Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya is one of my favorite dishes to make. To make it easier on myself, I usually make it from a Zatarain’s Jambalaya mix and add some pre-cooked sausage. While this method is great for lunches, learning how to make Jambalaya gives me more options than just eating rice meals from a box.
Preparing the ingredients before cooking is always a good idea, especially if it takes a long time to slice sausage. Slicing, chopping, and dicing has always been difficult for me due to my limited motor control and strength in my hands. Due to my experience making rice dinners, I’ve adapted and can now slice sausage with very little difficulty. However, opening the package is still a pain. After all the sausage had been sliced, I put them in a medium-sized bowl to make it easier for myself to move the sausage to the stove.
After heating 3 tablespoons of Carnola oil in a medium pot, I added 2 cups of frozen pre-chopped bell peppers, 2 cups of frozen pre-chopped onions and the sausage. My decision to use frozen pre-chopped vegetables instead of chopping them myself was to avoid depleting all my time and energy. Energy that I need to complete the meal. If I have no energy, mistakes happen, such as my fingers are suddenly not where they belong.
Once the chopped onions softened and everything began to brown, I stirred in 2 cups of white rice, 2 tablespoons of minced garlic, ½ teaspoon of cayenne, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and some salt. In the future, I am going to measure all the ingredients before I start cooking and put them in separate bowls to save time. Measuring ingredients is difficult for me because I struggle with keeping my hand completely steady, especially when my energy starts depleting.
The recipe says to add 2 cups of peeled, seeded and chopped tomatoes and let them cook for about five minutes in the pot. Instead, draining 2 cups of canned tomatoes in the sink, seemed the better option. After pouring four cups of vegetable stock and bringing the mixture to a boil, I turned the heat to medium and let the Jambalaya cook, uncovered, for about 20 to 30 minutes.
Once the rice became tender and liquid absorbed, I stirred in the frozen okra and frozen shrimp for about three minutes. Buying a 32 oz bag of frozen raw or pre-cooked shrimp that has already been peeled and deveined is a great time-saver because it’s next to impossible for me to prepare that quantity of shrimp. When I’m at a shrimp boiI, it’s been known to take me two to three minutes to peel one shrimp. After allowing the Jambalaya to cook for three minutes, I let the dish rest on low for about ten minutes and then garnished it with cilantro.
This recipe was adapted and originally came from a cookbook entitled, How to Cook Everything: 2,000 Simple Reasons for Great Food by Mark Brittman.

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