On Friday my blog takes a sharp turn toward fun. Anything non-law related is fair game. Today’s post is a 30-year old family recipe for jambalaya, just in time for Mother’s Day.
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
8 ounces ham, diced
1 smoked sausage, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 lb. boneless pork loin, cubed. I use three thick cut pork chops
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce, more or less to taste
2 bay leaves
1-1/2 tsp. salt, more or less to taste
1 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. thyme
1-1/2 tsp. oregano
8 ounce can tomato sauce
14-1/2 ounce can chicken broth
2 Cups rice
2 bunches of green onions, chopped
In a 12-inch Dutch oven or large pot (if cooking indoors), heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Saute the meat and chopped garlic until the meat is brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped onion, celery and green pepper and continue cooking until veggies are crisp tender, about 5 minutes . Add the hot pepper sauce, bay leaves, salt, pepper, thyme and oregano, and stir well. Continue to cook about 5 minutes to let the flavors meld together. Add tomato sauce and chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add rice and green onions. Cover and cook until rice is done, stirring occasionally to keep from sticking to bottom of pan. You may have to add some water (about 1/2 cup) if needed for the rice. Remove the bay leaves (we usually leave them in. The kids got a prize if they had a bay leaf in their serving). Makes about 8 servings.
Between prep and cooking time, you’ll need about 90 minutes. This is a hands-on meal, but well worth it. Try substituting shrimp for one of the meats. You can make this at a picnic or camping in a Dutch oven. To speed things up, chop all the ingredients ahead of time and package them in food bags. Browning the meat before leaving home also saves time. Don’t pre-cook the veggies; they’ll be all soft and mushy. Jambalaya keeps well and makes great leftovers.
If you’re new to Dutch oven cooking, don’t be afraid to try this recipe. It’s hard to ruin this, unlike a roast that can either turn out overdone from too much heat or almost raw from too little. A rule of thumb for Dutch oven cooking is 9 charcoal briquettes underneath and 15 on the lid will yield about 350 degrees in a 12-inch oven. Whether you’re using a Dutch oven or a pot on the stove, check frequently while the rice is cooking to make sure it has enough liquid and isn’t sticking down.