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February 2010 COTM: Louisiana Kitchen JAMBALAYAS, RICE, STUFFINGS & SIDE DISHES

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Welcome to the JAMBALAYAS, RICE, STUFFINGS & SIDE DISHES thread for the February 2010 Cookbook of the Month, Paul Prudhomme's Louisiana Kitchen.

Please post your reviews of JAMBALAYAS, RICE, STUFFINGS & SIDE DISHES recipes here.

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  1. We have made the Chicken and Seafood Jambalaya (p. 218) many times and it always comes out perfectly. We don't add the oysters, but we generally use somewhat larger quanities of the tasso, andouille and shrimp than called for. We use a much larger oblong Pyrex baking dish because the 8x8 inch called for in the recipe would definitely be too small. If we don't have fish stock or shrimp stock on hand we have used chicken stock. We like the amount of seasoning called for in the recipe, but it comes out pretty spicy (also due to the tasso), so sometimes we tone it down depending on who will be eating it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: kittyfood

      I made a slightly bastardized version of the chicken & seafood jambalaya Sunday night and had my first taste of it for lunch today. I used half the amount of lard, (basmati) rice and stock, and probably a little bit extra chicken (half a pound of thighs instead of half a cup). I forgot to check my tomato sauce stock and didn't have any, so I used an extra roma tomato and 2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste/puree. Even so I had to use a fairly large casserole dish to bake it in (don't have an 8"x8"). Per nomadchowwoman's advice I took the shrimp and oysters out after cooking and didn't reheat them (stirred and and let them warm up for a minute after microwaving the jambalaya).

      Overall it turned out very good. I think the amount of heat/spice is perfect, but I wouldn't want a non spicy jambalaya. I would have used brown basmatic rice if I'd had any, but I didn't. I may try that next time. Otherwise I'd make it the same way again happily, no need for 2 tablespoons of lard to cook all that fatty pork and 1 cup of works better than 2 imo, rice being pretty much empty carbs and all.

    2. I've made the ham and sausage jambalaya (with kielbasa as the sausage, faute de mieux) many times. It's delicious and feeds a crowd or two people at least 4x. Also uses up a good bit of the pesky ham left over from holiday meals. As noted by others, I use a lot less oil than it calls for. (It's an involved enough recipe to be comforting to make when you need comforting - and not so involved that you don't want to eat it when it's done.)

      1. Oyster Dressing, p. 178

        Delicious! However, I have to say that after much consultation with nomadchowwoman (in main thread), I cut the fat in the recipe to 1/3! And used butter instead of margarine. Plus I doubled the recipe since his original would only have made 1/2 c servings which, given how rich the original was, was probably more than enough, but I wanted more generous servings of a less lethal mixture.

        I also cut the cayenne in half, since not everyone wanted it that spicy. Still had plenty of heat and flavor. I used 2 c of oysters for my doubled recipe, and since they were large, Pacific oysters, I cut them in thirds so they would distribute better.

        It took much longer than 8 minutes for the onions to brown since the peppers and celery were so juicy. It worked out fine because I wasn't in a hurry (I did all of the sauteing in advance), but if I wanted it to go faster, I think I would saute the onions first for a while before adding the peppers and celery. Then right before baking I did the steps of adding the oyster water, simmering, adding the bread crumbs and oysters, and pouring into a baking dish. Since I doubled my recipe, I used a 9x13 pan. I skipped his final step of stirring in butter and green onions after removing from the oven. I don't think it would have worked well since my version was now firmer than I suspect his would be, and I didn't want the extra onions anyhow.

        Very tasty. I'd gladly make it again, with the lesser butter amounts. It would be delicious with cornbread as part or all of the bread crumbs. I'm surprised he doesn't offer that as a variation, since it's classic.

        1. The corn maque choux has become a staple at holiday meals. Like a spicy cream corn. Delish.

          1. Poorman’s Jambalaya

            This is not a hard to put together recipe which was very convenient for Saturday lunch. Tasso and Andouille sausage (I bought them at fairway, andouille was D’artagnans’) are chopped and cooked in margarine (I used butter), then comes chopped celery, bell pepper, onion and spices which are stirred for 10 minutes, then rice (I used basmati) gets stirred for another 5 minutes. Then add the stock (which I made earlier in the week), bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. I served it with arugula salad.

