Laissez les bons temp rouler – (les-say) (le) (bon) (ton) (rue-lay)
Let the good times roll!
As most people know, Fat Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday. It is also known as Mardi Gras Day. It is a day when people eat anything and everything they want because the next day is the beginning of a period of fasting for Christians. In addition to fasting, Christians also give up something special for Lent, that they enjoy. So, Fat Tuesday is a celebration and the opportunity to enjoy that favorite food or snack that you give up for Lent.
Nowhere on the planet is Fat Tuesday celebrated more than on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. The day is filled with parties and parades and of course a lot of food and drink. On Bourbon Street, store owners coat light poles and columns with Vaseline to keep the crowds from climbing them during Mardi Gras.
Jambalaya originated in the French Quarter of New Orleans, in the 18th century. It was an attempt by the Spanish to make paella in the New World, where saffron was not readily available. Tomatoes became the substitute for ingredient for saffron. Like curry in other countries, Every Cajun/creole family has its own recipe for jambalaya.
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 10 ounces smoked andouille sausage, sliced into rounds
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 onion diced
- 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 stalks/ribs celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 14 ounces (400 g) can crushed tomatoes
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- One Box Zatarain’s Jambalaya
- 2.5 cups water or chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 pound raw shrimp tails off, peeled and de veined
- Sliced green onions and chopped parsley, to garnish
- 1 teaspoon each dried thyme and dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1 cup thinly sliced okra
- 1 teaspoon file powder
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
- Sauté the onion, bell pepper and celery until onion is soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (30 seconds).
- Add the sausage and chicken pieces, season with the Cajun seasoning. Saute until chicken is cooked and no pink is showing
- Stir in the crushed tomatoes and mix well
- Add in the Zatarain’s rice mixture and water (or chicken broth), stir to mix, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low-medium.
- Cover and let simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked, while stirring occasionally.
- With about 5 minutes left in the simmer of the rice, put the shrimp on top of the Jambalaya mixture, stir through gently and re-cover with lid. Shrimp should be done when the rice is done
- Season with a little extra salt and pepper if needed and remove from heat.
- Adjust heat with extra hot sauce, Cayenne pepper or Cajun seasoning. Serve immediately with sliced green onions and parsley.
- Have some King Cake (Below) for Fat Tuesday dessert
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