Friday, September 19, 2014

Jambalaya, Crawfish Pie, and File Gumbo

Jambalaya and a crawfish pie and filet gumbo                   Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma cher amio.                   Pick guitar fill fruit jar and be gay-o                                   Son of a gun we'll have big fun on the bayou.

These are lyrics from Hank Williams' song, Jambalaya.  Where I came from, everybody loved Hank and for years thought his death had somehow cheated them.  Jambalaya was #1 on the Billboard country chart on September 6, 1952, not long before Hank's passing. We sang it for years afterwards. We didn't have a clue what those words (except fruit jar) meant; the bayou could have been on the moon as far as we knew. But we sang it anyway, just because it was a catchy tune and what was good enough for Hank was good enough for us.

More than half a century later, jambalaya is a regular meal at our house.  It is filling, easy, and relatively inexpensive to make.

What's not to like about something this good?

Start with bacon.  Always start with bacon if you can; it would make cardboard taste good.  I'm guessing this is about 1/2 pound, chopped. Put in large pot and start cooking it low and slow.

Chop one large onion, 1 green bell pepper, two stalks of celery, and four cloves of garlic.

When the bacon looks like this, add the onion and cook until transparent, about 5 minutes.

Add the onions, pepper, and garlic. Chop 12 ounces of kielbasa and add to mixture. Cook for about 5 more minutes.  Add 4 cups of chicken broth,  2 cups shredded chicken, and one pound of chopped tomatoes.  Turn the heat up now and bring the mixture to a boil. (I was cooking some other things while this was going on and forgot to take pictures of adding these ingredients.  Sorry!)

When mixture boils, add 2 cups raw white rice.  

You can add spices according to your taste.  We wanted some spicy jambalaya this time, so I added 1 tablespoon creole seasoning mix, 1 tablespoon ground cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt.  Stir it all together. If you cannot eat Doritos because they are too hot and spicy, just leave off the creole seasoning mix and cayenne pepper altogether. 

Cover pot, and put in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. I know this looks good, but it smells even better!

This pot makes enough for four meals for us. It freezes well and can be thawed out in the microwave on those nights when you need to come up with supper fast.  Just add a salad, and everyone is happy, happy, happy.

Serve it with some Italian bread and some good Chianti (no fava beans, please). Yummy!