes and rice.  There was a bit more liquid than I normally would like (I blame the rice once again,) but it thickened up for lunch the next day.  Like chili and similar dishes, it was even better the next day for lunch.

There you are hubs, anything for you!