Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Mardi Gras dinner

The elusive recipe remains so. I looked everywhere I could think of, but my tried-and-true recipe for shrimp etoufee cannot be found. So at the last minute I switched gears and started thinking about jambalaya. I located a recipe, which I happened to have most of the ingredients for, and it turned out to be a great one. Popped an old Professor Longhair cassette in the stereo for ambience, and CL’s Peppered Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya was the perfect recipe for dinner on this Mardi Gras.

Peppered Chicken-and-Shrimp Jambalaya

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 pound skinned, boned chicken breasts, diced
6 ounces turkey kielbasa, halved lengthwise and sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced yellow bell pepper
1 1/2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup water
2 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add chicken, kielbasa, onion, and bell peppers; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Add rice; sauté 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add thyme, black pepper, and red pepper; sauté 1 minute. Add water, broth, and tomatoes; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Add shrimp and hot sauce; cover and cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove from heat; stir in parsley.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 2 cups)

CALORIES 374 (16% from fat); FAT 6.6g (sat 2g,mono 2.8g,poly 1.3g); PROTEIN 26g; CHOLESTEROL 65mg; CALCIUM 95mg; SODIUM 919mg; FIBER 3g; IRON 7.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 51.3g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 1999

The only change I made to this recipe was to omit the turkey kielbasa, and I added 4 ounces additional chicken to make up for it. I also found that it was a little too saucy for my taste, so I uncovered the pan for the last 10 minutes of cooking and it thickened nicely. Jack added extra hot sauce because he has an asbestos-coated stomach.

Today the temperatures outside were in the mid-40’s and a good deal of the snow melted. Walking across the grass is like walking on a sponge, very squishy. And muddy. Spooky went outside with me and explored, going places he hadn’t been for a few weeks. Checking out the perimeter, Jack said, as Spooky explored and sniffed everything and anything that he encountered for over an hour. Our Security Cat! Who had to have his little paws wiped clean prior to coming in the house. As did Jack and me.

Dinner this evening was a cauliflower tomato curry over rice. Very good, but I was in a hurry and forgot to write down the ingredients… I’ll try to refine the recipe and post in the future.

The next few days are looking to be busy ones, so it appears as though there will be no new or exciting recipes to report on. Except for Friday night’s dessert and maybe an appetizer. Dinner guests are bringing the remaining food-- part of my New Year's Semi-Resolution to try not to do it all myself, and to let others contribute. We'll see how long this lasts!