            So, I had not reduced the amount of spices and I knew my husband would love that. When I started eating, I felt I could handle the spices, few minutes later I realized that I was focusing on salad and wine only. After realizeing that, I went in the kitchen and make some cucumber raita to cool my taste buds and enjoy more of jambalaya. My husband loved loved it, he actually couldn’t stop talking about our New Orleans trip we took few years ago. I on the other hand, think that it was good but too spicy and don’t see the need for 1 tsp cayenne, ½ tsp black pepper and 1 tsp white pepper in two cups of rice. I am going to make this again, but next time I am definitely cutting the spices in half, if not more.

            The lunch was preceded by fried tomatoes and followed by flan. All in all great start to the weekend.

            10 Replies
            1. re: cpw

              That's the one I mentioned above - forgot its actual name. It is quite spicy but we are fond of very hot food.

              1. re: buttertart

                It is quite delicious. I am looking forward to have left overs for lunch today, but I have the raita to accompany. What do you serve it with?

                1. re: cpw

                  A green salad, usually arugula or watercress- or a coleslaw of some sort. I often eat some plain yogurt with it too - like the contrast. Raita would go well.

                  1. re: buttertart

                    Coleslaw is a great idea, and a good way for me to feed husband veggie!

                    1. re: cpw

                      I made the Poor Man's Jambalaya for dinner last night, and threw in a chicken breast and 2 slices of bacon in an effort to clean out the fridge. It was delicious, and made the kitchen smell great. Funny, all the pepper in the air gave my cat sneezing fits. I actually increased the cayenne for our Arizonan heat-lovin taste buds, and I'm glad I did. Served it with a green salad with a cucumber yogurt dressing, which was a perfect compliment to the spice, thanks for the inspiration cpw and buttertart!

              2. re: cpw

                I made this for the Superbowl, but we prefer to use brown rice. I haven't had much luck with substituting brown for white rice without making additional changes, so for this recipe, I just cooked a batch of brown rice, then let it cool, sauteed the trinity, tasso, and anduille with the spices, added the tomatoes and some stock, then added the cooked brown rice, and layered it with some frozen raw shrimp in a cassarole dish, and baked for 25 minutes at 350. It came out great, although quite spicy! We also had it with coleslaw.

                1. re: Niki in Dayton

                  Just curious, but what methods have you tried when substituting brown rice? I've been considering trying to use it, maybe soaking it for a while ahead of time, or putting it in earlier.

                  1. re: luniz

                    So far, in various recipes, I've tried a straight sustitution with longer cooking time and I've tried par-boiling the rice first, then the usual cooking time. Neither worked well but maybe my timing is off. Lately I've been doing as described above, basically cooking the rice first, then proceeding with the recipe and that's seemed to work better.

                    1. re: Niki in Dayton

                      appreciate the info, thanks niki.

                      1. re: luniz

                        I am in love with brown basmati rice. It's really good. I find that soaking it a bit and then using more than the usual amount of water to cook the rice makes a difference. It's a bit crunchy, and I like it better than "regular" brown rice.

              3. Basic Cooked Rice, p. 224.

                I made this to serve with the Chicken and Andouille Sausage Gumbo. Following his recipe for the first time, I was planning on using converted rice as he recommends, but when I saw it was $6 a box at the grocery store and I have plenty of regular rice at home, decided to use regular long grain rice from the Mexican market, and it came out perfect. The other change I made was baking it in a white Corningware round casserole dish instead of a loaf pan.

                Two cups of rice is mixed with 2-1/2 cups of stock (I used the homemade chicken stock I used for the gumbo), chopped onions, celery, and green bell peppers, and melted butter, and seasoned with s&p, garlic powder, white pepper, and cayenne. I sealed the baking dish with tinfoil and baked at 1 hour and 10 minutes at 350. Leftovers heated up fine in the microwave for lunch today:

                 
                7 Replies
                1. re: Rubee

                  Did you find this method of cooking rice worth the extra effort of chopping and sauteeing all the vegetables?

