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06 January 2013

Italian Jambalaya

Fun fact: in addition to Asian food, my second favorite has got to be Mexican food. In Southern California, especially Los Angeles area, you get these wonderful hole-in-the-wall restaurants that make delicious and authentic Mexican food. Sadly, when I moved to Texas-- I though I lost all hope because I fell into the bizarre world of "Tex-Mex." It is basically Americanized Mexican food or that equivalent to Del Taco or Taco Bell-- which I am not a fan of. Well, Justin found this place called El Vale near us So we went there on Friday night-- since Justin and Luke came back to town! It was freakishly awesome. I had their special of "shrimp cocktail," shrimp gordita (OMG! Hands down one of the best things ever), and a chicken torta...yummy!

Remember when I mentioned that I am not a spur of the moment type of cook but sometimes I have those rare and far between moments? Well this recipe is one of those moments. I had some random groceries left over- and since I have not headed to the market yet- I though- hmmm what could I make? I Google-ed the ingredients I had on hand to see what came up-- which was nothing really. But while scrolling through recipes-- I stumbled upon Jambalaya. And if you also remember the hubby is from Louisiana-- so that recipe caught my eye-- because I know he enjoys the dish. And although I did not have those ingredients on hand- it did inspire this dish. Although it was meant to come out like a Cajun Jambalaya- and this is going to sound weird-- it came out as if pizza was in jambalaya form. I know odd- but that is exactly what it tasted like! And it was good! And the best part- it was easy and quick!

A For the Love of Dessert Original Recipe


1 c. uncooked rice
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. garlic (optional)
1 c. onion, diced
1 large bell pepper, diced
4 Italian sausage links*
1 (14.25) oz can of diced tomatoes, drained or 1 tomato, diced
1 c. chicken or vegetable broth**
2 tbsp. Tony Chachere Cajun Seasoning
Salt and Pepper to taste
Corn Starch + Water (if sauce needs to be thickened)***

* Before beginning to cook: cut sausage into medallions and then roll into little meatballs.
** If you do not have broth on hand- you can use water (just make sure to add salt and more seasoning)

*** An interesting cooking fact I used: Whenever you have sauces that need to be thickened just a tad- I knew to use corn starch. However, when I added corn starch to the sauce- I would get these lumps of corn starch, which was gross- because it did not dissolve. This is what you want to do- in a small Tupperware container add 1 tsbp. of corn starch to 1-2 tbsp. of water and shake vigorously. The corn starch should dissolve. Add this slurry to your sauce- and stir well- no corn starch lumps :) If you need to to thicken more- repeat!


In a rice cooker- combine 1 c. of uncooked rice-- my favorite are Jasmine or Basmati rice-- and 2 c. of water. Set rice cooker to cook. 

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot- add garlic, onion and bell pepper--saute until garlic and onion is golden brown, and the bell pepper is tender-a bout 3-5 minutes. Then reduce to medium heat and add Italian sausage meatballs--cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the sausage has browned on the outside. Next add tomatoes and chicken broth and increase to medium-high heat. Bring sauce to boil- and then reduce to low heat. Add Tony Chachere, salt and pepper and stir well. If needed- add corn starch slurry to thicken sauce. Allow sauce to simmer for 7-10 minutes on lowest heat setting to thicken. Allow to cool slightly for 5 minutes.

In a bowl combine cooked rice and sauce-- mix thoroughly to incorporate the sauce into the rice and serve!


1 comment :

  1. Wow! This looks and sounds so delish! Can't wait to try it. BTW, Justin told me about the place as well. Just haven't made it there yet but it's on my list. Angie