FOOD: Miss Fat Tuesday? Need to Warm Up? Try this Jambalaya!

By Claire McConnell
February 15, 2013
Special to the Falls Church Times

Hurricane Katrina occurred about a month into my second year at culinary school. Not only was it devastating to the all the people that lived in New Orleans, but also equally as devastating to all the restaurants that would be affected over the coming months. In an initiative to raise money for the city of New Orleans, my school held a mock Mardi Gras in the town of Montpelier. The students were urged to cook their Creole and Cajun favorites, with the incentive of major bragging rights if our dish was the best. My mom use to make this Jambalaya for us growing up and although some have told me it is not traditional, it still tastes awesome. My dish was up against 3 other students, one of which was raised in the ‘Big Easy’. I knew my competition was tough and that wining wasn’t going to be easy… pun intended. Long story-short my dish won and helped prove that you don’t have to be from NOLA to cook a great Jambalaya.

Three of the ingredients for this dish are from the Falls Church farmers market. The pesticide-free, ecorganic potatoes and onions are from Potomac Vegetable Farm. The farm has two locations: in Vienna, Va., and Purceville, Va. And the Texas Red Hot Beef Frankfurters are from Stachowski Brand Charcuterie in Arlington, Va.

Equipment: Large Dutch oven (similar to a Le Creuset) or wide, 4 inch deep skillet with a lid.

2 ounces butter (1/2 stick) — $0.35

1 medium onion – small dice — $0.43

3 garlic cloves – minced — $0.10

1 cup long-grain white rice (such as basmati or jasmine) — $0.45

¾- pound sausage, such as Texas Red Hot Beef Frankfurters – cut into 1/2 inch, half moons — $5.00

2 medium Yukon gold potatoes – peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes — $0.75

2 ¼- cup chicken stock — $1.00

½- cup dry white wine — $0.49

½- cup roasted red peppers (canned) – cut into 1 inch, thin strips — $0.99

½- tsp. turmeric — $0.02

Pinch cayenne pepper — $0.01

1/2- pound wild, raw, large 18-20 count shrimp (peeled, deveined and sliced in half down the middle) — $5.49

½-cup cilantro – chopped — $0.20

Total cost = $15.28

Melt butter in the pan and add onions and garlic. Cook onions and garlic over medium heat until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. Make sure the onions and garlic don’t cook too high, the butter will brown and the garlic will burn, so no higher than medium heat.

Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat with butter. Cook for about 1 minute to toast the rice. Add sausage and potatoes, stir. Add chicken stock, white wine, red peppers, turmeric and cayenne. Stir. Bring mixture to a boil. Once mixture comes to a boil, cover and simmer on med-low for 20 minutes.  After 20 minutes add the raw shrimp to the top of the mixture (DON’T STIR!) Cook for an additional 5 minutes until shrimp have steamed and turned pink. Let mixture sit with the heat off for additional 5 minutes before serving. Stir in chopped cilantro right before serving. Enjoy!


February 15, 2013 


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