                  1. re: beetlebug

                    You actually don't have to cook the vegs and since I had the vegetables already chopped for other recipes, it was easy just to take a spoonful (1-1/2 TB of each) of the onions, celery, and green bell peppers. Then everything is mixed together with seasonings and the uncooked rice and stock, covered with tinfoil, and popped in the oven.

                    1. re: Rubee

                      That's exactly what I've always done, too--prep all the vegetables at once and set aside the amounts needed for each dish. I've even kept some in baggies overnight in the fridge if, for instance, I'm making the gumbo one day but the Basic Cooked Rice the next.

                      1. re: JoanN

                        Prepping all the vegetables all together is totally the way to go with these recipes, since they all use "the trinity." For my big feast last Saturday, I even used the food processor instead of hand chopping everything. It was particularly convenient since I had one recipe (the roast pork) that needed finely chopped ingredients so they could be stuffed into slits (yum!).

                        1. re: Karen_Schaffer

                          My friend from NOLA taught me to chop up one big onion, a couple green peppers, and some celery into equal amounts, pour it into a ziploc, and freeze it. Whenever I need some for recipe (or even if I don't need it ;) I break off a hunk and use it. For most of Prudhomme's recipes you're using roughly equal amounts although I guess you could make your mixture however you prefer (my friend uses extra green pepper).

                          1. re: luniz

                            Useful tip. Thanks.

                  2. re: Rubee

                    I used brown jasmine rice since that's what I had. After more than an hour's baking the rice lost most of its color and jasmine aroma, coming out very much like white rice. Soft and rather sticky texture, fine with me as I was serving it with gumbo.

                    As for the Trinity, I've taken to keeping chopped onion, celery, and red and green pepper in ziplock freezer bags in the fridge, squeezing out the air before closing each bag. They seem to keep just fine, and not only for a day or two, though they rarely last much longer. Some put a damp paper towel in the bag along with the veg, but I haven't bothered as they don't dry out.

                  3. Dirty Rice, p. 224

                    LIke most of PP's dishes, the ingredient list and process is formidable and deserves multiple reads. Note that the amount of protein (1/2 lb gizzards, 1/4 lb ground pork, 1/3 lb chicken livers) is substantial for the amount of rice (3/4 c uncooked). Unless you go to a real butcher shop, expect to double the recipe or freeze some unused meat.
                    I was still leery of the above ratio so I doubled the amount of rice and modestly increased the spice and vegetable quantity. The result was very tasty and made closer to 12 'side dish' servings. This is an extremely filling dish and could be treated as a main course.
                    For my next attempt I will cook the rice separately to improve the chance of a fluffy texture - think Popeyes.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DiveFan

                      I make the dirty rice recipe fairly often, but in an effort to eat somewhat healthily, I use brown rice and ground turkey vice the ground pork. We're not gizzard fans, so I usually use 1/2 lb ground turkey and 1/2 lb chicken livers. I cook brown rice separately, then sautee the trinity, add the spice mixture and the raw meat, then add the cooked rice (about 3 cups). Although this is side dish to many foks, we eat it as a main along side of salad or broccoli.

                    2. Potato Salad with Green Onion Salad Dressing, p. 237

                      I made the Green Onion Dressing a day ahead:
                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6845...

                      For the salad, I boiled Yukon Gold potatoes skin-on, then cooked, peeled, and cubed. When still a bit warm, I tossed with the Green Onion Dressing, finely chopped hard-boiled eggs, onions, celery, green pepper, cayenne, and salt and pepper. I just realized that I forgot to add the 2 tsp of prepared mustard, but we loved this. I made it as is, though only used 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (Penzey's) instead of the 2 and thought it had perfect heat. I can see why this tasty potato salad is one of the recipes people mention when they list their favorites from the book. I've added this to my top three potato salad recipes.

                      I served it with BBQ pork ribs which I dry-rubbed and left overnight, using Penzey's Barbecue of the Americas (Coarse Kosher Flake Salt, Paprika, Jamaican Allspice, Cayenne Red Pepper, Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Thyme, Ginger, White Pepper, Korintje Cinnamon), slow-cooked in the oven, and then finished on the grill with Stubb's BBQ sauce.