Easy Jambalaya

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Was in the mood for sausages and as I rarely have them, had to rummage about for a decent recipe I could use them in. I found this quick, tasty meal recipe in the book ‘Fast Foods’ published in England in 2007 by Seven Publishing Group (which seems to be completely out of print now). Had a rather interesting time trying to decipher what the recipe referred to when it listed ‘red peppers’! A bit of internet research later and I realised it’s the English version of what we Down Under refer to as ‘capsicums’ – large sweet-tasting peppers (Americans apparently call them ‘bell peppers’). Just as well I checked, because when someone says ‘red peppers’ to us Kiwis, we assume they mean the ultra-hot spicy variety!

This recipe is called ‘quick jambalaya’ because it adds a can of already flavoured tomatoes (with onion and garlic). If you can’t find that variety, just add extra diced onion and garlic to taste. Many traditional jambalaya recipes call for both sausages and chicken or shrimps. I’m not fussed with mixing meats, so kept with just the sausages as per the recipe. And, speaking of which, it’s important that the sausages are really tasty. Try and find smoky, spicy pork sausages – mine were flavoured with chilli and molasses, which added a wonderful complexity of taste. I also added some Worcestershire sauce as I thought the original recipe needed just a touch of sweetness to balance out the spices. It was a very satisfying dish and the left-overs were even better the next day, having had more time for the flavours to amalgamate.


QUICK JAMBALAYA

Serves 4

Ingredients: (Click here for unit converter)

  • 6 pork sausages
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 celery sticks, sliced
  • 2 red peppers (capsicums), seeded and cut into small chunks
  • ½ tsp crushed dried chillies
  • 250g long-grain rice (I used brown rice and needed to cook it longer)
  • 400g jar crushed tomatoes with onion and garlic
  • 425ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh flat parsley (optional)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the grill. Put the sausages onto a baking sheet and grill for about 15-20 minutes, turning once, until brown. Alternatively, pan-fry the sausages in oil, as I did.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan. Add the celery and peppers and fry for 2-3 minutes to soften. Add the crushed chillies and the rice and cook, stirring, for 1 minute, before adding the tomatoes, the hot stock, Worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper. Simmer over a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender.
  3. When the sausages are cooked, cut them into chunks and stir into the rice. Sprinkle with parsley and serve. Great with pita bread and salad.

Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting

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