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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Another Wonderful Gulf Coast dish – Jambalaya

While I'm not going to go on a Gulf Coast food rant – I did think that I'd add one more good seafood recipe... Jambalaya is a good Lousiana Creole dish that is somewhat related to Spanish paella, another one of my favorite dishes... Maybe I'll share a recipe for that in the future, but I can't really get good fresh seafood here in Arizona to make these recipes properly and I miss eating them, even writing about them makes me want to eat them, so enough for now...

In fact Jambalaya was originally based on paella, but the Spanish settling in New Orleans couldn't get saffron, so they substituted with tomatoes. Then the French/Caribbean influences came in and the modern Jambalaya dish was born.
You'll notice that Jambalaya still has the “holy trinity” of onions, bell peppers and celery – but does not have roux or file'. When cooking the “holy trinity” you should have about twice the onion as you do bell pepper and celery (keep these two in equal proportions), but of course you can adjust to suit your own tastes. You can also add hot sauce or more cayenne pepper, if you like things hotter. In fact, you can add different meats, seafood and veggies and make this dish your own. If you are on a low sodium diet, you can still eat this dish, but you'll probably want to omit the sausage. Good luck with making your Jambalaya and if you enjoy eating cajun or creole food – take a trip to New Orleans!
Jambalaya – Serves 4
1 chicken breast, diced
12 med shrimp, peeled and chopped
6 oz smoked sausage, sliced thin (optional)
1 lg onion, chopped
1 lg bell pepper, chopped
3 stalks celery, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp paprika
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp oregano
2-3 bay leaves
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes (no salt added)
3 c low sodium chicken broth
¾ c rice
1 Tbl olive oil

In a large pot, add oil and saute onion, bell pepper and celery until soft. Add the chicken to the pot and saute until lightly browned on both sides. Add garlic, cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, spices, rice and broth. Cover and simmer on very low heat until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid and the chicken is barely tender, about 20 minutes, add sausage and sausage, cook another 10 minutes. Serves 4

Nutritional Data for Jambalaya – per serving
Calories 340
Fat 11.2 g
Saturated Fat 3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat 5.6 g
Cholesterol 76 mg
Sodium 606 mg
Potassium 520 mg
Carbohydrate 33 g
Dietary Fiber 4.8 g
Sugars 4.1 g
Protein 26.4 g
Vitamin A 12.9%
Vitamin C 75.5%
Calcium 7%
Iron 16.2%

Nutritional Data for Jambalaya w/o Sausage – per serving
Calories 274
Fat 5.8 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat .9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.1 g
Cholesterol 64 mg
Sodium 351 mg
Potassium 462 mg
Carbohydrate 33 g
Dietary Fiber 4.8 g
Sugars 4.1 g
Protein 22.6 g
Vitamin A 12.9%
Vitamin C 75%
Calcium 6.5%
Iron 15.1%

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