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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Okra and Andouille Sausage Jambalaya

With summer drawing to an end, the season for harvesting okra will be ending as well.  So I decided to make something with okra to commemorate another awesome year for okra.  I picked up a bunch of okra from a local Farmer's Market (the best place to get okra), and also picked up some andouille sausage from Neto's in Santa Clara.

Stuff I used:

16 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined.
1/2 a can of chicken
1 Andouille sausage
2 tablespoons Cajun/Creole seasoning
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 lbs okra, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 stems of celery, chopped
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 Bay leaves
1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 cup Japanese brown rice, washed
3 cups chicken stock

Prep work:
Poach the sausage for 20-25 mins.
Combine chicken and shrimp with a tablespoon of Cajun seasoning.

Over high heat, combine the oil, garlic, okra, onion, green pepper, and celery, saute for about 5 mins.  Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, rest of the Cajun seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce. I added lots of bay leaves.  Lower the heat to about medium and add the stock and rice.  That's one of the key ingredients which gives the Louisiana or Cajun aroma.  To make it spicier, add additional cayenne.  Let all ingredients simmer for another 10 mins.

While cooking the rice, I prepared the poached sausage to be added with the shrimp and chicken concoction.  As you can see, the inside is still raw.  The sausage will fully cook when added into the base jambalaya.  Once the rice is done cooking, after about 15 mins of simmering, add the shrimp, chicken, and sausage into the base jambalaya.  Simmer for about 10 more mins to cook the sausage.  Make sure to keep an eye on it because the liquid will start to evaporate.  Once done, remove from heat, plate, and serve.

This is was the second time making jambalaya.  If I remember correctly, I only added 2 bay leaves.  This time I added 5, and man did it make a huge difference.  One thing I wasn't expecting was the amount of stirring I had to do at the end.  If you've ever made risotto, this was the same thing.  I made the mistake of turning away for a couple minutes and came back to hard rice on the bottom of the pot.  I just simply stirred and re-hydrated the rice.  Also, this recipe has more than the normal amount of vegetables.  Been on a diet lately, so I've been trying to cutback on the carbs and fatty cooking.  :Last thing I wanted to mention is that I didn't add any additional salt, besides what was in the seasoning.  Thanks to the okra and sausage, the saltiness was just right.  If I were to make this again, I'd have served it with fried okra, mmm.......