Cajun food isn't something I usually consider cooking. Don't get me wrong--I absolutely love the cuisine--but I associate Cajun food with huge rambunctious gatherings. I'm thinking bowls full of gumbo, heaping plates of shrimp etouffee, a pot of steaming crayfish, and bananas foster all washed down with loads of Abita and some Professor Longhair tunes. Slurping down gumbo in a small studio apartment by myself while watching a ballgame just doesn't come to mind when I think Cajun. So forgive me for the "Gulf-inspired dinner" I cooked for the Significant Eater and myself. It may just be a few servings of jambalaya, but thanks to the good folks at Foodbuzz, this dinner is so much more than just a plate of jambalaya; by cooking and blogging about it, $25 is donated to the Greater New Orleans Foundation's Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund. What better reason to start cooking Cajun than this?
Adapted from Food & Wine
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 12 oz. andouille sausage, slice into 1/4-inch thick pieces
- 1 celery rib, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 1/4 cup white rice
- 1 tsp. Old Bay seasoning
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 1/2 cups water
- salt and pepper
- 4 oz. lump crab meat
- 8 oz. small shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 3 scallions, thinly sliced
- Tabasco, for serving
- Heat a large saute pan over high heat. Add the olive oil and sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage is browned on all sides, about 3 minutes. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and reserve.
- Add the bell pepper, celery, garlic, and onion to the olive oil. Stir the vegetable so that they are coated in oil. Cover the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add the rice and Old Bay and stir to coat the rice with olive oil. Cook until the rice is opaque, about 2 minutes.
- Add the stock, water, and thyme to the pan. Season lightly with salt and pepper and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to very low and cover the pan. Cook until the rice is tender and the liquid is reduced, about 15 to 25 minutes. Fluff the rice with a fork.
- Stir the shrimp, crab meat, and scallions into the rice and cover the pan. Continue to cook until the shrimp is cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Taste the jambalaya for salt and pepper. Serve it in bowls, topped with a few drops of Tabasco.