Dinner last night started out like dinner most nights. I flipped open the bible* and absentmindedly flipped the weathered, worn pages until I came across this.
Instantly, nostalgic memories of eating forkfuls of spicy, fragrant jambalaya at my sorority sister’s house in Mandeville, Louisiana flooded back to me. I was nineteen, and we went there for a weekend to visit her family and go to a football game at LSU. The jambalaya that her dad made us was thick and full of Cajun sausage and spice. I haven’t had anything quite like it since.
So, after a quick email (subject line: HELP) to my best friend who went to law school in New Orleans, I had a couple recipes to work with. I messed around with a little of this, a little of that and this is what I came up with.
3/4 lb andouille sausage
1 tbsp canola oil
1.5 tbsp flour
1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup long grain brown rice
1.5 cups water
1 16-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne
Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat. Brown sausage and then remove and set aside.
Add the flour to the oil and make a dark roux by cooking the flour over medium high heat until golden in color, stirring continuously with a rubber spatula. Add the chopped onions, celery and parsley to the roux and toss well to coat. Cook for about six minutes or until the onions are soft. Add the garlic and cook for thirty seconds more.
Add the water, tomatoes, rice, salt, pepper and cayenne. Stir well and bring up to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for about one hour (no peaking!).
Before serving fluff jambalaya with a fork and add more hot sauce to taste.
*I fondly refer to The Gourmet Cookbook as “the bible” because it is my very favorite cookbook of all time and the one I reach to the most often for pretty much everything. I also have another bible that I reach to daily as well.