Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spicy Cajun Jambalaya with Moist Skillet Cornbread

     So on my day off work, and my gardening finished (I love my new pots of geraniums by our front door) I was ready to cook a hearty meal for us.  My line of thinking was something spicy...something with the smoked turkey sausage I had...and I was craving some iron skillet cornbread, so it needed to go with that too -light bulb!- Cajun Jambalaya!

     This is a healthy recipe, because I added beans (the recipe didn't call for them originally), lots of veggies, whole grain rice and yummy smoked turkey sausage.  The combination of all of this, plus tomatoes, fat free vegetable broth and spices, then you've got a rich, feel-good meal that tastes incredible and is good on the waistline, too!  I try to be very aware of our health whenever I'm cooking.  I pretty much use only olive oil,  fat free or low sodium broth, soups and stocks, use turkey sausage almost always instead of pork sausage, and cook with lean meats as much as possible.  When something calls for veggies, like this recipe, I just chop up extra to add in for easy nutrition or add a can of rinsed beans for good protein!  As you know, not all my recipes are this healthy, and on those days I have to use good portion control.  No food is off limits totally when you're smart about it.  That was just my two cents on healthy meal planning. :)

     This dish originally called for sausage, chicken and shrimp.  I just had sausage on hand and ready so that's the only meat I used, but I think all of them together would be traditional for jambalaya and so tasty.  It just goes to show that you don't have to be a stickler to recipes, just let your pantry help guide you through.  I think cooking for family should be a casual and an enjoyable experience.  Cooking and baking just makes me happy, and doing it for others brings me joy!

     I served up this delicious jambalaya with a basic skillet cornbread recipe.  I got the recipe on the back of the House-Autry Stone Ground Yellow Cornmeal's bag. (I think it's the same general recipe on every cornmeal bag.) I like to add a dash of black pepper to the batter for an extra savory note, and add some creamed corn to sweeten up the cornbread and make it incredibly moist!  Put a little butter in the cast iron skillet and melt it in a very hot oven, so when you pour the cornbread batter in it will sizzle and brown the edges to the crisy goodness you want!  You gotta know how to make cornbread in the South!

(Stirring in the black pepper)

(Looks at those bubbly brown edges instantly after pouring in the batter!)

(Nothin' like Southern food.)

This meal is a comforting and delicious way to end the day.  I hope it finds it's way onto your dinner table soon!

Jambalaya Goodness

1/4 c. olive oil

1 pkg. Butterball smoked turkey sausage, sliced  

3/4 c. green bell pepper, diced

3/4 c. celery, diced

3/4 c. onion, diced

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. cajun seasoning

3 dried bay leaves

few dashes of hot sauce

few dashes Worchestershire sauce

1 can beans (pinto or black), drained and rinsed

1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

1 c. rice

3 cups liquid
(I used 1 can vegetable broth-2 cups- and 1 c. water)

In a large pot, add about half the oil and saute the smoked turkey sausage over medium heat for about 5 minutes.

Once browned a bit, place on paper towels to drain and set aside.  In the same pot add the rest of the oil and add the peppers, celery and onion.  Cook for about 8-10 minutes or until tender.

Add garlic and sausage back to the pot. Season with Cajun seasonings a little salt and pepper, bay leaves, hot sauce, Worchestershire sauce and add beans and diced tomatoes.  Stir well.

Next add rice and slowly add broth and water.

(The original recipe calls for this to cook for about 15 minutes, but I used brown Basmati rice and it took a good 45 minutes or so to cook.) So, I just put the lid on it and let kept it at a low simmer on med-low heat, stirring occasionally.  Most of the liquid will get soaked up in the rice and flavor it very well.  Enjoy!
Serves 4-6

I'm linking this to:

Savvy Southern Style's
Wow us Wednesdays



Anonymous said...

My kitchen is sterile, if I try making this do you promise me that my kitchen will feel cozt afterwords? Come link it to my new party goobyecityhellosuburbs

Leslie said...

Karen, thanks for stopping by my blog! Lol, my recipes come with a cozy guarantee;) I'd love to join your party today, thanks for the invite!

Karen thisoldhouse2.com said...

This looks delicious, and I like your blog - great recipes!

Leslie said...

Awe, thank you Karen! I have fallen in love with your blog--the beautiful pictures, recipes, and your home all look picturesque! Thanks for stopping by and come again!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for linking to my party. I hope you link up your lastest creation to Workshop Wednesday, can't wait to see wht you have cooking! goobyecityhellosuburbs

krishna said...

wow!!! its very healthy n hearty meal..

Carole said...

Hi there. Food on Friday this time is all about sausages! So it would be great if you linked this in. This is the link . Have a good week.