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Jumbalaya - a new staple recipe

{photo by me}
It doesn't happen very often. You know, when you try a recipe and it turns out so well that you not only know you'll make it again, but you'll make it again next week. When the leftovers are so good that you actually want to eat them. In fact, you may even crave them. Well it happened.

On Tuesdays, I volunteer in the Food Lifeline office.  While I was there last Tuesday, the lovely Stephanie brought in her lunch of leftover shrimp gumbo.  It smelled so good I decided that I needed the recipe, like, right now, to make for dinner, like, tonight.

So Stephanie sent me the Martha Stewart recipe she used for New Orleans-Style Shrimp and Rice. When I left the office, I drove straight to Trader Joe's for supplies.  While it looked and smelled amazing, I can't ever make anything as is, so I tinkered with the recipe and turned it into Jumbalaya.

According to the internet (the most trustworthy source of all) the difference between Gumbo and Jumbalaya is that Gumbo is a stew served over rice, while Jumbalaya is a casserole with the rice cooked in.  I wanted Jumbalaya.  And sausage.  And the results?  Oh yes, it's good.  It's SO good.  It's so good I'm going to make it again, as soon as I'm done with the leftovers, like maybe tomorrow.

Here's the recipe I came up with:

Jumbalaya with shrimp, sausage and brown rice


4 TBSP unsalted butter
4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
2 green bell peppers, diced
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 32-oz box Trader Joe's Organic Chicken Broth
2+ TBSP chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1+ TBSP Cajun seasoning (I used Morton & Bassett organic cajun spice blend)
1 TBSP smoked paprika
1 28-oz can whole plum tomatoes
1/2 tsp kosher salt
a few grinds of black pepper
2 TBSP Crystal Hot Sauce
2 cups brown rice
1 package Trader Joe's jalapeƱo chicken sausage, each link sliced.
1/2 lb (half of package) Trader Joe's medium cooked frozen shrimp

In a large dutch oven, brown sausage and then remove from pan.

Melt butter with olive oil over medium heat.  Add bell peppers, onion, and celery; cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, paprika, cajun seasoning and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add rice and stir, about 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, broth, parsley, hot sauce, salt and pepper.  Return sausage to pan.

Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until rice is cooked through, about 40 minutes.

Stir in shrimp and cook until just heated through, about 4 minutes.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkle of parsley, and more hot sauce.

Serves 8 to 10 (or, in my house, 2 with tons of leftovers!)

Yum!  Happy Mardi Gras - all year long!