Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Skillet Jambalaya

A smaller batch of classic jambalaya, made with the trinity, rice, shrimp and smoked sausage.
A smaller batch of classic jambalaya, made with the trinity, rice, shrimp and smoked sausage.

Skillet Jambalaya

There are rice with protein dishes in just about every region of the country. Chicken Bog, Red Rice and Pilaf are some of the top southern favorites, but in my part of the south, it's all about jambalaya. Whatever version you know, they all involve rice, vegetables, protein - and often a variety of proteins - and mostly made in huge batches, intended to feed a crowd, making it perfect for Mardi Gras.

Sometimes a gal just wants some jambalya for herself! I usually make this version with smaller raw gumbo shrimp, somewhere around a 71-90 count, but I happened to be digging around in the deep freeze the other day and a plastic container of jumbo shrimp fell out and the container cracked, so I went ahead and thawed it out. I had no idea what I wanted to do with them, but thawed seafood waits for nobody and must be cooked!

Roasting them really brings out the natural sweetness of shrimp and if you haven't tried it yet, you should! I actually like them roasted, more than I like them in the traditional boiled method down here and, once roasted, they can be used in any number of recipes. It took a lot for me not to just eat them I tell ya, but I settled on using them in a a quick skillet version of shrimp and sausage jambalaya, stirring the roasted shrimp in at the end. Since they were jumbos, I also rough chopped them into large chunks.

Here's how to make a smaller version skillet jambalaya, and as always, the full recipe text, with ingredients, measurements, instructions and a printable document are further down the page. Just swipe or scroll past past the step by step pictures!

The flavor of the smoked sausage you use matters, so pick a good one. Thankfully, we have quite a few good brands to choose from down here, so I use several of them. Mostly it depends on what is on sale and what I stock the freezer with! Savoie's is definitely one of the good ones. I've made it both with sliced and chopped and find that I prefer the smaller pieces in this skillet jambalaya. You'll first brown the sausage a little in a bit of oil to build up a fond.

Add the vegetables from here. Use any color sweet bell pepper. I usually have green ones in the produce drawer, but bought some red ones on sale recently, so that's what I used!

Though I normally use a can of stewed, cut up or diced tomatoes in my shrimp jambalaya, this time I also used a freezer container of stewed Creole tomatoes that I had put up from my garden. The important thing is that you have a total of 4 cups of combined liquid from the tomatoes, broth and additional water if needed.

After that, stir in rice, bring to a near boil, cover, reduce heat to medium low and cook, covered for 15 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in raw shrimp, cover and cook 5 to 8 minutes longer, or until shrimp is cooked through, rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. If using cooked shrimp as I've done here, you only need to warm it through after the rice is cooked. Stir in, remove from heat, cover and set aside to rest.

When ready to serve, fluff with a fork, taste and adjust seasonings as needed; serve immediately.

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Posted by on March 10, 2020

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